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The Best Motorcycle Jackets You Can Buy

Whether you're commuting to the office or planning a cross-country journey, here are the best riding jackets out there.

Gear Patrol

The one sure thing about riding a motorcycle: you need to be protected from every eventuality, whether that's heat, rain, wind or a possible crash. The best riding jackets will be your second-best friend after a high-quality helmet — so we've pulled together a guide to the best motorcycle jackets on sale to armor you against all of the above.

Our choices for the best motorcycle jackets reflect seasonal thinking (from heat to cold) and versatility. We looked for options with more pockets, manual vents, and when a jacket is armored, we made fit and freedom of movement a priority—because not all armor makes that possible. Even if a jacket on our list doesn't have its own integrated protection, it's built to allow wearing armor underneath, and every piece here is designed to protect you during a slide.

Some of our choices reflect a preference for the one motorcycle jacket you'll keep forever, with all the bells and whistles you'd want for a pan-nation moto adventure, while others are more for grocery-getting or coffee meet-ups.

What to Look for in a Motorcycle Jacket


The main point of a motorcycle jacket is to protect you. The best motorcycle jackets have armor at the joints and along the spine to do so. Armor is typically rated at CE Levels. The basic thing to note is that CE Level 2 armor, designed for higher-speed applications, is more protective than CE Level 1 armor, which is still better than no armor.


They will be more important for a motorcycle jacket than a normal jacket. Cuffs should be secure. Zippers should let you hold your stuff in confidently and be easy to operate with gloves on.


A motorcycle jacket should fit tightly, but not too tightly. You want it tight enough to keep the armor in the proper place and to keep from flapping in the wind. But you still want it loose enough to be able to move. Many jackets will offer stretch panels and be adjustable. You may want slightly longer sleeves than a typical jacket to avoid them riding up while you hold the handlebars.


Leather is the classic choice for a motorcycle jacket. Leather jackets look great. They also provide strong abrasion resistance, durability and comfort once broken in. Textile jackets can be a compelling alternative to leather. They can be specialized to offer features like waterproofing and extra ventilation. They are also cheaper.

Kevlar is a popular synthetic fabric used in motorcycle jackets. It provides abrasion and heat resistance. Though it doesn't breathe as well as other fabrics and isn't as flexible. Some jackets use Kevlar at strategic points to reinforce Cordura nylon and other fabrics.


A lot of riding happens in warm weather. No one wants to look, feel or smell like they just exited a schvitz after hopping off the bike. Airflow is critical. Leather jackets often have perforation for this purpose. Textile jackets often have mesh paneling.


Even if you’re going for that Darth Vadar look, the best motorcycle jackets will still help riders see you at night, usually with reflective paneling.

How We Tested

Gear Patrol Staff

Gear Patrol staffers and contributors spent hundreds of hours over months and, in some cases, years testing motorcycle jackets for this guide. Our writers and editors tested jackets from the East Coast and West Coast, in all four seasons and in both urban and rural environments. Safety was a primary consideration for selections in this guide. Our testers also assessed jackets for comfort, fit and, of course, style.

We couldn’t test every pick in this guide. But we supplemented our own observations and experience with recommendations from experts at motorcycle gear sites like Revzilla and picks from prominent brands we trust.

Our Picks

REV'IT! Trench GTX Jacket

Courtesy Cycle Gear
Best Overall Motorcycle Jacket

REV'IT! Trench GTX Jacket


  • Has a zip-out liner for extra warmth
  • Gore-tex laminated into the shell
  • Flap pockets are extra deep for storage

  • Not quite enough venting for peak summer riding

We've tested this jacket for about a year in conditions ranging from freezing wind to summer's driving rainstorms to mud and muck. Our tester loved it because it can handle all of that and keep you protected, dry, and (unless it's below 30 degrees or above 85) reasonably warm or cool. Credit the zip-out liner for warmth and the Gore-Tex laminated directly into the shell, so it's always breathable and windproof. If it's a hot day, flip open the active chest vents and keep them open via magnetic anchors. If it's a scorcher, also unzip the exit vents behind your shoulders.

The Trench is also bristling with utility, which our tester felt was a sign it was built by experienced riders. Exhibit A? Flap pockets at your hips that are extra deep. These have zippered tops, but even if you space on sealing them shut, they retain whatever you've stuffed in there and more than once have prevented us from losing a phone, cash, keys, earbuds, etc. Plus REV'IT! layers in two more pockets on the jacket's interior, and a hidden security Napoleon pocket where you might want to put your registration or insurance card, etc.

