I’m not sure why, but it seems like many riders tend to overlook good pants when they are shopping for their motorcycle gear. I’ll agree a good helmet and gloves, a jacket and boots should probably come first – after all, a skinned up knee is much better than a concussion (or worse), but that doesn’t mean your kit shouldn’t cover your entire body. Motorcycle gear serves two main functions: To protect the rider from injury in case of a crash, and to provide the rider with comfort and protection from the elements.
When we think of protection from the elements, we often think about gear that will keep us dry if it rains, or warm if it’s cold. But what about that time of the year when the humidity soars and the temperatures rise close to (or above) the triple digit mark? Mesh motorcycle pants can actually be far more comfortable than even your favorite pair of jeans on a hot summer day. In this article (and video) we will take a look at 7 different pairs of mesh pants and what makes them a great choice for summertime motorcycle enjoyment.
The first thing you have to ask yourself, is what kind of riding you plan on doing with these mesh pants? Will they be strictly for warm weather day trips, where you’ll have a good idea of the days forecast? Commuting? Or do you have more long distance touring goals in mind? Also consider what gear you already have in the closet, and what purposes it serves – do you already have a rainsuit that you bring with you anyway? Then a rain liner might not be so important to you…
We find that many riders tend to buy mesh gear for hot weather, and hot weather only. They already have (or plan on buying) other gear for Fall, Winter, and Spring. If this is you, you’ll more than likely pull the liner out of your mesh gear and probably won’t ever put it back in. If this is you, you can usually save a bit of money by buying mesh pants that do not come with a liner. These pants are typically a little bit lighter in weight and can be very comfortable in even the hottest conditions. The Icon Anthem Mesh Pants and the Joe Rocket Phoenix Mesh Pants are the two pants in this comparison that would fall into this category.
On the other hand, if you are a commuter who occassionally gets caught in the rain. Or if there are large temperature swings whereyou live, requiring a liner in the morning and mesh for the ride home, then having at least a waterproof liner is a good idea. The waterproof liner will block the wind, keeping you more comfortable in cooler weather. Lucky for you, this is what the majority of mesh motorcycle pants come with. The Shadow Scorcher 2, Fly Cool Pro Mesh Pants, and Olympia Airglide 3 Pants all fit into this category. Pay attention to if the liner is truly listed as waterproof, versus water resistant, if that is important to you (although in our experience, nothing beats a proper rainsuit in a real downpour).
Finally, for 3, or even 4 season use, buying mesh pants that come with a dual stage liner is the way to go. These pants are typically a little more pricey, and a little more bulky and heavy (naturally). However, despite the added weight, the versatility can be well worth it for some riders. These pants feature a waterproof liner and a second thermal liner that can be installed together, which actually makes for a fairly warm combo when the weather gets cold. Remove both liners and you have a functional mesh pant that will keep you protected while flowing plenty of air. In this comparison, we took a look at the Sliders All Season 2 Kevlar pants as well as the TourMaster Venture Air Pants. Both of these make a great choice for long summer touring rides since they are so versatile and will cover just about any weather conditions you might encounter (besides ultra cold weather, obviously).
Keep in mind that we have detailed individual reviews available on each of these pants that goes into every aspect of the pant. So click on any of the pants above to go to the product page and lean more. Also, most of these pants have a women’s version available as well – so there’s something for everyone. If you have further questions feel free to contact our helpful staff either by phone or e-mail, or you can even leave a comment on our YouTube video and we will get back to you over there. Hope this guide has been helpful and keep the rubber side down!