Words by Richard Seck • Photos by Fatima
When I had my first bike, gear was simple. Along with a cheap helmet (with the requisite Bob Hannah lightning bolts and duck bill) and a pair of construction boots, I wore a T-shirt and whatever pants I happened to be wearing at the time; likely wide legs in those days, but I digress.
If I was feeling especially safety conscious or it was colder, I’d add a jean jacket to the above mix.
These days sometimes it seems like too much effort to get properly suited and booted to go for a ride. I wanted to return to some of the simplicity of my youth and of my Asian travels, but with the added benefit of knowing that I’d be better protected.
There you go, jeans – simple. These Hood K7 jeans, inshallah, will ensure that skin grafts or ghastly, large pussy scabs would not be part of my 21st century riding experience. The protection is offered in the jeans by something called K-tech Para-aramid, which weight for weight is said to be five times stronger than steel.
This K-tech Para-aramid material comes in the form of a liner that covers the front of the legs from the waist to about mid-shin, and the back of the legs from above the knee to above the butt. K-tech thread is also used to stitch the major seams on the pants.
My pants came with the optional CE approved D30 hip and knee armor that easily velcros to the Para-aramid material, exactly where you need it.
The denim itself is a heavyweight grade and has a nice soft feel to it.
So it’s all top-shelf material that is nicely styled and well stitched together. All good!
So How Did They Work?
The main problem I had cannot be fully blamed on the K7 jeans, and that is that I suffer from an affliction that is quite common amongst North American and European Caucasian males, and that is that I have a bad case of No-Ass.
If you are lucky enough to not have this condition you’ll likely be ecstatic with the jeans, as they will be held in place by your butt. The heavyweight material combined with the Para-aramid is actually significantly weightier than a normal pair of jeans, and gravity comes into play.
This problem is amplified by the D30 amour which, although very comfortable has some weight to it, thus conspiring to try and pull the jeans down even quicker. As a result, I often wore the jeans without the D30 armor.
The solution for me, of course, is to bite the bullet and buy a pair of suspenders, but I seem to fighting that.
As an aside, it’s interesting to note that another premium gear manufacturer, Rukka, pretty much have suspenders installed on all their riding pant offerings, so maybe I shouldn’t feel bad.
You may have guessed the only other issue I had with the K7s; with the heavyweight denim and lining, the pants can get quite warm in hot temperatures – so much so that I found myself defaulting to my regular jeans, with no protection, on the hotter days of the summer.
So that’s it for the niggles: get an ass or a pair of suspenders, and be prepared to sweat a bit when it’s hot.
My solution for the 2014 riding season, if all goes well, is to use a pair of those suspendered Rukka mesh pants when it’s hot and keep the jeans for when it’s cooler and want to keep things simple. And I’ll get a pair of suspenders for the jeans as well.
In the end though, the Hood jeans are keepers for me. They’re extremely well made and comfortable as long as the weather isn’t too hot, and they are easy to deal with.
It’s funny, I seem to remember having a grey jean jacket in my teenage days, so this grey Scott ventilated jacket produced a bit of a déjà vu when it arrived. I had requested the black version for its slimming ability, but I get it though; the black Scott logo stands out significantly better on this jacket than on their black on black offering, so that’s what came in the package.
To cut to the chase, this vented jacket performed perfectly fine for me throughout the summer and with its zip-in liner that is said to be waterproof, served me well as the days started to get colder. This, in combination with my lined Harley FXRG rain jacket worked well, even up to the high single-digit temperatures of the fall.
For those of you that have never tried a mesh jacket, I highly recommend it. I almost expired during one of those sweltering hot, Toronto summer days many years ago. It was so bad that I actually sprang for my first Dainese mesh jacket, one that still remains part of my kit. That jacket transformed summer riding for me and I never looked back. And, in recent years the protective ability has improved on these jackets so there is no way I’d consider anything other than a mesh jacket these days.
Getting back to the jacket at hand, I didn’t get a chance to try out the waterproof ability of the Scott jacket’s Triphase liner as my default is to use my Harley FXRG jacket over top of the ventilated jacket as opposed to struggling to fit the liner in by the roadside. Plus, even if I were to use it sans-FXRG on a rainy day, if I tucked my waterproof gloves into the sleeves there isn’t anything on the Scott jacket to stop the water from eventually running into the top of the gloves.
The Scott liner is more compact than the FXRG jacket so it’s a good option if you just want to shove something into your backpack just case it rains while you are running errands around town.
Scott has paid attention to many of the details on the jacket. The snaps to secure the liner sleeves are colour-coded so you won’t waste time getting them wrong the first time, and the collar has a soft material to ensure that chafing does not occur. The zippers could be a bit more glove-friendly however.
Fit-wise, it’s pretty good with the armor falling where it should. The only nit to pick is that with the thermal liner installed, it proved to be a bit snug on me. Without the liner, it was just about right.
Overall, I’d say it’s a good jacket, but one that I personally did not fall in love with. I actually prefer something three-quarter length that covers my No-Ass. Also, it’s light gray, and although that helps with keeping things even cooler in the summer, it’s not very slimming and I’m not sixteen anymore.
In the end, it’s not a keeper for me, but if you are in the market for a jacket that will keep you cool in the upcoming summer months, you’ll be well served by the Scott VTD TP Summer jacket. And this, being a 2013 model, can likely be found on discount – so happy shopping!
Enjoy the ride!
Cheers, Mr. Seck