This jacket is also a tough garment, with CE Level 2 armor on the elbows and shoulders. REV'IT! includes a sleeve to fit a Seesoft Back Protector (not included) that you should add to make a very bomb-proof coat that much safer.

a man wearing a motorcycle jacket
J.D. DiGiovanni


Belstaff Trialmaster Jacket

Cycle Gear
Best Upgrade Motorcycle Jacket

Belstaff Trial Master Motorcycle Jacket


  • Made form high quality hand-waxed and treated bovine leather
  • Classic Belstaff four-pocket style
  • Includes an envelope for an added slide protector
  • CE removable armor at shoulders and elbow

  • More than twice the price of most other high-quality motorcycle jackets

While this jacket may look like the classic Belstaff dating back over 100 years, the Trailmaster has evolved slightly over time. So, in addition to being made of bovine leather that’s hand waxed and treated to provide safety during a slide, the Trailmaster Pro also gets CE removable armor for shoulders and elbows, and there’s an envelope to add a spine protector too.

But this jacket wouldn’t be a Belstaff if it didn’t retain classic features, from the four-pocket design to the belted waist to keep the wind from chilling you from beneath to oversized snaps that hold everything shut—and are easier to operate while wearing gloves. Further features include a slanted map pocket, cotton check lining and corduroy lining on the collar and cuffs to prevent wind penetration.

Merlin Edale Jacket

Cycle Gear
Best Budget Motorcycle Jacket

Merlin Edale Jacket


  • Blends classic look with modern materials and tech
  • Waterproof and breathable membrane fabric
  • Includes D30 elbow and shoulder armor

  • Waxed jacket may require more care than other styles

Like the classic Belstaff jacket but find the price point too steep? Merlin's Edale offers similar retro-newfangled perfection at a far more affordable price. The Scottish-English startup blends a classic look with modern materials and tech, so you're getting the old-fangled look but with a waterproof and breathable membrane fabric and a removable Outlast thermal layer for warmth. Merlin bakes in D3O elbow and shoulder armor, and you can buy a separate spine protector for the built-in sleeve.

As for carrying wares with you, the Edale has more pockets than a high-end VRBO has guest quarters! There are four patch pockets at the front, a rear patch glove pocket that's offset, a Napoleon pocket, and a pair of internal pockets. Plus, both hip-level patch pockets also have hand-warmer side entry. Brass zippers at the upper chest and across the top of the back bring active venting to the Edale, too, so in case it's not Scottish Highlands cool where you ride, you can still look the part but sweat less.

Other Good Options

Harley-Davidson Passage Adventure Jacket

Cycle Gear
Best All-Season Motorcycle Jacket

Harley-Davidson Men's Passage Adventure Jacket


  • Venting is ample
  • Incorporates substantial armor without affecting mobility

  • Slimmer fit than anticipated
  • May not be ideal for hot weather

If you're into adventure riding and are determined to ride through winter without a break, you'll need a kit that can withstand weather and abuse. Enter: Harley Davidson's Passage Adventure Jacket. Created in partnership with European apparel specialist Rev'it, the Passage Jacket was developed for adventure touring — but we've found it works in almost any riding scenario.

Designed for four-season riding, the Passage Jacket is well-equipped to handle heat, cold, extreme environments and hours on the road. Customization opportunities run wild on this kit — from generous venting to removable body armor — and after testing this jacket for a few months we believe it is a solid bet for most riders looking for protection on-road and off.

Our tester loved that the jacket included robust venting and protection. They also found that the jacket incorporated an impressive amount of body armor without inhibiting flexibility and mobility. It did have a slimmer fit than anticipated — though our tester did not find that to be a problem. And though all-season, buyers may want a lighter jacket to wear in the hotter part of the summer.

a man wearing a motorcycle jacket
Hayley Helms


Aether Mojave Jacket

Best Motorcycle Jacket with Armor

Aether Mojave Motorcycle Jacket


  • Ample venting for hot weather riding
  • Zipper adds comfort for both standing and seated riding
  • Elegant cut that looks sharp on and off the bike

  • Cotton canvas material can take a while to break in

Our tester immediately took to the Mojave while testing it riding rocky, muddy sections of the NEBDR in New York State this past summer. On a steamy day, he found that the Mojave’s chest, underarm, sleeve and back vents kept air cutting through the coat. Our tester found that the bi-directional zipper that lets you open up the bottom of the Mojave made it comfortable for both standing and seated riding.

Aether crams a ton of utility into their jacket, too, with top-and-side-entry hand pockets and an interior zipped wallet pocket, and one large back pocket, which our tester found ideal for stowing a lighter-weight pair of MX gloves.

The cotton canvas felt stiff at first to our tester. But eventually it broke in and conformed to his body like a tailored sportcoat. The Mojave became a tougher-than-you, second skin, much like a great pair of leather riding gloves. Speaking of toughness, Aether integrates LP1 removable D30 armor at the elbow, shoulder and spine.

