I am a big advocate for all the gear all the time, for me, this is something I have always been bought up with and personally, I would rather be properly protected and deal with getting hot, as opposed to being cool and having no skin left should the worst happen. The ideal would be a lightweight, and cool clothing that provides proper protection should it be called upon.
Hood jeans are a small family owned company specialising in manufacturing extremely high-quality armoured jeans. Chris and Julie set the company up in 1998, but you could say jean making is in their genes (Excuse the dad joke), as Chris’ parents worked in the Lee Cooper factory. Many years of experience using high tech fabrics such as Cordura, Ballistic nylon and Kevlar lead to the current evolution of Infinity K7 jeans.
The infinity K7 jeans are a heavy duty construction, but they are not a heavy item. Available in black, stonewash denim, or midnight blue, they look like a standard street style jean, and by this I mean they do not look out of place walking through town, shopping or just on a standard day out. They are armoured, with knee and hip armour, but these are completely hidden from the outside. Fully lined with Para-aramid fibres, they also have an airflow mesh on the inside, which allows airflow to move around keeping the user cool. It also keeps the protection off the skin, keeping your legs cool and not itchy. A clever addition is the inclusion of a stirrup under the ankle, this stops the jean moving up the leg keeping the protection where it’s needed.
D30 Evo T5 armour comes standard on knees and hips and is secured with Velcro on the inside with dedicated pouches to stop them falling out, but easily removable for off the bike. The armour profile is very slim too, it would be quite hard to notice that the jeans had armour in, without them in your hand, as so, I have worn them on the commute to work and worn them all day on casual Fridays and nobody noticed at all. The D30 Evo T5 is available to be upgraded to T5 pro, however, these pads are slightly thicker, increasing thickness from 10mm to 14mm in order to hit the Level 2 armour criteria. Other clever features include material pockets, providing a hard-wearing inner surface to the pocket. Many pairs of regular jeans I have had the inner pockets have rubbed through and holes appear. With the Hood jeans having a denim backing this won’t happen, perfect for protection against bike keys in the pocket. The waist button sits flush so doesn’t protrude potentially scratching the fuel tank, and the zip has a covering flap to also stop scratches.
Hood jeans are tailored to the user, waist and leg lengths are catered for from 30” to 44” waist, and 28” to 36” leg lengths. They fit like a regular street jean so, with my preference to a baggy jean as opposed to a skinny jean (fat guy problems), and I quite like the sizing and fit of the jeans I was wearing for day to day use. When I ordered my pair I quoted the same measurements to Hood on order. They arrive in the post, and if for some reason they don’t fit, Hood will Exchange at no cost.
I have only ever ridden in a 1 piece leather suit, so this was quite a change to the norm for me. Since getting the jeans in March, I have worn my leathers once and that was for the Ron Haslam race school day, where a leather 1 piece is mandatory. I have been using them for everything, commuting to work and more pleasurable rides, IAM training and as well as when out photographing bikes. Everything from half hour up to full days out on the bike and all I can say is I love them. Using them with my Supertech R boots, I tuck the bottom over the inner boot, and use the stirrup around the inner, and then tuck the inner boot and jean into the outer. This method for me works perfectly and also keeps the jean at the right length around the knees stopping bunching. The length when sitting on the bike is perfect giving just enough length for movement and to take pressure off the waistband, stopping it from digging in. I haven’t tried them with a low style boot or the armoured trainer style boots available, but hoping to try some soon and update on that.
So with about 6 months of use and roughly 12k miles, many photoshoots which are harsh on the knees and butt, lots of rainstorms, and many proper washes they still look brand new. Temperature isn’t an issue, I’ve been out in temperature ranges of -3 to +32 degrees, on many different styles of bike ranging from cruisers to superbikes and as long as you are sensible with layers there are no problems. I think I have found the perfect set of jeans for me.
Prices for the K7 Infinity (latest revision) start at £153 with the standard armour, and the upgraded T30 Pro costs £12 and can be retrofitted if you decide to use the updated armour at a later date.
Check out the website https://www.hoodjeans.co.uk/