Bull-it Jeans ‘Sidewinder SR6’

Bull-it Sidewinder jeans Overland magazineHampshire-based Bull-it Jeans haven’t chosen the straightforward path of buying-in woven Kevlar so that they can capitalise on the ever-growing demand for casual protective motorcycle clothing. If they had, I doubt they’d be able to make the protective claims they do about their ‘Covec’ lined jeans.

Working in close association with Covec Ltd for three years, they’ve chosen to develop even tougher material that lasts longer than aramids whether in a crash situation or not. Using a unique laminated construction, the SR6 material is a 750 gsm knitted textile made of high performance yarn (a ‘Super Fibre’), which offers, besides strength, a dense but softer knitted feel. It is a material which is said to have a higher abrasion and cut resistance than other PPE garments. Indeed the ‘6’ part of the name refers to the number of seconds you can ‘safely’ slide down the road according to the aggressive abrasion test CE EN 13595-1 as specified by the EU for the whole garment. In part this is because Covec offers lower friction heat transfer too, so even if other protective jeans don’t wear out during a crash, they will transfer all the heat generated by the friction, which isn’t nice.Bull-it abrasion

I’m delighted to say that I have no idea whether or not any of that works in practise, but can confirm the bit about the soft feel. These ‘Sidewinder SR6’ jeans are soft inside and out and are a pleasure to wear, which, when you’re on the road for weeks at a time, is important.

They feel very chunky though, due to the knitted Covec and the 12.5oz heavyweight denim outer layer, which incidentally really is water resistant as claimed! I rode through fifty miles of persistent fog and kept waiting for that cold moisture penetration moment, but it never came. This should mean that you’ll survive a light shower which is a real bonus, as there’s little as annoying as travelling with sodden denim.Overland Bull-it Sidewinder jeans Back

But back to that thick feeling. These jeans are toasty, there’s no getting around it, which is great in the UK, but what of warmer climates? Well, rather like crashing, I haven’t manage to test them in really hot weather, but the tag labels claim that the mesh liner inside ensures an adjustable micro-climate next the skin.

This mesh liner also takes supplementary armour in hips and knees and is something you may wish to travel with, but it’s extra bulk that I personally don’t get on with. The openings in the mesh are Velcro controlled and well sited such that I am yet to catch my toes in them when pulling these jeans on.

Other practical elements of design extend to the generous leg length, the triple belt hoops at the centre of the rear and the size of the extra front ‘coin’ pocket. So often this is an aperture that you can’t get a couple of fingers in, but it’s a useful size in these Sidewinders. I find the two rear pockets a bit low though, and don’t trust my wallet not to fall out. Perhaps that’s no bad thing as it’s not the wisest place to keep your most important stuff when you travel.

As for off-bike, well these are subtle jeans with one styling anomaly; a curved seam that runs down the front and back of the legs. This means there’s no need for outer seams that could be put under extreme pressure in a crash, but I pondered for ages if it was also somewhere for paramedics to beat the excessive cut resistance of the Covec, should they need to. It’s probably the former, but with black stitching and only one visible line, it’s very subtle in deed.

I’m yet to encounter any manufacturing issues, weak seams or unravelling materials, but would like to note that unless I’ve enjoyed a few too many pies recently, their sizing is snug. Perhaps I’m in denial…

Available in sizes:
Length: 30 – 32 – 34 – 36
Waist: 30 – 40