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Scorpion EXO Covert Ultra Jeans “Legs-In” Review

Scorpion EXO Covert Ultra Jeans Review Summary
Review Summary
Scorpion EXO is really a tale of two brands: one that makes slick-looking, premium motorcycle gear and another that offers functional, no-frills pieces at an affordable price. The Covert Ultra Jeans are near the top end of the latter category—and they do most of what Scorpion promises very well. I have a few constructive comments about sizing and the build-quality of certain features, but make no mistake; these are serviceable motorcycle jeans you can rely on for heavy use without breaking the bank. The “bang for your buck” crowd has a winner here.
Design

Materials & Build-Quality

Sizing & Fit

Protection

Value for Money

Reader Rating0 Votes

Pros
Single-layer construction reduces bulk but still feels tough
High-quality fasteners and YKK zippers
Effective water-resistant coating
Fits true to size
Cost-effective optional armor
Cons
Not as fashionable as Scorpion claims
Reflective elements located impractically for riders wearing boots
Only one color available
Hard to adjust placement of knee armor effectively
Pockets not durable

4
A Good Buy

Review Summary

  • The Scorpion EXO Covert Ultra Jeans are another straightforward and reliable offering from a brand known for balancing quality with affordability.
  • While the design is more functional than flattering, the Covert Ultra jeans are made from durable materials, generally well-constructed, and fit true to form.
  • Armor is also available for the Covert Ultra jeans—it’s tough stuff, but placing it accurately in the knees with the velcro straps provided can be a challenge.
  • While not what we would call a premium product, the Covert Ultra jeans are a good buy for anyone seeking tough, not-awful-looking motorcycle jeans that do their job.

I didn’t start my riding career in jeans. In fact, it began in a pair of vintage Teknic leather motorcycle pants from the 1990s with a Bowie-esque lightning bolt pattern down one leg in a white/purple/green color scheme—yes, there’s going to be a photo later, so keep reading. They were loud and weird, like yours truly, and they were also hot. Whether that designation also applies to me is not the subject of this article, but finding a pair of pants I could ride hard in without getting sweaty legs most certainly is.

When the opportunity to review the Scorpion EXO Covert Ultra Jeans came up, I seized it. Single-layer riding jeans made from a combination of 12.5 oz denim and Cordura/DuPont Kevlar? Pockets for knee and hip armor? Water-resistant DWR coating? These sounded like the perfect replacements for my glam-rockin’, leg-cookin’, armorless leather trousers.

See Also: The Best Motorcycle Riding Jeans for 2022

In many ways, the Covert Ultra Jeans are exactly the opposite of my old riding pants—they’re lighter, simpler, and more comfortable in heat and mild moisture. They’re also less visible, less adjustable, and far less aesthetically striking—whether or not that’s a plus given my, uh, unique sense of style is up to you.

Scorpion EXO tag on Covert Ultra Jeans
Premium helmets? Yes. But are these premium pants? Read on and find out.

About Scorpion EXO

Scorpion EXO is owned by KIDO Sports, a Seoul-based company well-known for the resources they pour into designing and creating high-performance equipment. Scorpion EXO, in particular, maintains oversight over even the smallest details of their manufacturing process, ensuring their commitment to quality, integrity, and efficiency when making gear for riders.

But despite their state-of-the-art production facilities, experienced designers, and racing pedigree, not every Scorpion product is made for performance. Depending on how you ride and what your budget is, you might just as easily know them for their solid, wallet-friendly street gear offering basic protection and features to commuters and casual bikers.

That’s where the Covert Ultra Jeans come into play. While they’re not what I would call a premium product, they offer solid protection and are well-built for their price point.

See Also: All wBW Scorpion EXO Reviews & Coverage

Key Features of the Scorpion EXO Covert Ultra Riding Pants:

  • Heavy 12.5 oz denim
  • Cordura/DuPont Kevlar single layered weave provides 7x the abrasion resistance of typical denim
  • Adjustable armor pockets at the knees for optional, form adaptable, SAS-TEC armor
  • Hip armor pockets for optional, form adaptable, SAS-TEC armor (not tested)
  • Integrated 3M reflective swatch at the lower hem
  • Single layered construction drastically reduces bulk and adds breathability
  • Reliable YKK zipper
  • DWR (Water Resistant) coating provides environmental protection for those misty early morning rides
  • Traditional 5-pocket design with tapered fit & non-contrast stitching
  • 1 Year Warranty
Tag showing abrasion-resistance and selling points of Scorpion EXO Covert Ultra Jeans
Note: “drastically reduces bulk” applies to the pants, not the rider—these pants did not help me lose weight.

Scorpion EXO Covert Ultra Jeans Design

It should already be obvious from my comments above that evaluating the way a piece of gear looks is hugely subjective. After all, I used to ride around in these:

Author wearing leather racing pants before acquiring Scorpion EXO Covert Ultra Jeans
There you go—I promised you a photo, didn’t it? Hey, stop laughing! I looked VERY COOL.