Oh, and because it’s Aether, a brand we love for their understated style, there’s no question this jacket, perhaps rivaling only the Belstaff on this list, has a classically elegant cut that makes you look sharp on or off your bike. (It doesn’t come with a BSA or a Vincent, but would pair perfectly with that kind of machine.)

a man sitting on a motorcycle
Michael Frank

Dainese Smart Jacket

Safest Motorcycle Jacket

Dainese Smart Jacket


  • Automatically opening 360-degree pillow airbag
  • Firmware updates for added features

  • Has to be paired with an additional jacket

If an airbag is suitable for car drivers, surrounded by metal and further anchored with seatbelts, why can't motorcyclists have at least an airbag? Now they can. Dainese developed its airbag vest using MotoGP racing kinematics (studying the extreme g-forces those riders generate). Our tester wore the Dainese Smart Jacket on roads over the past year, pairing it with a lightweight jacket like the Aether Mojave in summer and REV'IT's Trench GTX jacket in winter.

You can wear it like we have during the past year of testing, paired in summer with a lightweight jacket like the Aether Mojave with its integrated elbow and shoulder CE armor, where that combo let that jacket’s vents blow through the mesh front of the Dainese vest to keep us cool. When it’s been colder, we’ve paired it beneath a warmer coat like REV'IT!’s Trench GTX Jacket.

Why wear it? Because it expands into a 360-degree pillow when you're separated from your bike. Dainese R&D shows their airbag protects at seven times the shielding of a CE Level 1 spine guard. And, sure, this is expensive protection, but a single visit to the hospital, not to mention just about any injury to your upper body, will cost you thousands of dollars.

There’s utility in the recipe, since Dianese adds two larger hand-sized pockets at the front and a smaller chest pocket, so you have the same kind of storage you get with non-airbag clothing. Our tester also found that the mesh front of the vest allowed airflow to keep him cool in warm weather.

Like similar systems for downhill skiers, the Smart Jacket reads when your body tilts and the velocity of direction changes to "understand" the nature of the event. A rechargeable battery fires to open the airbag if it detects an accident. And filaments inside the airbag prevent air from shifting away from the force of impact like they would if you put your thumb on a balloon and squeezed. That way, this system offers more protection than just a bag full of air.

What's unique about this system is that Dainese is constantly evolving the tech, so you'll get an alert about new firmware after you've registered yours and be able to add to the protection. Eventually, that will allow deeper integration of phone pairing with, possibly, GPS capability. If the airbag deploys, the vest could signal EMS about your exact location, much like Apple and Pixel Watch and phones work now with SOS capability and Fall Detection.

a man wearing a motorcycle jacket
Michael Frank

Klim Marrakesh Jacket

Cycle Gear
Best Summer Motorcycle Jacket

Klim Marrakesh Jacket


  • Mesh liner is breathable, sweat-wicking and anti-microbial
  • Scotchlite C790 carbon black can be illuminated by headlights for extra safety
  • Stretch woven material is pourous for extra airflow

  • It is water-resistant but not waterproof

The Klim Marrakesh jacket offers unbeatable value with its excellent temperature management and water repellency, features you'll need whether you're heading out on an epic cross-country journey or a daily commute.

The jacket uses tough, tightly woven 1000D Cordura impact zones at the shoulder and elbow and D30 CE level 1 armor at the elbows, shoulders and spine with a four-way stretch core and shoulder blade portion. Klim added micromesh so the chest breaths well, but the material also gets a DWR water-resisting treatment to prevent most weather from soaking you.

Klim added Scotchlite's C790 carbon black for visibility, which looks stealthy until headlights illuminate it. Klim included softer stretch fabric at the neck and the wrists. The Marrakesh also gets zip-shut cuffs to prevent wind turbulence at your arms.

Belstaff Brooklands 2.0

Cycle Gear
Best Waxed Motorcycle Jacket

Belstaff Brooklands 2.0


  • Vented underarms and a detachable liner for warm weather riding
  • Belstaff style at a more affordable price point than the Trialmaster
  • Waterproof membrane

  • Waxed cotton outer fabric requires professional cleaning

The waxed canvas Brooklands 2.0 is a more affordable, but still classically-styled option from Belstaff with a shorter fit than the Trialmaster. It can be a great option for warm-weather riding with a detachable thermal liner and underarm breathers.

The Brooklands 2.0 does not skimp on the safety. It comes with abrasion-resistant Cordura at the shoulders and elbows and has a pocket for extra back protection that you'll have to buy separately. Note that the waxed cotton outer fabric needs to be professionally cleaned.

Aether Laslo Motorcycle Jacket

Coolest Motorcycle Jacket

Aether Laslo Motorcycle Jacket


  • Slim-fit, crossover look you can wear off the bike
  • Low profile and removable CE-certified armor at the shoulders, elbows and back
  • Snaps at the waist offer a customized fit

  • Not insulated enough for cold weather riding

The Laslo is what Aether calls their "sophisticated, slim-fit leather jacket." It's also a crossover jacket designed for you to pop out the armor and be able to wear it as a clean everyday look.

