Best Motorcycle JacketsSuit Up With Our Staff Picks
Here at RevZilla, we pride ourselves on getting you geared up for whatever comes next. It’s not an easy ask, as the best motorcycle jackets — plus the brands building them — are laser-focused on the latest and greatest in ever-changing design features. It leaves us with a lot to try on and test out, but our massive video library of hands-on reviews is a testament to our dedication to finding you the best bit of kit. When investigating the all-around apparel options out there, we’ve factored for style, safety, versatility, value and a few more points we’ll get into below. Hence, the staff picks you’ll discover here are our hard-fought nominations for 2023’s best men’s and women’s motorcycle jackets.
For women, we’ve nominated the REAX Women's Alta Mesh Jacket as the overall best women’s motorcycle jacket. You’ll find CE-Level 2 armor, an outer shell made of 600d ripstop textile, 750d hard mesh and 300d stretch mesh inserts as well as a waterproof liner. There’s a focus on both airflow and protection, which is a big lift in many cases but REAX pulls it off. A few more color options and an included back protector would have taken this piece of gear to the next level, but we encourage customers to check out the rest of REAX’s current line-up.
In our book, the best motorcycle riding jacket should look equally at home — and work equally as well — on a gravel road as it does deep in the city streets. There is an enormous range of products to pick from, but these two will have you prepared for varying temperatures, keep you protected in a spill and still not break the budget. Moreover, compare the perks of the overall best men’s motorcycle jacket and best women’s motorcycle jacket and some patterns pop out. Modularity, be it adjustable straps or removable liners, lets the owner get more bang for their buck. Speaking of value, both of these staff picks come from trusted brands at a price point that will resonate with those looking for a motorcycle jacket under $200. However, we have more to say about the best budget motorcycle jacket below.
Best Value For Motorcycle Jackets
Shop smart on proven products and save the rest for your next ride.
For women, we chose the Sedici Federico 2 Mesh Women's Jacket as our best value. Again, we see a plethora of pockets, stretch panels that’ll aid in the reach to the handlebars and a full mesh liner. On the flip side, the thermal liner isn’t up for winter wear.
When shopping for the best budget motorcycle jacket, we know some riders need to stay within a certain price range. This can include, but is hardly limited to, beginners testing the waters and those looking to spend under $200. That doesn’t mean you must make a sacrifice in every department. The purpose-built products we’ve nominated here aren’t something we’d call “cheap” in the negative sense. Sedici has still found it fit to incorporate small, yet important, design details like YKK zippers, hook and loop closures and pockets for back protectors should you choose to buy ones sold separately.
For women, the best of the best women’s motorcycle jacket is the undeniably sleek Roland Sands Design Maywood CE Women's Leather Jacket. This fashionable and functional pick is “truly an elevation to the typical leather riding jacket” that rides right into “luxury” territory, per Roland Sands. It also lays claim to being the best premium womens leather motorcycle jacket, according to our staff picks, and exudes a casual style. You can thank design features such as full-grain leather that repels water alongside waterproof cuffs, sleeves and hand pocket zippers as well as CE-certified elbow and shoulder armor. Despite all those waterproof features, the jacket itself isn’t completely watertight, the lack of mesh panels makes it a hot piece of gear and you’ll need to purchase a back protector separately.
For some riders, nothing but the best will do. They’re certain that top-dollar products will prove their worth even in the face of an occasionally “expensive” price tag. Opting for what most would deem the “best motorcycle jacket” means scoring something from a leading brand that is ready to serve in multiple ways at a moment’s notice. Whether that’s the safety, style and comfort we see in the Alpinestars offering, or the untouchable style and performance of the RSD womens leather motorcycle jacket, there are advantages to be had at every turn. Full-grain leather is the strongest option on the table and we’d suggest reading up on the options. Skimping here is a false economy; the hallmarks of quality construction and top-shelf materials ensure a product that’ll last for many riding seasons to come.
Best Multi-Season Motorcycle Jackets
Clear out the closet because these jackets pull quadruple duty.
Olympia takes top honors again as our best multi-season motorcycle jacket for women. Moreover, the design elements we liked in the men’s option from Olympia are duplicated here. This includes the 1000 denier Cordura fabric outer shell, a rain layer that can be worn over or under the outer shell and a waterproof and windproof liner that’s both light and removable. As with the Dakar, the back protector is basic and the style of the jacket suits touring and upright riders; sports bike owners may be out of luck.
