Depends on what kind of riding you do…me, I’m mainly an after-work/weeekend pleasure rider, so I don’t need waterproof, but I do need something that I can wear off the bike. Also, where I live, it gets downright steamy in the summer, so I need something that I’ll actually wear when it gets bad.
I orignally started with Cortec riding jeans (CE knee armor for hard impact, perforated leather at major points for abrasion), but the problem was they were too baggy…I had no confidence that the armor or the leather would stay in place in a fall.
So I moved to Fieldsheer mesh overpants w/CE knee armor. Much better fit, and I wear them over my regular jeans, so I just take ’em off if I’m off the bike for an extended period of time. Downside is mesh isn’t as protective as something enclosed, but they seem well-built and in the summer, they breathe.