Just like normal jeans, only better.
Motorcycle jeans have come a long way in recent years. I can tell you this because I crashed in a pair last year (not the ones I’m reviewing here). Thanks to those jeans and my other gear, I walked away from that incident totally uninjured. So, how do these Pando Moto jeans stack up?
To be absolutely clear, I haven’t crashed in these Pando Moto jeans. Obviously, like anyone who rides, I’d ideally like to avoid testing how well the 25 percent Dyneema fabric responds in a crash for as long as I possibly can. (Does anyone ever actually want to crash?)
Overall, the fit and finish on these jeans is quite high. They fit as expected, as long as you measure and abide by their size chart. It’s a slim fit, but there is some stretch, so they’re pretty comfortable. The mid-rise is, to my mind, perfect for my needs. They sit where they should on my hips and stay where I want them to when I’m in a crouch to reach my clip-ons. My lower back isn’t exposed, and everything just … fits. You know, like a pair of comfy jeans, only with armor in the knees and hips.
The jeans I crashed in were a pair of Bull-It SR6 Sidewinders. Unlike these Kissakis, they’re the type of jean with two layers: the outer denim layer, and then their proprietary Covec material (comparable to Kevlar, if you’re unfamiliar with it) underneath. There are pockets for knee and hip armor, into which I placed D3O armor which worked quite well in that crash.
To be fair, they’re a completely different cut and style from the Kissakis. Even so, I always wore those with a belt to keep them up, because they never fit exactly how I would have liked. The Kissakis, on the other hand, do not require a belt. They just fit very nicely, and stay where they should.
The Pando Kissakis also don’t require you to wear some type of base layer underneath to stay comfortable, because there’s no scratchy Velcro holding the armor pockets closed. Some other moto jeans (including those Bull-Its) use Velcro, so it’s pretty uncomfortable to wear them without a base layer.
That’s definitely an important thing to keep in mind when you’re shopping for moto jeans in general for another reason: Some jeans have better airflow than others. This pair of Kissakis just feels like—say it with me now—a pair of jeans. Due to their double layer of fabric, the Sidewinders, by contrast, were very warm—and warmer still because I had to wear a base layer with them at all times. That added warmth was nice in the winter, but not so great in the summer.
Armor pocket placement in the Kissakis is good for me, and walking around off the bike and even just sitting around in those jeans is totally comfortable. I’d recommend sliding the hip armor out if you’re going to be off the bike for an extended period of time, because the pointy bottom part starts to curl under if you’re sitting down for awhile, and you’ll need to smooth it back out when you stand up again. The Knox knee armor conforms perfectly to my knees, on or off the bike, and doesn’t move around. Unless you reach out and touch it, you can’t tell I’m wearing armor if you’re just looking at these jeans. Isn’t that kind of the point?
From Pando, these jeans come with this Knox CE level one knee armor. You can also order the Sastec CE level one hip armor I have here for an additional €12.00 (US $13.23) from Pando, if you like. The armor pockets should accept most modern soft armor of similar size, if you have another type you’d prefer to use.
I very much appreciate that the armor pockets inside these jeans manage to hold the armor exactly where they should securely, but manage to do it without using Velcro. Not only is the lack of scratchiness nice, but Velcro is always a danger to softer, clingier fabrics. It’s nice to not have to worry about another Velcro closure eating my sleeves.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m quite short. One thing I do wish that Pando had was a greater variety of inseam lengths in their jeans. My choices were between 32 inches and 34 inches for inseam length. My actual inseam length is between 26 and 27, so I knew going into this that I was going to have to roll my cuffs.
I talked to Pando about this, and they assured me that they designed their jeans with this potential scenario in mind. There’s even a nice reflective strip inside the cuff, as an added bit of visibility when you’re on your bike. That sounded quite nice to me, so I wasn’t too worried when I submitted my request to Pando for my pair.
Remember how I said that these are slim fit? I wear over-the-ankle boots exclusively, so you can probably guess what happened next. I rolled the cuffs up just fine, but they won’t fit over any boots. About the only thing they might fit over would be high-top Converse, which I’d never wear on a bike. They tuck into my boots comfortably, but that’s something to be aware of if you’re on the short side and considering these jeans.
Two other things to note: the front pockets on these are nice and deep, and will accept a modern giant smartphone with no problem. I wouldn’t personally want to ride with a phone in my front pocket, but you probably could if you wanted to. It’s perfect for keeping your phone handy off the bike, for sure.
Pando says that the rear pocket has a waterproof zipper. It looks like it, although I haven’t been caught in the rain in these jeans yet, so I can’t say for sure. What I can tell you is that the fabric of that pocket isn’t lined with anything, so I’m not sure how much good just having a waterproof zipper would do if you got caught in a deluge.
All in all, these fit me very well, and look quite nice—although, as you might notice in the photos, they do attract fur if you have any pets. That’s something to be aware of, as well. I don’t know how they’ll do in a crash, but I can tell you that they’re very comfortable both for actual riding, and also for walking around in incognito moto fashion off the bike.