Bull-it Jeans' armored hoodie packs protection comparable to a set of leathers
Your standard hoodie couldn't really be classified as protective motorcycle gear, but the popularity of hoodies in general has led to manufacturers like Speed and Strength and Bilt making armored versions for motorcyclists. Bull-it Jeans can now be added to that list, but its armored hoodie uses a relatively new material called Covec, which was designed specifically for motorcycle apparel and has abrasion resistance that's better than Kevlar and as good as some leathers.
According to Bull-it Jeans, when compared to regular cotton fabric hoodies, Kevlar-lined hoodies and even some leather jackets, Covec has a higher abrasion resistance, higher cut resistance and lower friction heat transfer. That means that should you leave your motorcycle unexpectedly and slide on, let’s say concrete, a hoodie made with Covec will reduce the chances of your skin coming into contact with the pavement.
Bull-it has gone to great lengths to be sure it can back up its claims. The company tested its products to meet the CE-13595-1 standard for protective clothing, which comprises three tests that grade impact abrasion, cut resistance and burst resistance. As a result of performance in the tests, Bull-it Jeans created its own slide rating system to indicate the amount of time it would take to slide on a hard surface before skin is exposed. For instance, apparel with an SR4 rating would take four seconds, SR6 would take six seconds and VoloCE seven seconds. The Bull-it Jeans hoodie has a rating of SR6.
While six seconds might not sound like a lot, it's a long time to be skidding across a hard surface. Covec also creates a barrier to prevent the transfer of heat during a slide so there’s reduced danger of getting a skin burn on top of road rash. Take a look at what this poor test "dummy" had to do to prove it.
For the sake of comparison, in a 2011 test by Ride magazine, a pair of Hein Gericke leather pants came lasted 4.74 seconds, a set of Draggin' Kevlar Jeans made it to 3.07 seconds, Rev'It's Textile Trousers managed 0.71 seconds, and a regular pair of Levi's stonewash jeans lasted just 0.56 seconds.
With the exception of the hood itself, the entire Bull-It Jeans hoodie is lined with Covec, which in addition to protecting you during a fall and slide, is also claimed to be breathable and create a microclimate around your body to keep you cool in summer and warm in winter.
It also comes with a host of other features, including CE 1621 approved protectors in the back, shoulders and elbows, deep front pockets and a separate pocket for your cell phone, and a water-resistant finish to help keep you dry.
Make no mistake, this is not a four-season, all-purpose jacket. A good long rain might still leave you damp, and you’ll need to wear some base layers underneath when temperatures fall below 60° F (15° C). But at US$289.95 it is a viable alternative to a heavier synthetic jacket or even some thin leather jacket without armor.
The following video illustrates the various properties of Covec relative to other materials found in protective gear.
Source: Bull-it Jeans