Carhartt Cordura Dungaries as Motorcycle Pants

carhartt cordura double front dungarees

Because our review of our Carhartt Double-Front Dungaree's was so popular, we started getting scads of questions about the Carhartt Cordura© Double-Front Dungarees. So many, in fact, that we felt it would be irresponsible of us not to respond by providing our valued readers with the information they (i.e. you) so desired.

We sang the praises of the traditional Carhartt's and called them "quite possibly the best motorcycle riding pant available". We said this because of their sturdy construction and super-affordable price point (less than $40 for the frugal shopper). Compared to the function, comfort and cost of traditional motorcycle riding pants we felt (and still feel) their value is hard to beat. But Carhartt also offers a Cordura© Double-Front Dungaree where the second layer of material is the nylon based cloth common on lots of existing motorcycle gear.

Cordura© was originally developed in 1929 and was used extensively during World War II in tires of all things. But it wasn't until the mid-60's when nylon got a whole lot better that Cordura© really took off. Today it's used in everything from military spec tactical gear to hiking boots (as well as motorcycle gear). The reason why its so common in motorcycle gear is it's resistance to tearing and abrasions. Its almost as good as leather, yet a whole lot more affordable and much easier to work with.

In case you've not read our previous review and are not familiar with Carhartt, they've specialized in durable work clothing and have been since they started making clothing for rail-road workers in the 1890's. Its interesting to note that it is still a family owned company, owned by the descendants of company founder Hamilton Carhartt and they strive to ensure that as much of their production is kept in America as possible.

Cordura© Double-Front Dungaree's (Style:B292, $60.00) arrived just in time for our annual Memorial Day ride so we were going to get the perfect opportunity to really test them out over our three-day road trip. Little did we know just how rigorous our test was going to be. We ended up using these pants during some of the most intense wet weather (rain and snow) we've ever endured. We mention this to say that we think this is a pretty darn good, all-encompassing review.

As soon as we pulled the Cordura© Double-Fronts out of the box we noticed that base construction is still the common 12-oz. cotton-spun canvass that we liked so much with the traditional Double-Fronts. Unlike the cotton version, the Cordura© doubled front covers almost the full length of the front of the leg; all the way to the bottom and around the back of the cuff. There are no "clean-outs" to allow for the insertion of any kind of knee armor. Additionally, the Cordura© is far thinner than the 12-oz canvass so immediately the pants "feel" a lot lighter and this becomes more noticable when worn. The pants fit exactly like the conventional Double-Fronts, near perfect for sitting on a motorcycle, and they are still put together with triple stitching and rivets in key places. (rivets may need to be removed depending on the shape of your gas tank - they pop right off with a pair of pliers). Carhartt also treats the Cordura© with a water-resistant coating.

cordura double front motorcycling in the snow

Our first day of riding in the Cordura© Double-Fronts was rather brisk and as expected the Cordura© was great at blocking the wind and when rain started to fall we'd watch as water, predictably, beaded up and rolled off. However, the lighter weight of the Cordura© allowed the cold to penetrate quicker; probably less of a problem during more usual riding circumstances. However, it's the water resistance that makes these pants so good. We feel the Cordura© version is ideal for days when the chance of rain is higher and you don't want to deal with toting around rain-gear. As we rode in and out of spotty rain showers, we never hesitated or slowed to put on rain-gear. The Cordura© did its job of keeping our legs dry the entire time.

Overall, we are so fond of the traditional spun cotton Double-Front Dungaree's, it would take a lot to dethrone them. However, the Cordura© version comes pretty close. The price is only a few bucks higher (traditional double-fronts retail for $47 to $50, $60 for the Cordura© version). They still lack armor, and without the clean-outs on the bottoms of the double-front material one cannot insert armor, but if the Cordura© makes you feel better then the extra $10 to $12 bucks is money well spent.

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Page Updated February 4, 2013 8:01

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