I am a big advocate for all the gear all the time, and this is something I have always been bought up with. I would rather be protected appropriately and deal with getting hot, as opposed to having no skin left should something happen. The ideal would be a lightweight, and cool clothing that provides proper protection.
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 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 of heavy duty construction, but not a heavy. Available in black, stonewash denim, or midnight blue, they look like a standard street style jean, by this I mean they do not look out of place walking through town, or just on a usual day out. Hidden from the outside, the armour is barely visible. Fully lined with Para-aramid fibres, they also have an airflow mesh on the inside, which allowing airflow to circulate keeping the user cool. It keeps the protection off the skin, keeping your legs cool and not itchy. A smart 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. Secured with Velcro on the inside with dedicated pouches to stop them from falling out, making it easily removable for off the bike. The armour profile is very slim too, and it would be quite hard to notice that the jeans had armour in, I have worn them on the commute to work and worn them all day, and nobody noticed. The D30 Evo T5 is available to be upgraded to T5 pro; however, these pads are slightly thicker, 10mm to 14mm to hit the Level 2 armour criteria. Other smart features include material pockets, providing a hard-wearing inner surface to the pocket. Many pairs of regular jeans I have had the internal 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 also to stop scratches.
Tailored to the user, Hood jeans come in many waist, and leg lengths, from 30” to 44” waist, and 28” to 36” leg lengths. They fit like regular street jeans so, with my preference to a baggy jean (fat guy problems). 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 one-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 one 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 an 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 stretch for movement and taking the pressure off the waistband, preventing it from digging in.
So with about six months of use and roughly 12k miles, many photoshoots which are harsh on the knees and butt, lots of rainstorms, and many 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 standard armour, and upgrading to T30 Pro costs £12. Retrofitting the T30 pro armour is possible.
Check out the website https://www.hoodjeans.co.uk/