Abrasion-resistant denim has come a long way in the past few years. From Kevlar to Aramid, from Cordura to Dyneema, motorcycle gear manufacturers have continued to infuse robust and protective fabrics into casual pieces. French gear maker PMJ isn’t satisfied with upholding the status quo, though, and the firm’s new West jacket delivers classic denim looks backed by a Class AAA PPE rating.
PMJ achieves such a high protection classification due to its use of Twaron material. Utilized in the construction of bulletproof vests, the rugged fabric nearly doubles the abrasion resistance of leather and far outpaces the figures achieved by Aramid and Cordura linings. PMJ also integrates the ballistic fiber throughout the jacket, instead of applying Twaron as an inner lining, providing comprehensive protection for the rider.
Along with the slide-resistant shell, the West jacket also features CE Level 1 EXA PRO armor at the elbows and shoulders. Customers can increase the piece’s protective properties by adding a level 2 back protector as well. Under the EN 17092-2:2020 regulations, most Class AAA ratings are reserved for full leather race suits, but more recently, gear like Klim's Badlands Pro and Fuel's Safari jacket have attained the top rating. The PMJ joins that exceptional category with the inclusion of Twaron material and EXA PRO protectors.
The West jacket is just as stylish as it is safe, though. PMJ delivers a form-fitting cut, distressing at select areas, and button closures to capture the timeless denim jacket form. Adjustable straps at the waist and cuffs also mimic non-riding jean jackets while providing a personalized fit. Two side pockets and two chest pockets also abide by conventions and offer enough carrying capacity for short trips.
Retailing for €249 ($270 USD), the West jacket comes in men’s sizes XS-3XL, and PMJ offers a women’s version (Lucy Jacket) for the same price in sizes XS-XL. Both the West and Lucy only come in a distressed indigo colorway, but the classic wash perfectly achieves the jean jacket look. Abrasion-resistant fabrics may be advancing at rapid speed, but PMJ proves that gear makers can pair old-school design with modern materials.