From a distance they look like an ordinary pair of flat black, jean-cut pants with flashy cuffs. However, the Devil is in the details and this is where the Aerostich A.D. 1 pants excel.
Coupled with military-grade TF-3 foam knee pads and optional hip pads, the A.D. 1 textile riding pants provide
optimum protection. Constructed of HT600-denier nylon and a Gore-Tex laminate with taped and welded seams, these pants are highly resistant to abrasion and keep me dry without the dreaded “sauna effect” of PVC-coated fabrics. Denier is a measure of thread weight, so the higher the number the heavier the thread. HT stands for High Tenacity and this exceptionally tough nylon thread has a higher thermal resistance than any other synthetic fiber. Simply put: if I should slide down the highway I’ll want the heaviest, toughest, and most heat-resistant material possible between my skin and asphalt.
The A.D. 1 is a newer version of Aerostich’s Darien pants with more pockets. The rear hip wallet pocket with hook-and-loop closure remains the same as on the Darien and DarienLight, but the two jeans-style side pockets on the A.D. 1 have storm flaps with hook-and-loop. A cargo pocket has been added to the front of the left thigh with a double storm flap secured by hook-and-loop—keys and spare change won’t fall out when the pants are flung over the back of a chair. On the front of the right thigh there’s now a pocket with a vertical, waterproof
zipper—the perfect place for a cell phone or billfold.
A less-obvious improvement is the slightly larger knee radius, which is a very good design concept for pants that accept protective knee pads.
The TF3 foam armor is attached to the interior using hook-and-loop and, while not as elegant as prepositioned pockets, this method guarantees the pads are in the right place should they ever be required.
The 3-inch wide triangular gusset of stretchable material on the waist at the top of the rear seam is a neat trick that makes bending over a little bit easier, while the gusset on the crotch seam makes saddle straddling more comfortable.
As with the Dariens, the outside leg seams are full-length, heavyweight zippers with metal YKK double pulls. One-inch wide storm flaps, inside and out, cover the zippers, except that the top 12 inches have wider flaps and hook-and-loop. This design allows for access to the front pockets of your street pants. Coupled with waistband snaps the full-length zippers allow the pants to be taken off without sitting down or removing heavy boots. At times this can be extremely handy. The metal waistband snaps come in pairs, allowing an extra 2.75 inches of waist expansion. This can be advantageous after an especially large meal, although it was designed to accommodate the bulk from optional hip pads.
The cuffs use metal snaps for closure, and tightness can be increased by 1.5 or 3 inches with 8-inch long reflective tabs secured with hook-and-loop. With a snug fit against the top of your boots, there is less chance of water being driven up my pant leg when riding in wet conditions, and it also eliminates annoying wind flap around my ankles.
Priced at $297 (including the belt) the A.D. 1 pants come in even waist sizes from 30-46 and regular or long legs. Black is the only color available.
After a riding season testing the A.D. 1 pants I’ve given my trusty original Dariens to a buddy (there are years of wear left in them). The two extra pockets and the storm flaps over the side pockets were the deciding factor—sort of like the icing on an otherwise perfect cake.