Reviews

Best Mesh Motorcycle Jackets: Ride Comfortably in the Summer

Stay cool and safe in your mesh summer riding motorcycle jacket.

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BY Andra DelMonico / LAST UPDATED ON March 26, 2021

Just because the weather is hot and summer is in full swing doesn’t mean you can skip wearing your motorcycle gear. Your winter leather jacket won’t offer the airflow necessary to keep you cool, which puts you at risk of overheating. Not wearing a jacket at all exposes your skin to UV rays and sunburn while also putting you at risk of injury. What you need is a mesh summer jacket.

 

These jackets are lightweight, breathable, and protective. You’ll appreciate the large amount of airflow they have while also having pockets for armor shells and your personal items. Some even come with removable liners to give you a quality three-season jacket for more use throughout the year. This guide will help you find the perfect mesh jacket for your summer motorcycle adventures.

Best Overall
Alpinestars T-Faster Air Textile Street Motorcycle Jacket
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Summary
Summary

A modern and sleek motorcycle jacket developed out of thick mesh panels on the back, chest, and sleeves for cooling performance.

Pros
Pros
  • Large stretch panels 
  • CE certified armor on shoulders and elbows
Cons
Cons
  • Small zipper 
  • Black is the only color option
Best Overall
Alpinestars T-Faster Air Textile Street Motorcycle Jacket
Best Value
Joe Rocket Phoenix 5.0 Mesh Motorcycle Riding Jacket
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Summary
Summary

This stylish motorcycle jacket is developed out of a blend of poly and mesh fabrics that is reinforced with thick padding in the shoulders, elbows, and ribs.

Pros
Pros
  • Large spine protector 
  • A lot of venting throughout
Cons
Cons
  • Zippers aren’t top quality 
  • Inside pocket is small
Best Value
Joe Rocket Phoenix 5.0 Mesh Motorcycle Riding Jacket
Honorable Mention
REV'IT! Airwave 3 Jacket
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Summary
Summary

Slip this breathable mesh jacket on and stay cool and comfortable while riding in the summer. It has several adjustment points and is fully lined.

Pros
Pros
  • CE armor shells in the shoulders and elbows 
  • Laminated reflective detailing
Cons
Cons
  • No back protector 
  • Sizing runs small
Honorable Mention
REV'IT! Airwave 3 Jacket

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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Benefits of Mesh Motorcycle Jackets

  • Ventilated. When it's warm outside, mesh biker jackets are ideal because they are lightweight and provide airflow when you're riding. They could have perforated panels, zippered vents, or large mesh ventilation panels. 
  • Protective. These jackets will have pockets for protective armor shells that provide shock absorption in the event of an impact. These are located at the shoulders, elbows, and back. Sometimes they’re also on the chest. 
  • Affordable. Mesh motorcycle jackets are often more affordable than other types of jackets. The construction material is more affordable than leather. This makes them perfect for beginners or those on a tight budget. 

Top Brands of Mesh Motorcycle Jackets

Alpinestars

Alpinestars got its start in 1963 in the small Northern Italy town of Asolo. The company launched when motocross began gaining popularity across Europe. Alpinestars produces numerous road racing products, such as boots, gloves, and jackets. One top product is the Alpinestars Wake Air Jacket, with its multi-fabric shell construction and airflow panels throughout.  

Joe Rocket

Based in California, Joe Rocket got its start in 1992. The company designs protective products with FreeAirTM mesh technology for the extreme summer heat. Its jackets and other gear also feature the company’s SureFitTM adjustment system for impact protection. One top mesh jacket is the Joe Rocket Velocity Mesh Jacket with its FreeAir mesh shell and waterproof liner.  

Mesh Motorcycle Jacket Pricing

  • Under $100: Mesh jackets in this price range are usually very lightweight and manufactured by lesser-known brands. They provide some protection but typically don’t include CE armor shells or other innovative features.
  • $100-$200: You can find good-quality mesh jackets at this price point. They are comfortable, lightweight, and protective. They may also feature more pockets, zippers for a pants attachment, armor shells, and other additions.
  • $200 and up: These jackets feature the latest innovations, CE armor shells, and top-quality construction materials. These jackets are worth the investment as they’ll last for years to come. 

