Product review: Alpinestars Sonoran Drystar pants
I was looking for an affordable riding pant in the Alpinestars range, specifically because I wanted one that could be zipped to my Alpinestars GT-Air jacket. I zeroed in on the Alpinestars Sonoran Drystar pant not only because it was compatible with my jacket but also because of its extensive mesh panel construction, which is ideal for our hot and humid climate.
The Sonoran has mesh panels across the thigh and shin area, all the way to the ankle and that allows plenty of air to pass through the pants while riding the bike at highway speeds. Even on hot, summer days I don't feel any discomfort and my legs aren't sweaty despite the heat.
Getting in and out of the pants is pretty easy and the long YKK-zippered gusset running from the knees to the hem allows me to wear the pants over my riding boots. The waist can be adjusted by means of a secure sliding hook closure, while the pre-curved leg design with stretch accordion inserts on the knee and back affords a proper fit. This allows me sit comfortably on the motorcycle for long distances or even stand on the pegs and ride with ease.
As far as storage is concerned, there are two, deep pockets that I use to store my phone or keys and some loose change. I wish Alpinestars would have offered a waterproof pocket as well, as it would have been useful to keep my phone or currency notes dry, while riding in the rain.
The 600 denier, PU coated textile construction of the pants makes it tough and durable, something that I've discovered after covering thousands of kilometers, over every terrain imaginable. From the fast highway to Banglore to the mountain roads that lead to Leh and beyond, the Sonoran has lasted through it all. A quick wash in the washing machine is all that's required to get the dust and muck off the pants and there's barely any colour fade even after regular wash cycles every month.
I also wear the pants on my commutes to office and since these are overpants, I can also slide it over a pair of jeans underneath, in case I have to attend a press conference or any other event.
As far as protection goes, the Sonoran gets Alpinestars' perforated CE certified Bio-Air knee armour. It is housed in a mesh compartment with three velcro strips inside that allow me to adjust the height of the knee armour. On the bike, this results in the armour sitting perfectly over my knee, even when I'm hanging off the bike.
The pants are also wet weather compatible since it comes with a removable, waterproof yet breathable, Drystar membrane. It does keep me dry during Mumbai's rains, but frankly, after a while, it feels stuffy.
Overall, I'm pretty happy with the Sonoran. It works in our weather and it feels comfortable and secure as well. Just what I wanted in my riding pants.