Mar 23, 2012

Review: Aerostich AD-1 Pants


I have impressive photography skills..No?  No.   
Years ago I was looking for a pair of motorcycle pants that would be a universal pant:  one that would keep me warm in the winter, dry in the summer, that were comfortable and stylish and had adequate pockets and yet offered protection.  You probably know how difficult it is to find such a pair of riding pants.  After doing a lot of research I ended up going with the Aerostich Darien pant.  The main reason I went with those?  Simple.  A motorcycle police officer I knew in Eugene (Oregon) informed me they wore Aerostich.  I figured if they were good enough for police who wore them day in and day out, rain or shine, then they were good enough for me.  

I treasured those pants and wore them for around 10,000 miles before they simply weren’t doing their job anymore.  They  had become less than waterproof on the thighs and my boots had rubbed into the legs, threatening  to produce mini holes.  Part of the problem with the waterproofing was I’d not followed directions.  I washed those things at least once or twice a month, disregarding the instructions on using the proper detergents.  
When it was time to purchase new pants I did the same research over, hoping there would be more options and something could compare.  What I found was that Aerostich had an improved version of the Darien’s, the AD1’s.  Wondering how these pants could be improved, I contacted Aerostich and asked to demo them.  Guess what?  They sent me a pair.  

Pockets! Pockets!  I love pockets!
The first thing I noticed about these pants were they were stiff.  Practically standing up by themselves.  I was informed after wearing them for awhile that would diminish, but I actually didn’t have any issue with that.  According to Aerostich’s website (http://www.aerostich.com/ad1-motorcycle-pants.html) the pants are made with HT600 Denier nylon Gore-Tex fabric and have improved water resistance with a front fly inner gusset.  A.D.1’s have more flexibility in the knees than the Darien pants and come with more pockets that are designed to ensure your keys and whatnots don’t fall out when you take them off.  There is a cargo pocket with a waterproof zipper on the right thigh which I found particularly handy for my ATM card and gas receipts.  A.D.1.’s  come with a money belt,  a reflective adjustable ankle tab for cinching in or loosening the ankle width, and full length zippers down the sides to make them easy to pull on and take off.

What better way to test these pants than a trip from Oregon to Texas?  I took a last minute trip in August which, according to all the Debbie Downer’s out there, is the hottest and worst time to travel the southwestern United States.  Monsoons in Arizona?  One hundred degree heat in Texas?  Phooey.  Still, I wouldn’t be discouraged.  On the way to and from Texas I rode through Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico.  My trip was around 4,500 miles and along the way I suffered through 109 degree heat, lightening storms and torrential downpours that came without any real warning. I was able to ride through it all without stopping to put on rain gear because my A.D.1 pants were waterproof.  And more importantly, they didn’t leak.  Not one bit.  During the entire trip I simply wore a pair of thin workout pants under my A.D.1’s.  They were short, capri style, and at times my knees were bare against the knee pads.  Unlike another pair of motorcycle pants I have tried, these Aerostich pants don’t have knee pads that are made of rubber and therefore rub against your skin causing a rash.  I was totally comfortable in the rain, sleet, and 109 degree heat, which I found to be shocking.  When I was a little hot I loosened the ankle strips which allowed air to flow into the pants (although it was mostly hot air, it still helped).   

I’ve been wearing these Aerostich pants non stop.  Riding to work the other day in the Oregon rain I was reminded of how great these pants are.  After about 7,000 miles of usage, the A.D.1’s are still like new.  Not one issue.  No broken zippers, no leaks (not even in the pockets).  These pants do everything you need them to do and more.  They fit like jeans, are comfortable, and have enough pockets to hold your wallet, keys, and anything else you can stuff inside.  I love these pants so much I wish I could marry them.   

The A.D.1 Aerostich motorcycle pants come in sizes  30-44 (long and regular) and are priced at $297.00 (US).  You can order them from Aerostich’s website at http://www.aerostich.com/

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