I love trying out new gear and this is the first time I have gotten the opportunity to test the Italian gear maker Dainese. I’ve heard nothing but good things about them and I was stoked to get a pair of the Dainese Drake pants to review.
The sizing on these pants is all European which is completely new to me, all clothes I’ve purchased have come in American inches instead of the Metric Standard. The Drake pants I own are size 50 (centimeter?), and I have a 30 inch waist. They are a little on the big side (probably comparable to a 32 inch waist) and I have to use the built in Velcro belts on each side to cinch them up. If I had to do it again I might prefer a size 48 or maybe even 46, although the larger size does let me use them as a pair of ‘overpants’ in a pinch!
The thighs and calf area fit great, not too tight and not too loose.
They feel about the same comfort level as a pair of jeans although they don’t feel like denim at all. They look relatively normal when you are walking around off the bike which is a HUGE plus in my book. Nothing kills my love affair with a new piece of gear like walking into a store looking like a Power Ranger reject. The only color they come in is black which is perfectly fine with me.
All of my gear is black already and I feel like it will match any motorcycle color. The lack of color options may put off some potential buyers, but I’ve never felt the need to dress in bright green just to look good on my ZX6R. They are cut to fit relatively close to the skin and don’t puff out at all. Other pants that are cut looser and puff out more have a tendency to make a very annoying ‘swishing’ sound when I walk.
These pants do not do that. I have worn these Drake Pants with nothing underneath (well, underwear of course!) and I have also slipped them on over a pair of jeans. The pants unzip to about mid calf which is great for putting them on with boots and it really helps if you are going to be wearing a base layer underneath.
Without the jeans on they are pretty comfortable, but with the jeans they are a bit stiff to walk around in. They were not made to be over pants though, so if you wear anything underneath then it is definitely going to feel a bit more constricting.
One more thing I really want to touch on is I LOVE the way that these pants button closed. They use a really innovate system of a rod with a ball at the top that slides into a hole and then slides closed. It is the best system I have seen to keep pants closed even when under stress of an expanding belly or the asphalt trying to tear off your trousers. Gold star for you Dainese!
Dainese Drake Air Textile Pants Cooling and Protection
The defining feature of these riding pants is the vents that they have on the front of the legs. There is a large swathe of mesh material on each thigh as well as on each shin. These provide much needed cooling during the spring/summer/fall months here in California.
I’ve even worn them in the winter over a pair of regular pants and this blocks most of the airflow and makes them warm enough to wear in all but the coldest temperatures. For protection the Drakes are made out of Cordura Fabric 750 for the most part and have tear resistant Suretta and Perforated fabric on the vented areas.
If you don’t like the armor for some reason there are zippers above each knee which really make it easy to take out (although I wouldn’t recommend that). If you have a Dainese jacket then you will find that the pants mate up nicely with it because of a full length zipper that travels the whole circumference of the waist.
Dainese Drake Air Textile Pants Conclusion
I wear these pants about 2-3 days a week right now (mid February) and I imagine that will increase to around 7 days a week when the temperatures get a little bit warmer. They do an EXCELLENT job of cooling you down and I think they are some of the better riding pants I have seen.
Do please try them on in a store if you get the chance, the sizing can be a little tricky if you aren’t experienced with the European sizing system. These would make an excellent pair of pants for riders that live in hotter areas but don’t want to compromise on protection.
Dainese Drake Air Textile Pants Specifications
Drake pants will surely interest anyone who loves to ride his or her bike especially in the warmer months without wearing a suit or leather pants in order to obtain the protection required. These previously contrasting needs have now been perfectly reconciled by Drake fabric pants. Ample air vents in fretted fabric with closing on the thighs permit fresh air to enter during riding for cooling relief on even the hottest days.
When temperatures begin to drop, the air vents can be closed. Safety is guaranteed by removable composite protections in the knee and shins, while extra-strength Cordura 750 fabric offers protection in case of fall.
The elastic inserts in the knee optimise the wearability of the article, which is equally suited to metropolitan motorcycle use.
Removable composite protectors
Cordura fabric 750
Insert in elasticated fabric
Jacket-trousers fastening system
Big vents for maximum airflow
Hard removable armor in the knees
Comfortable pants on or off the bike
European sizing can be tricky
Where to Buy Dainese Drake Air Textile Pants
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