Reviews

Best Motorcycle Chaps: Wrap Your Legs in Leather

Protect your legs while riding with a pair of high-quality leather chaps

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PUBLISHED ON February 10, 2020

Nothing protects you better than leather when riding your motorcycle. However, wearing a full leather suit or pants can get quite hot, so chaps are the perfect solution. You can throw on your favorite pair of jeans and then your chaps over them.
While riding, your leather chaps will protect your legs and keep them warm. Then, when you get to your destination, you can take them off and wear just your jeans. Here are three options for high-quality leather chaps.

  • Best Overall
    Milwaukee Leather Zippered Chaps
    Summary
    Summary

    The soft milled leather of these chaps is 1.2 to 1.3 mm thick. There are two zippered pockets for storage. The bottoms are unfinished and detailed with four snaps.

    Pros
    Pros

    The unfinished bottoms and four snaps make altering these chaps easy. Then the zippered pockets give you storage convenience since the chaps block your jeans pockets.

    Cons
    Cons

    The legs tend to run small, so size up so that the chaps can fit over your regular jeans. You might find the zippered pockets awkward to use if you have items in your pants pockets under the chaps.

  • Best Value
    Hot Leathers Heavyweight Leather Chaps
    Summary
    Summary

    These chaps have some flair with braided detail down the legs. The leather is heavyweight split leather, while the hardware is silver-toned.

    Pros
    Pros

    There is a full lining to improve the comfort and warmth of these chaps. The front of these chaps features small pockets for convenient storage.

    Cons
    Cons

    The front pockets don’t have a zipper closure. This can increase the risk of your items falling out. The manufacturer also warns that your chaps may run small.

  • Honorable Mention
    Viking Cycle Leather Chaps
    Summary
    Summary

    Premium cowhide leather and top-notch stitching are used to make these chaps. There are two side pockets for carrying your items.

    Pros
    Pros

    These chaps are easy to put on and take off with the full-length outer seam zipper. They’re incredibly protective, thanks to the high-quality cowhide leather. They also have stylish detailing with braided trim.

    Cons
    Cons

    The cowhide leather can make these chaps quite stiff, so plan for a break-in period. You’ll also struggle with the size chart as it is inaccurate to the sizing of the chaps.

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Tips

  • Look for chaps that have an unfinished bottom. This will let you customize them so that they are the perfect fit. You want your chaps to extend down over your boots without dragging on the ground. 
  • You should also look for pockets. Chaps will cover or block your access to the front pockets of your jeans. Therefore, having pockets on your chaps will give you easy access to your items. 
  • Pay attention to the type of leather used to make the chaps. Thicker leather will provide you with more abrasion protection but will be hotter and stiffer to wear. Thinner leather will break in faster and be more flexible. 

FAQs

Q: How do I know what size to buy?

A: Start by measuring around your waist. Then measure the largest part of your thigh.  Measure around your thigh while wearing your jeans so that you can account for the increased width. You also need your inseam measurement. Measure from your crotch to the floor, keeping in mind that chaps will ride up while you’re on the bike. Use these three measurements to compare to the chaps manufacturer’s sizing measurements. 

Q: Why should I wear motorcycle chaps?

A: Chaps are one option you can choose when it comes to protecting your legs while riding. You could wear leather pants or overpants. Chaps offer convenience when it comes to taking them on and off. They also tend to be more affordable and lighter than full leather pants. 

Q: How do I take care of my chaps?

A: To have your chaps last for years, you’ll need to take care of them and keep them clean.  Use some water and saddle soap to work the dirt out of the leather. Keep rinsing your cloth or sponge to avoid grinding the dirt back into the leather as you clean. Once the leather is clean, condition and moisturize it to keep it supple. 

Final Thoughts

The Milwaukee Leather Zippered Chaps are a high-quality pair of chaps that are both functional and protective. 

If you’re on a budget, the Hot Leathers Heavyweight Leather Chaps offer safety and affordability.