That said, you should definitely take my comments about the design of the Covert Ultra Jeans with a grain (and perhaps a full tablespoon) of salt. Personally, I don’t love the way they look—but that’s because I actually enjoy dressing like an 80s rock star. If you don’t, the simple tapered straight legs and subtle non-contrast stitching of these pants will probably be far less offensive to your senses.

Author wearing Scorpion EXO Covert Ultra Jeans and standing next to motorcycle
Think Sturgis, not Stonehenge.

I think what I get hung up on is that Scorpion describes these pants as “trend-worthy” on their website, but there’s really nothing fashion-forward about them. They’re simple, straightforward jeans—nothing more or less. You could wear them out on the town if you wanted, but I’d choose something with pre-curved legs and narrower ankle-openings for that purpose (if only because my tastes skew towards a more streamlined, slim-fitting look).

Color Options

Sadly, these pants only come in blue—which made me blue. I prefer to ride in black, but even if you don’t, this single shade of dark navy is unlikely to appeal to everyone. It’s also weird that Scorpion offers the regular Covert and Covert Pro Jeans in different colors. The Covert Ultras are supposed to be the top-of-the-line version, so why don’t buyers get more options?

Scorpion EXO Covert Ultra Jeans Materials & Build Quality

Main Fabrics

There’s lots to love about the construction of the Covert Ultra Jeans, especially when it comes to the single-layer construction. Heavy 12.5 oz denim and Cordura/DuPont Kevlar come together to create a product that offers 7x the abrasion resistance of traditional denim without feeling significantly rougher or heavier.

If you’re used to wearing Levi’s, they might seem a tad cumbersome at first—but if Carhartt is more your style, these should feel pretty close to the pants you already own.

Scorpion EXO Covert Ultra Jeans lying on bed
A simple, straight-leg design with a high waist and just slightly tapered ankle openings.

Buttons & Fasteners

The materials used for the fasteners also inspire confidence—the YKK zipper and single button at the waist both feel sturdy and reliable. You won’t find any metal rivets on the rest of the garment, though—Scorpion has wisely avoided anything that could scratch your tank while mounting the bike or puncture your skin during a slide.

Close-up on zipper and button for Scorpion EXO Covert Ultra Jeans
Anyone who hangs out less than six inches from my crotch will no-doubt be impressed by the detailing on this button. Scorpion EXO is apparently marketing to my cat.

Stitching & Pockets

There are just a few small things about the way these pants are built that don’t thrill me. For starters, the stitching—while plenty strong—came loose in one or two spots as I was riding. This didn’t happen in any spots that would compromise the integrity of the pants, but still—you want to be confident that your riding pants have been sewn together reliably before you trust them to literally save your ass from the street.

Loose stitching on Scorpion EXO Covert Ultra Jeans
In retrospect, “Coming Undone” by KoRn might not have been ideal road-trip music.

There’s also the quality of the pockets to consider. These are essentially no different from what you’d find in any other pair of off-the-rack mall jeans—they’re made from basic cotton that can easily be punctured by small pieces of metal (as proved to me by the end of my key ring). It’s a bit disappointing that such tough pants have such delicate pockets—I’d like to be a little less precious when digging into them for my keys and small accessories.

Scorpion EXO Covert Ultra Jeans Sizing & Fit

No issues getting pants in the right size—I’m a 32 waist and a 34 inseam, and the pants I received in that size fit me perfectly. In fact, the way they sit around my waist even precludes the need to wear a belt, which is awesome when you consider that a metal belt buckle can potentially cause a lot of damage to your groin area during a high-speed slide across pavement.

For more sizing information, check out Scorpion’s EXO Covert Ultra Jeans Size Chart.

Armor Placement

I’ve just got one question for Scorpion here, and it’s about what panels they adjust when making pants in longer sizes. While the hems of these jeans have no problem reaching the ends of my legs, the knee armor pockets feel a bit too high—no matter how I adjust the placement of the armor within them.

This leads me to suspect that longer sizes are simply constructed by using larger pieces of material for the calves, potentially affecting the effectiveness of the knee armor for riders with longer legs. If I hear differently from Scorpion EXO, I’ll happily amend this portion of the review.

Author wearing Scorpion EXO Covert Ultra Jeans while standing next to line of parked motorcycles
I never got the armor to feel quite right—if you look at my left knee here, you can see it’s positioned slightly off-center from the joint.

Scorpion EXO Covert Ultra Jeans Protection

I’ve low-sided in motorcycle pants without armor before, and it wasn’t pretty—my right knee’s torn meniscus, ACL, and MCL could all attest to that. So while Scorpion EXO sells “optional” armor for the Covert Ultra Jeans, it’s an absolutely necessary feature as far as I’m concerned.

Optional knee armor lying next to inside-out leg of Scorpion EXO Covert Ultra Jeans
Even with multiple velcro straps in the pockets, getting the armor to sit right is a bit of a pain.

