Best Motorcycle Jacket for the Die Hard Rider
The best motorcycle jacket won’t only make you look cooler, it can protect you from the elements and even protect your skin from road rash and other injuries in the event of a crash. Finding the right jacket can be difficult when you consider factors such as ventilation, design, fabric and storage options. Fortunately, there are several factors to consider that can lead you down the right path.
Motorcycle Jacket Buying Guide
First, let’s start by looking at the different types of biker clothing out there. Typically, a riding jacket will fall into one of the following categories:
Heated riding jackets are designed for the true die hard biker who loves riding in every type of weather. These jackets are perfect when it comes to combating cold temperatures and rainy weather.
The leather jacket offers a classic look that’s perfect for any type of riding style, but because of how warm they are, you’ll be limited to wearing one only in colder weather.
Textile jackets are probably the most versatile. These jackets are very lightweight and perfect for riding in warmer weather.
Off road jackets are designed for the rider who loves to venture off the pavement. These jackets are designed with durability in mind and are tough enough to handle rocks, trees, dirt and inclement weather.
Let’s take a closer look at the leather riding jacket. This tried and true riding jacket is still widely used due to its abrasion resistance and overall durability. Leather is very tough and usually does a great job of holding up against the pavement. And today’s cuts are definitely more advanced than what was worn twenty years ago. With improved features and fit, modern leather riding jackets are definitely an appealing option for any riding style.
Most riders will start with the fit or cut of a jacket before they settle on a model. The two most common cuts are European and American. European cut offers a slimmer fit, while the American cut is taller and much roomier. Make sure you check out a jacket’s sizing chart in order to see the measurements each brand uses. Once you have chosen the fit, finding the right type of jacket will boil down to personal preference.
These are some common features to look for on riding jackets:
• On many types of leather riding jackets you’ll find inserted armor, made from CE rated armor or foam, built into the shoulders, back and elbows. You should decide the level of protection you need based on your riding style.
• Accordion panels are a must if you need a very flexible jacket. These panels are placed on the shoulders, waist, arms, elbows and back.
• Textile and spandex panels are strategically places down the inside region or the sides of the jacket sleeves and work to provide a snugger fit that allows for more flexibility and wind resistance.
• Perforation is a must if you live in a warmer climate. You can find jackets with perforation in keys areas of jackets that will offer full perforation. Vents that can be closed securely with a zipper is an option that’s found on a variety of jackets and they tend to work pretty well year round.
• Liners and removable liners are found on many types of riding jackets and allow the rider more versatility when it comes to riding in wet or cold weather. Usually, a liner will button or zip neatly into the jacket’s shell for a nice fluid fit and extra protection from the elements.
Textile jackets are available in a wide range of materials from ultra-durable woven fabrics to super-ventilated mesh. The high-tech textiles available these days will give even leather a run for its money. These space age textile fabrics allow manufacturers to produce affordable, lightweight riding jackets that in some cases can even rival leather’s durability. When it comes to features found on textile jackets, they’re very similar to the features found on leather jackets including numerous pockets, ventilation ports and removable liners. With that being said, there are a couple of main reasons plenty of riders are switching over to textile jackets.
• Mesh materials and certain types of woven fabris will offer impressive weight savings especially when you compare them to traditional leather riding jackets.
• Price is another major difference. There are some textile jackets that can be on the pricey side, but for the most part, most textile jackets are more affordable than leather jackets.
As we have mentioned, the large variety of materials that are used to make these jackets are incredibly versatile. If you live in a sunny part of the country, mesh riding jackets can keep you comfortable and cool. In colder weather, textile jackets can keep you dry even in a downpour because they’re a hundred percent waterproof. Most of these jackets will come with a warm liner that can help during a cold commute and will make your ride warmer and comfortable.
A motorcycle jacket is ideal for abrasion resistance and can be just as important when it comes to impact protection. As we have briefly mentioned, many jackets feature CE rated protection that’s built right in. The armor will either sit within the liner or it’s sewn in. Some models feature extra pockets for additional or upgraded armor. While the majority of this extra armor is brand or jacket specific, there’s a handful of brands that produce standalone armor that works in conjunction with many models of riding jackets. Commonly, many jackets will feature extra armor in the elbows. Many manufacturers have models with back, chest and shoulder protection as well. When you’re shopping around, be sure to pay close attention to the product description in order to determine what type of protective armor the jacket comes with. The type of protection you choose should be based on your riding style.
If you have a thirst for off-road riding and enjoy throwing up some dirt along your travels, dual sports jackets or adventure touring jackets are becoming a popular option for the avid rider. When shopping for one of these touring jackets there are a few major factors you should consider before making a selection:
• Cargo areas and pockets are essential, as GPS, smartphones, maps, wallets and keys are usually carried inside a jacket.
