Forcefield Pro Pants
Size matters. So does design.
There are going to be people who have a different opinion on these pants. I respect that. I've read the reviews here and I agree that there are positives and a great concept with these pants. If it's a pant that works for you then I believe that forcefield gear is some of the best out there; I own a number of great forcefield products (including the forcefield shirt). That said, I'll share my perspective on why you might not want to cut the expensive tag off your new pants quite yet.
As is often the case, fit can make a huge difference. And in a nutshell, I think forcefield got the fit, construction and design on these all wrong. As in, what-were-they-thinking wrong. I'm not talking about quality - forcefield makes good quality stuff - I'm talking about wanting to see the mannequin and design tests on which these worked.
First, ORDER SMALL. I'm not a huge guy, but even big guys I know who purchased these either ended up re-ordering the smallest size they could, or they didn't want the hassle / embarrassment of ordering again and just threw these in the corner and never wore them. I'm not joking, if you're 6'3" with legs like a linebacker you can still wear a size small. The material is exceptionally stretchy, and that's not always a compliment. With this sizing they should have made multiple sizes below small. Riders need to be willing and patient enough to try multiple sizes of a protective product. Sizes vary, I get that, but the vendor has some serious responsibility here too. Unfortunately fit wasn't my only issue.
Second, the armor feels like bulky weights attached loosely via pockets and in some places you'll wish you could move the pieces just a bit. I realize forcefield wants to market these as washable (meaning removable armor), but it comes at the price of feeling like the armor is just hanging on like some xmas tree ornament. It just doesn't have the integrated feel of really good protective gear I own - including items from forcefield. The fabric is so stretchy that the armor pockets do not seem to support the weight of the armor (yes, I know you can adjust the thickness, but then you just have stretch-ier bunched up fabric). Therefore you really have to rely on perfect-fit overpants or jeans to help create the sensation of comfort and confidence that these things aren't going to slide all over the place in a laydown. The presence of a drawstring at the waist and multi-point velcro fly - a frickin drawstring! In 2013! Talk about taking you back to gym class days. Quick, name the last article of non-workout clothing you've owned in the past 20 years with a drawstring and velcro fly - confirms that they've had design and fit issues with these pants. Additional issues arise because the armor is so thick even my slightly-larger than normal riding jeans won't work over them; I have to specifically chose a dedicated overpant to make it work - usually a type of overpant I rarely wear, almost like raingear - sized. However, then I'm back feeling like the armor is a bit loose and the fit isn't quite right. Thick armor can be good, but again, vendors owe it to riders to think about functionality. Drop tests and ce ratings have to be more than just marketing; they must consider the real world as well.
I wanted to love these pants. I think forcefield has been great for riders. I even waited on the review because I kept wanting to give them just one more chance. Perhaps it's just my opinion and your mileage may vary. But I can tell you that I'd rather have on my pair of armored shorts and some forcefield knee sleeves if I knew I was going to put my bike down.
It's possible the most protective thing about these pants is the protection the forcefield brand affords the company. I say this because the interesting thing is no one I know with these pants seems (or wants to admit) to go so far as to say they dislike them, but none of them told me they ever wore them after the first ride or two. They all essentially said something like, "yeah, protective. You know, if I'm going for (insert some very specific ride condition that is rarely practical or actually occurs) it might be nice to have them." The funniest comment I heard being, "After I got them on I just kept hoping I wouldn't have to take a deuce during a long ride." So bottom line: great concept, not there in execution. The pants seem to be well rated (and RZ has some of the most knowledgeable user reviews out there), but if you read the reviews below you'll find plenty of reviewers hint at the same things I've mentioned. For something at this price point I just can't recommend this current design. I'm a forcefield fan and when they get this pant right I'll be first in line to buy them (and hoping for a refund on my current pair).
October 27, 2013
Prior to these pants, I wore jeans that only had knee armor, and some Kevlar in critical areas. After a collision with a deer, I decided I wanted much better coverage than the pants alone provided. These definitely provide the coverage, not only in the knees but in many important areas. I truly believe that had I been wearing these when I struck the deer my bruising would have been significantly reduced. They do add some bulk and you may need to go up one size in the pants you intend on wearing over them. They stay in place well and are not uncomfortable, even on very hot days. After a short adjustment period, they are not really that noticeable.
October 16, 2013
Choose the right size
This is a good product. I would say that the fit is large. I am 5'10" and 185 lbs. I have an athletic build. I almost always fit into a size med. I originally ordered a medium and they were way too big. The return process was great and I ended up with a small. They fit like tights should and all of the pads are in the correct position. I took a ride and wore them under a pair of klim pants. They were comfortable and the knee pads held in the correct spot even when standing and driving my knees into the tank. The coccyx pad got uncomfortable when seated but it did not bother me while standing. For long slab riding I will remove it and when the day is mostly on the pegs I will put it in.
The material concerns me a bit. I will need to make sure I keep it away from the velcro on my boots. There is piling already in this area after 1 ride.
All in all I am happy and would recommend this product to anyone.
October 14, 2013
I have a 32" waist and according to the fit chart, I'm a size med. The medium was too baggy in the thigh area. If you subtract 1" from your actual waist size, the fit for me was accurate. A 31" waist put me in a size small which was perfect. Note the armor is not really meant to be used with fitted Kevlar jeans like the Drayko Renegade jeans. It would work well with overpants.
October 1, 2013
Expensive but great quality; SIZE DOWN!
These are great for wearing underneath abrasion resistant pants. Most pants I've had end up putting the knee armor at strange places, and I've never had much faith in where it would wind up in the event of a crash. These tights (basically what they are) solve that problem, pinning the industry leading Forcefield armor pads exactly where they need to be.
The fabric is surprisingly breathable and not as hot as I'd feared.
Be sure to size DOWN on these. I am 6'3" with longish legs (33" inseam), and a size medium fits me well. I think a size large would have left them too baggy, sort of defeating the purpose. The fabric is stretchy enough that I think it will accommodate most waistbands, so it's important to get a proper length.
Overall, they're very comfortable and I feel well protected. The price is high, but for the peace of mind, I was willing to pay it.
September 26, 2013
These are simply fantastic
I had bought a pair of Speed and Strength kevlar jeans, and while they're better than regular jeans, they didn't leave me with the confidence I wanted.
Wearing these Forcefield Pros under them is the best of both worlds. I feel extremely well protected, and they fit great under the baggy jeans. They're not cheap, and I hope I never have to use them, but I'll be really glad I bought them if I need them. They remind me of my football pants in high school. Totally form-fitting and great pads in all the right spots.
I'm 5'10" with about a 30-31" inseam, about 195 lbs., and these fit me like they were tailor made. The stirrups are a great touch as well, to make sure they don't ride up (or slide up, got forbid).
Again, they're quite pricey, but they really inspire confidence and are comfortable to boot. And around town, I'd feel confident wearing off-the-rack jeans and still feel protected.
Best purchase I've made since upgrading the back armor in my jacket.
April 18, 2013
Great product for protection minded riders.
This product should work great for what I need. I have two bikes, one for touring and one for hot rodding, these should fit the bill for both. Level of protection is second to none. Im very impressed overall.
March 30, 2013
It fits fairly well will my Cortech Latigo RR boots, almost like they were made to be worn together.
The armor pads feel excellent, I can drop straight to my knees from standing and can't even feel it.
They also fit well under my motorcycle pants.
The coccyx pad doesn't bother me like others say it bothers them. On my Ninja I barely know it's there, while sitting in the car it's a little bothersome. The people complaining about it must be riding cruisers. Either way, you can remove it if you don't like it.
March 26, 2013