Unfortunately for us riders, there is no single best motorcycle jacket out there. Picking a jacket is a personal decision and one that can only be taken after contemplating numerous factors. What kind of bike do you ride? How often do you ride? And, what is your budget? These being just a few of many. In this article we will be looking at topics such as what are the best motorcycle jackets? Where should I buy them? And, what should I be looking for?
Probably the most important factor for many riders when buying an apparel like a jacket is fashion (yes, I know it should be safety, but let’s be realists here). If you’re riding a modern superbike you probably don’t want to go for that classic aviator look that so many people are wearing nowadays.
Instead, a modern leather jacket by a brand such as Dainese or Alpinestars might do the job of making you look the part a tad better. If your completely knew to riding, make sure you do thorough research into what you are buying. We will showcase some of the best motorcycle jacket brands later on in this article.
Now, fashion isn’t the only thing to consider when buying a motorcycle jacket. Safety is obviously of paramount importance. At the end of the day the quality of jacket you purchase will depend on your budget. Jackets tend to range from $150 to in excess off $2000.
Typically, the more you spend, the safer you will be. This isn’t always the case, however, it is a good rule of thumb to follow especially if you are just starting out. Personally, for a first buy I would be looking to be on the safe side and purchase a jacket at around the $500 mark.
This being because the chances of a crash for new drivers are exponentially higher than those for experienced drivers and as such every precaution should be taken to minimize the risk of injury and self-harm while riding.
If you’re on a cushy 6 figure salary and can afford more, spend more. If you can’t spend as much don’t; however, we would recommend spending as much as you can afford, while still leaving enough to purchase other equipment such as a helmet. An armored motorcycle jacket is heavily recommended!
What You Should Look For When Purchasing The Best Motorcycle Jacket
It is very important when you purchase your first jacket that you look for the best motorcycle jacket for protection. Safety, as stressed in the previous paragraph is of the upmost importance and cannot be taken lightly, especially considering how dangerous our roads are becoming nowadays. Yes, you should enjoy your late-night rides down those quiet country lanes however you should do so safely, not having to worry that if you are met with an accident that you could end up with a few broken bones!
The safety features of motorcycle jackets generally come in two ways. Padding on the chest, elbows, shoulders and back protect you from the worst-case scenario: being hit. This is the safety feature you generally want to prioritize, but its important to not overdo it, since too much padding and protection makes for a long, uncomfortable ride. Just the right amount of padding will allow for your jacket to fit even better in some scenarios and make that perfect fit that you need to prevent the wind biting against your skin.
2. Reflectivity and Visibility
The second, less prioritized, safety feature every person looking to buy a jacket needs to look for is reflectivity and visibility. Too often the problem with people riding motorbikes is overconfidence in other members of the road. More often than not, you will come across a dangerous driver at least once in a ride, and the difference that even a small strip of reflective material can make is at times phenomenal. Even a drunk driver is likely to slow down if their eye is suddenly caught by a bright flash of light. As a wise man said, the best way to protect yourself in an accident is to avoid it altogether.
That being said, it does not mean that you have to only go for the jacket with the best protection and reflection. A lot of the time jackets with good design will include some padding at the very least, even if it is not mentioned on the product page. The issue of reflectivity can also easily be overstated, and there are lots of ways to allow yourself to be more visible without having to specifically purchase a jacket that focuses on these aspects. After all, we need some fashion in our lives, right?
In order to avoid any catastrophes, we heavily suggest opting for a brand with credibility among bikers. Later on, in the product reviews we will go into more depth about this however it goes without saying, a Ferrari is better than an Alfa Romeo. Yes, the Alfa looks good and is MUCH cheaper however which do you think has more to lose if something does go wrong? The fear of this pushes those brands with more exposure to constantly develop and improve existing jackets, leaving the consumer safer.
Fitting. Too often, when purchasing something online, you wait for weeks for it to arrive only to be bluntly disappointed when you try it on and find that it’s a size too big or small. Even though every seller always lists the sizes available on their website, the size can still turn out to be wrong when it arrives. This is because products are made from all over the world, from an almost infinite assortment of brands and sellers. The best way to avoid any sorrow when ordering is to look at the reviews people have left to make sure that the size is local to where you live; appropriately adjusting the size depending on what others have experienced.
