Stay Cool and Safe With the Best Textile Motorcycle Jackets
You don’t need leather to protect yourself during the hottest months.
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Every rider with a few miles under her belt knows the importance of wearing the proper gear in the proper season. A leather jacket might be too too hot, or it might not have the water-resistant properties that a robust, three-season textile jacket provides. Textile jackets can be ventilated for hot summer days and might be designed with several layers to accommodate nearly year-round rides. They come in a variety of styles with features that make riding more comfortable regardless of the temperature. If you're not sure which textile jacket is the best for your needs, check out the options in this buying guide.
Klim Carlsbad Jacket
Designed for on- and off-road use, this jacket has a Gore-Tex shell, Karbonite Ripstop, and includes CE-certified armor in the back, elbows, and shoulders .
- Several vents for airflow
- 14 pockets
- Feels heavy
Alpinestars T-Faster Air Textile Street Motorcycle Jacket
Alpinestars is a well-known brand that produces quality and effective motorcycle gear. This jacket comes in four color variations of a black jacket with colored accents. You can choose from sizes small through 4XL.
- Microfiber lining
- CE-certified back protector
- Adjustable waist strap for a custom fit
- Doesn’t come with a liner
Rev'It Eclipse Jacket
This mesh jacket is designed for summer riding and is made with 600D polyester. It has elbow and shoulder armor with the option of including back armor.
- Superior airflow
- Smooth zippers
- Runs a little small
- Velcro can unfasten
- Minimal pockets
Best Textile Motorcycle Jackets Reviews & Recommendations 2021
We like the Klim Carlsbad Jacket because of its ventilation and highly protective nature. It's designed for adventure riders who ride both on the road and off. The jacket has a Gore-Tex shell and is made of durable fabric with Karbonite Ripstop and reinforced impact zones, so it's built to last. CE-certified elbow, shoulder, and back armor are included, as well as Klimatek cooling mesh liners; vents in the forearm, chest, and back areas; eight external pockets; six internal pockets; quick-adjust straps; glove-friendly zipper pulls; and a jacket-to-pants integration system. Overall, it does a great job of keeping out the cold and wind if properly layered. It's also comfortable, stylish, and fits well. Users report that it's fine to wear in temperatures up to 85 degrees Fahrenheit with all the vents open.
The biggest downside is its high price. Also, it's a little on the heavy side.
The popular Italian-based Alpinestars designs high-quality and effective motorcycle gear, including this textile jacket. It is available in several color variations featuring a black jacket with colored accents. It fits several body types and comes in sizes small through 4XL.
This jacket features a microfiber lining along the interior edges for comfort. There’s a CE-certified back protector as well as CE-certified Bio Armor shoulder and elbow protectors. It includes a unique feature that you don’t find on all textile jackets: an adjustable waist strap for a custom fit. The jacket has large panels for comfort and pre-curved sleeves to reduce fatigue while riding.
One downside is that this jacket doesn’t come with a liner, so you’ll need to purchase one separately, should you choose to wear it while riding in cooler temperatures. As shipped, it's a summer-only jacket. Another downside is the jacket is a bit plain.
If you're looking for a summer jacket, the Rev'It Eclipse Jacket is an affordable and protective option. This mesh jacket is made of polyester with CE-level armor in the elbows and shoulders. It can also accommodate a back protector, should you choose to purchase one separately. The jacket has ventilation panels, adjustment straps for a customized fit, two exterior slit pockets, and one interior pocket. The mesh construction provides excellent air flow, it's comfortable when you're riding, and it has a nice tapered look. The zippers work well, and it's well-constructed overall.
You may, however, need to go up one size from what the size chart recommends. Also, the Velcro at the ends of the sleeves doesn't always stay fastened at highway speed. More pockets would be helpful.
One of the reasons we like the Joe Rocket Atomic Men's 5.0 Textile Motorcycle Jacket is because it comes in so many color combinations, including black, black/silver, blue, gray, orange, and red. Also, it's available in a wide range of sizes, from small to 5XL, so many individuals can find the perfect fit. It's designed for upright touring and sport-bike riders. The jacket is waterproof and comes with C.E.-approved armor in the shoulders and elbows for impact protection. There's also a pocket in which you can insert removable spine armor for added safety. The jacket's zippers are waterproof, and it has a variable flow ventilation system for airflow. It also has two outside pockets, one inside pocket, and a lower back storage pocket. The insulated full-sleeve liner is removable, and reflective panels and logos make you more visible at night.
One downside is that the zippers can be a little bit of a hassle. It also might not be the best option if you have long arms.
