Drayko Hole Shot Jeans
Great protection with a few flaws
I wanted the best protection I could get without looking like an astronaut as I intended to ride to work and did not want to change pants every time. So I set out to do a bit of research. I narrowed down my results to four: Dianese D1 EVO, Klim K Fifty1, Alpinestar Hellcats and of course Hole Shots. I choose the Hole Shots for their Level 2 CE rating and the claimed 7.45 seconds abrasion resistance. They seemed by far the most protective of the bunch. I also looked at Rokker Revolution but additional $150 was too much even though I would love to have them jeans waterproof.
When the pants arrived the first impression was great - they appeared very good quality and HEAVY! They weight or appear to weight as much as four pairs of regular jeans. I was immediately concerned they will be unbearably hot. So proceeded to put them on and after a few hours of walking around indoors I was pleasantly surprised - as thick and heavy as they were they sure breathe and wick as advertised - never I felt hot or sweaty! Wow.
Unfortunately I also noticed that I did not like the cut of these jeans at all - unlike the nice European fit depicted in the picture they are on the baggy side. But what is really bad is that the waist does not appear to be much narrower than my bottom diameter. I am definitely 34 (I triple checked) and they were way loose. So much so that even with a belt their considerable weight was pulling them down off my rear. But I am persistent kind of guy so I solved the problem with suspenders.
Next, I proceeded to install the protection or armor if you will. And here comes my second and third disappointment: the protectors look and feel cheap and not much flexible - they are pre-shaped to the knee curve and so in the standing/walking position they are rubbing heavily against my knees. So much so that after a few hours they chaffed my knees to the point I had to take them out as it became unbearable. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that to be placed properly while in a sitting position when they essentially go up a bit - they slide down when you stand up and walk placing the upper edge of the protector right in the middle of the knee. After a few hours I felt like I walked on my knees several feet on the 60 grade sandpaper. My second disappointment is the pockets for the armor - they are not an exact fit (both shape and size) so there is some room for the armor to move around and the mesh that supposed to hold them in place feels very delicate. I am very disappointed as that means the armor is not going to be held in place firmly when I go sliding or tumbling down the road especially considering the baggy fit that will certainly allow the pants themselves (along with the fairly loose armor inside them) to rotate or move around my knee. Bad, bad design. Unacceptable on $450 fancy pants! It gets even worse as the mesh essentially has a slit in it that allows the armor to slide in and that slit presents two additional problems - 1. It is an additional rubbing point right in the middle of my knee and 2. Every single time I put my leg down the pants my toes catch the slit and try to tear it open. Stupid design that has no place in a $450 package. To add insult to injury they literally ask you to go buy superglue and glue supplied Velcro straps to the inside of your pants! How stupid is that? That means that even when I pull out the armor cause I cannot stand walking in it due to unbearable amount of chaffing - I would be faced with chaffing from the Velcro straps glued to the inside of the pants! The pantyhose-thin mesh is not going to help as it didn't help with the armor. What a lot of baloney! Imagine buying a fancy Mercedes-Benz and manufacturer telling you in the owners manual to go to a hardware store for a screwdriver and bolts to attach safety belts.
OK. Enough for the venting. Let's summarize:
1. Bad armor - heavily pre-shaped, not very soft or flexible, looks like a cheap rubber-plastic - when I put it on my fist and punched the wall I felt pain - it did not provide as much protection as I expected
2. Poorly designed armor pockets - to much space for the armor to move around
3. Slit to install armor right in the middle of the knee
4. Slit catches toes when inserting legs
5. Pants too loose - will not provide proper placement for the armor during accident
6. Waist too large - super heavy pants keep sliding off.
1. Enormous thickness and weight throughout the whole pants not just the dangerous areas like other jeans - combined with the claims of supper strong abrasion resistance of the insulation middle layer instill confidence that they will perform way better than all other jeans
2. Despite the above they do in fact appear to breathe and as hard as it is to believe it they do not seem to be running hot so to speak
3. Without the knee protectors they are very pleasant on the inside and very comfortable
4. The hip protection does not present the same problems as the knee pads - I could walk with them all day and didn't notice I had them after a while
5. Sitting on my bike and riding they appear much more comfortable than when walking in them (!) Even more than any of my regular jeans in which I seem to occasionally have a problem of sliding onto my jewels and need to keep shifting my bottom until finding more comfortable position. That problem did not present itself even once in three days of riding.
6. They also appear to provide a very good wind and cold protection as one of the days I rode was way below sixty early in the morning and I was very comfortable. I believe I may be comfortable down to forties - I will post an update once I get there.
I intend to keep them for the super protective middle layer that does in fact appear to breathe. I will have to spend extra money for another armor for my knees - maybe D3O or Forcefield? And I need to find a way to immobilize them so they stay where they need to be when I crash. As it is I don't believe this is going to be the case. And finally, I need to wear suspenders so they do not slide off my rear. I cannot go a size down as they are barely long enough right now while sitting. I am 6'3" so I should have a tall size which is not available from Drayko.
