Best single layer motorcycle jeans | Thin feel but full on safety

Best single layer motorcycle jeans
Best single layer motorcycle jeans
5

When it comes to riding jeans, single layer motorcycle jeans offer the best compromise between comfort, cooling and protection. Sure, a set of textiles are great if you’re going a long way and leathers make sense for sportier rides, but for shorter or more casual journeys, a jacket and jeans is hard to beat.

As their name implies, single layer motorcycle jeans are constructed without doubling up on fabric for reinforcement, so abrasion resistance is achieved by weaving aramid fibres into the denim itself. Recent developments in material technology means that a pair of single layer motorcycle jeans can achieve a CE rating of AAA, the highest possible for abrasion resistance and construction strength.

In addition to a robust construction, you should also expect armour at the knee, and ideally the hips as well, to protect from impact . As with all motorcycle clothing, this can either be rated CE Level 1 or the more shock-absorbent Level-2.

As with any form of clothing, sizing and style can vary, so trying a pair on before you commit is essential.

You should also consider the cut; straight-cut jeans tend to be a bit more generous in the legs, while skinny fit may not work for riders with chunkier legs. And you may also need to consider your footwear – if you really like skinny-fit jeans, you may need a pair of shorter, more casual boots to go under them.

Here is a selection of single layer motorcycle jeans that will keep you safe and feeling cool.

Tested by Dan Sutherland for five months and 1,000 miles

Price: £127.49 (was £169.99)
These are a great blend of safety and looks, offering a slim fit alongside an AA CE rating and Level 1 hip and knee armour. They feature five external pockets and room for adjustment for the hard protectors. I’ve made countless journeys in these on a range of motorcycles and always been comfortable – with the protection remaining exactly where it needs to be at all times. This is thanks to RST’ ‘Infinite Adjustment Armour System’, which holds the knee armour in place with a set of hook and loop fasteners. They still look as good as the day they arrived and there’s been no fraying, or discolouration. They don’t feel heavy on your legs like some other riding jeans, either, but I’ve managed to continue to wear them on single digit winter days with the addition of a thin set of base layers.

Pros

  • CE Approved protection
  • Stylish looks

Cons

  • Only really work with short boots
  • Value
    4.0
  • Quality
    4.0
CE Rating AA
Armour Level 1 knee and hip
Construction Denim and Kevlar
  • Cotton front leg lining
  • Classic five-pocket design
  • Infinite adjustment armour system
  • Contrast stitch detail
These fashionable jeans can be worn casual and come with free CE approved knee pads. Designed to distribute air evenly around your legs for comfort in the saddle. The 100% denim exterior is lined with Kevlar from hip to knee and come in a boot cut fit.

Alongside all this the Vaser jeans are a traditional 5 pocket design, so when off the bike you have somewhere for your phone and wallet, like you would ordinarily carry.
Construction Kevlar jeans
CE Rating AA
Armour Hip and knee
  • YKK zips
  • Double stitched seams
  • Aramid Kevlar lining

Tried and tested by Joseph Wright for six months and 2,500 miles

Price: £99.99 ( was £149.99)
These are the first pair of proper riding jeans I have tried but with their knee and hip padding combined with stylish looks, l am now a convert. They offer a great balance of safety vs comfort from
their lightweight single-layer material, which is flexible on and off the bike, twinned with Level 2 CE hip/knee protectors which mould neatly around your joints all creating a fairly slim profile. I opted for the slim-fit style which exceeded expectations though the winter and spring but seem to have more restricted breathability in summer. A straight-leg fit is available and the looser fit may encourage more airflow

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Look good

Cons

  • Not very breathable in summer
  • Quality
    4.0
  • Value
    5.0
Construction Lightweight single layer Armourlite denim construction
Armour CE Level 2 knee and hip
CE Rating AA
  • Triple stitched seams
  • Reinforced lined yolk
  • Lined back pockets

Tried and tested by Richard Newland for three months and 1,200 miles

Price: £89.99 (was £149.99)
The Bull it Tactical Icon jeans look and feel (and perform) like a quality high-end garment, for a price that feels like exceptionally good value. And while the Bull it Tactical Icon jeans are single layer, there is a mesh liner to knee height on the front and the aforementioned pockets for armour, but all the extra bits are integrated without rough seams or scratchy panels – so they don’t detract from the feeling of a lightweight jean. On the bike they offer a good connection to the seat – they’re not overly sticky or slippy – and are stretchy enough to offer some give. In hot weather, they stay appreciably cool, and they’re just like a normal jeans to walk around in.

Read Richard's full review here
Construction Kevlar and denim
Armour CE Level 2 hip and knee
CE Rating AA
  • Covec high-performance AA stretch denim
  • Water resistant finish
  • Adjustable protector pockets

Tried and tested by Ben Clarke for 12 months and 3,000 miles

Price: £161.99 (was £179.99)
When it comes to this kind of summer and casual kit I’ve always aired on the side of comfort – using the theory that if I’m comfortable I’ll be able to focus on the ride better. But the Roadskin Taranis jeans let me keep that level of comfort with the added peace of mind that they won’t fall to bits in a slide.

No, they’re not the cheapest, but they look great on and off the bike and achieving a AAA rating for a denim garment should be applauded.

I would certainly spend my own money on a pair without thinking twice.

Read our full Roadskin Taranis Elite AAA review

Pros

  • Comfy
  • Look like normal jeans
  • Peace of mind from AAA rating

Cons

  • Not the cheapest
  • Comfort
    5.0
  • Practicality
    3.0
  • Looks
    5.0
  • Quality
    5.0
  • Protection
    5.0
  • Value
    4.0
  • Overall
    5.0
Construction Cotton, Kevlar, PE, Cordura, Lycra
Type Denim riding jeans
CE Rating AAA
Armour CE-level 2 hip and knee
  • Available in three lengths
  • Stretch fabric
  • Single layer
  • Mesh lining
These PMJ single layer motorcycle jeans are made with Twaron, a ballistic material that strengthens the denim weave to offer the highest CE-rated level of protection from abrasion and construction, AAA.

The jeans are a traditional five-pocket design with availability in three leg lengths for each waist size with a casual fit and the Deux come with a leather belt. They also include Level-1 knee and hip armour.
Construction Denim construction with T-Tex Pro and Twaron single layer technology
CE Rating AAA
Armour Hip and knee
  • Casual fit
  • Leather belt included
  • Adjustable and removable CE approved protectors at knees
  • No external stitching
  • Removable CE approved hip protectors

How MCN tests products

At MCN, our team of expert journalists have decades of experience gained over hundreds of thousands of miles. We don’t test our kit to destruction; we use it exactly how you do, in the real world and in all conditions. That means we can deliver impartial buying advice you can rely on.

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