Best for Warm WeatherViking Cycle Ironside Textile Mesh Motorcycle JacketCheck Latest Price
The Viking Cycle Ironside Textile Mesh Motorcycle Jacket is available in extra small to 4XL and comes in military green, orange, black, silver, high visibility, and red. It's very breathable and has a lot of airflow due to its mesh design and zipper chest air vents, so it's ideal for summer riding. It comes with C.E.-certified armor in the upper and lower back, shoulders, and elbows for protection from abrasion in the event of a fall. It's comfortable as well as stylish with three inner pockets and four zippered outside pockets. You can adjust the waist and cuffs using the Velcro straps to create a more customized fit. Overall, it's a great option for warm, dry days, and it's affordable.
However, the sleeves may be a little short for some riders. Due to its mesh construction, it's not a good option in colder temperatures.
Best for Wet WeatherSpeed and Strength Off The Chain 2.0 Textile JacketCheck Latest Price
The Speed and Strength Off The Chain 2.0 Textile Jacket appeals to many types of riders. Both protective and functional, this hooded jacket is water resistant, so you should stay dry in light rain conditions. It has CE Level 1 elbow, shoulder, and spine armor that will provide protection during an impact. Other features include a concealed carry pocket, reflective trim, speed zip-controlled ventilation, shoulder expansion gussets, a waist adjuster, and a microfiber-lined collar and cuffs. The hooded liner keeps you warm in temperatures around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. It's also comfortable in higher temperatures if you remove the liner because the ventilation system provides ample airflow.
However, there have been some complaints that the collar is not particularly comfortable when you wear it for a long period of time. Also, without the liner, it feels a little short on your body.
The Dainese Super Speed Textile Jacket is designed for summer riding due to its mesh construction. It includes CE-certified armor on the elbow and shoulders as well as aluminum shoulder sliders and pockets to add optional back and chest protectors. Other features include an adjustable waist, neck, and wrists; a removable windproof insert; a jacket/pants fastening system; one internal pocket; and two outside pockets. Made of Duratex fabric, it provides good airflow, and stays cool in the summer. The windbreaker liner is helpful on chillier days. It's comfortable, doesn't feel restrictive, and is stylish.
Unfortunately, it only has a space for a chest protector on the right side; the left side features an internal pocket instead. Also, it has a tendency to ride up unless you zip it into your riding pants.
The Bilt Blaze 2 Jacket is also a good option when the temperature rises, particularly because it's so affordable. It's made of 600D textile panels with mesh elements that provide ventilation in the summer. It comes with CE-rated elbow and shoulder armor, and you have the option of adding back armor for an added cost. It has zippered cuffs, zippered front pockets, an inside pocket, a neoprene rolled collar, adjustable sleeves, and a hook and loop closure to adjust the waistline. It's lightweight, provides plenty of airflow, and is easy to move around in. Overall, it's well-constructed and comfortable.
One downside is that the jacket tends to run small, so you may need to order one size up. It also feels a little short on the torso for some people.
The Firstgear Kathmandu Jacket is a great jacket for adventure riders. The shell is waterproof and breathable and made of ripstop nylon and high-density nylon, which is durable and lightweight. It includes CE-rated armor in the elbows and shoulders as well as an EVA dense-foam back pad. What makes this jacket stand out from others on our list is the 1.5-liter hydration bladder backpack, which is removable if you don't need it. Other features include an under-the-helmet rain hood, an adjustable collar and cuffs, several intake and exhaust vents, dry pockets, compression straps on the biceps and forearms, a removable thermal liner, and a jacket-to-pants zipper. The pockets are positioned in just the right spots, and it features several adjustable straps so it fits your shape properly. It's an excellent three-season jacket overall.
One issue with this jacket is the Velcro on the sleeves tends to catch on things. It also doesn't provide as much airflow as some rival brands.
If you like touring, consider the multi-season Olympia Airglide 5 Jacket. The shell is made of ballistic mesh and 500 denier Cordura that provides ventilation in warmer temperatures. It also has a two-layer waterproof and breathable liner as well as a Termolite insulated liner, which both help when the temperature drops. The waterproof liner can also be worn on top of the jacket. Like other high-quality options, it has removable CE-certified armor in the back, elbows, and shoulders. It also features reflective elements, so you're more visible at night. The jacket is adjustable in the collar, cuffs, elbows, and waist area. It has five pockets, an interior cell-phone pocket, and a connecting zipper for pants. Overall, it's a great choice if you need a jacket that keeps you cool in the summer yet warm on cool, damp mornings.
