Here Are the Best Motorcycle Jackets You Can Buy, According to the Pros

best motorcycle jackets you can buy
The Best Motorcycle Jackets of 2024REV'IT!/Getty Images

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This article was updated in April 2024 with new products and information.

Motorcyclists assume a ton of risk every time we throw a leg over the saddle. That's why it's essential to have quality gear and wear it on every ride. Next to the trusty helmet, there is perhaps no piece of riding gear as important as our motorcycle jacket.

Riding jackets come in all shapes and styles to suit the myriad types of motorcyclists on the road. Whether you're a sportbike rider who enjoys carving canyons on the weekends, a Harley enthusiast who loves cruising the coast highway, or an ADV enthusiast who explores the wilderness, there's a motorcycle riding jacket that's just right for you. Which one should you buy? To find the best motorcycle jackets, we polled several professional motorcycle riders to get their opinions.

Each expert we consulted is a professional motorcyclist—that is, they all ride motorcycles for a living or as part of their "day jobs." From renowned moto-journalists to international motorcycle tour operators, these aren't your typical motorcycle riders.

How to Choose the Right Motorcycle Jacket for You

Any roundup of motorcycle apparel is bound to be biased. Style and comfort are subjective, and what one rider wears daily another wouldn't be caught dead in. All the pros we spoke with stressed that personal taste is the most important factor any motorcyclist should consider when shopping for gear. Much like the bike you choose to ride.

Whether it's helmets, boots, jackets, or gloves, all motorcyclists have their personal preferences. So rather than naming a "best" motorcycle jacket, we've found great options for all kinds of riders on all kinds of bikes.

Ready to shop for motorcycle jackets? In no particular order, here are some expert picks by professional motorcyclists.

Best Motorcycle Jackets

Solano Waterproof

One of the more affordable jackets in the Alpinestars line, the understated Solano is my personal pick for the Best Everyday Riding Jacket. I've worn it in early spring, all through the summer, and well into late fall and can attest to its all-around versatility and comfort.

I love the simple, minimalist styling that's reminiscent of a field coat. I get the opportunity to ride a number of motorcycles of various styles, and the Solano goes great with most any kind of bike or ride I'm on. It's got plenty of pockets, a waterproof front zipper, a removable thermal liner, and snap adjustments at the cuff and collar. Made from abrasion-resistant polyamide, the Solano comes with shoulder and elbow armor; its impact zones are reinforced with 600-denier polyester. It even has a sleeve for an optional back pad. Vented underarms will help keep you cool.

The Solano does fit a bit snug, so size up if you plan to layer, or use Alpinestars' Tech-Air autonomous airbag system underneath (see below).

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Solano Waterproof</p><p></p><p>$183.71</p><span class="copyright">Amazon</span>

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Solano Waterproof



D-Air Smart Jacket

When we asked our colleague Mark Vaughn from Autoweek which motorcycle jackets he recommends, he replied with two words: "Air bags!" Mark has written extensively about safety technology in motorcycling, so we trust his judgment on this one.

The Dainese D-Air system was developed to keep MotoGP racers from experiencing catastrophic injuries while going upward of 200 mph on the track. Check it out:

The Dainese Smart Jacket uses seven sensors to analyze data at 1000 times per second so the inner airbag vest will be ready to deploy at a moment's notice. The algorithm detects low-sides, high-sides, and object/vehicle and rear-end collisions, even when the bike is stopped, such as in a rear-end collision at a stop light. It offers a 26-hour battery life with no hard-shell parts; the airbag provides protection only when needed. Think it'll keep you safe on the street? We do too.

If you're looking for the latest technology—and, we might add, a solid-looking jacket that has all the features you expect from a renowned motorcycle gear company like Dainese—look no further.

Already own a riding jacket but like the idea of an airbag to protect your torso? Check out Alpinestars' Tech-Air 5 system, profiled below.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>D-Air Smart Jacket</p><p></p><p>$629.96</p><span class="copyright">Revzilla</span>

Trench GTX

This jacket is a fantastic choice for most riders in most seasons. Ready to tackle all sorts of weather and terrain, it's one of the best waterproof motorcycle jackets you can buy. I've worn it in a thunderstorm on a scorching summer afternoon in the South and can testify to its waterproof capabilities while remaining comfortable and (relatively) cool.

