Road Tested: Icon Superduty 3 pants and Carga riding sneakers

Icon Superduty 3 pants and Carga riding sneakers review
In my relentless pursuit of motorcycle gear that’s both stylish and comfortable, I’ve put miles into two offerings from Portland’s Icon Motosports; the Icon Superduty 3 pants and the Icon Carga CE riding sneakers. But be warned—these only come in black.

Icon Superduty 3 motorcycle pants review
Icon Superduty 3 pants It’s ironic that almost all of my riding pants are denim, because I seldom wear jeans when I’m off the bike. My day-to-day style is best described as athleisure; I like stuff that looks good, functions well, and feels hella comfortable to wear. Cue the Icon Superduty 3 motorcycle riding pants.

To be fair, modern single-layer riding jeans trump the heavy, rigid numbers that were available back in the day. But the Icon Superduty 3 pants take it a step further.

Icon Superduty 3 pants and Carga riding sneakers review
The Superduty 3 chassis uses a tough stretch canvas fabric that offers sweatpants-like flexibility, with heavier-duty nylon panels woven into high-impact areas like the knees. You’ll notice that the knee areas are articulated—but other than that detail, these pants achieve comfort simply through the compliance of their fabric.

That level of comfort brings with it a measure of compromise though. Short of actually hitting the deck while wearing the Superduty 3s, I can only speculate how much abrasion resistance a lightweight fabric like this can truly offer, because Icon doesn’t publish any CE ratings or tested slide times for it. The reinforcements at the knees are also noticeably missing from areas like the thighs and posterior region—and although that would have added some rigidity, it would also have added peace of mind.

Icon Superduty 3 pants review
On the upside, the Superduty 3s come fully armored out of the box. They use D30’s relatively new ‘Ghost’ pads at the hips and knees, which offer CE level one protection with a negligible weight penalty. Less bulk equals more comfort, which is where, once again, these riding pants shine.

The best gear is the gear you actually wear, and the Superduty 3s have found themselves in regular rotation on my rides. I fall between a 38 and 40 in most pants; I took the Superduty 3s in a 38 and they fit perfectly out the box. The closure is a typical button and zipper affair, with belt loops to help you fine-tune the fit.

Icon Superduty 3 motorcycle pants review
Icon has given the Superduty 3s a straight cut with the slightest hint of a taper. So they sit slim without being skinny; a boon if you love pizza and beer as much as I do.

They also sport a generous pair of cargo pockets. I’m not a fan of cargo pants, but these pockets have proven useful on more than one occasion. They’re far more accessible while on the bike than the ‘regular’ pockets, and feature a pleated design that keeps them low profile when they’re empty, but offers room for expansion.

Icon Superduty 3 motorcycle pants review
Just above the pockets are zippers that reveal slim mesh vents. While the Superduty 3s are lightweight enough not to need them, things get noticeably cooler when they’re open. And since they’re perfectly set against the top edge of the cargo pockets, they don’t detract from the pants’ casual looks.

Price $185 | Sizes 30 to 44 | Colors Black | More

Icon Carga CE motorcycle sneakers review
Icon Carga CE riding sneakers It’s no secret that I own far too many pairs of Vans sneakers—and that I often pick those to ride in over the myriad riding boot options in my closet. That’s changed recently, as gear manufacturers have become better and better at making low-key riding sneakers that don’t look like a pair of 90s Sketchers.

The Icon Carga CE boot is one of my favorites, mostly because of how fuss-free it is. Modeled after traditional skate sneakers, the Carga features a genuine suede leather upper with reinforced shifter overlays, and a cushioned in-sole. Add D30 ankle inserts, some extra rigidity, and an oil- and slip-resistant sole, and you have a shoe that’s CE-approved without looking like it.

Icon Carga CE motorcycle sneakers review
Available in three variations of black (each with a different color sole), the Carga’s shifter pads and subtle Icon logos are the only indicators that these are riding shoes. The sole’s tread pattern apes the famous Vans ‘waffle’ sole, while the closure uses a simple lacing system without any additional zippers or straps.

While a lace retention system or rear pull tab would have added functionality, their absence only reinforces the Carga’s easygoing styling. (There’s not enough slack on the laces for them to be a worry anyway.)

Icon Carga CE motorcycle sneakers review
Although I still need to pop the top row of laces to get my Yeti feet in, a small cutaway at the back of the ankle makes it marginally easier to slip the Carga on. Once they’re on, these sneakers are noticeably more rigid than garden-variety skate shoes, but they fit true to size and offer enough compliance to do duty off the bike. That counts for their soles too, which are stiff enough to endure time on the foot pegs, while still being walkable.

But the real kicker here is how good the Carga looks without sacrificing safety. If you’re looking for an understated skate-style sneaker that goes with anything and is built for riding, this is it.

Price $125 | Sizes US7 to US14 | Colors Black with black, white, or gum sole | More

Icon Carga CE motorcycle sneakers review

Images by Devin Paisley

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