Over time, I’ve grown averse to bulky riding pants that offer little ventilation. The ordeal of staying in them for the better part of the day is less disturbing than the eventuality that bites you – not wearing riding pants at all. I must plead guilty, but, thankfully, it didn’t take me a nasty reminder to just get out there and do my legs a favour. While international websites did spring up appealing options, I just cannot take size charts at face value and so, I tried looking up the website of my favourite Indian gear manufacturer – Rynox.
My outgoing pair – it’s still as good as new, I must say – is the Rynox Advento which has been put through tremendous abuse in my hands (or legs, rather)and it’s a brand I’ve come to trust comfortably. So far, I’ve been through a Rynox luggage, a set of gloves and a jacket which I wear just about every day of the year. And so, having spotted the AirTex pants on its website, I knew I wouldn’t have to look further. And that the listed price was Rs 6,450 definitely tempted me as well.
A brief call to my go-to gear retailer, suburban-Mumbai based AH Helmets, revealed all six sizes – from S to 3XL – were in stock, so I wasted no time in getting there and trying them out. The all-black pants are a mix of Cordura and mesh, and look well-finished, if not space-age. The most prominent mesh panel is down the front of the pants, with a smaller patch on the shin area as well as the entire calf region. A horizontal mesh panel extends across the length of your lower back as well. The AirTex features a two-sided leg zipper, so taking your boots off isn’t a tiring affair, and there are two conventional pockets that can accommodate a phone each – although I’ve never liked riding with my pockets full.
More importantly, the AirTex features CE-rated Knox micro-lock armour which provides ample knee and shin protection. Rynox highlights its trademarked KneeSlap mechanism which allows external adjustment of the armour as per one’s knee position, but I find this to be nothing revolutionary because it’s more a good marketing spin than an actual innovation. The standard hip protectors
are foam, which is better than nothing, and I particularly like the grip patches sewn on to the rear; they help you stay in the saddle under aggressive weight transfer. Rynox has also been kind enough to equip the AirTex with a riding jacket connector at the back, which is directly compatible with my Air GT jacket.
An internal warm insulation liner comes free of cost with the pants, as does an external waterproof liner with reflective strips, but I haven’t felt the need to use either so far, so I will reserve comment on it for the moment. What I do wish Rynox had included are elastic panels on the waist, which can prove helpful in case you put on a few kilos (something I’ve been doing a lot of late) over the course of ownership. Thankfully, the two-way waist adjusters and two-button closure offers enough flexibility so, for the time being, I should be fine. Nonetheless, these pants have done the one thing my Adventos couldn’t – get me wearing them every time I’m on a motorcycle. Prevention is half the battle won, right? I’d strongly recommend these for someone looking for safety and great everyday usability at a very affordable price tag, and I think I just might get myself another pair I can save for the future!
Price: Rs 6,450