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Best Summer Motorcycle Gear: Say No to Sweating Through Your Clothes

Stay cool and confident when outfitted in summer motorcycle gear.
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It is late July-early August, and I am sitting at a red light, feeling sweat roll down my spine. Even with the best summer motorcycle gear, riding a motorcycle in the Florida summer is brutal. Over the years, I have bought several pieces of gear that promised to keep you cool. I know firsthand that there is gear that claims to be breathable, and then there is real summer gear that is actually breathable. Nothing is worse than getting off the bike soaked in sweat and dehydrated because your gear had zero airflow or it did not wick moisture and dry the way it promised to. It is time to say goodbye to imposter summer gear and replace it with real summer motorcycle gear that keeps you cool, dry, and confident.

Summary List 

Best Overall: USWE Outlander 4 Backpack With 3L Hydration Bladder

Best Budget: Sedici Cooling Vest

Honorable Mention: Alpinestars Ride Tech V2 Summer Pants

Best Shoes: Dainese York Air Shoes

Best Jacket: Alpinestars Bionic Tech V2 Protection Jacket

Best Base Layer: BMW Functional Summer Women’s Sleeveless Top

Best Bag: Kuryakyn Saddlebag Cooler

Our Methodology

Sweating through your gear is no fun and puts a serious damper on your ride. The team at The Drive gets it, which is why we want to help you find the best gear for your summer hot weather rides. When looking for summer motorcycle gear, I thought about my experience riding in the Florida summer heat. I considered a variety of gear that, when used together, create a more enjoyable riding experience. I stuck with reputable brands that are known for producing quality gear. Then I looked for features that would help specific pieces perform better in hot weather. I considered breathability, hydration, and moisture-wicking ability. Finally, the gear that stood out also had protective qualities like armor and abrasion-resistant fabrics. 

Best Summer Motorcycle Gear Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall

USWE Outlander 4 Backpack With 3L Hydration Bladder

See It

Best Budget

Sedici Cooling Vest

See It

Honorable Mention

Alpinestars Ride Tech V2 Summer Pants

See It

Best Shoes

Dainese York Air Shoes

See It

Best Jacket

Alpinestars Bionic Tech V2 Protection Jacket

See It

Best Base Layer

BMW Functional Summer Women's Sleeveless Top

See It

Best Bag

Kuryakyn Saddlebag Cooler

See It

Our Verdict

My top pick for the best summer motorcycle gear is the USWE Outlander 4 Backpack With 3L Hydration Bladder because it keeps you hydrated and gives you more storage. This will help your body stay naturally cool and keep you hydrated so that you can keep riding.

The Sedici Cooling Vest is an affordable alternative to keeping you cool. Simply dunk it in water and throw it on under your gear. This simple vest will have you feeling cooler in no time.

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. 

If those options don’t have what you need, your local salvage yard is great for car parts, while swap meets are a great resource you should tap. Just Google either and head on down.  

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. 

  • Always check the condition and look for signs of a crash because gear worn in a fall is no longer suitable for use. 
  • Used gear needs to fit you like new gear, so don’t buy ill-fitting gear in a slightly wrong size just to save a few bucks. 

Things to Consider Before Buying Summer Motorcycle Gear

Heat Dissipating Method 

The purpose of buying summer motorcycle gear is to keep you cool while riding. Consider the method the gear uses to pull heat from your body or prevent it from heating up. Some gear uses heat and moisture-wicking abilities to pull heat and sweat from your skin to evaporate and keep you cool. Other gear has plenty of ventilation to encourage air to flow through to your body. There is also gear that you purposefully get wet to cool you through natural water evaporation. Finally, AC-vented suits force cool air throughout the gear to pull heat from your body and cool you down. 

Safety and Protective Features 

Staying cool is important during the summer, but you should not sacrifice safety. Low-quality gear highlights its cooling features but lacks protection. Your summer gear should still have reinforced stress points, armor at impact points, abrasion-resistant fabrics, and supportive inserts. Also, look for CE-certified level 1 or 2 armor to ensure it will protect you in the event of a fall. 

Gear Type

There is no escaping the heat unless you decide not to ride. There is no one magical piece of gear that will make you feel like it is late fall in July. However, you can use a combination of gear types for a cumulative cooling effect. For example, start with base layers that protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays while wicking moisture away from your body. Then look for a breathable jacket while still protecting impact points with armor. Finally, having a hydration method is a must because you will sweat and become dehydrated. Hydration packs are convenient or a cooler in your luggage keeps the water cold and can easily be shared with your fellow riders. 

Summer Motorcycle Gear Pricing 

Quality motorcycle gear is not cheap. The cheap gear that you do find is not worth buying because it will let you down when you need it most. Expect to pay about $100 or more for your gear. Some pieces of gear can easily cost several hundred dollars. The exact price will depend on the particular item you are buying. Base layers and clothing typically start around $50 to $100. Jackets, backpacks, and shoes usually start around $100. More expensive gear typically comes with more features, durable construction, and innovative materials. Try to buy the best quality gear that you can afford. You can always upgrade later. 

FAQs 

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q: Do the same buying factors apply to pants, gloves, etc. as they do for jackets?

A: Yes, the pants, gloves, and jacket you buy must fit your body size and shape. They all need to be designed for the style of riding that you do and the climate that you ride in. Your gear should be made from durable materials with strong construction methods. Look for additional protective armor for additional impact and abrasion resistance. 

Q: What do you wear on a motorcycle in hot weather?

A: Do not wear sandals, shorts, and a tank top. While these clothing items keep you cool, they do not protect you while riding. Instead, wear clothing and gear that is motorcycle appropriate while also made from textiles that will keep you cool. In addition, there should be venting to encourage airflow and moisture-wicking ability to keep you dry. 

Q: What do you wear on a motorcycle in hot weather?

A: You should wear clothing and gear that is protective but also breathable. You do not want to wear gear that will retain heat or insulate your body. Look for textiles with abrasion-resistant qualities that won’t sacrifice protection for comfort. Always wear a helmet, gloves, and appropriate footwear. 

Q: How do bikers stay cool in summer?

A: Bikers use various methods for staying cool when riding during the summer. This includes wearing items such as clothing that wicks sweat from the body, gear made from breathable textiles, hydration packs, and active cooling gear. 

Q: Should I wear a motorcycle jacket in summer?

A: Yes, it is recommended that you still wear a motorcycle jacket during summer riding. A jacket provides a layer of protection from impact and abrasions. A jacket can also protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. 

Q: Do motorcycle jackets keep you cool?

A: Some motorcycle jackets are designed to have greater breathability and ventilation, which will help to keep you cool. However, this also requires air movement to experience the cooling effect. There are expensive jacket and suit options with a built-in AC system to keep you cool.

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Andra DelMonico has dedicated her writing career to sharing her passion for cars and motorcycles. She has 15 years of experience owning, riding, and working on both sportbikes and cruisers, at one point rebuilding her Kawasaki ZX14. She also has a fully modified Toyota XRunner. As a young girl, she would routinely attend classic and high-end car shows with her father, who she credits with instilling her passion for automobiles. As a writer, Andra has utilized her knowledge and passion to write compelling and detailed content for a wide variety of automotive and motorcycle industry clients.