Every motorcyclist needs at least one motorcycle jacket. Riding a motorcycle leaves you exposed to the dangers of the road, as well as at the mercy of the weather. The best motorcycle jackets offer crash protection in a comfortable, flexible, and hopefully, waterproof package. Despite there being thousands of products to choose from out there, there are plenty of so-called riding jackets out there that aren’t fit for purpose.
To help separate the wheat from the chaff, or rather, the fashion jackets from the real deals, we’ve put together a list of our current favorites.
Since there’s no one-size-fits-all jacket, we’ve divided this list up with entries from across the range. It includes two sport-focused jacketstwo-adventure optionssomething for traditional cruiser riders, and our top choice for urban, café-racer style riders. And for good measure, we’ve rounded it off with a solid summer optionand a jacket for colder climates too.
To make our decisions, we looked at a wide range of factors, from build quality to comfort, as well as the level of protection offered and the overall value-for-money. Of course, we also evaluated jackets based on other reviews from real-life customers too.
Here’s what we came up with.
Alpinestars GP Plus R V3 RideKnit Leather Jacket
After the Missile Air jacket was sadly discontinued, there were a couple of months where it looked like there was no hot weather leather jacket coming from Alpinestars. Then, the GP Plus R V3 came out and any fears disappeared.
This jacket is made of premium 1.3 mm cowhide leather for the main chassis but is now backed by RideKnit, a new textile combination from Alpinestars’ MotoGP, World SBK, and other racing endeavors. This new material combines microfiber for wicking perspiration, knitted mesh for extreme durability, and abrasion-resistant thermo-welded microfibers on the exterior. This means that the jacket breathes amazingly well, despite the leather, and is also highly abrasion resistant and armored to best protect any sports rider.
The GP Plus R V3 is also fully compatible with the Alpinestars TechAir 5 airbag vest, in both the racing and street variations. This is the primary reason that the jacket does not come with a back protector included, as the TechAir 5 airbag has a CE Level 2 back protector already.
REV’IT! Eclipse Jacket
If you’re looking for an affordable jacket with decent features and protection, look no further than the REV’IT Eclipse Jacket. It’s a favorite among our friends at RevZilla, and it’s clear to see why.
For less than $200, you get a lightweight, sleek mesh jacket perfect for everyday riding. While abrasion resistance is provided by extensive 600D polyester panels along the arms and shoulders, the rest of the jacket employs a mesh construction that will allow for excellent ventilation. You’re guaranteed to stay cool and comfortable even under the harsh summer sun.
The jacket comes with Knox CE Level 1 armor on the shoulders and elbows, and you can choose to add a CE Level 2 SeeSoft back protector.
Other features include a double jeans loop, slit pockets on either side of the jacket, and an inner pocket.
REV’IT! Cayenne 2
The Rev’It Cayenne 2 is a premium adventure jacket for warm weather riding. This is the jacket for the discerning rider who can appreciate all the subtle details Rev’It designs into this garment.
Where to start? First off this jacket uses some of the strongest mesh fabrics which are prominently located at the front and back and under the arms of the jacket. Rev’It spent countless hours sorting out how to perfectly integrate the armor. CE level 2 Seeflex shoulder and elbow armor and a CE level 2 Seesoft back protector are included for optimal protection, but then things go further. There is a pocket for an optional Seesoft CE Level 1 divided chest protector, plus consideration has been provided for a Segur neck brace, and a detachable kidney belt is provided. Rev’It has prepared the jacket to easily accept a hydration bag, and they have gone wild adding adjustment straps to fine-tune the jacket fitment, depending on how you are set up for each ride.
If you are a hardcore ADV rider, and you want the very best, this is your jacket.
Sedici Garda Waterproof ADV Jacket
Next up, we have a more budget-friendly ADV jacket. This is the Sedici Garda, and it’s a very capable adventure jacket that won’t break the bank. Sedici is one of the in-house brands from COMOTO Holdings, the parent company of Revzilla, Cycle Gear, and J&P Cycles. As the in-house brand of some of the largest gear distributors in the world, you can rely on the quality of Sedici-branded products. The Sedici Garda is one of their best jackets.