5. Build Material
Needless to say, the other element involved in fitting is almost always out of your control as a buyer: the actual build of the material and the stitching by the seller. This is strongly linked to another aspect that is core to deciding which jacket you chose- the style. There are generally two types of style in motorcycle jackets: leather and non-leather. Simple enough, right? The only problem is that if you choose non-leather you can never really be sure which of the hundreds of different designs and materials is best. Lucky for you, this guide goes into thorough detail to make sure that by the end you know exactly which jacket is best for you.
6. Reputation of the Platform
Buy from a reputable source! I personally only shop through Amazon. This is not only because of the convenience but it also ensures that the products are authentic and brand new. There is no point buying an armored motorcycle jacket if it arrives damaged having been shipped through a third-rate courier.
Amazon makes everything much easier and it brings me onto my next point, the reviews! Shops such as Amazon typically showcase the reviews of the product you are about to purchase. This is vital to read through as doing so could potentially save you hundreds by ensuring the product that you are receiving is of the highest quality and does what it advertises.
How many times have you bought something that you thought was a great deal just to find out it didn’t actually work, or was made of the cheapest material known to man? Popular products tend to have tens, if not hundreds of reviews that will all provide you little snippets of information that will help you in deciding which is the best product for your needs.
If this is too tiring for you, don’t worry! All the products that we have showcased below have great reviews and we have gone through every page to ensure that it is a good recommendation!
Top 15 Best Motorcycle Jackets 2021
1. Joe Rocket Phoenix Ion Men’s Mesh Motorcycle Jacket
This mesh jacket from Joe Rocket tops our list as the best motorcycle jacket out there. Priced at under $200 it is one of the more expensive items on our list and as such will not be for everyone. Rest assured that there are cheaper alternatives as we go down!
After scouring these reviews and others from around the internet, it appears that this item in particular is not only light and breathable, but waterproof as well, along with being extremely resistant to rips.
The mesh material prevents the product from tearing during a crash, greatly improving the safety of those wearing it. Extra safety features on this jacket include extra padding on the elbows preventing the user from experiencing easy scrapes and bangs to this particularly vulnerable area.
All this coupled with great looks means that this item is extremely popular and sells out quickly!
At the time of writing this review, four out of the sizes available were sold out with size medium having just one left in stock! If this is within your budget and available to buy, we heavily recommend biting the bullet and ordering this item. Its mesh texture coupled with silver white strips and a black zip is bound not to disappoint even the most critical fashionista!
2. Milwaukee Leather Men’s Classic Side Lace Police Style Motorcycle Jacket
We’ve all seen and heard of the classic biker’s stereotype: Sunglasses, helmet and most importantly the best motorcycle jacket. This jacket will undoubtedly let you feel part of the squad if you ever decide to go out with a group, and it doesn’t stop just there.
The overwhelming amount of reviews for this product alone is staggering and shows that it is a very viable choice for anyone. Its design is full of convenient zipped pockets, and stylish waist belt and side laces to ensure the perfect fit. The pricing isn’t a letdown either and you won’t regret a single buck you spent on it. One of the things that makes a great jacket can be how well it protects from the cold, and this jacket checks that box pretty well.
Manufacturer’s warranty is two full years for this product, so clearly they too have a lot of faith in it. The thick, authentic leather will ensure that while you stay warm and cozy while you ride, but there is the issue of it not being as waterproof because of this.
Being leather, it’s also definitely not the best motorcycle jacket for protection. It has no armor inserts for the shoulders or elbows, and the lack of any padding might mean a rough ride if you ever get into an accident. But of course, for around a hundred dollars this jacket definitely sets the bar high, and even puts some of the big brands to shame.
3. Flavor Men Brown Leather Motorcycle Jacket with Removable Hood
Priced under $200, this is just the perfect middleman for jackets between one to two hundred dollars. Even so, this jacket has enough good points to easily contest those worth three times its price. Most riders have the issue of one jacket not being enough.