Another Gore-Tex membrane is bonded directly to the waterproof but breathable 400-denier Gore-Tex outer layer, adding zero weight or extra bulk to the Trench GTX. In addition to the breathable membrane, the Trench is also equipped with REV'IT!'s patented Aquadefence ventilation system, allowing the rider to let air flow or seal out the elements. Seeflex CE level 2 protectors at the elbows and shoulders add impact protection, while pockets at the back and chest let you equip additional armor.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Trench GTX</p><p></p><p>$639.99</p><span class="copyright">Cycle Gear</span>

Badlands Pro

Real year-round adventure riders know: Klim makes some of the best ADV gear on the market. We spoke to Sylvain Gallea of Ecuador Freedom Bike Rental, one of South America's foremost motorcycle and 4x4 touring companies, to get his take on his favorite ADV gear.

"The beauty of Ecuador lies in its incredible variety of terrain and weather," says Sylvain. "In the morning, you might find yourself riding through the Andes mountains. In the afternoon, you could be delving deep into the Amazon jungle. And the Pacific Coast has scorching sun and harsh winds. With all these drastic shifts in climate, often in a single day, it's essential to have gear that can adapt accordingly." Gallea cites his Badlands Pro jacket—and its matching pants—for its ventilation and water repellence as much as its protection.

The Badlands Pro features a three-layer Gore-Tex shell, abrasion-resistant 630-denier Karbonite ripstop panels in key impact and wear areas, 3M Scotchlite reflective material, D3O vented shoulder and elbow armor, a D3O vented back pad, adjustable internal kidney belt, 14 pockets, underarm gussets, and fit-adjustable straps on the biceps and forearms. It comes in six distinct colorways.

We've ridden with Sylvain and his partner Court Rand and can attest to their passion for motorcycling—and for their adopted home country of Ecuador. It's a special place, and Ecuador Freedom is a top-notch organization. Book a guided or self-guided motorcycle or 4x4 tour here.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Badlands Pro</p><p></p><p>$1199.99</p><span class="copyright">Cycle Gear</span>

118 Perfecto

While its protective properties are surely open for debate, the "cool factor" of the classic black leather biker jacket cannot be questioned. Is there a more iconic motorcycle jacket? With its belted waist, zippered cuffs, and offset front zipper, the 118 Perfecto is about as legendary as they come. It does not have armor, nor does it have pockets for it. But if you're looking for timeless style on or off the bike, you can't go wrong with Schott.

"There's something about the classic leather makers—Vanson, Lewis, Langlitz, Schott—that feels so permanent," says Morgan Gales, former editor at Cycle World and host of the popular video series the Lowside for Motorcyclist magazine. (Morgan has also contributed to Road & Track.) "You break it, then you've earned it, and it's yours forever."

The 118 Perfecto jacket is 26 inches in length and features a belted front, bi-swing back, several zippered pockets, zipper-adjustable sleeves, and an insulated, non-removable, nylon quilted lining.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>118 Perfecto</p><p></p><p>$900.00</p><span class="copyright">Revzilla</span>

Eclipse 2

Summer motorcycling is always a dilemma. You know you need to gear up and protect yourself—but it's so damned hot outside! What's a responsible rider to do? Andrew Cherney, former editor of Motorcycle Cruiser and a freelance writer for Cycle World, Motorcyclist, and more, opts for a breathable textile option.

"My go-to summer riding jacket is Rev It!'s Eclipse 2. It's nice and light yet still has the CE-certified shoulder and elbow armor. The front-facing mesh panels are huge, which makes airflow tremendous. It wears light and breathes well, and if you're smart about layering it becomes super versatile. It also packs down fairly small, making it easy to tuck into a saddlebag or backpack if it gets too hot."

The Eclipse 2 comes in five colors, including fun shades like blue and white, in sizes up to 4XL.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Eclipse 2</p><p></p><p>$189.99</p><span class="copyright">Revzilla</span>

Clash CE

Cruiser riders demand a more relaxed approach to their riding gear. While protection is important, style and all-day comfort are key—along with, of course, great looks. Veteran motorcycle journalist Bryan Harley has written for Motorcycle USA, American Iron Magazine, and more over the decades. It's safe to say he's one of the leading journalists on cruiser and custom-bike culture and style. Bryan now contributes to eBay Motors.

"I've tested many jackets from Roland Sands Design and have always come away impressed with the quality of materials and how durable their gear is," he says. "It's always super stylish too." Harley tabbed the RSD Clash as his favorite cruiser jacket.

