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

Fashion meets function with a summer motorcycle jacket that protects you on the road

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BYNoelle Talmon/ LAST UPDATED ON July 26, 2022

Summer can be the best time for riding. It can also be uncomfortable if you're not wearing the right type of gear. High temperatures can be seriously sweat inducing when you're sitting at stoplights and stuck in traffic. A jacket can make or break your post-work ride or weekend getaway when the sun is beating down on you. If you're the type of rider who wears shorts and sneakers on your bike, pay attention. Protective equipment is a good idea regardless of the season. That means wearing ankle-supportive footwear, long pants to prevent abrasion in the event of a crash, and a jacket with armor. Fortunately, manufacturers know the importance of making summer riding jackets that are breathable and keep you relatively safe in an accident. Check out my top picks below.

Best Overall

Rev’It Eclipse Jacket

Summary
Made of 600D polyester mesh, this jacket comes in six colors and sizes small to 4XL.
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Good airflow
  • Feels sturdy
  • Adjustable straps
  • Good value
Cons
  • Sleeves may be too long
  • Back protection not included
Best Value

Bilt Blaze 2 Jacket

Summary
This mesh jacket is available in sizes from small up to 5XL. It comes in two black with optional orange striping on the sleeves.
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Good ventilation
  • Sturdy zippers
  • Adjustable fit
Cons
  • May not be true to size
  • May feel a little short on the torso
Honorable Mention

Klim Induction Jacket

Summary
Available in four color combinations, this mesh and cordura jacket is available in small to 3XL.
Pros
  • Back protection included
  • Moisture-wicking
  • Comfortable
  • Reflective for visibility
Cons
  • Pricey
  • Cuffs don’t have zippers
Best Summer Motorcycle Jackets: Safe and Comfortable No Matter the Temperature

Summary List

Our Methodology

I considered several factors when choosing the best summer motorcycle jackets. Armor was a priority. And armor is usually removable should you decide not to use it. I focused on well-known brands with a reputation for producing high-quality riding gear. It's beneficial to choose a product from a well-established company that knows a thing or two about keeping you comfortable and safe on the road. While I was unable to test these jackets, I consulted those who did and I read how riders said they performed in real-life conditions. I also included jackets from a range of prices to accommodate various budgets. For more information on our methodology, go here

Best Summer Motorcycle Jackets Reviews & Recommendations

Specs

  • Brand: Rev’It
  • Amor: CE-rated elbow and shoulder
  • Material: polyester mesh

Pros

  • Good overall value
  • Six color options
  • Good airflow
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Back protection must be purchased separately
  • Sleeves may be too long
  • Sits up high on the waist

If you're looking for a good balance of performance, aesthetics, and value, check out the Rev’It Eclipse Jacket. This jacket is available in six colors, including black, silver, and bright green. It's made of polyester mesh with ventilation panels and includes CE Level 1 armor in the elbows and shoulder with space for an optional back protector, which you can purchase separately. According to The Drive writer Robert Bacon, who owns the Eclipse, it’s the most breathable jacket he’s ever worn: “When I needed a jacket to handle the Mexican heat, I knew it had to be uncompromising. It’s light but feels like it’s going to do its job if it needs to. I added the optional Level 2 back insert, and all the armor sits just right, so I feel secure when I throw a leg over. It fits like nothing I’ve owned before, and I’ve gotten more compliments in the Eclipse than any other jacket.” Other features include arm straps for adjustability, hand pockets, and an inner pocket. The sleeves, however, may be a little long for some users, and you may have to order one size up for a better fit. It also sits high on the waist, which may be uncomfortable to some riders.

Specs

  • Brand: Bilt
  • Amor: CE-rated elbow and shoulder
  • Material: Mesh shell, 600D protection panels

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Several sizes available
  • Breathable
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Runs a little small
  • Short
  • Back armor purchased separately

If you want a summer jacket at a budget-friendly price, we recommend the BILT Blaze 2. It's available in numerous sizes, from small to 5XL, and there are tall sizes available as well. It features "ultra flow" mesh with reinforced panels for ventilation and CE-rated elbow and shoulder armor. You can also purchase back armor separately for added protection. The lining is mesh for breathability, it feels comfortable, and the zippers are sturdy. It also features reflective components, zippered cuffs, and several pockets. It's also adjustable on the wrist, forearm, and waist areas. However, you may need to order one or two sizes up for a proper, more comfortable fit. It is also a little short, and there may be a gap between the jacket and the pants when you're riding.

