A helmet and a motorcycle jacket are two of the most important things to have if you own a motorcycle and ride it regularly. Today we will focus on all aspects regarding motorcycle jackets including the different types available and their importance. We will also provide you with a review of the top jackets available to help you select the best motorcycle jacket that meets all your needs.
There are two distinct types of motorcycle jackets; leather and textile made. Nowadays, leather-made motorcycle jackets have become a fashion trend. However, long before the jackets caught on in the fashion world, they were used in various fields.
The use of leather jackets was pioneered in the aviation industry by bomber pilots. Leather jackets were later adopted by the motorcycle industry for their durability and their wide range of applications. Textile-made jackets followed years after.
Keep in mind that different people have different needs. Therefore, there is no such thing as the “perfect” jacket for everyone. From that premise, we compiled a comprehensive post to help you find one that meets your individual needs. Now that we’re on the same page, let’s get down to it:
Best Motorcycle Jackets: Editor’s Top Picks
Things to Consider When Buying a Motorcycle Jacket
It is only natural to want the best things in life. This buying guide is for new motorbike owners that want the best motorcycle jacket for protection and people that want to replace or upgrade their motorcycle jackets.
We’ve compiled a list of all the things you should know and consider to place you in a better position to buy the best motorcycle jacket for your needs:
Motorcycle jackets are either leather-made or textile-made. But how do you determine which material is ideal for you? One thing we know for sure is that the choice of material greatly affects the performance of the jacket. Here is a rundown of the characteristics of each material to help you decide what you need:
- Leather: There are different classes of leather jackets. The leather may come from goat hide, cow skin, kangaroo hide, etc. Generally, jackets made from genuine leather are robust and offer excellent protection from injury. They are also easy to clean and maintain. One notable con with leather jackets is that they are generally denser than textile jackets. This means they are excellent in cold, wet conditions but rather poor in hot conditions.
- Textile: Nylon is the most widely used material in textile jackets for its ability to blend with materials such as Kevlar, Denier Cordura, and Armacor. These materials are incorporated in Nylon jackets to provide better insulation, breathability, and waterproofing. Generally, textile jackets are more versatile than leather ones. They are excellent in hot weather conditions but also perform well in cold, wet conditions.
- Hybrid: These jackets use a blend of leather and textile materials. They take the good aspects of both materials while negating all the negative aspects of the materials to produce the best motorcycle jacket.
Motorcycle collisions and accidents can lead to very serious injuries. For this reason, safety should be your number one priority when selecting a motorcycle jacket. We mentioned earlier that leather jackets offer more protection than textile ones.
This is because leather stretches more than nylon, therefore, it doesn’t tear as easily. Integrated armor and protectors are other important safety measures to look for in a motorcycle jacket.
Here are the factors that affect the comfort level of motorcycle jackets:
- Weight: Leather-made jackets are generally heavier than their textile counterparts due to their higher density. Textile-made jackets are ideal for racing and touring (long-distance travel) for their lightweight.
- Fit: Is the jacket a snug fit or loose fit? Generally, sport-oriented jackets fit snugly while touring jackets and commuter jackets fit loosely. Luckily most jackets come equipped with adjustable straps that allow you to adjust the fit based on your preference.
Here are the most sought-after features in motorcycle jackets:
- Zippers: Metallic zippers are sturdier and more durable than plastic ones. They should also be covered to protect them from moisture.
- Color: It is important to keep in mind that brightly colored jackets provide better visibility. Their reflective properties make it easier for other road users to spot you, especially at night.
- Removable Thermal Linings: Remove the linings whenever the temperature gets overbearingly hot.
- Mesh Ventilation Membrane: They increase air circulation in the jacket to prevent you from sweating.
- Pockets: More pockets allow you to carry more things. Interior pockets come in handy when carrying sensitive things such as your wallet.
Types of Motorcycle Jackets
Summer jackets are all about maximizing airflow. They are equipped with mesh ventilation membranes in strategic places such as the front, back, and underarm regions. The mesh vents allow air to enter the front and leave at the back to reduce the buildup of heat. Summer jackets are also equipped with removable thermal linings to reduce heat retention.
Unlike summer jackets, winter jackets are all about heat retention. They can either have a fabric or leather exterior. Regardless of the material, their exterior is waterproof to keep out all moisture. On the interior, winter jackets use soft but dense materials such as viscose for maximum heat insulation.