"The Clash is constructed of a specially developed and exclusive GT Racer leather," he said. "It comes with flex armor in the elbows and shoulders and has styling that rocks on and off the bike." Available in black, Oxblood, or Tobacco (shown), it features double- or triple-stitched seams everywhere and oozes that cafe "rocker" style, with a shorty snap collar and offset zipper. Ace Cafe, here we come.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p> Clash CE</p><p></p><p>$750.00</p><span class="copyright">Cycle Gear</span>

Blaze 2

Cycle Gear's proprietary BiLT gear is renowned for being well-made but affordable. And while none of the experts we talked to specifically picked the Blaze 2, neither could any of them find a reason for us not to call it our best budget motorcycle jacket.

It features a durable and breathable chassis constructed of both 600-denier textile and ultra-flow mesh, with expertly placed stretch and adjustability, so it's ideal for warm summer rides. Multiple adjustment points in the arms and waist provide a secure and custom fit. Best of all, it comes with CE-approved elbow and shoulder armor and has a pocket for an optional back protector pad.

The Blaze 2 lists at $119 but can often be found on sale at Cycle Gear.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Blaze 2 </p><p></p><p>$89.99</p><span class="copyright">Cycle Gear</span>

Airglide 6

"This jacket is a fantastic answer for 'what to wear' when heading out for an overnight adventure or long day ride," says Matt Kopec, a former art director at American Iron magazine who's now the editor and publisher of the popular motorcycle site Rides & Culture. "You can shed layers to adapt to anything the spring or summer forecast throws at you."

Matt specifically touted the Airglide 6's breezy mesh outer shell, wind- and waterproof rain liner, and thermal insert. Made of high-density 1000-denier Cordura with CE armor in the elbow, shoulders, and back, there's little doubt the Airglide 6 is one of the most versatile motorcycle jackets on the market. Better still, it's relatively affordable.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Airglide 6</p><p></p><p>$190.00</p><span class="copyright">Cycle Gear</span>

Fusion Leather

Whether you're canyon carving on a GSX-R or ripping up the track on a superbike, you need to protect your body at those kinds of speeds. One misplaced patch of gravel and it can all be over in an instant. Nic DeSena, senior editor at Ultimate Motorcycling, knows this better than just about anybody. That's why he calls the Alpinestars Fusion his favorite sportbike jacket.

"This jacket combines the abrasion and crash protection of leather with the breathability of textile materials, making it one of the best options for sport riders during the spring, summer, and early fall," Nic told Road & Track. "The Fusion utilizes Alpinestars' MotoGP-developed Matryx textile across the majority of the chest and abdomen, providing superior airflow over full-leather track gear. It's also compatible with Alpinestars Tech-Air airbag systems such as the Tech-Air 3 and Tech-Air 5." It's also level 2 CE-certified.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Fusion Leather</p><p></p><p>$799.95</p><span class="copyright">Revzilla</span>

Brooklands 2.0

From one of the legendary names in British motorcycle gear comes one of the great waxed cotton jackets on the market. Waxed cotton is one of the trendiest styles of motorcycle gear these days, and Belstaff is often touted as the brand that started it all, decades ago.

Made from lightweight and breathable 10-ounce waxed cotton, the classic Belstaff design includes quilted shoulder patches, a checked lining, two patch pockets on the chest, and zippered lower pockets. A short cut keeps it comfortable while in the saddle, and brass snaps complete the classy look that's always in style whether you're on or off the bike.

The Brooklands 2.0 (even the name sounds quintessentially British) does not come with protective armor, nor does it provide pockets for aftermarket inserts. Is it more style than substance? Perhaps. But if you're going to rock the waxed cotton look, why not go with the original?

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Brooklands 2.0</p><p></p><p>$750.00</p><span class="copyright">Belstaff</span>


Female riders have different needs when it comes to their gear. Most men's jackets are too bulky and boxy to provide protection, let alone look good, so feminine cuts and styling are essential. When asked about her preferred women's riding jacket, Tricia Szulewski, an editor at Women Riders Now, touts her Klim Artemis jacket as her favorite.

"I've been wearing my Artemis for almost two seasons, and it is basically the only jacket I need," Trish told Road & Track. "When it's cold outside, I wear a thermal base layer underneath. When it's hot, I open all the vents, unzip the sleeves and collar, and I'm good to go."

Klim focused on female-specific features here, such as cross-core vents and a springless collar adjuster to avoid hair snagging. This versatile jacket features abrasion resistance, functional storage, excellent mobility, and optimal ventilation. Adjustable gussets in the collar, biceps, forearms, waist, bottom hem, and hip let ladies dial in that perfect fit. Matching pants are also available.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Artemis</p><p></p><p>$769.99</p><span class="copyright">Revzilla</span>

Tech-Air 5 System

If you already own a motorcycle jacket but like the security of airbag protection while riding, Alpinestars' Tech-Air 5 system is designed to be worn under virtually any riding jacket. In the event of an accident, it will provide upper body protection, covering the rider's shoulders, chest, ribs, and back.

