Red Route – Cargo Trousers review

Red Route Kevlar Motorcycle Pants

If you get 10 bikers together and ask for their opinions on whats best: leather, textile, denim or cargo style then you’re probably guaranteed at least 11 different opinions.

There is more than enough information on the web for you to take a view on the relative and comparative levels of safety protection that garments made from any of these materials will provide if it really does come down to the crunch.

I suppose few disagree say that its leather and then textiles that will provide the most protection – but does that mean there should be no place for denim jeans and/or cargo style trousers? There’s a risk of course that this post will prompt opinions and debate about that – but that’s not the point, that can be researched and argued elsewhere.

I have leathers, textiles, denim jeans and now my most recent addition a pair of Red Route Cargo Trousers and I have been involved in a couple of significant accidents in recent years.

On both those occasions I was wearing my leathers and they more than did the job. But despite that I do have and do wear either denim or cargo trousers from time to time depending on what I’m riding and where I’m riding to.

I’m not going to argue the case one way or another, but what I would say is that I think there is a place and occasion for each and I thought I would simply provide a view on what the Red Route Cargo Trousers are like on a day-to-day basis.

The trousers seem to be well made and come with a Kevlar lining at what I guess are the key areas for protection and you can see these in the pictures that follow.

They are a comfortable fit and compared to wearing leather you wont be surprised for me to say that they feel much lighter both on and off the bike.

The bottom of the trousers have a Velcro fastening that allows them to fit easily over boots and they have a pretty standard zip and press button fastening at the ‘fly’

I’ve tried them with both Sidi and Alpine Star boots and there is no problem at all in getting the boots on and the trouser legs pulled down over them.

So far I have always tended to choose my leathers or my textiles for longer trips, but for shorter and sunny day rides then frankly I think they are just the job – and when saying that I accept that from a practical perspective I have probably compromised to some extent the potential protection that they will afford me in the event of an ‘off’.

It’s the nature of compromise though that means there is some sort of trade-off and the trade-off with these is that they are comfortable and practical when your off the bike – whether that’s sat around someone’s house when visiting, sat in a café, or one of my favorite pastimes of sitting in the sun having a coffee when I am out for a ride on my own.

In terms of when I wear them, then I suppose it’s worth knowing the context in which I decide to wear them. I’ve got a 2014 Z1000SX and a 2012 Moto Guzzi V7 Café Classic. Whilst I would almost always wear my leathers or textiles when on the Z1000 then that’s not the case when I’m on the Guzzi – and you can call it a shallow/unworked through angle but actually I somehow think (and feel) that the jeans and cargo pants are more suited to riding the Guzzi. That’s probably due in some part to the style of the bike and the style of riding I do when on it – which I suppose on balance is a more of a relaxed/sunny day ride than anything else.

And at the risk of incurring the wrath of fellow bikers I also have a scooter in the garage – a Honda PCX 125 and what ever you might think about that we would probably all agree that I would look something of a tw*t if I was on the scooter nipping four miles up the road to my daughters fully kitted up in my leathers.

Of course it isn’t really about how you look at all though is it? It’s as much about what’s practical and sensible. For me that means slipping on my cargo pants and textile jacket makes much more sense if I’m nipping out on a quick errand or to my daughters than going down the full leathers route – to be honest it just feels right.

Back to the cargo pants then – they also come with the CE approved armor (again shown in the pictures) that fits into the knee ‘pockets’. They are really easy to insert and remove – and it’s easier by the way just to turn the trousers inside out and do it that way rather than fiddle about reaching up inside the leg to find the ‘pocket’, which is firmly secured with Velcro.

What I do find a bit odd is the number of pockets that are on the trousers – there are actually eight!

Now I don’t know about you but I don’t go out with my pockets stuffed with things but I’ll not go as far as to say eight pockets are a complete waste of time because maybe some people do find a use for them all – but how much sh*t can you carry when your nipping out and about?

I’ve not had the trousers long enough to comment on long-term durability but I’ve no reason to think they aren’t for for purpose and that they wont give good service. I expect them to be fine in the wash and not need any special care and attention.

Price wise these cost me £89 from a J&S Motorcycle Store and fit wise they are great – I’m a 32” waist and 29” inside leg (yeah yeah I know a short arse) but it is worth mentioning that as off the peg these fit just fine and are comfortable.

I can’t and hope to continue to be unable to offer any valid opinion of what they are like in the event of the ultimate test. As I said at the top of this post I’m not playing judge and jury on the relative levels of protection that these might provide when compared to other material but if you are content to wear something other than leather, and you have thought about and accepted the associated safety factor then these get my vote for being just the job for those rides when I want something that’s really practical for those occasions when I don’t want to wear full kit