LAST UPDATED: March 23, 2021
Best Adventure Motorcycle Jackets: Gear Up for Your Next Ride
Protect yourself on your next journey with one of these top motorcycle jackets.
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PUBLISHED ON March 23, 2021
If you're an ADV rider, you enjoy taking the longer, scenic route, which often involves off-road trails and off-the-beaten-path destinations. Adventure riders don't mind getting a little dirty and have more flexibility with their bikes than the typical commuter. Oftentimes ADV trips involve riding long distances, camping, and dirt bike trails. ADV riders are a bit fearless and thrive on pushing themselves and their bikes in sometimes challenging situations.
If you're an ADV rider, you know the importance of high-quality riding gear. You need the best equipment to safely and comfortably reach your destination. One must-have article of clothing is an adventure motorcycle jacket. While they can be a little on the pricey side, they're worth the investment because of the features they provide. Check out some of the top options available in our buying guide below.
This jacket has numerous vents for air flow. It includes CE-certified shoulder, elbow and back armor. The material includes 500D Karbonite RipStop.
- Comfortable even in warm temperatures
- Numerous pockets, including a waterproof chest pocket
- Has glove-friendly zippers
- A little heavy
- Material is a little stiff
This high visibility touring jacket comes in sizes small through XX-large. It’s made of 500 denier nylon and is reinforced with 1680 denier nylon at the abrasion zones. All high-stress seams are reinforced with heavy bar tacking. There are several zippers for venting to create optimal airflow. There are two large cargo pockets on the lower front, two more on the chest, and one internal pocket.
- This jacket can handle any climate with full-length zippers for hot days, a removable waterproof liner for rainy days, and a removable thermal liner for cold days
- CE-certified armor on the shoulders and elbows
- Just one color option
- Jacket may be overkill for most people who won’t need the extreme level of protection this jacket offers
This touring jacket comes in four different color options and a wide range of sizes from X-small to XXX-large. The outer shell of the jacket is made of 600 denier nylon. Then it’s reinforced with a 1680 denier nylon on the elbows. There are nine pockets throughout.
- Vents throughout the jacket increase the breathability in hot weather
- There's a hidden under-the-helmet hood to eliminate water seepage around the collar in the rain
- Lower back of the jacket has a panel to increase comfort during wear
- Velcro used in the jacket tends to fail over time with use
- Sleeves of this jacket tend to be skinnier than other similar jackets
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Benefits of Adventure Motorcycle Jackets
- Safety. While all bikers need to wear protective clothing, it's particularly important for adventure riders who ride both on road and off. Jackets are specially constructed with protective elements, such as armor, to absorb impact during a crash.
- Comfort. The best adventure motorcycle jackets are customizable for comfort. They often feature adjustable cuffs, collars, and waists, so you can get the best fit. Most have removable liners, allowing you to keep cool on warmer days.
- Protection against the elements. Adventure riders hit the road in all types of weather. As a result, they need protective gear that can accommodate everything from a sunny day to a heavy downpour. Most jackets are waterproof, and they have ventilation for air flow when the temperature rises.
Types of Adventure Motorcycle Jackets
The best adventure motorcycle jackets are built to last throughout all four seasons. They are designed to handle different weather conditions and protect riders from wind, rain, snow, and more. Riders who want this kind of protection can find it in thermal-lined adventure motorcycle jackets.
This type comes with a thermal inner layer and a thick outer shell. Both of these features can be removed for more convenience in different road situations. You can use a thermal inner liner to keep you warm, dry, and comfortable in the winter, and remove it when the temperatures rise.
Although thermal-lined jackets have removable liners, and you can use them during warmer weather, they are not as convenient as unlined jackets in the summer. Unlined adventure motorcycle jackets have vents and zippers to promote airflow and keep drivers cool at all times.
Unlined jackets also have an armored shell and waterproof protection. However, you will have to buy a separate lining for the winter if you intend on wearing the same clothing item in all seasons. The good thing is that unlined jackets allow riders to select the type and number of layers they need, and add them accordingly.
The Idaho-based Klim was founded in 1999 and makes motorcycle and snowmobile gear for men and women. It has clothing lines designed specifically for adventure riders. Check out the Klim Carlsbad Jacket.
Based in North Irvine, Calif., Firstgear has been making adventure gear for motorcyclists for more than 20 years. The company’s motto is "There's no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear." We recommend the Firstgear Kilimanjaro Jacket.
Alpinestars was founded in Maser in northern Italy. While the company initially focused on boot production, it currently makes a variety of products, including jackets, pants, gloves, and helmets. One popular product is the Alpinestars Andes v3 Jacket.