The Tech-Air 5 features six integrated sensors (three gyroscopes and three accelerometers) to monitor the rider's position continuously. An algorithm developed closely with MotoGP race data and data from over 2000 lab-simulated crash scenarios determines when and how the system deploys. The airbag has a maximum inflation time of up to 40 milliseconds, decreasing impact force by up to 95 percent compared to a passive chest or back protector. In addition, the vest will protect stationary riders in the event of a rear-end collision.

Note: The Tech-Air 5 Vest is designed to be worn under any properly fitting textile or leather riding jacket, providing there's 4.0 cm of additional space around the circumference of the entire body to accommodate the expansion of the airbag in the event of a crash.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Tech-Air 5 System</p><p></p><p>$789.95</p><span class="copyright">Cycle Gear</span>

Things to Consider When Shopping for a Motorcycle Jacket

Style of Jacket

Of course, style is subjective. When it comes to protective motorcycle gear, the form of the garment often follows its function. Many riders care little about how a jacket looks and are more concerned with its material, construction, and performance factors such as comfort, breathability, and water resistance. Others just want to look cool while cruising down the road.

All rides being equal, there are plenty of fantastic-looking motorcycle jackets on the market that offer protection as well as style. Choose the one that best suits your personal taste and style of riding. All the experts we consulted recommended owning multiple riding jackets to suit your mood as well as your ride.

Style of Riding

Are you a sportbike rider who dons full leathers and pushes your bike to its limits? Or perhaps you're an ADV rider who heads out of town to wander the trails. Maybe you're a cruiser rider who just wants to look and feel good on your Harley or Indian Motorcycle. The style of bike and riding you prefer will determine the best motorcycle jacket for you.

In general, sportbike jackets are snug-fitting, lightweight, and feature CE-certified protective armor in the shoulders, elbows, and back. Adventure jackets have armor too but are more versatile, ready to tackle almost any weather or road condition. Looser fitting for all-day comfort, ADV and even motocross jackets usually offer zippered vents, fit-adjustment straps in the waist and on the arms, and are generally made of high-tech synthetic textile materials that not only breathe but often resist or repel moisture.

Cruiser riders often value comfort and style over form and function—but that's no reason to sacrifice safety. These days, the iconic "leather motorcycle jacket" is as much a piece of fashion as it is a protective piece of gear, but there are plenty of cool and comfortable cruiser-style leather jackets that offer rider protection and armor.


"CE Tested." "CE Certified." "CE Approved." We see these terms everywhere when shopping for motorcycle gear, but what do they signify? What is CE, and why is it so important?

CE is an abbreviation of the French phrase Conformité Européenne which, literally translated, means "European Conformity." Unlike in North America, motorcycle gear in Europe is considered Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE. Therefore, it must meet stringent standards for impact resistance and other factors. In short—and let's be clear, this is an extreme oversimplification of a complicated process—CE certification means that the garment has been tested to meet minimum safety requirements for things like impact abrasion resistance, tear strength, seam strength, and dimensional stability. CE Level 1 means it's approved for everyday street riding; CE Level 2 meets track specs. (For more information on CE certification, check out the D3O website for a comprehensive explainer.)

Look for a motorcycle jacket that offers, at the very least, elbow and shoulder armor. If the riding jacket you're considering doesn't come with armor, make sure it includes pockets to support aftermarket armor inserts; D3O makes the most recognized aftermarket riding armor. The only jacket featured below that doesn't offer armor is the classic Schott Perfecto—and it's only here because it's an indisputable icon.

Materials: Leather vs. Textile

The leather motorcycle jacket is a classic look—but is leather the best option for most motorcyclists? Not necessarily. Modern manufacturing technologies and materials have made textile riding jackets safer and better than ever. They're generally lighter in weight, offer better protection from the elements, allow for vastly improved air circulation, and often cost less than a leather jacket. Many modern jackets, such as the Alpinestars Fusion Leather, are constructed from a hybrid of leather and textiles to get the best of both worlds.

You've likely seen references to "denier" when shopping for textiles such as backpacks. Denier refers to the thickness of the fibers that make up the threads of the fabric; the higher the denier count, the stronger the fabric. (Technically, denier is a measurement of weight, but whatever—you can learn all you ever wanted to know about it here.)

