Cordura vs. Kevlar

Cordura vs. Kevlar: Choosing the Right Material for Your Motorcycle Gear

Riders can agree on many things, but the best fabric for motorcycle gear isn't one of them. Some people will swear by Kevlar, while others will only ride with Cordura. The truth is that it all comes down to personal preference, and only you can decide which material suits your own needs.

So let's dive into what Cordura and Kevlar actually do, what makes them unique, and run down their individual strengths and weaknesses. By the time we're through, hopefully, you'll have a better understanding of which material is best for your own riding needs.

Understanding Cordura and Kevlar Fabrics

Cordura and Nylon are synthetic materials that are commonly used in motorcycle clothing because of their incredible durability and protective properties. Cordura is a nylon fabric, while Kevlar is developed from a synthetic polymer. We'll keep it at that so this doesn't become a science lecture.

Both materials have loads of applications. Kevlar can be used to make safety equipment, sporting goods and aircraft components, while Cordura has been used for outdoor gear, military equipment and footwear to name just a few uses.

These fabrics are both used to make textile motorcycle gear. If you want to compare this with leather, make sure to check out our article on leather jackets vs textile motorcycle jackets.

Key Characteristics of Cordura Fabrics

biker leaning against fence


So what makes Cordura so special? Motorcycle gear made from a Cordura fabric usually has exceptional abrasion resistance, along with high resistance to tears and punctures. One of the biggest strengths of Cordura is its overall comfort and flexibility. Clothing made from Cordura nylon fabrics often has a decent range of motion and feels breathable, which is great for those longer rides.

Cordura is a popular material for making waterproof gear. Cordura fabrics can be made with water-repellent or waterproof coatings, so they can be used to make awesome wet weather clothing like this armored puffer jacket, one of our best-selling featured products.

Key Characteristics of Kevlar Fabrics

Kevlar is known for its toughness. Kevlar fabrics are known for their exceptional strength, tear-resistance and impact protection. Because of its high levels of strength, Kevlar is often applied in situations where extreme protection is required.

On top of its strength, Kevlar is known for being durable over time and resistant to high temperatures. This comes in handy if your clothes ever come into contact with a hot exhaust pipe or engine components.

Cordura vs. Kevlar: A Detailed Comparison

Here are some comparison points between these two fabrics:

  • Abrasion Resistance: While both materials are highly abrasion resistant, Kevlar is stronger and more effective at preventing injuries in a slide.
  • Tear/Puncture Resistance: Both materials are pretty solid when it comes to tear resistance, although Kevlar has a slight edge in terms of tensile strength.
  • Impact Protection: Kevlar is easily the better material when it comes to protecting yourself from sudden impact. Just keep in mind that there's no substitute for wearing proper body armor if you really want to keep those key impact zones safe.
  • Comfort and Flexibility: Cordura is definitely more comfortable than Kevlar. Kevlar products can sometimes feel stiff and inflexible, while Cordura clothing generally provides greater freedom of movement.
  • Weather Resistance: While it really comes down to the individual item, Cordura is generally better for making weather-resistant clothing. It not only has the better capability for water repellency, but it's a more versatile fabric which has a wider range of uses for varying weather conditions.
  • Variety and Style: Cordura has far more applications than Kevlar, so you can expect a wide range of styles to hopefully match your aesthetic. But just because your options are more limited with Kevlar, it doesn't mean there aren't any good styles out there.

We've compared Cordura and Kevlar, but what about other materials? Here at Sa1nt, we're big fans of Dyneema, which we feel combines the best of both worlds. Check out our comparison on Dyneema or Kevlar to see what the fuss is about.

Considerations When Choosing Between Cordura & Kevlar

So which is better, Kevlar or Cordura? We'd love to give you a simple answer, but the honest truth is that you should pick whichever material best fits your own needs.

If you're a long-distance rider who spends plenty of hours in the seat, maybe the idea of lighter and more flexible clothing appeals to you. In that case, clothing made with Cordura could be the way to go.

However, if you're a balls-to-the-wall rider who doesn't mind flirting with danger, the extra protection of Kevlar could be just the thing to stack the odds in your favor when things go random.

Conclusion: Making the Right Choice

Hopefully, you've got a sense of the main differences between Kevlar and Cordura. Now comes the hardest part: making your choice. There's no wrong or right answer, so try not to overthink it! Just think about your needs as a rider when you do make that final choice.


rider in the desert


Is Cordura as good as Kevlar?

So is Cordura actually as good as Kevlar? Kevlar is typically seen as the superior material because it's stronger, more tear resistant and gives better impact protection. Cordura is still pretty tough, but there's no question that Kevlar is stronger.

So why ever choose Cordura over Kevlar? Cordura is a much lighter material, so it gives freedom of movement and comfort that you won't often find in Kevlar. It's also a much more diverse material which has a lot more flexibility in styles than Kevlar can offer.

Is Cordura bulletproof?

Is Cordura bulletproof? While Cordura can be used to make military equipment, its main use is for protection against abrasion, tearing and wear rather than something like a bullet.

For clothing to be bulletproof or provide ballistic protection, it needs a specialized fiber like Kevlar or Dyneema. These materials are specifically designed to handle bullets and other high-velocity objects.

What is stronger than Cordura?

So what is stronger than Cordura? While Cordura is pretty tough in its own right, even tougher than something like ballistic nylon, Kevlar is still superior in terms of strength. However, Dyneema is even stronger than Kevlar. Dyneema has the same lightweight properties as Cordura while still outmatching Kevlar in strength.

Is Cordura stronger than leather?

Leather has been the king of motorcycle materials for ages, but is Cordura stronger than leather? Well, it depends on which attributes you're taking into consideration. For example, leather is typically the stronger material but its durability can depend on the type of leather.

In terms of overall strength, however, we can confidently say that leather is the stronger material for motorcycle clothing.

Which fabric is more suitable for heavy-duty applications like body armor or bulletproof vests?

Kevlar and Cordura are both super tough materials, but which fabric is more suitable for heavy-duty applications like body armor or bulletproof vests?

While it can depend on the exact situation, Kevlar is generally the better choice for heavy-duty requirements. First of all, it's bulletproof, which Cordura certainly is not. Secondly, it's tough as hell, and while Cordura still packs a decent punch, it doesn't stand up to the impact protection that Kevlar can provide.

Which fabric is more cost-effective for everyday use, Cordura, or Kevlar?

So which fabric is more cost-effective for everyday use, Cordura, or Kevlar? In general, Cordura is both cheaper and more suitable for everyday use than Kevlar. Cordura products are typically easier on your wallet, and it's a versatile material that can be used for a number of everyday applications like bags, clothes and other accessories.

Back to blog