Scorpion Exo has been around for over a decade, producing high-quality and innovative motorcycle helmets and apparel. The company is located in Santa Fe Springs, Calif. It's widely known for its top-notch items designed to meet the budget of all motorcycle riders. The Scorpion XDR Yosemite Motorcycle Adventure Touring Jacket made it to the top of our list, which speaks for itself about the quality of the company's products.
Tourmaster is a company that produces high-tech motorcycle apparel. It's owned by Helmet House, a manufacturer of power sports industry products, and is located in Calabasas Hills, Calif. Launched in 1979, Tourmaster grew over time and became a leading brand in motorcycle gear such as suits, jackets, pants, gloves, and boots. Our favorite product from this company is the Tourmaster Transition Series 4 Men's Textile Motorcycle Touring Jacket.
Adventure Motorcycle Jackets Pricing
- Under $300: If you are new to adventure riding and don't want to spend a lot of money, you can find a decent jacket in this price range. However, it will have fewer features, and most don't include back armor.
- $500 and up: Higher-quality adventure riding jackets are going to be a bit of an investment. If you're an avid biker who frequently rides long distances on and off road, you need a jacket that you can depend on that will withstand all kinds of weather conditions. They may cost more, but they're worth it due to their durability and versatility.
One of the first things to look for in an adventure motorcycle jacket is the protection it provides. There can be quite some hazards both on and off the road, and you want to be ready and safe at all times. Thus, the best clothing item you can get is the one that comes with armor so it can adequately protect you.
Jackets with CE-certified armor can absorb impacts and keep drivers safe in case of crashes and accidents. Therefore, look for the CE logo on the adventure motorcycle jacket and double-check whether it has shoulder, elbow, and back armor.
Wherever you go with your motorcycle, chances are you're going to get wet. To make your adventures worry-free, ensure you have a waterproof jacket. With it, you can ride in any weather and still stay dry and comfortable.
It's important to notice that not all adventure jackets have full protection against water. Some of them feature only a moisture-resistant inner liner, while others provide just an outer water-protective shell. We recommend you look for an adventure motorcycle jacket with both features. Only then you'll have the protection you need from the weather.
As an adventure rider, you will want to get a jacket with excellent ventilation. A breathable clothing item makes all the difference in the world in hot weather. It will not only keep you cool, but will also prevent sweating and discomfort, which is crucial for both short- and long-distance rides.
To make sure your desired jacket has proper ventilation, look for zippered vents you can open and close whenever necessary. It would be best to find a jacket with vents on both the front and the back for superior air circulation. A removable inner liner also helps with ventilation because it allows for simple adjustments in the summer and winter.
- Pockets. No motorcycle rider should neglect the need for multiple storage pockets. Plenty of zippered and waterproof pockets prove to be very beneficial during adventure rides. They allow for storing small, portable accessories you might need within hand's reach.
- Versatility. A good adventure motorcycle jacket should also be fully customizable and adjustable. That allows for a better riding experience, especially with always-changing road conditions. Keep an eye out for an adjustable waist, collar, wrist, and compression straps. These things will help you stay comfortable in different weather conditions.
- Style. The overall design of an adventure motorcycle jacket shouldn't be overlooked by any means. You should look for the one that fits perfectly and complements your gear. The best motorcycle jacket should be as stylish as it is comfortable and protective.
Best Adventure Motorcycle Jackets Reviews & Recommendations 2021
Designed specifically for ADV riders, the Klim Carlsbad Jacket is for those who seek durable, breathable, abrasion-resistant, and streamlined outerwear. One of its best features is the venting system, which includes two forearm vents, two chest intake vents, and two vertical back exhaust vents, so you feel comfortable no matter the temperature. It comes with CE-certified shoulder, elbow, and back protector armor and Klimatek cooling mesh liners in the armor pockets. The rugged textile material contains 500D Karbonite RipStop for durability.
Other features include a Gore-Tex shell, glove-friendly zipper pulls, six internal pockets, eight external pockets including a waterproof chest pocket, and a jacket-to-pants integration system. You can also wear a backpack with this jacket. Users report that it's true to size, blocks out the wind and cold temperatures, and overall provides excellent protection in various weather conditions.
One downside is that it's a little heavy. Also, the material feels a little stiff.
If you're looking for a heavy-duty touring jacket, Scorpion Exo has just the perfect one for you. This model is made of 500 denier nylon and reinforced with 1680 denier nylon at the abrasion zones. It even features high-stress seams with heavy bar tacking for ultimate security and protection. Overall, the jacket is ideal for extreme weather and challenging road conditions. We recommend it to everyone who is setting up for a challenging ride. When it comes to design benefits, this jacket has several of them.