Also known as 3-in1 jackets. As their name suggests, they are multi-purpose jackets that can be worn all year long. Their versatility allows you to adjust them based on the weather conditions. They can be worn as a light jacket in summer or a heavy jacket in winter or as a sweatshirt jacket for different occasions.
These are jackets you wear on weekends when cruising around in our motorbike. The main traits of these jackets are that they are fashionable, comfortable, and mostly made of leather. However, nowadays you will find cruiser jackets made of fabric material for their superior ventilation during summer.
They are also known as touring jackets. Touring adventures involve tackling different terrain and weather conditions. For this reason, these jackets are larger and fit loosely to provide comfort on long journeys. Apart from comfort, these jackets are designed to provide maximum protection against impact.
They are also fully waterproof and highly breathable when riding through different climate regions. Touring jackets also allow the addition or removal of underlayers and are equipped with many pockets for carrying all your essential items.
Sports jackets are also known as racing jackets. They are mainly characterized by their aggressive-looking style and bright vibrant colors. When you visit a motorcycle race track, the chances are that you will catch a glimpse of these sports jackets.
These snug-fit jackets are designed to provide maximum safety and boost aerodynamics when racing at high speeds. Racing jackets are also characterized by their lack of pockets and their narrow-fit openings on the neck, wrists, and waist.
Motocross jackets are also known as off-road jackets. They are quite similar to racing jackets with their snug fit, aggressive design, and vibrant colors. Motocross jackets are perfect for dirt bikers.
They provide a high level of rigidity for maximum protection against high-speed impact – a common theme in the dirt biking sport.
You are unlikely to find a leather-made motocross jacket. They utilize textile material for its lightness and better breathability. Their outer shell is abrasive resistant while their interior is lined with impact-absorbing armor that protects the riders when they fall on gravel or rocky terrain.
Given the fact that off-road jackets are solely designed for protection, you won’t find things such as pockets, waterproofing, soft internal material, or any other unnecessary features.
Commuter jackets are pretty self-explanatory. They are jackets used by people who use bikes as their main transportation to their place of work or school. These jackets are ideal for busy city life and traffic. They are also known as crossover jackets.
They are designed to protect you and your clothes as you travel to and from work. Crossover jackets are lightweight and designed to fit loosely so as not to crumple clothes.
Another defining characteristic of commuter jackets is their flat conservative styling. Granted, some jackets look cool but no one will confuse you with a hardcore biker by simply wearing them. They can also be leather-made or fabric-made.
The good thing about them is that they are highly affordable regardless of the construction material. Lastly, they come with a bunch of interior and exterior pockets to provide ample space for carrying all your essentials to work.
Top 10 Best Motorcycle Jackets Reviews:
1. MILWAUKEE LEATHER Police Style Motorcycle Jacket
If you want a cool motorcycle jacket that will earn you points wherever you go, look no further than this Milwaukee Leather Jacket. As advertised, it features a retro police-style design. The first impression you get when you unbox the jacket is the premium, grainy feel of its cowhide material.
It also feels thick and tough on the hands which gives you a nice reassuring feeling that it will keep you safe and comfortable while riding around on your motorcycle.
Apart from its throwback police-style design, one of the first things you notice when you take the Milwaukee Jacket out of its package is that its black leather is shiny but not overly so. Its large zippers are also apparent.
The solid nature of the zippers and the clean, secure stitching found all across the jacket are meant to inspire confidence when cruising on your bike. All in all, you will be pleased when you buy this leather jacket as Milwaukee did a great job in its construction.
When it comes to features, this Milwaukee is no slouch either. For starters, it features four exterior pockets with safety zippers for carrying important things. Next, you can ride your motorbike in the rain without getting cold and wet thanks to the jacket’s waterproof exterior.
On the other hand, you can remove its inner thermal liner and fold its full sleeves when riding your bike in the summer. Just to recap, the Jacket’s top-notch construction, pocket space, weatherproof features, and retro design make it perhaps the best motorcycle jacket leather.
- Premium black leather exterior with classic police design cues
- Full sleeve with zipping out feature
- Removable thermal liner
- Four external pockets provide ample storage space
- Side lace detailing and built-in half belt provide an optimal fit
2. Joe Rocket 1051-5004 Atomic 4.0 Riding Jacket
Next up is the Atomic 4.0 Jacket, a product of Joe Rocket. Top marks to the production team who got everything right when designing this handsome jacket. With large vertical zippers on either side of the main zipper, it is hard not to fall in love with it after you see it.