The high-visibility color is much too bright for some riders' tastes. Plus, the cell phone pocket is a little small for devices with big cases.
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If you’re looking for a high-quality jacket with a history of proven performance, you can’t go wrong with the Klim Carlsbad Jacket. For a more budget-friendly option, consider the Alpinestars T-Faster Air Textile Street Motorcycle Jacket.
What to Consider When Buying a Jacket
While most cruiser motorcycle jackets are made of leather, there are some brands that are textile, including Harley-Davidson. Cruiser textile jackets do not typically include armor or protective plating because people don't usually ride a cruiser as fast as they do a sport bike.
Street jackets can be textile, leather, or a combination. They often feature removable liners and a lot of vents so they can be worn over the course of several seasons. This makes them quite versatile. These jackets usually feature armored protection in areas such as the elbows, back, and shoulders.
Many adventure-style or dual-sport jackets are made out of textiles and are designed to be breathable. They are ventilated and insulated and able to accommodate thermal liners. These jackets usually have numerous pockets and are longer than other types of jackets to cover more areas of the body.
Take your measurements before purchasing a textile motorcycle jacket to ensure it fits correctly. Also, check to see if the brand you’re considering is true to size or tends to run small. Wearing a jacket that is too large or too small isn't a good idea. Larger jackets may billow in the wind, and smaller ones will make you feel too constrained. Both can make riding unsafe.
Motorcycle armor is often unnoticeable and very lightweight. Many textile jackets with CE-rated armor are designed to protect various parts of your body, including your back, elbows, and shoulders. Not all brands of jackets include armor, but some do. Some armor is also removable and replaceable.
Choose the most comfortable textile jacket you can find. It should be snug but not too tight. While leather jackets are softer, they are also heavier. Textile jackets are lighter and more flexible, so they tend to fit a little differently than other materials. If you're not comfortable when you're on the bike, it can be distracting and dangerous.
If you're looking for the best waterproof textile motorcycle jacket, make sure to read the fine print. Some are 100 percent waterproof, while others are simply water resistant. A few brands are designed to withstand the summer heat as well as sunlight. Many textile jackets are designed to hold up well in windy conditions.
- Pockets. It can be frustrating if you don't have a lot of pockets and carry a lot of stuff, including your wallet, phone, and keys. Most motorcycle jackets have two outside pockets, and some include one or two inner pockets. Determine what you need before you make a purchase.
- Night Visibility. It's crucial that motorists see you when you're riding at night. While your bike has lights and reflectors, it's also a good idea to have reflective elements on your clothing, including your jacket. Many textile motorcycle jackets feature reflective striping on the sleeves and/or back that makes you more visible in the dark.
- Ventilation. If you're riding in the summer, a ventilated motorcycle jacket is essential. It can get very warm when the temperature rises, which can cause you to sweat. The more ventilation, the cooler you will be. Textile jackets are much cooler than leather jackets, and some even feature zippered vents, which you can close on cooler days.
- When choosing a jacket size, think about how you sit on the motorcycle. You need it to fit properly through the shoulders and arms when you reach for the handlebars, not standing straight.
- Look for a jacket that can handle multiple seasons so you get the most use out of it. Ventilation zippers and removable liners take a jacket from one season to the next.
- Safety features like CE-certified shells give your jacket increased protective qualities. The jackets with the most protection will have these plates on the most vulnerable areas of your body, including the elbows, shoulders, and spine.
Textile Motorcycle Jacket Pricing
The more you spend, the higher the quality of the jacket. Textile jackets that sell for $60 to $200 are made of more durable materials and fabrics. They may also have more features, such as replaceable armor and extra pockets. Textile jackets for more than $200 are typically geared to adventure touring riders and serious sport bikers. They feature superior protection and are designed to withstand a variety of weather conditions.
Q. How do I know if a motorcycle jacket will fit properly?
Reach forward with your hands as if you’re grabbing your bike’s handlebars. The sleeves should stay at your wrists. It shouldn’t feel tight through your shoulders, and the waist should be snug and stay in place without riding up.
Q. Does color matter on a motorcycle jacket?
The look of your jacket is about personal taste. Some riders choose to match the colors of their jackets to their other gear. Others prioritize safety and look for a high-visibility jacket, which has lots of reflective material and neon-yellow hues.
Q. Should I pick a certain style for my motorcycle jacket?
Match your jacket to the style of riding that you do. Jackets are cut to accommodate different riding positions. A jacket meant to be worn on a cruiser will not be comfortable on a sport bike and vice versa.
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