Key Features

Fit

It’s vital that you get a mesh bike jacket that fits properly. If it’s too tight, you won’t be able to properly articulate your body, including your arms, which can affect your control of the motorcycle. If the jacket is too large, the armor may slide around and won’t adequately protect you in a crash. The extra material can flap around and be distracting. Plus, you want to be comfortable when you’re riding. 

Ventilation

Some jackets provide more airflow than others. For example, the chest and back should have large mesh panels for breathability. Also, look for extras such as sleeve zippers, which you can open for added airflow. Check the collar to see if it is mesh for comfort and ventilation. Quality jackets have vents on the back to encourage air to flow through the jacket. This will keep you cooler than only having vents on the front. 

Material

Most mesh motorcycle jackets are made of polyester or nylon. However, some are made with more durable materials, such as Karbonite, which is reportedly as much as 750 percent stronger than other types of mesh. Certain materials are also more resistant to abrasions and tears than other fabrics, which increases a jacket's durability and protection ability. 

Armor or Abrasion Protection

Most mesh jackets feature at a minimum elbow and shoulder armor, which provides impact protection in the event of a crash. High-quality jackets will feature CE-certified armor for maximum protection. Many jackets also include chest and back protectors. Note that some jackets are sold with armor, and some only have pockets for the armor, which you must purchase separately. Look for armor that has venting holes to prevent heat from building up under them. 

Other Considerations

  • Adjustability. Look for jackets that allow you to customize the fit around the sleeves and waist. Some feature elastic sleeves, while others have Velcro straps you can use for a tighter or looser fit. Some jackets even feature a zipper at the bottom so that you can attach it to riding pants.
  • Reflective Stripes. It's important to be visible to other vehicles, especially at night. That's why many of the best mesh motorcycle jackets feature reflective piping. These stripes are not very noticeable during the daytime, but once dusk hits, they can make a big difference when it comes to your visibility.
  • Removable Liner. While mesh riding jackets are intended for warmer weather, there may be days when there's a slight chill in the air. Some mesh jackets feature removable liners that you can use when it's a little cold outside. If the day warms up and you're still on your bike, you can simply remove it, so you don’t get too hot.

Best Mesh Motorcycle Jackets Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Best Overall
Alpinestars T-Faster Air Textile Street Motorcycle Jacket

This modern and sleek motorcycle jacket features thick mesh panels on the back, chest, and sleeves for cooling performance. The sleeves are pre-curved to reduce fatigue while riding, and the collar is low profile with a microfiber material for comfort. The jacket looks, feels, and fits great. It has good ventilation for summer riding, and it provides good protection for a lightweight jacket. The panels are large and stretchy for additional comfort and movement. The jacket features Level 1 CE-certified bio armor shoulder and elbow protectors. Overall, it's very breathable and comfortable.


One problem is that the zipper is small and can be difficult to zip up and down. Plus, it only comes in black (with small colored accents), so it may get hot during the summer. It may also be a little too slim-fitting for some riders.

Best Value
Joe Rocket Phoenix 5.0 Mesh Motorcycle Riding Jacket

This stylish motorcycle jacket is made with a blend of poly and mesh fabrics. It is reinforced with thick padding in the shoulders, elbows, and ribs. The shoulders and elbows are also supported with CE-approved armor. The removable liner is waterproof, and the jacket features a six-point SureFit adjustment system as well as a zipper to attach to pants. The jacket provides full upper-body protection and features large spine armor that is sculpted out of high-density padding. It has a great amount of air ventilation to keep you cool in hot temperatures and warm when it’s cold. It features a reflective strip for visibility, two outside pockets, one internal pocket, and a pocket for glasses.