Specs

  • Brand: Klim
  • Amor: CE-rated elbow, shoulder, and back
  • Material: Karbonite mesh and cordura

Pros

  • Flexible and moisture-wicking mesh
  • Very adjustable
  • Stretch panels
  • Reflective elements

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No chest armor or zippers on the cuffs

The Klim Induction Jacket is a high-end pick for those who spend a lot of time riding during the summer and want optimal protection. While it's expensive, it's packed with features, including CE Level 1 armor in the back, shoulders, and elbows. The jacket comes with Karbonite mesh that is flexible yet sturdy and moisture-wicking. It is comfortable, adjustable, and promotes airflow. Adding to its comfort are stretch panels on the sides, shoulders, and arms, and it has plenty of give when you're on the bike and reaching for the bars. The zippers are easy to use and maneuver when you're wearing gloves, there are several pockets, and it's reflective for visibility. The cuffs, forearms, and waist are adjustable, and the collar sits low on the neck, so it's less intrusive on blistering hot days. One downside is that it is a little expensive compared to some rival options and doesn't include chest armor. The cuffs also don't have zippers.

Specs

  • Brand: Fly Racing Street
  • Amor: CE-rated elbow and shoulder
  • Material: Mesh

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Abrasion-resistant arms
  • Adjustments for curvier riders
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Arms might be a little long
  • No interior pocket

The Fly Racing Street Flux Air is also available for men, making it a great all-around pick. Plus, it's an affordable option. This jacket has CE Level 1 armor in the elbows and shoulders and features full flow mesh panels in the front, rear, and insides of the arms. The outer part of the arms are abrasion-resistant. There are zippers in the hip areas to provide a little more room even if you're a little curvy, and it's designed to fit comfortably when your arms are stretched out in a riding position. It's lightweight, reflective, and the high-impact areas are bolstered by high-abrasion material. The cuffs, waist, and arms have adjustable elements. However, the arms might be a little too long for some riders. Also, it lacks an interior pocket, and it may feel a little snug if you have broad shoulders.

Specs

  • Brand: Dainese
  • Amor: Shoulders and arms
  • Material: Mesh and leather

Pros

  • Three-season use
  • Removable liner
  • Ergonomically designed
  • Adjustable

Cons

  • Falls a little short on the waist
  • Can feel snug

If you have the money and are looking for spring and fall protection as well as a summer riding jacket, check out the Dainese Super Rider D-Dry Jacket. While it's expensive, it delivers when it comes to performance. Made of mesh and leather, it has a removable liner, which makes it more than bearable for those hot summer days. The D-Dry liner blocks wind and moisture on cooler days, and it's ergonomically designed for comfort. The jacket has excellent air flow and is a great sport touring option for every season except winter. It features shoulder and arm protection, and you can purchase chest and back armor separately. It is adjustable in the waist and cuffs, the fabric is water-resistant, it has two pockets, and it can be fastened to compatible pants. However, it's a little on the short side in the way that it falls above the waistline. Also, if you choose to add a back protector, it can be a snug fit.

Specs

  • Brand: Alpinestars
  • Amor: CE-certified elbow and shoulder protectors
  • Material: Mesh and polyester

Pros

  • Fastens to a compatible pair of Alpinestars pants
  • Lightweight
  • Good ventilation
  • Waist and cuffs are adjustable

Cons

  • Sleeves might be too long
  • Zipper is hard to use with gloves

The Alpinestars T-GP Plus R v3 Air Jacket is another great lightweight summer riding jacket. The torso and inner arms are covered in mesh for ventilation, and there is Nucleon Flex Plus impact armor in the shoulders and elbows. Chest and back protectors are available for an extra cost. The shoulders also include external sliders for abrasion resistance. The jacket features a low-profile mesh collar for comfort, and you can zipper it to a compatible pair of Alpinestars pants. There are two hand pockets and a large waterproof pocket on the inside, which is great for a wallet and smartphone, and it dries rather quickly if it gets wet. The sleeves are pre-curved for comfort, and you can adjust the waist and cuffs for the best fit. There are also reflective elements for night riding. The arms might be a little long for some riders, however, which means the armor may not fit properly over the elbows. The zipper is also a little small and can be hard to use with gloves on.

Our Verdict 

My pick for the best jacket overall is the Rev’It Eclipse Jacket, which gets two thumbs up from my colleagues due to its breathability, comfort, and lightness. It’s also stylish (the bright blue is my personal favorite). For a slightly more budget-friendly option, consider the Bilt Blaze 2 Jacket.

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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