Great pants, comfortable, durable and good protection
I've had the same pair of Joe Rocket over pants for over ten years. They were excellent at the time - warm, with a windproof liner, comfortable, with adequate protective padding. However, they were starting to wear out, and the zippers started to become ornery. Halfway home on a recent long distance road trip, one of the zippers failed while my son was wearing the pants, and we had to effect a roadside repair using nylon wire ties:
It was time for new pants. I had been wearing (and loving) my Olympia Airglide 3 Mesh Pants in warmer weather for two years, so I decided to look at Olympia's offerings in a colder weather pant. I didn't have to look far: after trying out several different pants, I decided to go with Olympia's Ranger 3 Over Pants.
I normally wear a size 34 in pants, and I tend to like my overpants to run a bit large, so I ordered mine in a size 36. When I received them, I was surprised - the upper waist and hips fit perfectly, but when sitting on my motorcycle, my knees were squeezed uncomfortably - and that's with the inner liner removed. With the liner installed, the knees were very tight, enough that I knew I would not be able to ride like this for more than a few minutes. After talking with the very friendly people at Olympia (I actually received an email from the owner of the company!) I decided to exchange them for a size 38.
The size 38 was obviously too large around the waist, but the knees, while still snug, were fine. Fortunately, the pants come with a velcro-fastened belt which when snugged up, keeps my waist tight enough that the pants are comfortably held in place. I have very long legs, and the cuffs were just the right length for me. The legs of the pants can be easily altered by any tailor to fit a shorter leg, up to about 6 inches shorter.
Features of these pants as published by the manufacturer:
Outer shell constructed of coated 500 and 2000 denier Cordura fabric
Waterproof/breathable membrane adds double waterproof protection
Removable Thermolite insulated liner pant
Full side leg zippers
Storm placket front fly detail
Removable and adjustable height CE Motion Flex armor at knees
Cool mesh airflow lining
Removable EVA compression foam at hips
Custom Fit detailing at waist and bottom hem
3M Scotchlite reflective piping side leg detail
Relaxed tailored fit
6 storage pockets
8" connecting zipper for jackets
I have now had these pants for a month and a half, having ridden approximately 2,000 miles through weather ranging from 40F (4C) to 85F (29C), bright sunshine and pouring rain. While they are billed as water resistant, I wouldn't use them in an absolute downpour. For that, I wore my Olympia Horizon Rain Gear on top of these, which kept me completely dry. That said, I did get caught in a few passing showers after I had removed my rain gear, and the pants shrugged it off - water beaded and ran off the pants. I would feel fine wearing them in light rain, but would want rain gear for heavier weather. Below 45F (7C) you definitely want the thermal liner installed, and you really don't want to wear these above about 80F (27C)- for that, I go with my mesh gear.
The pants are constructed of a thick and strong Cordura, with much thicker and abrasion-resistant Cordura on the knees. There is highly reflective Scotchlite piping down the side of each leg. Two waterproof (lined) thigh-mounted pockets and waterproof (lined) hip pockets are on the front of the pants.
The seat area also has thick, abrasion-resistant Cordura, and two more reflective strips cross each ankle. Don't discount these reflective strips - at night time, when in headlights, these strips glow extremely brightly! The seat also has two more waterproof (lined) pockets.
Looking at the seat closely, you can see the heavy duty Cordura. The pockets are fastened shut with a single snap.
The legs are lined with a very soft mesh which allows your legs to breathe. Note the zipper does not come all the way down, to allow tailoring of the leg length should you require it. There is a snap to hold the liner in place when it is installed. Once the zipper is shut, a weatherproof double flap covers the zipper. The zipper itself is a quality heavy-duty zipper - I don't think I'll be needing any roadside wire tie repairs with these pants. The zippers run the entire length of the pant leg.
The cuff has a velcro adjustment to allow it to be snugged over your boots. This prevents wind from blowing up your leg.
The knee armor uses Olympia's standard, unique adjustment pocket, which allow for adjustment of almost 6 inches up and down for height, to match the position of your knee. The inside of the pocket is lined with strips of velcro, you simply fasten the lower strip at the point you want the bottom of the armor to rest, insert the armor, then fasten the remaining velcro above it. It's ingenious, and works very well. Remember to adjust this armor for the position required when you are sitting on your bike, not when you are standing!
The knee armor is a quality piece of CE level 1 armor. It moves and flexes easily, so it bends with your knee. It is of a shape and size such that it could be replaced with aftermarket level 2 armor should you wish - but honestly, this is a really decent piece of armor.
The same can't be said for the hip protector, however. Just like my Olympia Airglide 3 pants, the hip pad is just that - a foam pad, and offers no impact protection whatsoever. I added a SAS-Tec Level 2 adaptive armor which I purchased. I insert both of them into the pouch on each side of the pants - the foam closest to my skin, and the SAS-Tec armor on the outside.
The thigh pocket on each leg is quite large, lined with a waterproof membrane, and sealed with a zipper and two snaps on the fold-over flap. These substantial pockets will keep anything dry that is put inside of them, and they are easy to access while riding, even while wearing gloves. The hip pockets are also lined with the same membrane, however the pockets are near impossible to access while sitting on the bike.
The fly of the pants is fastened with both a zipper and velcro, and sealed in behind with a gusset to prevent any intrusion of water. The waist is fastened shut with two snaps, as well as the belt that is included. The thermal liner pants are completely windproof and fasten into the pants both at the top and bottom. They also have zippers running the entire length of the pant leg. The inside of the thermal liner pants are quilted, and they have a warm, thermal lining. These pants are quite warm on their own, and when inserted into the over pants, are more than capable of handling temperatures down below freezing. The top of the thermal liner pants also have pockets, a zipper and gusset.
Wearing the pants along with the matching Olympia Ranger 3 jacket and Alpinestars Valparaiso Drystar Gloves, I am ready for moderate to cold weather riding. The reflective piping on the pants glows quite brightly in the dark when illuminated by headlights (or in this case, a camera flash). The reflective strips across the back similarly glow very brightly.
- Very warm in cold weather
- Completely windproof
- Water resistant
- Zippers can be worked with gloves on
- Easy to get on and off, even when already wearing boots
- Big pockets allow for lots of easily-accessed storage
- Very good knee armor
- Good adjustments to fit individuals
- Strong, reinforced abrasion-resistant Cordura fabric
- Useless hip padding (but easily replaced or augmented)
- Narrow knee sizing
- Thermal lining pants bulky to carry when not installed
- "whiff whiff whiff" noise wherever you walk
Overall I'm quite happy with these pants as a replacement for my old, worn out over pants. As I mentioned, I've got about 2,000 miles on these pants in varying weather conditions, and these pants have shrugged off anything I could throw at them. Recommended.
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