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The Best Motorcycle Jackets You Can Buy in 2021

Whether you're commuting to the office or planning a cross-country journey, find the motorcycle jacket you need.

motorcycle jackets
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. To that end, a jacket will be your second-best friend after a helmet — so we've pulled together a guide to the best motorcycle jackets on sale to armor you up against all of the above.

Our choices for the best motorcycle jackets reflect seasonal thinking (summer heat, in particular) but also versatility. We looked for options with more pockets, manual vents and, where hot weather is a concern, removable arms. We included pieces with integrated armor or room for armor beneath and preferred tech materials that protect in 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.

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REV'IT! Trench GTX Jacket
Revzilla
REV'IT!

The Best All-Around Motorcycle Jacket

While many jackets offer active venting slots, the Trench from REV'IT! has Gore-Tex laminated directly into the shell, so it's always breathable and windproof. That' keeps you both warmer — since sweat built up will chill you — and cooler through constant venting when it's warm out. Add in active chest vents with oversized zips, magnetic anchors (both of which are easier to operate with gloved hands) and exit vents behind your shoulders, and you have a rugged 3/4-length jacket that's still designed around temperature management.

If your ride starts when it's cold out, a zip-in liner provides extra warmth to both your core and your arms — lots of liners only warm your core. And you're always protected via CE Level 2 armor at the elbows and shoulders. REV'IT! includes a sleeve to fit a Seesoft Back Protector (not included), and they cram the Trench with lots of pockets outside and inside the jacket, including a small Napoleon one on the chest that is perfect for your phone.

Belstaff Trialmaster Pro Leather Jacket
Revzilla
Belstaff

The Best Motorcycle Jacket Money Can Buy

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.

Klim Marrakesh Jacket
Revzilla
Klim

The Best Affordable Motorcycle Jacket

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.

For visibility, Klim added Scotchlite's C790 carbon black, 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.

Dainese Smart Jacket
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Dainese

The Best Motorcycle Jacket for Safety

If an airbag is suitable for car drivers, surrounded by metal and get seatbelts, why can't motorcyclists have one? Now they can. Dainese developed its airbag vest using MotoGP racing kinematics (studying the extreme g-forces those riders generate). It is thin enough to wear beneath other riding clothing but expands into a 360-degree pillow when you're separated from your bike.

Like similar systems for downhill skiers, the Smart Jacket reads when your body tilt and the velocity of direction change to "understand" the nature of the event. If it detects an accident, a rechargeable battery fires open the airbag. The algorithm it uses is specific to motorcycling, measuring for low side, high side and rear-end collisions.

The chest protection exceeds CE Level 2 standards for airbags, dispelling three times more force than hard armor. And the spine system dissipates more than four times what rigid armor offers.

AGV Sport Airflow Jacket
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AGV

The Best Jacket for Summer Sport Riding

True to its name, this AGV jacket gets as much venting as possible to your core while you ride in the heat. AGV includes mesh at the torso and back, but they’ve retained Samtex 600D Cordura for the shoulders and elbows in case of a slide. They also bake in reinforced Smoothways CE Level 2 elbow, shoulder and back protection. The cut is longer at the back to retain coverage when you’re tucked, and waist adjusters snug to prevent billowing at the low back. Add a removable thermal liner in the event your ride turns from steamy to chilly.

We like that AGV includes reflective elements, bicep cinches to tighten the fit, connection loops to attach pants to the jacket and a small inside wallet pocket.

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Leatt Moto 4.5 X-Flow Jacket
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Leatt

The Best Jacket for Hot Weather Motocross

When you're hitting the trails on your motocross or ADV machine, the slower pace and wearing a helmet and armor can slowly 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.