You never know what the weather is going to be like, and a jacket that just serves one purpose is almost always accompanied by a hoodie underneath for those chilly days and nights. Everyone has thought at one point- what if I just had a jacket that gave me both options. Well, this jacket clearly proves that miracles are indeed possible (and aren’t expensive either)!
With a removable hoodie, the convenience becomes almost surreal. Stacking this much chic is just beyond impressive, and we must commend FLAVOR on this absolute wonder of a jacket. With a recent model update as of November 1st, 2018, this is probably the most modern motorcycle jacket you can find out there too. A mixture of the old and bold leather design and the hoodie give off a look truly unique look, and the multitude of storage space with seven pockets means you will never need to leave anything behind.
FLAVOR have decided to keep it simple and classy with two color variants of both brown and black. The addition of rib cuffs and hem make the jacket so nice to wear and look at. Oh, and the collar doesn’t flop. Did we mention that this is just under $200? Even if you already have a jacket, this is positively one of the best choices you could make for a second, or third, or fourth.
4. Joe Rocket Atomic Men’s 5.0 Textile Motorcycle Jacket
This jacket packs a punch for value. Being Joe Rocket, we already knew before reviewing this jacket that it couldn’t be bad, and we were right. This jacket comes in nine different styles, including a handy Hi-Viz for those who like to be extra careful. It has full waterproofing-yes, even on the zippers-for the wettest of days (as long as you wear a good helmet to cover your head).
It has shoulder, back and elbow armor made of quality high density foam to protect whenever you need it to, wherever you need it to. The brilliant lining on this will make sure that you’re well shielded from the wind and cold on bad days, but also doesn’t feel like a volcano is erupting in your chest on hot days, thanks to the company’s Cross Linked Ventilation system that directs air seemingly perfectly.
With everything that seems perfect though, there can usually still be a flaw. The heat in this jacket still can build up on some days, so we definitely wouldn’t recommend this if you’re looking to ride in temperatures above 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
The waterproofing treating is also not as reliable for exceptionally long, heavy rainfall, so if that’s something you are accustom to then this jacket might feel a little disappointing-but an extra coat of waterproof spray could fix this fairly easily too.
And of course, the price could be seen as a little high, even if it’s cheaper than the Joe Rocket mesh jacket. It all boils down to your personal scenario, and of course each jacket cannot be perfect for every time and place. Still, for a good long-term jacket that you can rely on, this might be one of the best choices you could make.
5. Pilot Motosport Men’s Direct Air Mesh Motorcycle Jacket (V3)
When looking for the best motorcycle jackets, overlooking Pilot is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. While this jacket isn’t leather and might not have as much style points as a result, it makes up for it with its numerous features.
The jacket has full impact and shock absorption with microcellular PU armor in elbows and shoulders and has a windproof neck to keep any and all chills away from the chest. Waterproofing is also included, but the jacket makes sure to not let that take away from its excellent ventilation.
A 2-year warranty is also included by Pilot, so you can be sure that it will remain in the best condition possible for at least a couple of years.
As a rider one of the worst fears is feeling stuffy and uncomfortable for what should have been a long and cozy ride. Well, you can be sure that this problem won’t even cross your mind while wearing this jacket, thanks to the lightweight, breathable material that this jacket has been fashioned out of.
Even in the hottest of days this jacket has proven the true meaning of air mesh, and the air blows through it just where you want it to. Of course, this means that you don’t really want to be buying this one if you live in a particularly cold area, unless you want the air to mesh you up.
This jacket fits a lot of the criteria, and proves to be a more than reasonable fit for most conditions.
6. Xelement CF6019 Invasion Men’s Neon Green Mesh Armored Motorcycle Jacket
Remember when we said to look out for a good brand? Well, even though Xelement might not be the best-known brand for these jackets-or the best at naming them-this jacket has a lot of fulfilling qualities. At just a hundred dollars you really can’t complain.
