It’s no secret: trying to find the right motorcycle gear for women can be frustrating. Our Gear Geeks answer questions every day from female riders seeking gear that protects, looks good, and actually fits. Our gear testers also keep a close eye on all the latest gear from across the industry as it comes out. Add in the feedback of RevZilla’s many lady riders, and we’ve narrowed the field down to the best picks.
|Helmet||Biltwell Gringo S helmet||$220||
|Jacket||Street & Steel Athena Women's jacket||$280||
|Pants||Oxford Super Leggings||$125||
|Gloves||REV’IT! Fly 3 gloves||$100||
|Boots||TCX Biker WP Women's boots||$200||
Distill the motorcycle helmet down to its absolute essence and you’ve got the Biltwell Gringo. Its shape might recall the golden years of motorcycling, but under the many paint options, you’ll find an updated helmet for today’s riders.
The big news with the latest version is an ECE rating. That means the helmet passed a more stringent safety standard than the baseline DOT testing. The helmet shell itself is injection-molded ABS and it comes in a wide variety of colors and graphics, all vintage-inspired. Use the snaps above the eyeport to attach bubble shields and visors.
Another big upgrade for the Gringo ECE was the addition of speaker pockets. This makes it much easier to add a Bluetooth communicator to the helmet. (Check out our guide to Bluetooth units for more on those.)
One of our favorite parts of the old Gringo is carried over to the new: that plush interior. Biltwell uses a hand-sewn interior that holds up well and breaks in nicely. This is as simple as a helmet gets, and for the urban rider, commuter, or casual cruiser, simplicity is worth pursuing.
Nitpicks: The Gringo ECE fits a full size smaller than the old version due to the update. Keep that in mind when ordering.
If you need a face shield, check out Biltwell’s Gringo S or their Lane Splitter. If you want to ditch the chinbar, have a look at their Bonanza.
It’s the classic black leather jacket, reimagined for today’s riders. The Street & Steel Athena jacket uses a natural leather construction with CE-rated armor in the shoulders and elbows. Fortunately, the low-profile armor doesn’t detract from the style of the jacket. It looks just as good on the bike as it does standing around at the cafe. A pocket at the back is ready to accept a back protector. The back protector is a little more visible, but it’s nice to have the option of adding one. (As with most motorcycle jackets, you’ll have to buy the back protector separately. The included foam insert is just a placeholder.)
The Athena can transition from cool rides to warm weather by opening the VAX variable air exchange system. It flows air well for an all-leather jacket. If temps drop, pop in the included thermal vest. It’ll keep your core warmer on brisk days. Other features we loved were the expansion zippers and waist adjusters. They allows the rider to tailor the fit to her body, which not only looks better, but reduces flapping when riding at speed. And one more thoughtful touch: a pants attachment system to keep the back of the jacket down. Lower back coverage is important while riding and in the event of a slide.
For under $300, the Athena nails the black leather style while offering plenty of protection. We’d wear this while riding everything from cruisers to cafe racers.
Nitpicks: We’d like to see some kind of comfort collar material on the next iteration. The collar edge is pretty plain, and some riders wished it was a little more forgiving.
For a step up, consider the Roland Sands Design (RSD) Mia jacket. RSD is best known for their cutting-edge takes on classic styles, and the Mia jacket is no exception. The design is a lot more avant-garde than the Athena, with a diagonal zipper and a removable softshell hoodie inside. At almost twice the price of the Athena, the Mia represents the next level in materials with its beautiful buffalo leather. The gunmetal leather option is especially unique.
For around town, weekend rides, and short trips, we’re big fans of the REV’IT! Fly 3 gloves. They combine subtle style with real-world protection, all in a comfortable short-cuff design. They’ll look right at home on any street motorcycle, and they offer highly responsive feel at the controls.
In the protection department, we liked the foam-backed hard knuckle protection. REV’IT! puts leather over the knuckle so the gloves don’t lose their minimalist style. They even incorporated touchscreen fingertips, so you don’t have to take your gloves off to use your phone. We loved these gloves, and we think you will, too.
Nitpicks: The touchscreen fingertips are good for simple tasks, like swiping to answer a call or searching for a gas station, but don’t count on doing much more than that with this feature.
The Oxford Super Leggings are one of the most popular products we’ve seen in years, and for good reason. Oxford managed to combine the casual style and feel of leggings with moto-specific protection. The result is so versatile and well-loved that we had to include it in this gear guide. A full-length, slide-resistant liner offers protection, along with the included knee armor.
Nitpicks: These leggings are so simple and well-executed that we just can’t fault them. Give ‘em a try!