The CE-certified armor on the shoulder and elbows, and the removable waterproof and thermal liners, make the jacket perfect for different seasons. There's also a reflective strap to enhance visibility, as well as several zippers for venting to create optimal airflow. Another thing most motorcycle riders love is the extra storage space. With two large cargo pockets on the lower front, two on the chest, and an internal one, it's not likely you will run out of space for storing your essentials.
Still, the jacket might be a little too much for those who are not planning on riding through extreme weather. For casual and short-distance rides, we recommend some of the other and lighter options on our list. This one is also quite expensive and comes in only one color.
This is one of the most versatile and best-designed jackets within the category. You can choose a perfect model from four different color options and a wide range of sizes, from X-small to XXX-large. Even more important, you can enjoy your adventures with this jacket regardless of weather and road conditions.
The jacket is made from 600 denier nylon and reinforced with a 1680 denier nylon on the elbows, which means it can keep drivers safe in case of impacts. There are also several vents to increase breathability and a lower-back panel to enhance comfort during long rides. Buyers also like the hidden hood that prevents water seepage around the collar and makes the jacket even more suitable for cold and rainy weather.
You could still run into a few issues with this jacket, though. For example, the Velcro used for the construction can fail over time, especially after heavy, daily use. The sleeves are also somewhat skinny and might influence how the jacket fits.
If you ride a BMW, the BMW Rallye Jacket is great for your on and off-road adventures. It features ProTechWool, which provides airflow and dries quickly. The elbows are reinforced for additional abrasion protection, and the waterproof liner can be worn on top of the jacket as well as inside of it. Warmer temperatures are not an issue because it has vents on the chest and arms, making it very breathable. CE-certified armor is included in the back, elbows, and shoulders. It also has 10 pockets — two of which are waterproof — to hold your keys, smartphone, and other gear.
Additional features include reflective elements for more visibility and snap buttons/hook and loop fasteners for a more customized fit. Its adjustability is one of its most beneficial features. In addition, it's true to size and comfortable even if you're a larger individual.
However, it's a little warm in high temperatures, and the white patches of fabric will show dirt over time. The shoulder pads may also restrict your head movement when you're wearing a helmet.
While ADV jackets can be a bit pricey, the Firstgear Kilimanjaro Jacket is one of the more affordable and popular options available. Designed for various terrain and weather conditions, it's made of 420D abrasion-resistant nylon, and the PTFE laminate is waterproof and breathable. It comes with D3O armor in the back, chest, elbows, and shoulders, which you can adjust for comfort. The shoulder vents include adjustable straps for increased airflow, and the jacket has five exterior pockets and three interior pockets, including a cell phone-specific compartment.
Other features include a snap collar closure, YKK waterproof zippers, reflective patches, an adjustable waist strap, back panel vents, a helmet hood, and a drop tail for more coverage. Overall, the jacket is comfortable and keeps you dry on wet days.
One downside is the zippers can be tough to open if you're wearing bulky gloves. It can also be tough to close the collar with one hand.
The REV'IT! Sand 3 Jacket is also a lower-priced ADV jacket, but it's a good four-season option. It features more ventilation and 3D mesh than the brand's previous model, so it's tolerable to wear in summer months. The thermal liner and waterproof layer are also removable, so you have even less bulk and more versatility compared to brands that feature a single, laminated membrane.
The jacket is made of polyester ripstop with a seamless armpit area for optimum comfort and movement. It comes with CE-certified shoulder and elbow armor and accommodates a back protector. Other features include reflective elements in several areas as well as adjustable waist strap, under arm straps, arm straps, cuff straps, and a drawcord at the hip. It also has several pockets inside and out. This is the jacket you need if you want comfortable gear for winter riding and excellent ventilation for warmer months.
Unfortunately, it doesn't come with back armor. It can also feel a little tight if you wear it with both liners.
The Alpinestars Andes v3 Jacket is one of the most affordable jackets on our list. Designed for on and off-road riding, it has breathable Drystar waterproofing technology that repels moisture. The polyfabric textile is abrasion-resistant, and it includes removable elbow and shoulder armor. The thermal liner is also removable, and it features a zippered system. The jacket has waterproof cargo pockets, reflective elements, a soft edge collar, YKK zippers, pre-contoured sleeves, and a jacket-to-pants connection zipper.
