For those of us who use our bikes daily and need jeans that do what they have been designed for without breaking the bank, the Oxford Continental Advanced textile jeans are a steal.
The Advanced Continental range works on a modular three-layer design – outer, waterproof liner and thermal liner – and Oxford say they are designed to work in all seasons.
Within minutes of putting them on for the first time it’s clear they’re made from strong, tough and high-quality materials.
They come with CE-approved knee armour, which is height-adjustable so you can make it sit in the right place to protect knees. It takes some time to get this right as the method for adjustment isn’t the most practical and requires patience.
Hips don’t have the same luxury, with cheap foam hip padding inserts that I quickly ditched in favour of D3O upgrades – I ride on and off-road and there’s nothing worse than landing in the dirt on your hip.
The strong outer layer is nylon with nylon-bonded thread and behind it sits a fine mesh material to keep skin away from the coarse outer material when the waterproof and thermal liners are removed. This mesh is not the softest, so I’d recommend wearing a base layer when wearing the jeans without their liners.
There are four pockets on the jeans – two at the hips and a pair of big thigh pockets that double up as ventilation panels. The pockets themselves are deep enough to store a large smartphone and have strong velcro-flapped tops.
The thigh pockets can be unzipped and folded up to open big mesh ventilation panels. These are good but need to be folded in the right way, otherwise they act like sails when riding. Also, I lose the benefit of the pockets by using them as vents, so need somewhere else to store any stuff you’ve kept in them.
A long zip at the bottom of each leg aids getting boots tucked inside and there is a small amount of velcro adjustment to get a tight fit around the boot – ideally there would be a larger velcro area to make this easier.
A 360-degree zip connects to the matching Oxford Continental Advanced textile jacket, which I wore at the same time for review, and a salopette-style arrangement combines braces and a storm flap that sits up against my back.
This set-up is handy to keep the jeans up, but if I don’t have the braces tight enough they start to slide off my shoulders – and if I have them too tight the zip on the storm flap slowly undoes itself and eventually the flap will ping up my back when riding.
I’ve learnt to double-check that zip and do it back up before every ride, though I would like Oxford to add a strap between the braces to stop them sliding off your shoulders.
The waterproof membrane is new for Oxford and it’s called Dry2Dry. It’s perfect at what it does. I’ve used these jeans almost daily from January through till June and been stuck in horrible storms, been off-roading through big puddles and they have not let any water through. Water has got up my trouser leg, but never through.
However, these jeans rely completely on the liner for waterproofing. When I’ve ventured out without the liner in place and it starts raining I’d say I only get around half a mile further before water comes through.
The thermal liner is made from a material Oxford call WarmDry, which keeps me warm without adding bulk, which I like. In all kinds of temperatures the jeans have kept me warm and comfortable.
Removing the layers is is easy, but getting them back in is a pain – and there’s quite a lot of room left when the layers are removed, though there’s no way of taking up the slack, which is a shame.
Overall, these jeans have been fantastic during my review period and combined with the matching jacket could put up a very good fight against the big boys of Rukka and Klim when it comes to the essentials of riding a bike.
Fit & Comfort
The jeans feel really nice and comfy, the adjustment on the sides aid you to get a personalised fit. I’m a 38in waist and size XL fits me perfectly, as per Oxford’s size chart. Take care though, because most manufacturers list a 38in waist as size 2XL. The inside leg on my regular-length jeans is 32in at a stretch, so there’s good coverage around the ankle when worn in an upright riding position. When worn on sports bikes they ride up a little. The jeans are extremely comfortable to wear on and off the bike. The knee armour drops below the knee when walking, but that’s the case with most jeans anyway. The storm flap and braces are a good idea but it’s slightly annoying when they start to wander off my shoulders.
The knee armour is CE approved and it can be moved to suit, but the adjustment method is time-consuming. The lack of hip armour has knocked the score down. I upgraded the foam inserts to D3O armour.
These jeans could not have done any better – they’re perfect as long as the waterproof liner is in place.
I have abused these jeans yet they still look new.
If there was proper hip armour rather than foam inserts then these jeans would have everything.