The aesthetic appeal comes from the fact that the zippers are bold and dominating but not overly so.
What’s more, the two zippers highlight the jacket’s versatility and functionality. The zippers reveal two large pockets that allow you to carry all your essentials safe when on the road. In case you are wondering, the Atomic 4.0 Jacket is fully waterproof.
According to the best waterproof motorcycle jacket review, it keeps all your essentials dry. But most importantly, it keeps you warm and cozy when riding in the rain.
But is it any good to ride in hot weather? Well, the Atomic 4.0 comes equipped with external thermal linings that are easily removable when the temperature rises. It also features ventilation holes that are strategically placed around the jacket to increase airflow inside the jacket.
- Bold handsome design
- Easy removal of C.E. armor and insulated sleeve liner
- Strategically placed ventilation membranes
- Waterproof zippers with a dual close main zipper
- 6-point SureFit custom adjustment system
3. Alpinestars Viper Air Motorcycle Jackets
Behold, the Alpinestars Viper Air, our favorite motorcycle jacket of the bunch. This jacket is a masterpiece. If you want the perfect blend of design, safety, and comfort, the Viper Air is the jacket to select.
Take its styling as an example. Its sleek, clean look makes it aesthetically pleasing. In fact, you would fit right in if you wore this jacket to a casual outing with friends.
The Viper Air jacket eliminates the need to carry a bag pack filled with the attire. Another advantage is that you can hop back onto your bike and ride off after having a great time with your friends and family. Once you hit the road, the jacket’s chest and back padding will provide great comfort to you as you return home.
The jacket also inspires confidence with its elbow and shoulder armor. As one of the best-armored motorcycle jackets, you’ll ride in peace knowing that you’ll be protected from any accident or impact.
Another reason to love this jacket is that it’s constructed with top-notch materials. Everything from its zippers to its pockets is weatherproof and abrasion-resistant. On top of that, it comes equipped with mesh panels that allow you to control the internal temperature of the jacket.
- Sleek functional design
- Durable 600 Denier poly-fabric
- Strategically positioned mesh panels
- Windproof vest lining
- Removable Bio Armor protectors
4. Tourmaster Transition Series 4 Motorcycle Touring Jacket
According to the best motorcycle touring jacket reviews, this Transition Series 4 from Tourmaster is worth every penny you shell out for it. Its fabric construction, waterproof zippers, removable thermal liners, and pipeline vents allow the jacket to adapt to extreme weather changes.
In short, the jacket is designed to keep you dry, warm, and cozy when riding in the rain, and while its strategically placed pipeline vents help cool you down on hot summer days.
One great thing about this Tourmaster Jacket is its versatility and multi-purpose function. You can rely on this Series 4 to meet all your needs and preferences in a motorcycle jacket. Right from the bat, you can tell that a lot of thought went into its production.
One great example of the attention to detail that went into its production is its unique design and radiant color options.
If you’re all about aesthetics, you will be glad to learn that this Series 4 ranks high in regards to its visual appeal. But that’s not all, the wide range of color options available with this jacket allows you to select one that matches your bike’s colors or one that matches your personality.
Indeed, the Series 4 Jacket also provides waterproof pockets, neck collar, shoulder, back, and elbow armor, and many other features.
- Shell Material: Carbolex 600 denier
- Elbow Material: 1680 denier Ballistic
- Strategically placed pipeline venting
- Large, non-stick zippers
- Large, secure, waterproof pockets
- Removable thermal liner
5. Alpinestars Andes V2 Drystar Motorcycle Jackets
The Andes V2 Drystar is the second favorite motorcycle jacket. It is a favorite among serious bikers as it has everything you need in a motorcycle jacket. I would recommend this jacket to any serious biker as it does not offer gimmicky features; all its features work as they are meant.
As expected, this jacket comes in various sizes and colors. It also comes with dual waist straps that can be adjusted to provide a tight snug fit.
When it comes to its build quality, everything from its zippers to its stitching is of the highest quality. Its zippers are waterproof and feel sturdy. You also won’t see any loose threads upon close inspection.
It is worth a mention that the Drystar is a multipurpose jacket that can be used all year round in both hot and cool climates.
One glaring fact about this jacket is that it is not the most elegant-looking motorcycle jacket of the bunch. However, this can all be overlooked when you consider the fact that the Drystar Jacket shines brightest when it matters most – when you’re on the road, where no one cares about the jacket’s design.
With features such as padding, armor, and ventilation holes, it is clear that this versatile jacket is designed to provide safety and comfort above other things.