Laslo partnered with D30 on low-profile, flexible but still CE-certified armor at the shoulder, elbow and back. The jacket also has an anti-abrasion layer for extra protection. Snaps at the back waist offer a customized fit.

One drawback to the Laslo is it's not really designed for cold weather. Aether recommends riding with it in temperatures warmer than 50ºF.

REV’IT! Component H20

Cycle Gear
Best Casual Motorcycle Jacket

REV'IT! Component H2O Jacket


  • Oversized hood to fit over helmet
  • Oversized zippers for use with gloves
  • Interior zip pockets for extra storage

  • Does not come with a back protector

REV’IT!’s Component H20 combines the best attributes of clothing built for off-road riding with traits you’d want for any street ride. In our tests, we especially love how it fits (and looks) like a jacket you’d wear for snowboarding or downhill mountain biking, and there’s no reason it wouldn’t work great for those activities. Plus, because it’s made with hydratex 3L membrane, it’s both breathable and waterproof, and the oversized hood is designed to fit over a helmet — whether you’re wearing that lid for moto or skiing.

Speaking of high-adrenaline use cases, we especially dig how REV’IT! adds so much active venting to its wares. The Component gets two oversized chest pockets that, sure, are pockets, but that also double as air scoops to suck in cooling, plus there are zip-open ports at both the lower sleeve and the shoulder and exit ports at the back, behind the shoulder blade.

REV’IT!’s protected the heck out of this coat, too, with 750D Cordura Ripstop across potential impact zones on the arms and shoulders and incorporates Seesmart CE impact protection on the shoulders and elbows. Do they add two interior zip pockets (one with a key loop), each large enough to hold both a phone and wallet, plus a huge back pocket that’ll swallow the zip-off hood, spare gloves or a sandwich? You bet. Lastly, REV’IT! knows riders have reduced tactile sense because they’re always wearing gloves, so every zipper pull on this piece is oversized, with an extended cord. You’ll be able to open and close vents in a hurry and get on with your ride.

Alpinestars T-GP Plus R v3 Air Jacket

Cycle Gear
Best Summer Sport Riding Jacket

Alpinestars T-GP Plus R v3 Air Jacket

alpinestars cyclegear.com

  • Ample mesh ventilation to weather the summer heat
  • CE-rated armor at the shoulders and arms
  • Velcro cuffs and fasteners for extra security

  • Has pockets for chest and back protection but those are sold separately

The Alpinestars T-GP Plus R v3 Air is a summer sport riding jacket (along with being a mouthful to say). It's a textile jacket that goes heavy on the mesh for ventilation with a full mesh lining and extended mesh panels at the torso and arms.

The jacket features Nucleon Flex Plus CE Level 1 armor at the shoulders and elbows. And the jacket includes pockets for chest and back protectors, which are sold separately. Velcro fasteners at the wrist cuffs and in pockets provide extra secure closures. Alpinestars added large-opening front hand pockets and a waterproof internal pocket.

Scorpion EXO Optima Jacket

Cycle Gear
Best Affordable All-Season Jacket

Scorpion EXO Optima Jacket

scorpion exo cyclegear.com

  • NightViz material provides added nighttime visibility
  • 100% waterproof laminate fabric
  • Removable thermal layer allows for four-season use

  • Back protector is sold separately

The Scorpion EXO Optima is a four-season jacket that has earned the staff pick designation at Revzilla. It's built from a seam-sealed laminate fabric that aims to be breathable and is 100% waterproof. And it has a removable Everheat thermal layer for riding in cold weather.

The jacket has CE-rated armor at the shoulders and elbows and a pocket for extra back protection, which is sold separately. It has a waterproof Napoleon pocket, two internal pockets and an additional internal media pocket. It also has a lot of NightViz material for added visibility at night.

Leatt Moto 4.5 X-Flow Jacket

Cycle Gear
Best Motocross Jacket

Leatt Moto 4.5 X-Flow Jacket

leatt cyclegear.com

  • Breathable mesh on chest and back and removable arms
  • Back hydration envelope can hold three liters of fluid
  • Protective film on arms to resist cuts by tree branches

  • Armor sold separately

When you're hitting the trails on your motocross or ADV machine, the slower pace and wearing a helmet and armor can cook you. The Moto 4.5 X-Flow gives you an edge, with breathable mesh on the chest and back and removable arms. Leave the arms on for added reinforcement with a protective film that resists cuts caused by tree branches or the occasional stumble off your moto.

If you like to run a hydration reservoir but would rather not wear a backpack, the 4.5 X-Flow has an envelope designed to hold up to three liters of fluid against your back, and the suspension system prevents that reservoir from bunching up. We also dig that there are a total of six pockets, which is especially handy if you don't have much on-bike storage.

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