One downside is that the square zippers aren’t the best quality and can easily get caught. Also, the interior pocket is snug and tiny, and the jacket may run a bit small. There have also been some complaints that the shoulder armor doesn't stay in place.

Honorable Mention
REV'IT! Airwave 3 Jacket

This breathable jacket is constructed of high-density 600D polyester with a PWR|mesh shell. The jacket is also fully lined. The jacket’s fit is a touring style to give you plenty of room through the torso and movement in the arms. There are adjustment straps at the hips, collar, upper arms, and cuffs. You’ll appreciate the Seesoft CE level 1 armor shells at the shoulders and elbows. You can also buy a set of chest protectors to add to the jacket. To increase your visibility, there is laminated reflective detailing on the chest and back. 


One drawback of this jacket is that the fit runs small. You can account for this by ordering a large size. The jacket also doesn’t come with a back protector, but you can add this armor too.

Honorable Mention
REV'IT! Eclipse Jacket

Choose from five color options for this breathable mesh summer motorcycle jacket. It’s constructed of durable 600D polyester with a mesh chassis for durability and maximum ventilation. It comes with CE armor in the shoulders and elbows. The jacket has a regular touring fit, giving you plenty of room in the shoulders and torso. It’s also a nice length, allowing you to easily connect the double jeans loops to your pants. There are adjustment straps to give you a custom fit. There are slit pockets on the outside and an inner pocket for valuables. 


Unfortunately, this jacket doesn’t come with back armor, but you can buy it separately and put it in the included pocket. It’s also smart to order a size larger than what the size chart indicates.

Honorable Mention
Icon Mesh AF CE Jacket

This jacket is a top choice when it’s hotter than hot outside. Its extra-large mesh panels give you a maximum amount of airflow throughout the entire jacket. All that mesh is reinforced to keep it abrasion-resistant and protective. What makes this jacket stand out is the included D30 elbow, shoulder, and back armor shells. You aren’t sacrificing protection for breathability. The jacket has an Icon Attack Fit with pre-curved arms and a long back. You can choose from black, black and white, or grey for the color of your jacket. 


The downside of this jacket is that the attack fit is slimmer and longer than an American cut. This can make it too slim or short for some bigger riders. This can result in the jacket being too tight in the chest or too long in the waist. 

Honorable Mention
Alpinestars Viper v2 Air Jacket

The changing seasons won’t slow you down when you wear this jacket. It comes in black and white, black and red, or a black/white/red combo. It has a multi-shell construction with mesh panels on the chest, back, and sleeves. The low-profile collar is lined with microfiber for increased comfort. The jacket is CE certified with CE level 2 Bio Armor in the shoulders and elbows. What makes the jacket stand out is the removable windbreaker liner, making this jacket suitable for wearing in the cooler spring and fall months. 


Unfortunately, the zipper isn’t very durable on this jacket. You’ll want to be careful and not get rough with it when opening and closing the jacket. Also, the windbreaker liner can be confusing to learn how to use.

Honorable Mention
Fly Racing Street Air Raid Jacket

This affordable jacket is perfect for entry-level riders or those on a tight budget. It’ll give you plenty of airflow through the diamond mesh patterned material. It’s a high abrasion-resistant nylon fabric that will protect your skin. Built into the shoulders and elbows are CE level one armor. The back has a protective PE pad. You’ll like the removable Hydraguard liner that’s waterproof and breathable. You’ll find wearing this jacket comfortable with the sport riding position structuring, large zipper pulls, dropped back length, and 3D mesh collar. 


Unfortunately, this jacket’s sizing runs small, so you’ll want to size up when ordering. It also doesn’t have CE armor for the back armor, but you can replace it with a better one. The waterproof liner can also make the jacket hot.