Armor Quality

The SAS-TEC armor for the knees exceeds the EN 1621-1:2012 level 2 standard by approximately 30%, so it’s quite capable of absorbing impacts. Placing it in the armor pockets of these jeans is a bit awkward, as the velcro straps used to attach it have a tendency to get caught elsewhere during insertion.

I also found that I was never able to get mine to sit in a way that felt quite right—it seemed like my knees were covered more by the portions of the armor meant to protect my shins, and no amount of messing with the “adjustable” connectors seemed to help.

I have no doubt that with armor installed, these pants would be more than up to the task of protecting a rider with slightly shorter femurs than mine. It’s not Scorpion’s fault that my body looks like something designed by H.R. Giger, so I’m not taking any points off for this—but I would recommend that future iterations of these jeans make it easier to move the knee armor so my fellow aliens can be accommodated.

Reflective strips on Scorpion EXO Covert Ultra Jeans
At last, a garment that will draw proper attention to my world-class calves.

Lastly, I should mention that Scorpion’s inclusion of reflective strips on these jeans is a well-intentioned but only marginally effective touch. The 3M Scotchlite advertised is located on the inside, at the bottom of each cuff—potentially worthwhile if you’re turning them up to fit over short boots or riding shoes, but utterly useless if you’re wearing touring boots they need to be tucked into.

Real-World Riding with the Scorpion EXO Covert Ultra Jeans

I’m a firm believer in extensive real-world testing for any product I review here at wBW—so on Labor Day Weekend, I took the Covert Ultra Jeans on a ~2000km (or nearly 1250 miles) round trip across the Canadian Rockies from Vancouver to Calgary and back. Also along for the ride: the Neowise Jacket by Andromeda Moto I reviewed for our sister site, Return of the Cafe Racers, earlier this year.

Author riding motorcycle through Canadian Rockies in Scorpion EXO Covert Ultra Jeans
It’s a good thing photos don’t capture sound, because nobody needs to hear me belting Judas Priest’s “Heading Out to the Highway”. It’s also a good thing I didn’t have a passenger on this trip, because they would have killed me.

Testing Conditions

For those not in the know, even the shortest possible route between these two cities takes about 12 hours on a bike (factoring in the occasional gas/food/bathroom break). And it’s not a straight line, either—we’re talking an elevation change of over 5,500 ft, with a grade that’s occasionally over 17%.

Author's motorcycle parked on shoulder of mountain road during testing for Scorpion EXO Covert Ultra Jeans
Mountain rooooooooads… take me hoooooooome… to the plaaaaaaaaaace… where I beLOOOOOOOONG…

Throw in some winding mountain roads, merge lanes that terminate abruptly as the highway narrows to a single winding lane, and unpredictable traffic—including everything from soccer-mom minivans to heavily-laden logging trucks. If there’s a route near me more apt for testing the ruggedness of moto gear, I don’t know what it is.

Author resting near mountain lake in Canadian Rockies while wearing Scorpion EXO Covert Ultra Jeans
I love my backyard.

Test Results

So, how did the jeans hold up? Better than my bike, as it turned out. The brand-new clutch I had installed in my ‘06 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic LT a week before the trip failed on the last leg of my journey, stranding me on the side of the road approximately three hours away from home. After a tow back to the nearest town and an overnight stay in a motel that felt like a set-piece from Twin Peaks, I managed to fix the issue and get rollin’ again.

Author looking annoyed as motorcycle is lifted onto flatbed truck in background
Worst. Amusement. Park. Ride. Ever.

 

At least they had damn fine coffee.

Through it all, the jeans performed admirably. They dispelled light-to-moderate rain, smashed at least a few poor dragonflies who were unfortunate enough to buzz my shins at highway speeds, and stayed comfortable in temperatures ranging from about 18–30 °C (64–86 °F).

Scorpion EXO Covert Ultra Jeans Value for Money

At the time of this review, the Covert Ultra Jeans retail for just under $200 USD. Adding in optional knee armor costs about $30—either way, they fall into the mid-range market.

Given the strength of the materials, the reduced bulk of the garment, and its resilience to both wind and light rain, I’d say the price here is completely fair. Throw in the reflective material inside the cuffs—which is arguably useful as long as your footwear doesn’t require the cuffs to be tucked inside—and the ability to add armor (even though the placement isn’t ideal for my legs), and you get a solid deal on reliable riding pants.

Final Thoughts on the Scorpion EXO Covert Ultra Jeans

Personally, I’d choose other riding jeans to impress a date with—maybe the Devil 9s from Pando Moto—but for straightforward functionality and affordable protection, these pants are winners. Recommended if you don’t feel like shelling out $300-$500 to cover your butt.

  • Graham

Author on motorcycle while wearing Scorpion EXO Covert Ultra Jeans

Specs

  • Manufacturer: Scorpion USA
  • Price: $199.95
  • Colors: Blue
  • Sizes: Regular: 30–42 | Tall: 32–38
  • Review Date: September 2022

Important Links / Where to Buy

 

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