Leatt Moto 5.5 Enduro Jacket
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Leatt

The Best Jacket for Adventure and Touring

Like Leatt's X-Flow jacket for off-roading, the GPX 5.5 is designed for ventilation and hydration. Leatt gave the jacket both a suspension system to hold up to three liters of water and zip-open vents for airflow. Shut the vents to ward off rain or puddle spray, and the GPX 5.5's water-resistant fabric will keep you dry in everything but a total washout rainstorm. The arms are extra protective (and removable), and the jacket's core stretches with you, so it won't bind as you move around on your bike.

There's also more protection, especially from road grit and spray, thanks to the 3/4 length. And the cut is a hair roomy so that you can roll with armor underneath. Leatt reinforced the GPX 5.5 with double stitching at high-wear junctions, and we dig both the varied sizes of the nine pockets and the dedicated phone/shades pocket with its soft liner.

REV'IT! Element Jacket
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REV'IT!

The Best Jacket for Athletic Riders

Inspired by clothing for other pursuits, from snowboarding to backpacking, the Element looks perfectly at home off your moto, which was at least partly the goal while still featuring several moto-specific attributes. The jacket fits loosely to accommodate armor underneath or just an extra layer, and it’s both waterproof and stretchy.

The Element gets 750D Cordura Ripstop and Seesmart CE impact protection on the shoulders and elbows. REV’IT! adds zippered vents on both the forearm and biceps, with zippered front pockets that double as exhaust vents. Think that leaves you pocketless? Nope: There are two more on the inside of the Element, just in case. Although the hood is large enough to fit over a helmet, you can also remove it to make room for a neck brace or to change up your style. 

AETHER Mojave Jacket
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AETHER

The Best Jacket for City Riders

While it looks like a classic short-waisted duster, Aether’s Mojave packs a lot of tech to pull off both style and function. The cotton-canvas shell is paired with a polyester mesh liner and D30 CE Level 1 armor at the shoulders and elbows, and D3O CE Level 2 back protection.

Still, it’s built entirely around active cooling, too, with zippered chest, pits, sleeves, and exit ports at the back. And Aether learned a lot from what it builds on the ski side of its house, so both the front pockets and front placket open and close singlehandedly, even with a gloved mitt. Besides the dual front pockets, there’s also a handy zippered interior wallet-sized one.

Merlin Stafford Wax Jacket
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Merlin

Get the Belstaff Look for Less

Like the classic Belstaff jacket but find the price point too steep? Merlin's Stafford offers similar retro-newfangled perfection at a far more affordable price. The Scottish-English startup blends a classic look with modern materials and tech, including a Merlin Integrated Airbag (sold separately) that snaps inside. The jacket can also zip to some of Merlin's pants.

Vents at the chest, sleeve, and back are critical, and Merlin added these to increase the breathability of the waxed cotton shell. You can zip in a waterproof membrane liner to prevent any water that cuts through the waxed exterior from penetrating. Or zip in a removable insulated layer, too, to amplify warmth. Merlin incorporates CE Level 1 armor at the elbows and shoulders, and there's a slot for a back protector, too. Snaps seal the pockets at the chest, and Merlin builds in dual hand pockets at the waist.

Merlin Stafford Wax Jacket
Revzilla
Merlin

The Belstaff Look for Less, Part 2

Like the classic Belstaff jacket but find the price point too steep? Merlin's Stafford offers similar retro-newfangled perfection at a far more affordable price. The Scottish-English startup blends a classic look with modern materials and tech, including a Merlin Integrated Airbag (sold separately) that snaps inside. The jacket can also zip to some of Merlin's pants.

Vents at the chest, sleeve, and back are critical, and Merlin added these to increase the breathability of the waxed cotton shell. You can zip in a waterproof membrane liner to prevent any water that cuts through the waxed exterior from penetrating. Or zip in a removable insulated layer, too, to amplify warmth. Merlin incorporates CE Level 1 armor at the elbows and shoulders, and there's a slot for a back protector, too. Snaps seal the pockets at the chest, and Merlin builds in dual hand pockets at the waist.

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best motorcycle backpacks
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