Made from a 600D laminated textile with 1200D reinforced sections, this textile jacket can keep out the water, deliver good airflow, and won’t restrict your movement. The jacket features a microfiber-lined collar, with neoprene edges, and a full mesh airflow lining. Six vents help the jacket breathe, and a series of adjustable straps give the jacket a perfect, snug fit and help reduce turbulence.
Protection is provided by textured rubber panels at common impact areas, along with CE rated armor at the elbow and shoulder. It doesn’t feature a back protector, but it does have pockets to accommodate one. It also has a hydration bladder pocket and a number of practical inner pockets for your things. Oversized zippers, carbon reflective trim, and a pant-connection zipper are also cool additions.
If you’re looking for quality and reliable adventure gear on a budget, this jacket is what you need.
Roland Sands Ronin CE Leather Jacket
Roland Sands makes premium leather riding jackets, and they carry a premium price tag. The Ronin leather jacket is made from ‘GT Racer’ full grain cowhide leather that has been finished by hand for a wax, wash, and oil finish. The sleeves are pre-curved, and you’ll find that the Ronin jacket has a broken-in feel the moment you put it on for the first time.
Leather jackets are typically less ventilated than textile jackets. Still, RSD has equipped the Ronin with perforated leather interior trims and sleeve venting for as much airflow as possible without compromising on structural integrity or style.
The Ronin is a jacket that you can rock on and off the bike effortlessly, but keep in mind that it does come with CE-certified SAS-TEC flex elbow and shoulder armor, with a pocket for a back protector.
Scorpion EXO 1909 Leather Jacket
If you’re looking for something a little more café-racer than cruiser rider, then we’d recommend the Scorpion EXO 1909 leather jacket. Again, it’s one of those effortlessly cool-looking jackets that looks more like a fashion item than a serious jacket—but it’s not. The Scorpion EXO 1909 is tough, rugged, durable, and will protect you in an accident.
Designed as a tribute to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (which was founded in 1909), this heritage-inspired jacket features soft distressed leather with reinforced overlays on the joints, for a flexible and functional feel. Inside, the jacket has a removable EverHeat liner, stretch panels, and plenty of ventilation.
Protection is provided by Sas-Tec Level 2 armor at the elbow and shoulder, along with a pocket that can accommodate a Sas-Tec back protector. Other practicalities include zippered vents, perforated panels, adjustment tabs, zipper closures, antique brass zippers throughout, and a pant zipper too.
It looks great, but reviews have even found that it can stand up to real-life accidents too. It’s an expensive jacket, but it will take care of you if you have a spill.
Dainese Air Frame D1 Jacket
Dainese makes some of the best riding gear out there. Despite its relatively affordable price, the Dainese Air Frame D1 is one of the best summer riding jackets you can get your hands on. The Italian company has incorporated generous mesh areas with its QuickDry Fabric chassis for maximum airflow.
There’s armor in the shoulders, sleeves, and elbows, with the option to add a Dainese G1 or G2 back protector. Since this is a jacket with ample ventilation, it comes with a windproof liner that you can add when you decide to ride in colder temperatures.
Dainese has also equipped the Air Frame D1 with its Anti-Floating Sleeve System, soft inserts at the wrists and neck, two outer pockets, and one inner pocket.
Klim Latitude Jacket
The Klim Latitude is all the jacket you’ll need if you plan to ride across the country or beyond. It’s a champion among the many all-season jackets out there, and this premium level of finish and features comes with a premium price tag.
The main shell of the Klim Latitude is made from Gore-Tex 2-Layer Performance, which is waterproof and breathable. Sections of the jacket are finished in high-quality goat leather, giving it a better aesthetic and improved abrasion resistance. The areas most prone to abrasion — like the arms and shoulders — are finished in heavy-duty 840D Cordura.
The Klim Latitude Jacket comes equipped with CE level 1 D3O armor at the elbows, shoulders, and back.
Other features include strategically placed vents for optimized air flow, 3M Scotchlite reflective materials for increased low-light visibility, adjustable pad pockets, five external pockets, four zippered internal pockets, and one secret internal pocket.