Riding Gear Review: Damzl

Feminize the Machine

Mar. 01, 2008 By Pattie Waters
One of the trends that emerged just a few short years ago was riding gear actually designed to fit women. Not just men's gear in smaller sizes, but cut and styling just for the girls - big and little. We've seen a few brands come and go, and a couple really good ones stick around. One of our favorite lines showing at the Powersports Dealer Expo in Indianapolis this year was by "Damzl".

Their booth was consistently busy, filled with interested dealers and buyers from across the country, as well as potential end-users and riders looking for product sponsorship. If you haven't seen their name on the track or trail yet, you probably will soon. We loved what they were showing.

After returning home from the show, we put some of the Damzl product line on some Damzels of our own. When looking at women's riding gear, we are looking for quality construction, style and comfort - just like the boys - but most importantly, proper fit on all the right curves.

Shown here is the more traditional line from 2007 on the left, and their new look for 2008. Both are free-ride style pants, with zip-off, over-the-boot style legs.

We loved the MX socks - acrylic & spandex, super soft and cushy, way tall enough for boots!


Our models are about one inch difference in height (Sara is in the original silver and pink gear and is barely taller than Darcy, who is wearing the new sand-colored gear) but there was a substantial difference in the cut and length of the pant.

Both styles had more than enough length, boots on or off, but the new gear does seem to be slightly better proportioned for a rider of average height. The legs zip off just at the knee, cargo size pockets are big enough to actually hold something and secure with velcro, all material is abrasion-resistant, extra long boot zippers are heavy-duty. New features include ballistic nylon in critical areas, such as inside the leg where the most wear and engine heat occurs, and a fleece-lined waistband.

One feature that Heather Birdwell (who co-founded Damzl in 2005 with her sister Holly) pointed out on the new Free Ride pant, was extra attention paid to achieving a comfortable fit and adjustability of the waist. Nothing poked, jabbed, gapped or bunched, even when our tiny model had to crank the velcro adjustments down to the max. (Fit, by the way, was not the pant's fault. We ordered a size to fit this editor, and we picked much smaller models! They were very adjustable, but four to five inches is a lot to ask of any pant.)
We've come to hate riding pants that fasten with a ratcheting closure - or rather, pants that fasten with a cheap ratcheting closure. When it wears out - and it will - your pants are now either stuck on you or off you. Damzl plays it safe with a more-traditional double snap and large tabbed, heavy-duty zipper. Nothing sharp or bulky to poke you in the gut as you ride, or even just sit. Thank you!


Gloves are soft and comfortable, without being over-designed. Neoprene wrist bands and knuckle guards, airmesh on the back of the hand and down the index finger, synthetic suede palm and gripper print on your throttle finger. And machine washable.

Damzl Free-Flow Glovz - $29.99


The 2008 cotton waffle knit hoodie was quickly a favorite, at the show and when our model pulled it out of the box. More ladies are mixing casual shirts with riding pants when they hit the dunes or trails, and this was spot-on for fashion and function. Note - it definately ran small. Our model is wearing an XL Size 13/14

Hoodie - $54.99


If you've fallen in love with the 2007 gear we've shown here, move fast! Last time we checked, Damzl was blowing it out to make room for the 2008 styling and extended line of casual wear!

Shop DAMZL Now

So we've had a chance to look at fit and style of the new line of Damzl riding apparel, but more importantly is how it performs and holds up under real life use. As you can see from our blizzard-backed photos, there's no outdoor test riding going on at ORC Oregon Headquarters right now! However, give us a few weeks and our Damzls will be on their way to St Anthony Dunes in Idaho, with a couple pick-ups loaded down with dirtbikes and a Polaris RZR tucked in tight. They promise to beat their gear up, just like you would, and report back.

See more images in our photo shoot GALLERY




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