- Zippered chest air intakes with exhaust ports at the back
- Removable CE elbow and shoulder protectors
- Fully waterproof materials with abrasion resistance
- Dual adjustable waist straps
- Multiple pockets
6. Milano Sport Gamma Motorcycle Jacket
The Gamma from Milano Sport is our next best motorcycle jacket. As its name suggests, this motorcycle jacket is designed for sporting purposes rather than for your daily commute. That said, you can use it for your daily commutes but that will be underutilizing its capabilities.
Its waterproof exterior comes in handy during cold, rainy days while its mesh interior comes in and helps dissipate body heat and sweat during warm, summer days.
If we’re being completely honest, when it comes to aesthetics, this Gamma Jacket looks decent but would not make it to the top five list of many people. If you are a street motorcyclist, the chances are that you’ll choose a jacket based on its aesthetic appeal.
If this is the case then this Milano Sport is not for you. However, if you are a proper rider and the jacket’s aesthetics are not on your list of priorities, I would recommend this jacket to you. Whatever it lacks in regards to aesthetic appeal, it more than makes up for it in regards to functionality.
As expected, this Gamma Jacket comes in various sizes and color schemes for different customers. It also comes equipped with weatherproof material, armored paddings, pockets, mesh ventilation, and other standard features on jackets at this price point.
That said, this jacket is a favorite among motorcycle enthusiasts for its increased comfort and safety levels. Lastly, with removable thermal quilted liners, the Gamma is perhaps the best motorcycle jacket for summer.
- Weatherproof material
- Zippered vents on chest and back
- Removable thermal quilted liner
- Removable CE shoulder and elbow armor
- Available in different sizes and up to five different color options
7. Alpinestars Celer Leather Riding Jacket
Next up is the Alpinestars Celer jacket. When you first lay your eyes upon it you can immediately tell that this attire is worn by proper riders. That first impression is given away by its sleek but sporty design. As you would expect, this jacket comes in a variety of colors and sizes. This gives you the freedom to choose one that matches your bike’s colors.
If you look closely, the bulges on its shoulders, back, and elbows eliminate its original, boring, sleek look to give it a cool, sporty look that any man would wear proudly.
The shoulder and elbow areas are equipped with CE Bio Armor while the chest and back areas are equipped with PE padding. These components are designed to absorb impact to keep you safe.
The next obvious feature you’ll notice is the darker shade of microfiber material on the jacket’s undersleeves. The stretching qualities of microfiber increase arm travel to help boost maneuverability when riding.
The last and one of the most important features of this leather jacket is its outside pockets. It features two deep pockets with zippers to keep your valuables safe when riding.
- Flexible leather stretch panels for a snug, comfortable fit
- Microfiber stretch inserts on sleeves for increased maneuverability
- Removable CE-certified Bio-Armor in elbows and shoulders
- PE padding on the chest and back regions
- Level 2 CE-certified back protector
- Two outer pockets with zippers
8. Joe Rocket Superego Hybrid Motorcycle Jacket
If you own a street motorcycle, you should consider buying the Hybrid Superego jacket. This stylishly crafted jacket has a healthy blend of leather and mesh material that provide maximum functionality.
One thing to note is that the natural habitat for this jacket is commuting across city streets. That said, this jacket is well-equipped to handle off-road terrain for those dirt bike owners who love off-road adventures.
When it comes to buying a motorcycle jacket, one of the first things we notice is how it looks. As a professional reviewer, it would be an injustice to talk about this Joe Rocket without mentioning its handsome design.
Objectively speaking, it is one of the best-styled jackets on the market with its perfect blend of leather and mesh material, and broad shoulder design.
One thing to note is that the jacket’s hybrid build is functional, and not just a fashion statement. If you have a keen eye, you’ll notice that the mesh is strategically integrated along high-temperature regions of the body such as the back and underarms. The mesh allows maximum airflow within those regions to reduce sweating on hot, sunny days.
On top of offering style and functionality, the Hybrid Superego jacket also offers a high level of protection to keep you safe in the event of an accident. It comes equipped with dual-density shoulder and elbow armor that is designed to absorb impact to protect you from injury.
But that’s not all, it also comes equipped with a spine pad to absorb any and all impact to your spine. What’s more is that you can upgrade to C.E. spine protectors when racing, off-roading or any other dangerous motorbiking activities. With these features, the Joe rocket has got to be one of the safest motorcycle jacket pieces available.
