Roadskin specializes in motorcycle riding jeans that the British company claims offer protection “comparable to leather trousers.” That intrigued me, as I don’t always feel like putting on leather riding pants when heading off for a short sprint through my favorite mountain twisties. The Roadskin Taranis Elite Ladies Jeans meet Europe’s EN 17092-2:2020 standard with a CE Class AAA rating, meaning you’re getting pants with the highest level of protection from abrasion and impact. This is the assurance I need to feel comfortable riding at speed in jeans, and that includes freeway commuting.
The Roadskin Taranis Elite Ladies Jeans look and feel substantial. Traditional cotton denim makes up just under half the material used. Over a quarter is Kevlar, which is woven into the cotton. The combination is bolstered by abrasion-resistant Cordura (3.2 percent) and stretchy Lycra (2.6 percent). A synthetic polyethylene liner makes up 20 percent of the jeans’ construction.
With a straight-leg cut and high-waist design, the jeans have a slim but flattering fit that leaves room for the soft CE-approved hip and knee armor. This is important as I have frequently been guilty of removing hip pads from riding jeans because they were either uncomfortable or, worse still, unflattering. Yes, I’m embarrassed to admit this!
Because the Taranis Elite pants are not silhouette-hugging skinny jeans, the CE class 2 hip and knee protectors lay discretely under the denim without creating unsightly bulges. There are dedicated pockets inside the liner for the armor, including a high and low position at the knees to ensure the correct positioning. Removing and installing the armor is quick and easy. Roadskin recommends removing the armor when washing the jeans to preserve the integrity of the impact protectors.
The Smooth Ways memory foam protectors are light and flexible, conforming to the curves of your body. Unlike hard protectors, which can chafe, the hip and knee armor is pliable, so it’s easy to forget they’re installed. That’s memory foam’s advantage—under a fast and heavy impact, it rapidly changes character with the cells stiffening so the protector absorbs and disperses energy. While I’m happy to say I haven’t had cause to test this safety feature of the Taranis Elite Ladies jeans, the protectors give me welcome peace of mind.
The Taranis Elite Ladies jeans are forgettably comfortable while riding; this is a good thing! It means I am not distracted by my clothing. There is no binding or tightness at the waist, knees, or thighs, as the jeans have just the right amount of stretch, and the super-soft mesh liner is pleasing against my skin. I’m able to keep all my attention on the road.
Responding to concerns from women riders, Roadskin designed the high-rise Taranis Elite Ladies jeans with a higher back waistband than usual. The back rise is 16 inches, a full two inches more than the back rise of the standard pair of Levi’s 501s I wear, and an inch more than the back rise on a similarly sized pair of men’s Taranis Elites. This is not an insignificant design choice and is quite noticeable when riding. There’s no distracting self-conscious feeling from a waistband that pulls down low in the back. I feel securely covered, swaddled almost, no matter how far forward I’m leaning.
Off the bike walking around, depending on your body shape, the extra fabric can be a bit less flattering. I was most comfortable with a belt tightly cinched through the Taranis’ belt loops.
A Roadskin-branded standard metal jeans button and four-inch YKK zipper secure the Taranis Elite Ladies jeans. The fly does not lay as flat as I would like, though this anomaly is not nearly as pronounced as it was on the men’s version we tested. Interestingly, most women’s motorcycle jeans have the traditional men’s flap-on-the-left/button-on-the-right fastening. The Roadskin Taranis Elite Ladies jeans have the women’s fastening style, which reverses the pairing.
With all protectors installed, the size 10 Long jeans I tested tip the scale at two pounds, four ounces. Looking every bit like your regular five-pocket casual jeans, and branded with Roadskin’s angel wing stitching on the rear pockets, these heavy-duty jeans are protection incognito.
The over-the-boot Taranis Elite Ladies jeans come in three lengths to accommodate a range of inseams; the sizing is UK and EU, so you’ll need to consult the sizing guide to get the proper fit. Using the guide, I got the fit right on the first try—a good thing, as they’re shipped from Kent in southeast England.
Designing women’s technical motorcycle jeans is a formidable task. Our sizes are all over the map, and we’re hyper-sensitive about how we look. The Roadskin Taranis Elite Ladies jeans are genuinely comfortable, protective riding jeans that masquerade as a pair of traditional non-technical jeans, thus appropriate for casual work, restaurant, and entertainment environments.
Roadskin Taranis Elite Ladies Jeans Fast Facts
- Sizes: UK 8 -18; EU 36-46
- Length: Petite, 27”; Regular, 29”; Long, 31”
- Certification: CE EN 17092-2:2020 Class AAA
- Colors: Indigo; Black
Roadskin Taranis Elite Ladies Jeans Price: £180 MSRP
Roadskin Taranis Elite Ladies Jeans Photo Gallery