Review: Aerostich AD-1 Light Pants

Mar 21, 2017 View Comments by

Aerostich has been in the motorcycle clothing business for quite some time now, constantly improving the usability (if not the now-iconic style) of their jackets, pants, and suits until they audibly hum with refinement*. The AD-1 Light Pants are no different and ooze with the kind of thoughtful touches that have made them my go-to overpants for the past riding season. The fitted style is still there, as is the easy-on/easy-off zipper system. And the reflective stripe and adjustable ankles continue to provide conspicuity. This is my third pair of Aerostich pants, and while each has been great, each subsequent pair has somehow been better, as if the folks at Aerostich spend those long, cold Minnesota winters obsessing over every little detail.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe AD-1 Lights have over 4,000 miles on them, from dry desert temps in the 90s to chilly autumn mornings in the 30s, with a Midwestern thunderstorm or four thrown in for good measure. When they first arrived, the fabric (HT200-denier Nylon with GORE-TEX) was so stiff that they could almost stand up by themselves. Not only that, the Velcro and flap sealing the front hip pockets scratched my knuckles every time I reached for my keys. But they’ve broken in quite nicely, the stiff flaps over the front pockets softening with time, and now they wear like a favorite pair of jeans. I’ve got my system down pat: wallet into the left thigh pocket, phone into the right thigh pocket, keys in the right front pocket, and headphones in the left front pocket. Thus configured, the pants just disappear when I sit on the bike; there are no areas where the fabric bunches or binds, or places where they feel tight. Wearing thin synthetic hiking pants beneath them helps, as does not putting bulky things in the hip pockets, which is also especially useful at tolls where the thigh pockets are easy to access. I’m going to whisper this next thing so please listen close … there’s even a secret storage compartment in the belt. Don’t tell anyone.

Throughout the season, the pants just darn worked. In the Nevada heat things got a mite warm, but the full-length size zippers made them easy enough to remove (if a bit socially awkward in public) before going on a walk around town. And in the cold and rain they kept out the nasty stuff for hours.

I only have a couple of niggles. One, my phone, a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, just barely fits in the right thigh pocket. Bigger phones like the iPhone 6 Plus and 7 Plus have no chance there and will have to be stowed elsewhere. Two, the pockets aren’t as weather resistant as the pants themselves. Aerostich doesn’t claim they are, so it’s not false advertising, it’s just something that I’d like. The left thigh pocket folds over when it closes, and that might work in a short, light rain, and the right thigh pocket has rubber covering the teeth of the zipper that helps too. But if you’re going to tackle a Nebraska thunderstorm in July or a cold, driving October rain in New York, take your wallet out of the pants unless you want to be drying Benjamins in your hotel room later. Don’t ask me how I know this. It happened to a “friend.”

But I’m pretty confident that on some long, cold winter night in Minnesota, an Aerostich designer is going to figure out how to do just that without adversely impacting usability or cost, and as sure as the sun rises, we’ll get that in a future version. Until then, I’ll continue to use and enjoy these pants. The fact that I never have to do the roadside “gotta put my rain pants over my boots” dance is reason enough.

* No, they don’t hum. I kid.

Aerostich AD-1 Light Pants
Price: $337
Sizes: 30 – 44, regular or long
Colors: tan, gray, black

Text: John M. Flores


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