The Best Motorcycle Gear of 2017: Pando Moto’s Karl Riding Jeans Look Great and Protect
Pando Moto hand tailors premium garments with abrasion resistant fabrics like Cordura, Kevlar, and Dyneema.
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I’ll be honest, I like to look good. In my profession, I believe that where ever I go, there is an opportunity to do business and my outward appearance and attitude are reflections of my style and professionalism. Because I am a motorcyclist in Los Angeles, it is imperative that whatever I am wearing protect me in the event of an accident.
As the motorcycle industry begins to shift toward understanding the mentalities of young working professionals and cool, hip riders that are growing in number, so are many motorcycle apparel companies. Riders have shouted loud enough that “we want to look good off the bike and ride protected in case of an accident.” Some brands heard the call and even newer ones have stepped into the fray with new products.
I was intrigued by Pando Moto having never heard of the brand prior to wearing my current pair. Pando Moto is a Lithuanian company that hand tailors premium Cordura denim with an embedded Kevlar lining. They are also one of a few companies making apparel with a fabric known as Dyneema which is 50 times stronger than steel and thus ultra-abrasion resistant.
Other features Pando Moto features in their apparel are removable SAS-TEC CE-approved knee protectors that can be inserted or removed from the outside and flex points at the knees to facilitate a motorcyclists' stance whether on a cruiser or a sports bike.
The stinky and awesome pair I have been wearing for the last four months is the Karl. It fits my tall frame well and the sizing runs true to size. In the last year, I've gone up to a 36 waist (too much work and not enough gym) and I have always been a 34 inch inseam. My thighs and butt have some definition and that has proven difficult in the past to find pants that fit very well. It's either a battle between waist and hip fit versus leg fit. The latter is naturally compromised leaving me with an I'll fitting pant.
Regarding the Karl Indigo, the fit in the waist is comfortable and fitted but not too tight to restrict any movement or create serious "swamp-ass" on a warm day. The thigh and leg portions are also nicely fitted with a little room to breathe. "Baggy" or "skin tight" are not the words I would ever use to describe these pants. They are simply perfect.
My favorite feature is the removable SAS-TEC CE-approved knee protectors. I often do not have the knee protectors in but they always manage to stay in my bag in the event I choose to put them in for some spirited riding.
What are the pain points? Because it’s something I have been so used to all my life, the Karl Indigo is missing the ever-present “fifth pocket.” I never realized how much I missed the little stash pocket until it was gone.
The 12.5-ounce Cordura denim has incorporated “CoolMax” technology that allows for breathability but when coupled with Kevlar the jeans do retain some heat. On hotter summer days, like the ones that are coming up, I don’t anticipate these jeans being that comfortable off the bike. However, I believe that is a natural compromise if you demand a durable fabric to protect a slide.
So, if your body type is like mine (athletic and trim) the Pando Moto Karl might be your best bet for a three season riding pant that's also suitable for everyday wear off the bike.
At $236, the Pando Moto Karl is a steal. It comes in at nearly $70 less than its competitors in a similar style and offers more protection than most.
Disclaimer: I approached Pando Moto for a pair of jeans to do a thorough review of the Karl. I had never heard of them before and I am always in search of new brands that claim to make quality motorcycle products. I have not been compensated or paid in any way for my review. I also thoroughly test any and all gear I review in the field for a minimum of two months before giving an honest opinion. These jeans have been used and abused for the better half of a year.