TCX made their interpretation of the iconic biker boots, and they called the result… the Biker boots. In terms of style, these are pure classics. Don’t let the exterior fool you. Under that full-grain leather is a waterproof lining, reinforced contact points, and a stiffer sole than you’ll find in a pair of regular boots. That means real protection while riding, in a boot that looks good both on and off the bike.
We were especially impressed to see that TCX is making these boots on a women-specific last. The TCX Biker WP boots are easily 2020’s top casual boot for women.
Nitpicks: As we mentioned, the soles are on the stiffer side compared to streetwear, and the leather takes a bit to break in, too. Be patient. It’s worth it!
Best women’s long-haul and touring gear
We also find that lots of women turn to RevZilla for their long-distance touring needs. These riders are laying down big miles on their bikes, riding in all weather and traveling the world. They have more technical needs than the around-town riders, so we’ve assembled all our favorite picks for them, too.
|Helmet||AGV K6 helmet||$500||
|Jacket||Klim Altitude Women's jacket||$630||
|Pants||Klim Altitude Women's pants||$520-$540||
|Gloves||Held Air N Dry Women's gloves||$275||
|Boots||TCX Tourer GTX Women's boots||$280||
Also featured in our Best Helmets gear guide, the K6 is a knockout new helmet from AGV. It’s their attempt to dethrone the legendary Shoei RF-1200, and we love it. Shying away from the racetrack-ready design of other AGV sport helmets, the K6 takes a more sophisticated approach that still looks fast. Those aren’t just looks, though. This helmet is seriously light with its carbon-aramid shell, and it’s been aerodynamically tuned to reduce buffeting and discomfort when riding. And get this: it weighs just two pounds, 14 ounces in a medium-small!
AGV didn’t stop there. They added the most refined faceshield attachment system we’ve seen, a moisture-wicking interior, and cutouts for eyeglasses. This helmet is light, quiet, and just a joy to use while riding. We can’t recommend it enough, especially to those riding long miles.
Nitpicks: Ventilation could be better, especially in today’s era of giant vents on street helmets. It’s not enough of an issue to knock the K6 out of the top spot. Not by a long shot.
Klim delivers yet another legendary jacket and pants combo that rides as hard as you do. The new Altitude line is an ideal three-season, cool-to-warm-weather riding combo. Layer up, and you could push the Altitude line into full four-season territory.
Constructed with Gore-Tex’s two-layer waterproof shell, the Altitude jacket and pants also feature durable 840D Cordura and goat leather. The latest version of the Altitude also gets CE1 D3O armor at the elbows, shoulders, back, hips, and knees. Use the short connection zipper to create an Altitude suit.
Of all the touring options for women, we were most impressed with the Altitud’s fit, materials, and design. There are loads of little touches throughout that anticipate the rider’s needs. Everything zips, snaps, and connects as we’d hope, and comfort while riding is exceptional. If we had to live out of a touring suit for a multi-week trip, we’d pick the Altitude.
Nitpicks: We genuinely couldn’t find anything to dislike with this setup. Nice job, Klim!
Another favorite featured in other Gear Guides, the Held Air N Dry Womens’ gloves are a version of Held’s touring glove made specifically for women. As the name suggests, they allow air to reach your hands, but they lock water out. A unique dual-chamber system makes this possible. These gloves have been on the market for a while now, and no one has replicated the success of their unique approach.
The gloves utilize kangaroo leather and Cordura for their main construction. Elastic sections at key areas prevent the gloves from feeling too restrictive. Overall, these gloves are perfect for longer trips in varied weather. The woman-specific version makes them our clear choice.
Nitpicks: Same as our touring gear guide: the Air N Dry has been out for some time now. Let’s see how good a version 2.0 could be!
Your boots can make or break a tour. With the TCX Tourer women's boots, you’ve got nothing to worry about. They use a breathable Gore-Tex membrane to keep your feet dry without blocking warm air from exiting the boot. The end result is excellent comfort, even over long miles. We’d recommend these boots for two- to three-season riding in warmer weather, which is when most tours are happening, anyway.
Protection is provided by the cowhide exterior, a firm sole, and reinforcements throughout. As this boot was specifically designed for touring, the inserts and hard parts are unobtrusive and carefully placed. Mesh is placed strategically to keep air flowing through the boots. When we find a better pair of women’s touring boots, we’ll let you know.
It’s worth mentioning that these boots add about an inch and a quarter of lift to your heel internally. Add in the sole, and it works out to around two and a half inches of lift.
Nitpicks: Our only complaint is that more boots should have that internal lift available!
Buying the best women's motorcycle gear... for you
That’s the end of our top women’s gear picks for 2020. We’re already looking ahead for new gear on the horizon, but for now, this is the best we can find, and we hope it’s been helpful in your own pursuit of great gear. If you have any questions about anything in this guide, reach out to our friendly Gear Geeks, or drop a comment below. Enjoy the ride!