Denier counts usually come into play with items such as outerwear and luggage that see plenty of wear and tear; a nylon ripstop windbreaker is around 70 denier, while things like camping pads and duffel bags range from around 200 to over 400 denier. When shopping for a textile motorcycle jacket, look for denier counts that are well above 500. Cordura comes in up to 1000 denier; ballistic nylon boasts a 1680-denier rating.

If you're in the market for a leather riding jacket, look for leather that's thicker than 1.0 mm. A thickness of 1.2–1.4 mm is usually the sweet spot that's thin enough to move around in but will allow for road protection and durability.

Also, look for extra protection at stress points. Many modern manufacturers utilize Kevlar in contact areas like shoulders and elbows as added protection against abrasion and road rash. Revzilla has a fine explainer on the pros and cons of leather versus textile riding jackets here, but remember: The riding jacket you choose will be purely subjective. It's up to you. Keep your options open when it comes to material and construction; you may be surprised by what you like to ride in.


Many of today's riding apparel is water-resistant if not completely waterproof. Some offer waterproof liners to keep riders dry, but these can be stifling in hot summer temperatures. Even if your riding jacket isn't waterproof, a rain jacket or suit can keep you dry in the saddle.

If you live in a wetter climate such as the Pacific Northwest, or an area where rain and even snow are a seasonal consideration, staying dry and comfortable in the saddle is critical to riding safely. That means water resistance, if not waterproofness, is essential. If you most often ride in a dry, arid climate like the American Southwest, look for breathable jackets that offer venting. If you're a year-round motorcycling devotee, you need gear that's versatile and adaptable.

This is another fine opportunity to consider owning more than one riding jacket. Consider your riding habits and the climate you're riding in, and choose a jacket that allows you to be ready for anything every time you throw a leg over.


On a gray day or at night, a motorcyclist dressed in a black helmet, black pants, black boots, and a black jacket is easily overlooked. Real riders appreciate how important it is to be conspicuous when riding in traffic, and a brightly colored jacket can go a long way toward being seen on the road. Many modern motorcycle jackets use hi-vis yellow or bright graphics to attract attention.

Cost vs. Brand vs. Risk

Next to your riding ability, your riding gear is the only defense you have against potentially catastrophic injury—or death. Are you really willing to risk it all just to save a few bucks? As the famous slogan says, "If you've got a ten-dollar head, wear a ten-dollar helmet." Same goes for your riding jacket.

Yes, premium brands like Klim, Aether, Dianese, and Alpinestars cost more than knock-off brands—for good reason. You can't put a price on the safety and security you get from a renowned label that uses top-quality materials and manufacturing processes and then tests its gear to the highest standards. While there are a number of cost-friendly brands that make decent, serviceable gear—brands like Joe Rocket and Cycle Gear's BiLT line come to mind—you usually get what you pay for when it comes to motorcycle gear.

best motorcycle jackets
Johner Images/ Getty


How much does a motorcycle protective jacket cost?

A motorcycle jacket with shoulder and elbow armor can run anywhere from $75 to $1000 or more. It's important to remember that, as with most motorcycle safety gear, the more you spend, the more you (usually) get. If you're trying to buy on a budget, look for deals on name brands you recognize and trust; the sale page at Revzilla is always a great place to shop for a deal on reliable motorcycle gear.

What are the different types of motorcycle jackets?

There are basically four distinct types of riding jackets for the various styles of on-road riding: Street jackets, Sport jackets, ADV or Dual-Sport jackets, and Cruiser jackets. Of course, motocross has its own style of riding gear as well, but the various types will offer rider-friendly features that appeal to each type of riding discipline.

What material is best for motorcycle jackets?

Either leather or textile fabric is the best material to look for in a motorcycle jacket. Modern textiles generally offer weather protection and a lighter weight; leather looks great and offers great protection, but it weighs more and can be susceptible to moisture.

For leather, opt for thicknesses in excess of 1.0 mm; if shopping for a textile jacket, look for high denier counts in excess of around 700.

Why Trust Us

Road & Track and its sibling publications at Hearst Autos represent three of the most influential automotive publications in the world. We rely on decades of experience in the automotive and gear spaces to help readers make informed purchasing choices, bringing reviews and evaluations of automotive gear and accessories such as Motorcycle Helmets, Sim Racing Cockpits, and Motorcycle Phone Mounts to our readers.

With the legacies of Autoweek, Car and Driver, and Road & Track behind us, the Hearst Autos Gear Team is more concerned with the trust our readers have in us than our bottom line. We won't tell you to buy something if we wouldn't buy it ourselves or recommend it to our friends, and we'll never claim to have used or tested something if we haven't. Read more about our testing process here.

best motorcycle jackets
Brian J Nelson

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