So, It's a mixed bag. I am disappointed that in such super expensive jeans there are so many imperfections. One would think that for this price you should get close to perfection. That is not the case. And yet I am keeping them as they sure look tough and no one else seems to have CE Level 2 in jeans.
October 12, 2015
Heavy, protective, warm
When you first receive the shipment and feel the weight you're going to think they messed up and sent 3 pairs. These are heavy jeans.
BUT, that's why I got them - for cold weather riding. I noticed with some of my other kevlar jeans that I was a little warmer than normal jeans, so I figured with a full liner it would be really warm. I was right.
These jeans are really 3 layers - denim on the outside (medium to heavy), the kevlar/dyneema liner in the middle, and a mesh on the inside against your skin (like the open mesh on the inside of a riding jacket). There is also a loop at the bottom of the legs that goes around your shoes/boots to pull the pant legs down. I get warm easily, but when wearing the jeans inside I do get warm, just on the edge of uncomfortably so. But when riding in 20 or 30 degree weather, these take the bite off the cold. Don't get wet though, they soak through as easily as any other denim.
The knee and hip pads are OK. I ended up taking the hip pads out, if you want to wear them I suggest going up a waist size. The hip pads fit snugly and aren't adjustable, but I found they're in the right place, they just made the pants a bit too snug for me. The knee pads work as well as any other insertable knee pads in pants. The positioning is a little tricky and if you're slightly OCD like me you'll adjust them 20 times and still not be quite perfect. The knee pads have velcro that seems to stick to I guess the Dyneema liner, though Drayko provides 4 little velcro pads that I guess you can sew in if you were so inclined. But I didn't use them and they seem to stick reasonably in place.
I haven't worn these on warmer days, I see some other people used them in warm weather but I think I'd be too hot in them. But I can't say for sure, maybe the mesh liner lets them breath ok when moving.
Overall these are one of the most protective jeans you can buy, and should be almost on par with true riding pants other than not being water-resistant in any way.
January 7, 2015
Initially surprised at the thickness of the jeans. After wearing them for a bit I was very satisfied with the look and the feel. Normally wear a 32" therefor Ordered a 32". Slightly bigger at waist and will need a belt when not on the bike. Very comfortable jeans with the confidence of "safety features" built into them, The perfect compromise for those short dry-day rides. Looking at the Rukka Armaxion pants for the long rides.
December 9, 2014
Great protection in a traditional Jean form factor
Did a lot of research and these Drayko's came out at or near the top of the heap. CE 2 level protection, with hip and knee armor included. They come in a standard length of 34" so I had to get the pair hemmed. Also, if you are in between sizes, I'd go down a size. I wear 33" and got the 34". Should have gotten the 32". Had to get 1.5 inches taken out of the waist. Since you can only wash these in cold water and tumble dry in low heat, the jeans will not shrink over time.
The jeans wear warm so 75 degrees or cooler works best....can't imagine wearing them in 100 Texas heat. But a textile is probably better in that situation anyway.
November 10, 2014
High end equipment that offers high end protection.
Extremely well made. Heavy duty, thick material. Looks like jeans but protection like track leathers. Not for summer riding. Armor in the knees and hips.
October 8, 2014
Nice product but with a few drawbacks
Out of the package these are really well-built jeans. They have a full liner inside so they are very heavy and sturdy. The feel alot like those flannel lined jeans, including the additional weight and heat. They do not breath, especially in August traffic. I am looking forward to wearing them in the fall and winter.
The good is that they come with really excellent knox armor for the knees and hip, Both slide into pouches and with the full kevlar protection they are by and far the most protective jeans I've ever seen. The armor stays in place on the hip perfectly and provided your velcro placement is good, they seem to stay pretty well at knee level.
The downside, the armor pockets in the knees are not incredibly well thought out and the fabric opening is right in the middle of the pouch, so your knee ends up rubbing directly on the armor and not the fabric. Also, they do run a tad small, especially once you put hip armor in them. If you're a size 34 in Levis and your jeans are snug, then you might try a 36 in these. I wear a 34 in Levis but I guess I would be a perfect 35 in these jeans.
Otherwise, they seem great and the CE2 rating can't be beat. Hopefully, I'll never have to test them but its nice to know its there.
September 3, 2014
Great coverage. Traditional Fit. Least obnoxious design.
I'm quite happy with my Holeshots. The coverage is thorough and comfortable. Fit was dead on. I usually wear a Levis 501 34/34. These feel much the same although they appear just a smidge bigger to accommodate the full lining. These fit perfectly over my engineer boots
No stretch denim here. Jeans feel durable yet soft.
In the past, I've been turned off by protective jeans because of the style of the fit (usually too baggy) and the look (Obnoxious stitching, stonewash finishes). These jeans are the most traditional I've come across. There is a touch of intentional fading over the front upper thigh and knees that didn't really show in the promotional images
August 19, 2014