You can purchase chest and back protectors separately, and it's compatible with the brand's Tech-Air 5 airbag system for even more protection. It's comfortable in most riding positions and provides good wind protection. It's also not as heavy as some rival brands.
One downside is that it may run a little small and restrict movement for some riders, requiring you to size up. Also, should you choose to buy the additional armor, it drives up the cost.
The Klim Artemis Women's Jacket is designed to fit the female body. It includes CE armor in the back, elbows, and shoulders, and the latter two areas are reinforced with Karbonite Ripstop. It features a Gore-Tex shell, adjustable cuffs, cooling mesh in the pad pockets, 10 vents for airflow, numerous pockets, a soft collar liner, bicep straps, forearm straps, waist adjusters, and zippered hip gussets.
The chest vents are particularly cooling, and the Velcro on the collar is covered, so it doesn't get stuck in long hair. Plus, it's available in sizes that can accommodate small women, which is very helpful. Overall, it provides excellent wind protection and ventilation, and it connects with compatible pants very nicely.
It can, however, feel a little warm in hotter temperatures. Also, it may be a little long if you have a short waist.
The Sedici Avventura Waterproof Jacket is another low-priced ADV jacket designed for year-round use. This waterproof option has three-layer construction and is made of abrasion-resistant 450D Oxford fabric. The waterproof liner and quilted thermal liner are both removable.
It includes an air control ventilation system, two-way zippers with flow vents, an adjustable inner waist belt, reflective elements, a large cargo pocket on the back, a memory foam back panel, and CE Level 2 armor in the elbow and shoulder areas. In hot weather, the air vents work well, and they are easy to open and close. It provides a lot of features at a lower cost overall.
Unfortunately, there have been some complaints that the material gets stuck in the zippers. It may also fit a bit on the smaller side, so you may need to order a size up. The liner system is also a little bulky.
HWK Motorsports offers an all-weather jacket for adventurers. Rugged and strong, this jacket offers excellent protection on the road. It features quality materials that are not only highly durable, but waterproof as well. It also has CE-approved armor on the back, elbows, and shoulders to keep your body safe from impacts in case of accidents.
Although highly protective, the jacket is still soft and comfortable. Thick and protective materials don't come at the expense of overall comfort. This jacket is suitable for all seasons and proves to be very convenient for long-distance rides. The inner liner is removable and ensures warmth during the winter, while the breathable mesh provides coolness during the summer. Furthermore, you will get this jacket at a low price and with a five-year replacement warranty.
There are only two major concerns regarding the design. Firstly, the zippers on the vents are not of the best quality. They might get stuck or break easily. Secondly, the Velcro strap on the neck tends to catch the chin strap on the helmet. This can be a safety issue during rides, and you'll probably have to pin the collar down to get it out of the way.
- Think about the climate and conditions you plan to ride in. Get a jacket that’ll protect you from both the weather and the vegetation. Look for zipper vents and removable thermal liners.
- Look at the versatility of the jacket. You want a jacket that will work in a variety of conditions so that you can limit the number of separate pieces of gear you need to bring.
- While it isn’t everyone’s taste, a high-viz jacket will increase your visibility and safety. Bright yellow and reflective yellow will catch the eye and help you be seen.
- Consider jackets that zip up to compatible pants. This will provide even more protection, which is helpful in inclement weather.
Q: What is the best adventure motorcycle jacket?
There are many good brands and styles of adventure jackets, and we include several options in this guide. Just make sure it fits your budget and has the features you require.
Q. How do I buy the right size motorcycle jacket?
First, take your basic measurements around your chest, waist, and the length of your arms. From there, think about what you plan to wear under your jacket. A T-shirt won’t add bulk but multiple layers will, which could increase the size of the jacket you need to buy.
Q. Does the material in an adventure motorcycle jacket matter?
Fabrics that have a higher denier are thicker, sturdier, and more durable. A fabric such as 600 denier polyester is going to provide a decent amount of durability. Anything over 1,000 deniers will give you a military-grade level of protection. This makes it a smart choice for reinforcing high-stress areas.
Q. Can I use a regular motorcycle jacket for tour riding?
Technically, you can wear any jacket you want, but other styles aren’t manufactured with touring in mind. Touring jackets are sewn to fit the riding position and conditions. This creates a more comfortable jacket that can be worn long-term.
If you want a jacket for adventure riding that will provide the most protection and comfort, then take a look at our top pick, the Klim Carlsbad Jacket. The Scorpion XDR Yosemite Motorcycle Adventure Touring Jacket is also an excellent, budget-friendly jacket with plenty of features.