Many companies today provide quality protective clothing for motorcycle riders. Blue jeans are often the go-to pant for bikers, for their comfort, utilitarian function, and casual good looks. Yet often, these offer sub-par protection in the event of an “off”. Several companies offer armored jeans, with sewn-in protection at key points around the garment. Companies like Joe Rocket, Icon, Alpinestars, and Cortech are among those who offer high quality riding jeans.
At a recent Great American Motorcycle Show, I had the privilege to meet with David Hall of Diamond Gusset Jean Company, a unique, all-American outfit based in Bon Aqua, Tennessee. Among their many and varied jean styles, they manufacture a “biker jean”, with fantastic features I’ve never seen before in a riding jean. Hall outfitted both Born to Ride’s Ron Galletti and me with a pair of their “Defender” riding jeans, for the purpose of giving our impressions and suggestions, as well as penning an evaluation for our readers.
But first, a little background on this extraordinary American entrepreneur and his company. Hall spent years working for the likes of Levi Strauss and Lee Jeans, during the time when those companies, as well as so many others, were outsourcing their manufacturing to places like Mexico, China, and Indonesia, to name a few. In 1987, Hall had a dream for a completely American jean company, with every fiber, thread, stitch, rivet, button and patch made right here in the States, by American hands, start-to-finish. He also envisioned a unique diamond-shaped crotch design, known as a gusset, for better durability, comfort and movement. For motorcycle riders, this would prove to be a tremendous selling point.
Hall struck out to pursue this dream, with no “seed money” or bank financing. In an era that has seen many companies fold, move offshore, or sell out, DG has stayed true to their vision- a superior constructed and supremely comfortable jean that is entirely American made, with the fantastic diamond gusset crotch concept. And they have continued to grow.
The perfect riding jean? We decided to take the challenge.
The Defender jean, DG’s “100% American Made Biker Jeans” as they bill it, contains numerous features that set it apart from other riding jeans on the market. The hips, knees and seat contain double-stitched, military-grade Kevlar protection. DG sews in a right-side metal D-ring for key clips, a nice feature I use daily. The coin pocket is located on the left, so riders can keep a grip on the front brake while paying tolls, gate fees, etc. A nice touch. A Velcro ankle strap can be pulled over to secure the pant securely around boots, with no “ride-up”. I also like the extra right side lower pocket, perfect for a knife, small tool, or notably, my iPhone 6s. The Defender is available in blue and black, a wide range of sizes, and comes in Women’s cut and sizes as well.
I’ve spent the past few months with my pair of DG jeans, wearing them in all kinds of conditions. I’ve been riding in them almost daily, on short commutes and long days in saddle, wearing them around the office and around town, and working in them indoors and outside. Heck, I’ve even copped a few afternoon naps in them. My wife has washed them for me numerous times, and the jeans are retaining their color, with no noticeable fade, and virtually no shrinkage. The jeans remain very comfortable, with no fraying or coming apart at any seams, no wearing thin at the seat or knees. Superb manufacturing.
Out on the road, the Defender remains supremely comfortable to wear. I do not experience the typical, how shall I say, “binding in the subterranean regions”, causing to me “adjust” from time to time while riding. A welcome change from regular jeans. For comparison, I have owned a pair of Cortech DSX armored riding jeans, for about 10 years. They have been among the best riding jeans I have ever owned. And yet, I find the DG Defender more comfortable and functional than even my DSX jean. I really like this pant.
Check out all the great products Diamond Gusset Jean Company offers at www.gusset.com.
*article first published for our friends at Born To Ride magazine.