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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BY Andra DelMonico / LAST UPDATED 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
- 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.