If you start searching for rain gear online it won’t take you too long to come across Frogg Toggs. Since 1996 they have been making cost-effective rain gear and their current line covers just about every outdoor activity you can imagine, motorcycling included.
For the 2013 riding season Fatima and I both decided to try a pair of Toadskinz pants. These are one of the more expensive offerings in the Frogg Toggs line up, yet they are competitively priced when compared to the higher end offerings in the marketplace; around $100, taxes in. Not bad if they work, and we were keen to find out!
As you may have noted in the review of Fatima’s Olympia Airglide Suit, which has a waterproof liner, these Toadskinz pants and our rain jackets (that will be reviewed shortly) were integral to ensuring our riding comfort for the whole season.
“Why over-suit rain pants when Fatima had a waterproof liner in her mesh suit?”
1. During the hot months of summer, who wants to shed their riding pants by the side of road and struggle to install a waterproof liner while the clouds are getting ready to unleash their wetness? Not us.
2. Even if you do this, you’ll be wearing a soggy pair of pants the next day as the outer layer of your mesh pants (or vented pants) will be exposed to the rain and it will get soaked. No fun. Assistant Editor Zac will certainly back us up on this one.
The other bonus of having the breathable rain pants (and they did prove to be breathable) is that they add an extra layer of wind protection in the cooler months of the riding season, and you’re prepared if the weather changes and it starts to rain.
So Did The Plan Work?
In short, yes, but there are a few niggles with the pants.
Before I get into the niggly bits, it’s important to know that these pants work! They kept us both dry throughout the riding season and I rode one day through monsoon-like conditions without an issue.
Additionally, they come equipped with reflective piping down the outside of the leg leading to a big strip of reflective material, from the knee down. Definitely good for visibility when the weather turns crappy (or pissy, to be more accurate).
Finally, as expected, this additional Toadskinz layer outside our pants helped keep us warmer later in the season when the tempurature dropped.
Now back to the niggles. To begin with, no one is going to score points in a beauty contest wearing these things; their baggy form is purely designed for function. That said, they function well for what they are designed to do. With long lower zips that extend to the knees and even zips on the hips, it’s super-easy to install these pants without shedding your boots – a definite plus point when you are trying to do this in a hurry.
The only fly in the ointment so far with regard to putting the Toadskinz pants on is the rather thin mesh-like material that is bonded to the inside of the waterproof skin. I managed to tear a large chunk of it off when quickly pulling the pants on roadside. This is no biggy however as this liner is simply designed to make the pants more comfortable if you are wearing them next to your skin. Tearing a chunk off had no effect on the waterproof-ability of the pants.
Given the motorcycle application of the Toadskinz pants, Frogg Toggs may want to consider making this liner a bit more durable, but I suppose this would increase the price. The other option would be to ditch it altogether as the who wears motorcycle rain pants next to their skin?
One more weak point is the elasticized strap that loops around the bottom of your boots and keeps the pants from riding upwards. I suppose if you were more careful than me and placed it properly in front of the heel of your boot where it would not grind into the pavement when you walked, chances are you won’t wear through it like I did. Again, not a deal-breaker as you can likely buy the same strap material and snaps from your local fabric store and fabricate another one in a jiffy.
The Frogg Toggs ToadSkinz pants have a few minor issues but most importantly, they work. They aren’t particularly stylish, but I’ve yet to find a pair of rain pants that are. If you are looking for rain pants that will do the job for a reasonable price, the Frogg Toggs Toadskins could be exactly what you are looking for.
Enjoy the ride.
Cheers, Mr. Seck
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