The safety features of this jacket are definitely one of the highest: bright, reflective, high-visibility coloring and CE Approved Armor passing the highest level EN1621-1 & EN1621-2 impact tests. Two things are for certain-you wont worry about a tumble in this bad boy, and everyone will see you plainly from a mile away.
Another major concern that this jacket fulfills is air circulation, which is sure to be enough for anything under 100 degrees. Even in the heat of a Texas sun this jacket leaves no trace of stuffiness and is sure to keep you cool, especially since the liner can be easily removed if needed.
When it comes to this jacket, a well-known saying comes to mind- be seen, or be dead. For us, the former seems like a much better option, so we would recommend this to someone who is overall very precautious and does not want to take any risks.
7. The Leather Factory Men’s Sword Black Genuine Lambskin Leather Biker Jacket
We know what you’re thinking, How can there only be two leather jackets in the top 5. Well, as it turns out, there are a lot of drawbacks when it comes to buying a leather jacket. While none of the other types can ever come close to the same authentic look and vibe, they can easily surpass in visibility and ventilation.
Even if you only want the best style and can’t do without leather, finding a genuine seller with quality leather is akin to trying to find a needle in a haystack. When you realize that this is genuine lambskin leather, made from The Leather Factory themselves, you can be sure that there are no compromises on quality being made here.
While it has sure and sound quality, this jacket definitely isn’t the warmest you could buy. The leather itself provides some coat of insulation, but in a nutshell, this is not a coat you want if you are facing some cold winds. Where this jacket does show its colors is when it comes to overall class.
The weight is fairly okay, not too heavy but not too light as to feel cheap either. Even while the leather is genuine, it’s still soft and so nice and comfy to wear. While the pockets do not have zippers for that extra touch of security, there is a lot of space in these 7 by 7 inch pockets. You could easily fit any phone you want, no doubt about it.
8. Flavor Men Biker Retro Brown Leather Motorcycle Jacket Genuine Leather Jacket
The last jacket we looked at from FLAVOR was arguably one of their best products, and possibly one of the best jackets anyone could buy without splashing more than five hundred dollars. The look of this jacket is similar to the previous one we have reviewed, but there is a lot different here. First things first, there is no hood in this.
Despite this, FLAVOR don’t lose any confidence in this product and claim that this jacket is suitable even for camping in howling winter. Now I don’t know about you, but if I was told that about a jacket that is as good looking as this then it would be neigh impossible to turn down.
The overall functionality is great, with a slick symmetrical design including six pockets overall (two zipped at the front, two internal, and two at the front for warming up your hands whenever you need to).
Even though the jacket does not offer much padding in case of an accident, the overall design is almost flawless and so we feel it’s safe to say that this is another jacket you can not live without buying.
9. Nomad USA Motorcycle Leather Jacket For Men
Another brilliant leather jacket. With a look very similar to the rank two Milwaukee Leather, but a price considerably lower, you might be wondering if there are any considerable losses in quality here? The answer is short and quick-very little. The only loss in going for this jacket rather than the Milwaukee Leather (other than that feeling you get when you treat yourself to something a little more expensive) is very slight: the amount of leather back panels.
Generally, when buying any leather product, you want the number of panels to be as little as possible. Larger panels are more expensive not just because they are harder to produce, but because they are marginally better for making the product less likely to tear. With more panels, you have more stitching between each and so more places where a tear could happen.
Don’t be intimidated by that minor factor, because the only difference between the two is that this Nomad jacket has one more back panel than the Milwaukee Leather.
This means that in an event where you might risk your jacket being torn, more damage could occur to this jacket. As you can probably infer, this is really not a reason to give up on such an otherwise exceptional jacket.
The overall style, quality and build of this jacket definitely merit it to be the seventh on this list. If you want a cheaper leather jacket which still has great feel to it, this might be your best choice.