Honorable Mention
Klim Induction Jacket

Stay cool and protected in this Karbonite jacket. It’s heavy-duty abrasion and tear-resistant thanks to the 840D hi-tenacity 6.6 nylon textile reinforcements on the elbows and shoulders. It also comes outfitted with CE level one D30 armor on your elbows, shoulders, and back. You’ll appreciate the jacket's durability with Lim Rhino-Stitch construction and a UV resistance treatment on the mesh panels. Those who’ve bought the jacket like the comfort features, including the articulated arms, slightly longer torso length, fleece-lined collar, and moisture-wicking liner. There’s an emergency ID pocket on the sleeve forearm,  making this jacket ideal for long adventure rides. 


The downside of this jacket is that the mesh can easily snag and pull. You’ll want to handle it carefully when not wearing it. It also lacks sizing adjustments for a custom fit.

Honorable Mention
Helite Free-Air Mesh Airbag Jacket

The 600D Cordura mesh exterior of this jacket is designed to create the maximum amount of airflow while also being abrasion-resistant. There’s retro-reflective piping on the front, back, and arms for better visibility. You’ll also appreciate the multiple pockets throughout the jacket. The standout feature of this jacket is Helite's patented Turtle Airbag technology. The airbag fully inflates in under 0.1 seconds, thanks to a 160cc CO2 cartridge. The jacket also has CE level one shoulder and elbow armor and a SAS-TEC CE level two back protector. The inside of the jacket has a removable waterproof liner that’s fleece lined. 


Unfortunately, the liner doesn’t attach to the jacket, so it can move around and bunch while riding. You’ll also need to replace the CO2 cartridge should you use it or when it becomes too old. The jacket runs very small, so it’s recommended that you order two sizes larger.

Honorable Mention
Klim Baja S4 Jacket

You’ll love the generous amount of airflow this jacket has with its Schoeller-Dynatec nylon mesh construction. It’s a tightly woven mesh with an open weave design to give you plenty of airflow but also be protective. There are stretch zones that are a four-way micro stretch material to give you a full range of motion. For increased durability, there are super fabric reinforcements on the shoulders and elbows. The jacket also has vented D30 level one shoulder and elbow armor. This jacket stands out for its antimicrobial lining, adjustable armor pockets, 750D Cordura pockets, 1000D Cordura impact zones, and SCOTCHLITE™ C790 carbon black reflective material. 


One drawback of this jacket is that it doesn’t come with a spine protector. You’ll have to buy this separately and add it. 

Tips

  • In addition to a jacket, wear a pair of motorcycle gloves and helmet to better protect yourself in case you’re involved in an accident. 
  • Consider the type of motorcycle that you ride when buying a jacket. There are cruiser, sport, touring, café, and adventure jackets. Each type of jacket is designed with the bike’s riding position in mind. 
  • Look for a jacket with plenty of pockets. Internal pockets are good for keeping your valuables safe. External pockets are good for quick access. 
  • Regularly clean your jacket. This helps to maintain the material and ensure a longer useful life for your jacket. 

FAQs

Q: Do all mesh motorcycle jackets come with a liner?

Check with the manufacturer or look at the jacket before purchasing to make sure it comes with one. A liner is placed inside a jacket to keep you warmer in colder months. You can always buy a separate one to put inside the jacket if you need to.

Q: How do I wash a mesh motorcycle jacket?

Unlike leather, you may be able to put a mesh jacket in the washing machine. Double-check the tag just to be sure. Remove the pads and the inner liner before you toss it into the machine with cold water. If you can’t machine wash your jacket, you’ll need to hand wash or spot clean it. 

Q: What size mesh motorcycle jacket do I need?

Consult the manufacturer's sizing chart before making a purchase. Motorcycle jackets tend to run snug, so you may want to order a larger size. Also, think about whether you need to wear layers underneath the jacket.

Final Thoughts

For a sleek and breathable mesh motorcycle jacket, consider the Alpinestars T-Faster Air Textile Street Motorcycle Jacket

An affordable alternative is the Joe Rocket Phoenix 5.0 Mesh Motorcycle Riding Jacket. It features a large spine protector with adequate ventilation throughout.