- Dual-material design
- 2mm black leather outer shell
- Mesh underarms, torso, and back
- Dual-density elbow and shoulder armor
- Removable spine pad
- Compatible with C.E. spine protectors
- A variable flow ventilation system for maximum heat dissipation
9. Pilot Motosport Trans Urban Motorcycle Adventure Jacket
If you are a motorcycle enthusiast, you have probably heard about the Pilot Motospot brand for its amazing product lineup. That aside, let’s discuss the Trans. Urban V2, which is the matter at hand. As the name suggests, this is the second version of the Trans. Urban Jacket.
This second-generation jacket features an entirely new styling to provide maximum comfort and protection against all weather conditions.
Despite having a brand new styling, this second-generation carries on the traditional values of the original Trans. Urban Jacket. The Trans.Urban line of motorcycle jackets was originally designed for functionality rather than fancy styling.
From its weatherproof material, armored elbow and shoulder padding, and two-way zipper, you can tell that this jacket is optimized for serious riders.
With removable sleeves and a breathable membrane in the interior, you would be justified to classify this Trans. Urban V2 as the best motorcycle jacket for hot weather. This one-way membrane is designed to get rid of sweat while blocking moisture from reaching the exterior.
If the temperatures keep rising, you can remove the sleeves for more air circulation and let the remaining jacket piece protect your chest area from direct wind.
- Elbow and shoulder armor for maximum strength and impact absorption
- Weatherproof exterior for wind and rain resistance
- Heavy gauge two-way zipper
- Removable sleeves
- Protected by a two-year warranty
10. BlingSoul Brown Distressed Leather Jacket
Last but not least is the Distressed Leather Jacket. Just as with most of the jackets on our list, this brown leather coat from BlingSoul is all about style and functionality. When it comes to style, you can wear this handsomely crafted coat on casual occasions. For instance, you could wear this jacket on a night out to give you a dominant appearance that makes you stand out from other men.
As stated earlier, this BlingSoul jacket is not only about style. It also provides a great deal of versatility to its wearer. If you own a motorbike, you’ll be glad to learn that it is one of the best leather motorcycle jackets. Thanks to its tough leather exterior, you can use it on your daily motorcycle commute without worrying about damaging it.
But that’s not all, this Distressed Leather Jacket is designed to keep you warm while cruising down roads. This is largely thanks to its leather exterior and diamond-stitched viscose interior. They do a great job at shielding you from cold harsh winds.
On top of that this brown leather jacket offers plenty of storage space with its four pockets. All pockets are plenty deep. The two inner pockets allow you to keep sensitive things close by while the outer pockets allow you to keep important things at an arm’s reach.
Another noteworthy feature is that the outer pockets are also lined with soft viscose material and can be used as hand warmers whenever the need arises.
- 100% genuine, durable, brown leather exterior
- Soft, warm viscose interior
- Comes in various sizes for different body types
- It has two interiors and two exterior pockets
- Stylish design with its open hem cuffs and 4-bone button closure
- 30-day return policy with 100% money-back guarantee
How to Clean/Wash a Motorcycle Jacket
It goes without saying that you need to clean and care for your motorcycle jacket to increase its lifespan and maintain its great look. We also know that cleaning is important in maintaining good hygiene. Here is how to clean and care for different motorcycle jackets:
- Leather Jackets: Wet a soft cloth to clean the jacket then allow it to dry. Next, spray it with a waterproofing solution to keep moisture away. Allow the solution to settle then further treat it with Vaseline if you don’t have leather balm or oil. The oil protects the jacket from dying out and hardening thus keeping the leather jacket soft and sparkly.
- Textile Jackets: These jackets come in a variety of materials. Luckily, most manufacturers provide cleaning and care guidelines for the jacket. You’ll find that most textile jackets are machine wash ready. Don’t be afraid to use warm water and detergent boosters if your jacket is extra dirty. After cleaning and rinsing, allow the jacket to dry and treat it with a waterproof spray to keep moisture and dirt.
Based on various user reviews and vigorous testing, we concluded that the Alpinestars Viper Air is the best motorcycle jacket. Of course, you cannot take our word as gospel and that is okay. But as professionals, we tried as much as possible to compile an unbiased review and that is why we included ten of the best motorcycle jackets.
Seeing that the jackets we picked out have distinct features, we are confident that you will choose a jacket that meets all your needs. We hope you enjoyed this review and found it informative. Now, we sign off by wishing you all the best in your shopping endeavors.