10. Tourmaster Transition Series 4 Men’s Textile Motorcycle Touring Jacket
Don’t let the big number 2 throw you off. This jacket is undoubtably a little on the pricey side, but all that means is that there are even fewer compromises being made-if any. A serious competitor in the safety department, the high viz version of this jacket leaves little to complain about. A full Carbolex 600 denier outer shell material and 1680 denier Ballistic in the elbows means that you could probably fall from a tree unscratched in this brilliant jacket!
Cold, warm, hot or wet weather, this jacket has you covered. The Transition Series 4 line that this jacket comes from is centered around ensuring that each and every ride you have is as comfortable and relaxed as humanly possible.
There are loads of different complex techniques that Tourmaster has used to guarantee that even if your ride goes from a warm, humid afternoon to pouring cats and dogs, the jacket will protect you from any discomfort you might otherwise feel.
A hood is even included that deploys from under the collar to make sure that your head is well kept dry, so you can confidently concentrate on nothing but the road and your sweet ride.
11. Track Motorcycle Biker Armor Men Leather Jacket
Maintaining a rating as high as this with 354 ratings online really proves how this is just any old jacket. Another contestant for the one-hundred-dollar range, this jacket is a simplistic cowhide leather masterpiece. The armor included in this is plastic, and is on the elbows, shoulder and back. There is also quilted liner that is completely removeable for those hot days.
Not only does this jacket show that even at a smaller price you can find amazing products, but also is evidence that leather jackets can be just as safe as any other. With reflective stripes across the chest, sleeves, and back you can be certain that your safety isn’t being compromised.
Being leather, it also blocks out the wind and keeps you warm in cold weather. Even in hot days, there are ventilation zips on the arms that can open to let air flow through to keep you cool. The stitching is supreme and likely to fit no matter what size or shape you may be.
Some online reviews of this product criticize things such as small pockets or sub-optimal preconditioning of the leather. While these might be true, one thing to be kept in mind at all times is cost. A fully prepared, handmade leather jacket might be available for five hundred dollars, and a personalized every-weather convertible fully padded jacket could be available for some thousands, but when you compare the value of those products per dollar you spend to this product, then anyone would agree that undoubtably this comfy king wins out.
The solid construction of this product well outweighs the slight imperfections you might find. Therefore, we would advocate for this jacket any day if you are looking for one of the best deals you can find.
12. Milano Sport Gamma Motorcycle Jacket
With a look like Batman’s armor from the Dark Knight series and the protection to go with it, this could be the best armored motorcycle jacket available online. Apart from the amazing look, this jacket also genuinely provides a lot of protection. The striped reflective accents can help in drawing the attention of any dangerous drivers before its too later.
If it does come to it though, then this jacket will help you as much as possible in a fall. There is CE approved armor on the shoulder and elbows, padded panels for the front and padded panels for the back of the jacket. The Velcro straps on the waist, bicep, wrist and sleeves mean that air can’t get in when you don’t want it to, and the extremely warm and removeable liner only adds to this experience.
13. Pro Leather & Mesh Motorcycle Waterproof Jacket Black with External Armor
A lot of the time the best and most awe-inspiring things are found in nature. From stunning waterfalls to deep, glorious trenches, to gentle hummingbirds and ferocious lions. This jacket takes a bit of everything, from leather to having a thick, unbreakable exoskeleton, this jacket has it all.
Not only is it leather and mesh, meaning that you effectively get the best of both worlds, but the external armor means that you are bound to feel almost invincible in this. The armor itself is also a complex double system, that uses both hard armor on the outer shell and high-density foam armor on the inner shoulders and elbows.
Ever heard of a jacket that does it all? Well this jacket is also complete with a waterproof removeable liner, adjustable arm straps for the perfect fit, abrasion resistant mesh and leather for the best look with optimal ventilation and two massive eight-inch pockets in the front.
What more could you ask for? What’s that, you want it to be reflective too? Not that you would ever get harmed in a crash anyway with this tank on you, but there is indeed also reflective tape around this jacket to make sure that even in the lowest of lights you still shine bright!
14. Pro Mesh Motorcycle Jacket Rain Waterproof
Don’t let the relatively low rating deceive you. This jacket is full of useful features that are sure to make you look twice. Featuring another full double armor system made by the same company as before, you can be sure that with this on crashes will become the least of your worries.
