Leather chaps and Leather pants. Looking at them at face value, it can certainly be a bit tricky to determine what the true difference between them really is. I mean, after all, they both are made from fine leather, and they both fit snugly around the bottom half of your body. Seems pretty simple, does it not? How much difference could there really be, you ask?

Well, each pair of leather riding pants and leather chaps is going to have its own benefits and downfalls. Both can be and are used for motorcycle riding, but at different times and under difference circumstances typically. First, let us talk about leather chaps for bike riding.

Chaps are wonderful for wear in the warmer months. Not as heavy, thick, and clingy as leather pants, if you are a biker who enjoys stopping to walk around at your destinations and likes to get off and see the sites on your tour, then during the hot season, leather chaps will be your saving grace. You can easily slip them off and carry on in your jeans instead of lugging yourself around in your leather pants. You may also choose to wear chaps over shorts in hot weather to keep yourself feeling cool. On the flip side, chaps over jeans in the colder months of the year will help trap body heat and keep you feeling cosy when you ride.

Chaps also come in handy on daily commutes back and forth to the office. Since the rider will likely be wearing a thin work uniform that does not offer any protection from the road or elements whatsoever, implementing the use of chaps delivers what your work clothes lack.

Leather pants, while more stylish, often do not provide nearly as much protection–but they do offer a little bit. Some say they are harder to take off and put on than chaps, but they can be made with zippers that make them just as easy to remove as chaps. Leather riding pants also have the option for interchangeable liners when necessary. Leather pants are often thought as more convenient to wear during cold weather since they do come with liners and insulators. Some people do prefer chaps to leather pants, though, because of the chaps. A good pair of chaps with zippers that are lined come at a price of around $80, while leather riding pants can cost three times as much.

Since they both have their differences and their benefits, it is often recommended that a rider own both types, just in case. Some are better in hot months, some are better in cold months; some are easier to remove than others for frequent stops and some simply offer better protection. The next time you are shopping for bike leather and can’t decide between leather riding pants or leather chaps, find a way to buy both. Your legs will thank you year round when you are able to remain comfortable and safe, no matter what the circumstances are.