While it’s possible to own a jacket for every season, we think many riders will appreciate a product that offers some flexibility. This is a big investment and a 4 season motorcycle jacket can meet multiple demands over numerous days of the tour, be it hot weather riding in the summer, a rain delay, multi-surface adventure and so much more. You’ll save space in the closet while saving hard-earned cash for more fun on two wheels.
Things to Consider
Do I really need a motorcycle jacket?
The short answer is, of course, “yes” — but styles will vary. The hand-picked pieces of apparel we’ve shone a spotlight on above are capable of covering many types of motorcycling and the riders who pilot those machines, from strictly street to dual sports and the ADV’ers in-between. Admittedly, not every biker is going to see a product on this page that fits their definition of the best motorcycle jacket; pop over to our recent Gear Guide for more top picks broken out by specific riding disciplines. If you’re specifically searching for the best leather motorcycle jacket to classically complement your V-Twin, head there.
What (and who) makes the best motorcycle jacket?
Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but the hallmarks of quality construction from leading brands isn’t up for debate. There’s a lot to look for when picking out the best men’s or women’s motorcycle jacket, according to the Motorcycle Legal Foundation. Consumers should consider material, design, construction techniques, armor and fit as well as water and wind-proofing features. Some of the brands brought up during our decision process, also known for top-grade products, include Bilt, Dainese, Icon, Klim, REV’IT!, Street & Steel and others nominated above.
‘Weather’ or not
If you’ve overheated at a traffic light in the summer or froze to the bone going down the highway, you know the importance of adaptability. It’s certainly possible to buy an exclusively hot weather or winter motorcycle jacket, but the design features of our staff picks here negate that need. With removable waterproof liners that can be worn on the outside plus thermal liners and mesh layers that can be added or removed, you’re ready for whatever the open road throws at you during all four seasons. We’d also recommend checking out the array of layers from AXIAL, which can also help with adaptability.
There’s plenty to pick from in 2023 and we know a plethora of options can prove overwhelming. If you’re ready to buy, but not sure which is the best motorcycle jacket for you, give our Gear Geeks a shout! Chat online, shoot an email call us directly at 877-792-9455 — whatever works for you is fine by us. It’s our job to serve the riding community and the rest of our "Best Of" articles will help you out in a variety of categories. It also makes RevZilla the only place to score your next bit of riding gear or performance part.
Frequently Asked Questions
We won’t dissuade anyone from buying a motorcycle jacket with an integrated airbag system, but the price can turn some shoppers off. In lieu of that, the safest armored motorcycle jackets we’ve picked out above will still help you avoid serious bends, bruises and road rash. “Effective” can also mean deflecting highway-speed winds while keeping cool (or warm) in different seasons. Only the best motorcycle jackets are going to contain features that allow you to rapidly adapt to changing situations.
There is no right answer here, as every rider has different wants. You need a style and cut that suits you personally alongside top-shelf features that prove manufacturers know how to help motorcyclists. That can include, but isn’t limited to, CE-level armor, Velcro brand fasteners, YKK zippers, hook and loop closures, jacket-to-pants connectors and more. Ask yourself: Does this product feel like it’s built to last? Will it keep you safe and seen while on the road or trail? Does it aid in convenience thanks to numerous pockets and storage spots? You’re on the right path if the product you’re considering checks those boxes.
Over at Common Tread, we’ve previously explained how to measure for a motorcycle jacket. In short, figuring out how a motorcycle jacket should fit will require various torso and arm lengths and circumferences, then seeing how they align within a manufacturer’s sizing. The steps are all the same for bigger guys, other gals and everyone in-between: “Try sitting on your motorcycle in your usual position. Move around a bit to make sure the jacket is moving with you. It shouldn’t impede your ability to turn, lean, or reach the hand grips. The jacket should be snug. Too loose, and the jacket’s protective features may not stay in place if you take a tumble. Make sure that the armor actually sits over your elbows and shoulders. If not, see if it can be adjusted. A motorcycle jacket can only do its job if it can stay in place to protect you.”
This one comes down to material. For leather, we’ve previously taken a deep dive into the subject and suggested something as common as Febreze or a de-salter for the inside. On the exterior, dedicated leather cleaners followed up baby wipes to hit any dirty spots should do the trick. For the rest of the materials out there in moto world, the jacket tags should give you plenty of guidance on best practices when it comes to washing mashies, dryers, irons, bleach, adding water-repellers and more.