The fitting on this jacket truly is phenomenal, thanks to the brand’s Sure Fit customization feature that includes several adjustable straps on each arm, alongside Velcro straps that do the job perfectly. Complete with a waterproof lining, this is another jacket that is never going to let you down no matter the weather.
While it does not have the perfect combo of leather and mesh like the previous jacket, the full mesh build actually has multiple benefits, the most obvious being greater air flow for sweat free rides.
Not only that, but the mesh on this really does give the jacket an almost futuristic look, coupled with the strip of reflective material across both the front and back.
Any accident with this terrific jacket is more likely to involve the car hitting you getting scratched before you do, and for only ninety-five dollars this is an absolute bargain, while making you feel like you are wearing a three-hundred-dollar product.
15. Men’s Vintage Motorcycle Cruiser Armor Ventilated Leather Touring Biker Jacket
People always say, leave the best until last, and so we have included one of the most simple, unique yet chic jacket until last. Do not let the fact that this is the last on the list put you off at all for this jacket, because it has unquestionably got some of the best features on the whole list.
First off, we have to mention the feel of this jacket. Again, one of the things that really can end up being an issue when looking for affordable motorcycle jackets in 2018 can be that it is just so difficult to find one that has proper standards in quality and sturdy material that will last you the longest.
Well, if that has been one of your main concerns then you are in luck, because this jacket fills the criteria wonderfully. When you stoop to lower prices like this, what really begins to stand out is the immense cost to quality ratio and this jacket is not any exception.
A vintage leather look in the modern world is hard to come by, and with this beast on your back you are sure to attract a lot of looks in awe from any strangers you pass by. The smooth leather combined with excellent stitching around each curve means that this jacket has that element to it that none other has- a true feel of primal energy.
The raw cut around each stitch brings out a color in the material that almost glows, and even though this jacket has no reflectivity, it will probably make any driver at high speed stop to admire the fantastic craftsmanship anyway. Even the zippers fit in with the overall vintage look, making sure that there are absolutely no pauses in feeling amazing while wearing this jacket.
Of course, aside from the looks, this jacket also comes through strong in terms of keeping you nice and toasty while on the road. There is also sufficient padding we have noticed, even though there is not any CE approved bracing it is likely to provide some protection if you ever get into a fateful accident. The pads are also easily removeable if you want though and can easily transition this into a spacious jacket if you ever feel an itch of discomfort. This jacket might feel too good to be true, but we can assure you that it most definitely is worth every penny.
After reading all that, you are sure to feel overwhelmed with all of the information we have just thrown right at you. Not to worry though, because the conclusion is here at last!
As it can be seen from the reviews above, choosing the best motorcycle riding jacket can really be a long and tough process. Each and every jacket has its own merits; its own highs and lows. But you can be certain that from the hundreds of thousands of jackets out there, the ones on this list are undoubtably the best choices you can make-without breaking the bank.
Even if you are a new rider or a well experienced one, the jacket you wear on your back is one of the ways that people will come to know you, and so it is totally crucial that you buy one that fits not just your body, but your personality. Some people even go as far as to wear a different jacket for different occasions, and we would say that that is not a bad idea at all. For those starting out, the first jacket you buy will definitely say a lot about you to other people. But that’s not to worry about, since there is always a massive selection for more should you ever get a little bored of one, and the ones that we have mentioned here are just affordable enough to allow for buying more than one.
This list has been ranked by rating, but that is not to say that any jacket is worse than another. For example, in a certain scenario jacket thirteen could be a far better and more suitable fit than even the Joe Rocket at first. It all boils down to your taste, your experience and what you want out of a jacket. Some people are obsessive over having the most safety procedures possible, while others are obsessive over the best look to impressive their friends, and others could just be looking for the best bang for their buck. Regardless of your motive though, this guide can be your loyal and helpful friend in going through the tough mission of searching for a jacket.
Whatever jacket you choose, just remember to ride safe, ride often and, most importantly, ride home.