Best Summer Motorcycle Jackets: Safe and Comfortable No Matter the Temperature

Don’t let soaring summer temperatures top you from hitting the road. Stay safe and cool with one of our top picks.

Best Overall

Rev’it Airwave 3

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Best Value

Rev’it Eclipse 2

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Honorable Mention

Alpinestars T-GP Plus R v3 Air

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A motorcycle jacket has one job above all else: keep the user safe in a crash. If you choose wisely, you’ll get a jacket that keeps you safe and looks great. But here’s the thing, if you like to ride in the height of summer and buy a regular motorcycle jacket, it’ll be useless because you won’t want to ride. You need a summer motorcycle jacket. If you don’t have the right gear to tackle the summer heat, every minute spent on your bike will be a struggle. Take it from the guy that recently spent five hours riding in 98-degree Fahrenheit weather. I would’ve turned around before the halfway point without my Rev’it Eclipse jacket.

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Summary List

Best Overall: Rev’it Airwave 3
Best Value: Rev’it Eclipse 2
Honorable Mention: Alpinestars T-GP Plus R v3 Air
Premium Pick: Klim Induction Jacket
Most Stylish: Merlin Shenstone Air D3O
Best for Women: Fly Racing Street Flux Air

Our Methodology

To choose the best motorcycle summer jackets, I employed The Drive’s comprehensive research methodology and evaluated dozens of gloves before choosing the top contenders. Although I haven’t personally tested these products, my selection is informed by consumer testimonials, expert reviews, discussions on relevant online forums, and my institutional knowledge of the motorcycle industry.

Best Summer Motorcycle Jackets Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall

Rev’it Airwave 3

See It

Best Value

Rev’it Eclipse 2

See It

Honorable Mention

Alpinestars T-GP Plus R v3 Air

See It

Premium Pick

Klim Induction Jacket

See It

Most Stylish

Merlin Shenstone Air D3O

See It

Best for Women

Fly Racing Street Flux Air

See It

Our Verdict on Summer Motorcycle Jackets

My pick for the best jacket overall is the Rev’it Airwave 3, which uses PWR mesh to ensure a refreshing ride and features ripstop fabric and pockets for armor, giving you all-around protection. For a slightly more budget-friendly option, consider the Rev’it Eclipse 2.

Consider Secondhand

When we start shopping for tools and products, we never overlook the secondhand market. In fact, it’s usually the first place I look. Whether you’re scrolling through Amazon’s Renewed section, eBay for car parts or tools, or flipping through the pages of Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist, you have hundreds of thousands of used tools, parts, and gear ready to be shipped to your doorstep. Refurbished to like-new status, they’ll be willing to give you many more years of faithful service all while saving you money. 

Secondhand Tips

To make your secondhand search easier, here are two tips to finding the best deals and making sure your new-to-you stuff wasn’t destroyed by the previous owner. 

  • Check the item for obvious signs of wear and tear. Look at the seams and zippers and evaluate their condition. 
  • If the jacket contains armor, inspect it to make sure it’s in good shape and hasn’t been involved in an accident.

What to Consider When Buying a Summer Motorcycle Jacket

Fit

Always check the sizing chart. Some brands run smaller, and armor can make the jacket feel more snug around the back and torso. Read reviews of the products to see what users ordered relative to their normal sizes. Some jackets run shorter than others, which may be less comfortable for some riders. Also, consider sleeve length and whether or not there are adjustments in the waist, arms, and cuffs.

Ventilation

Ventilation and air flow are important when choosing a summer riding jacket. Most options have mesh elements, but construction can differ between brands. Some have more mesh than others. Also look to see if the liner is removable, which can make it more comfortable on those particularly hot and humid days.

Armor 

Armor can make a big difference when it comes to crash protection. All of the jackets on this list include at a minimum shoulder and elbow protection. A few include back protection or the space to accommodate it and the ability to purchase it separately. You can also find jackets with chest protection if you really want to step up your game. However, armor can make the jacket feel more snug, and if it doesn’t fit properly, the armor won’t cover your body as well as it should. That’s why it’s important to make sure to consult the size guidelines and user reviews for the best fit.

Pricing 

You can find a decent summer motorcycle jacket for less than $150. These jackets are typically basic and might not include many pockets or removable liners. If you spend just a little bit more, you will find jackets with a few more features. Some of the more high-end options, which can cost several hundred dollars, may include back armor and/or the versatility to use them during other seasons of the year. Jackets on the lower end of the price range are good, but higher-priced picks typically have additional perks that make them worth the investment.

FAQs 

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q: What do motorcyclists wear in the summer?

A: Even though temperatures can be sweltering in the summer, the most conscientious riders wear gloves, pants, a jacket, over-the-ankle boots, and a helmet. This equipment covers the skin to minimize sun exposure and also protects the body from abrasion in the event of a crash. Oftentimes the gear is ventilated or constructed of mesh panels for airflow. Lighter colors are popular because they absorb less heat than black.

Q: Are leather motorcycle jackets good for summer riding?

A: Leather jackets are protective, however, they can be very hot. They are generally not ventilated like their textile jacket counterparts.

Q: What do you wear under a motorcycle jacket in the summer?

A: It’s a good idea to wear a light layer underneath your jacket that’s comfortable and keeps you dry. Some materials are more breathable and moisture-wicking than others. For example, shirts that are 100-percent cotton are less desirable because they absorb moisture and don’t dry very quickly.

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Robert Bacon Avatar

Robert Bacon

Commerce Reporter

Robert is a Commerce Reporter at The Drive and Car Bibles who began working with the team in January 2021. Since then, he has transitioned from a part-time contributor to a full-time employee. He primarily creates informational motorcycle and car content, automotive buying guides, and how-to pieces. Originally from Ireland, Robert traveled across Asia and Europe working with automotive dealerships and rental companies but now spends most of his time in Mexico.