• Protection is the main reason most riders wear a jacket, so you can expect a touring jacket to be extra tough. Not only does the rider have to face pavement, but trees, rocks, dirt and other obstacles are also thrown into the mix. Most of these dual sports jackets feature CE rated protective pieces.
• With changing terrain also comes a variety of weather conditions that your jacket should be able to handle. For many hardcore riders, wind resistance and waterproofing is a must. Gore-Tex and other types of waterproof materials can be pricey, but they’re definitely the best at preventing you from getting soaked during a ride. Some jackets will feature waterproof liners and water resistant shells that are a more affordable option. Zippered vents will allow for more breathability and can make a huge difference when the sun comes out.
Finding the right fit for a jacket can be a major challenge. We previously touched on American fit versus European fit, which shouldn’t be confused with Euro and US sizing. When it comes to Euro sizing, you should add ten to the US size. So, if you’re a size forty-four US, then you’ll be a fifty-four Euro. Just keep in mind that many Euro sized jackets are also European fit, which is commonly tailored to a more athletic body type. The best way to ensure the right fit is to take your measurements, comparing them specifically to the manufacturer’s size chart which should be listed on the product page. With riding jackets, you’ll notice a few standard measurements: arm, waist, and chest.
If you’re not the type of rider that allows the weather to dictate when you do or don’t ride, then there are a variety of jackets that are equipped with the essential features that can help you to ride comfortably in all types of weather. If you’re facing freezing temperatures, a heated jacket will help to keep your snug and warm. Some companies make a base or under a jacket that you can wear under a primary shell. A heated jacket can be integrated into your current riding setup, just like any other type of heated riding gear. If you’re dying for a little more riding time during the winter months, finding an affordable heated jacket or liner may be just the thing you need that will allow you to enjoy your bike all year round.
If you love to ride, then a good riding jacket is one of the best investments you can make. During your search, regardless if your focus is more on style, comfort, protection, utility or weather resistance, there’s a motorcycle jacket out there that’s perfect for you. A motorcycle jacket will offer a lot more functionality than a regular jacket. You might think you can save some serious cash by just wearing a beanie under your helmet or a hoodie under your traditional jacket, but those garments are simply missing many of the important and lifesaving features that these motorcycles jackets have to offer.
Now that you know what it takes for a riding jacket to make the cut in comfort, protection and safety, find the features you want and need and choose a model that matches your overall style. There are several types of riding styles and many jacket manufacturers offer a wide variety of looks that are designed to suit all types of riders. Because a motorcycle jacket tends to say a lot about the type of rider you are, don’t be afraid to shop with a heavy emphasis on the jacket’s look, as well as the features it has to offer. And one thing all motorcycle jackets have in common is they’ll definitely make you look a lot cooler.
When it comes to price, it will ultimately depend on the materials used, pockets, armor, and style. Motocross jackets are up there in price and can cost significantly more than textile or even traditional leather jackets. Of course, big brands such as Harley Davidson are also on the pricey side, but it will all boil down to quality and flash.
Motorcycle Jacket Comparison Chart
|Joe Rocket Classic '92 Men's Leather Motorcycle Jacket||Available in six sizes|
Designed for Year round wear
|Viking Cycle Warlock Mesh Motorcycle Jacket||Available in three colors |
Designed for warmer weather use
Available in six sizes
|Cortech GX Sport 3 Textile Armored Motorcycle Jacket||Waterproof |
Available in nine colors
Available in seven sizes
Designed for year round wear
Joe Rocket Classic ’92 Men’s Leather Motorcycle Jacket Review
The Classic ’92 leather motorcycle jacket by Joe Rocket offers a vintage feel that’s not overly done, and the protection and durability of one tough leather jacket that will definitely last for several years to come. This comfortable, highly adjustable jacket is perfect for all types of weather and will be your go-to jacket for road protection and comfort.Click Here to Read the Full Joe Rocket Classic Leather Motorcycle Review
Viking Cycle Warlock Mesh Motorcycle Jacket Review
The Warlock mesh motorcycle jacket by Viking Cycle is the perfect jacket to wear once the weather starts warming up. The outer shell of the jacket is equipped with several vents that promote ultimate air circulation so you’ll stay cool and dry even when during the hottest months. This model also features the Viking Cycle patented SureFit adjustment system which will allow you to get a more custom fit while also working hard to keep out the wind and rain.Click Here to Read the Full Viking Cycle Warlock Mesh Motorcycle Jacket Review
Cortech GX Sport 3 Men’s Textile Armored Motorcycle Jacket Review
The Cortech GX Sport 3 armored textile motorcycle jacket is our top rated product, due to the massive positive consumer feedback it received for being one of the coolest, most versatile models of textile jackets on the market. Perfect for wear in cold or warm weather, the number of vents work to promote proper air circulation, while the removable liner will keep you nice and warm during the colder months.Click Here to Read the Full Cortech GX Sport 3 Textile Armored Motorcycle Jacket Review