How to Choose a Motorcycle Jacket? | 10 things to consider

how to choose a motorcycle jacket

How To Choose a Motorcycle Jacket?

  1. The jacket should match your riding style
  2. Think about the weather 
  3. Chose a quality jacket material
  4. Understand the difference between Leather, Textile, and Mesh
  5. Choose the right color
  6. Make sure it has reflective stripes
  7. Don't choose a knock off brand
  8. It must have CE approved armor 
  9. Choose a comfortable jacket
  10. Don't forget about the pockets

If you are just starting out in motorcycling, you may have considered the essential gear that you need.

Of course, at the top of your list would be the helmet for obvious reasons, and right next to it would be the jacket.

Finding the right balance between function and fashion is paramount in finding the right model for you. 

Sure, classic designs of leather jackets that you often see in 50’s movies look super cool.

But more then that, they serve a vital purpose; in the case of a crash or a fall, a thick riding jacket will protect you from abrasions and other injuries that you may incur in an accident.

Choose the right motorcycle jacket material

Usually, motorcycle jackets are made of leather or synthetic material. It is up to you to choose which material would suit you best.

Leather riding jackets are usually warmer and permit less air.  So they may be a bane for those who plan on riding in hot sunny and humid weather.

However, leather jackets are usually very tough and can last you a long time.

If you are looking for something lighter and more breathable, synthetic jackets may be more your thing.

However, they have the tendency to wear out faster than their leather counterparts. If you are confused and not sure how to choose the best motorcycle jacket material. 

There are some motorcycle jacket brands that make jackets with combined leather and synthetic materials so that you get the best of both worlds.

Mesh vs Textile vs Leather vs Kevlar

Understanding the differences between mesh vs textile, or kevlar vs leather is very important when making the decision of how to choose a motorcycle jacket.

As each material has it's advantages.

You also must decide if you want to purchase one specific jacket for all season use or have multiple jackets depending on weather conditions.

Mesh

This is the primary material choice for summer riding, as it is lightweight and provides the rider with proper ventilation to keep you cool in hot summer weather.

Textile

If you're looking for a jacket you can have for every type of occasion, textile is a great choice. It provides similar ventilation to mesh but offers more waterproofing and armor options.

Leather

Everyone knows how classy a clean black leather jacket is, as every rider has at least one in their arsenal. Leather is the best if you're looking for a classy look, and tend to ride in colder climates. 

The one thing to remember about leather material, is you need to make sure to consistently clean it by hand.

Kevlar

If you're looking for the most heavy duty motorcycle jacket out there, Kevlar may be the best choice for you.

With military grade technology, this material will protect you in the worst possible situations.

The only downside right now with kevlar is there are very limited options, and the ones they do have available tend to be some of the more expensive jackets on the market.

When it's all said and done, all four of these materials have distinct advantages over the other, if you have the extra cash I'd highly recommend splurging and getting one of each.

Is my Motorcycle Jacket too loose? Slack on the fit

You will be wearing your riding jacket on top of your clothes, and sometimes, during cold weather. So you may want to layer an extra thick sweater underneath, it is best if it has a bit of room.

The sleeve cuffs should be able to touch your wrists and make sure that if you are sitting on your motorcycle and in your riding position.

The back of the jacket should be long enough to cover the entire length of your spine. This is especially important if you encounter a fall to be able to adequately protect your spine.

Even if you do prefer it, a jacket that ends right at the waist will not be able to protect you in the case of an accident. Usually, a loose-fitting jacket will be better equipped for safety.

Keep in mind, you must make sure the jacket isn't too large as to interfere with your ability to react quickly in certain situations.

I get asked all the time by new riders if the jacket they purchased is too loose or tight.

how to choose a motorcycle jacket

Ditch the dark colors

Black leather riding jackets are usually the preferred choice because they are quite fashionable and very iconic.

This is what makes them very popular among bikers.

However, these dark-colored jackets make a rider harder to see at night, which is a hazard.

This is especially true if you usually ride in the dark.

Many riding jackets manufactured today have reflective strips that are sewn into the fabric to make the rider more visible at night.

This is especially true when headlights illuminate the rider.

If a rider is easier to spot at night, it will be easier for other vehicles to avoid them and to prevent unwanted accidents.

If you are not into very bright colors when it comes to riding jackets.

It would be best to consider types of motorcycle jackets with woven reflectors in them to better protect you.

What are the different Motorcycle Jacket Collar Styles?

Oh yeah, we're going that in depth.

Surprisingly there are a few important differences between motorcycle jacket collar styles. I mean, who wants to have an uncomfortable collar if it's just going to annoy them?

Traditional collar

The traditional collar is the type that you will find in your everyday style jacket.

The issue with these is that at fast speeds they tend to flap and may become an annoyance, or even a safety hazard when riding. 

This type of collar also tends to fit quite loose. Which may become a problem if you ride in colder climates as it won't provide a tight fit which will allow air to seep in during the ride.

No collar

This is my personal choice as I hate having a jacket with a collar. The best aspects of not having a collar are the snug fit and comfort it provides.

The only downside to not having a collar is when you turn your head quickly in one direction.

Fur collar

Now let's get to the most fun type of collar. I've personally never been a fan of a fur collar but my wife absolutely loves hers.

She say's it makes her feel like she's snuggled up in a blanket. The downside to a fur collar is it can get really warm.

Check for quality

A motorcycle jacket, especially a high-quality one that will ensure your safety, can cost a lot. However, it is still a good idea to invest in a good quality jacket.

Just like your helmet, it has a vital role in protecting you and keeping you intact in case of an accident.

Whether you're going for leather or a synthetic material jacket. Make sure that it is thick enough to protect you from abrasions and padded enough to cushion your body in the event of a fall.

In case you are not sure what to look for in a motorcycle jacket, try going for known brands that have good reviews. It is most likely that these are of superior quality.

If you are buying a second-hand motorcycle jacket, it is best if you are buying from someone who you know has taken good care of it.

Check for wears and tears that may compromise your safety, and if you are unsure, it is best to go for a new jacket.

How to choose a Motorcycle Jacket: Conclusion

With so many options to choose from it may seem like you have far too many things to consider when ultimately making the decision of how to choose a motorcycle jacket.

Hopefully, I was able to make things a little bit easier for you by discussing the most important aspects to look out for.

By far the most important thing to focus on is making sure you choose a jacket that will provide you with the safest riding experience in whatever climate you choose to ride.

2 Comments

  1. Jeremy Hood says:

    I don’t ride anymore but I remember that jackets were very important.

    I had a couple different types. Like you mentioned, I always wore my leather jacket when it was cold.

    I also had a mesh jacket that allowed more air flow when it was hot and if I was going on a longer ride.

    Great tips!

  2. Marley Dawkins says:

    I’ve always been a driver all my life, but my mum loves motorbikes and through the years she has gotten me more interested in them, to the point where one day I think I will get a motorbikeas well.

    When I do, I know im going to need a top quality motorcycle jacket, which is exactly what my mum preached. This article has really helped me to understand which materials are the best to look for, the fit colours and quality. When I get to the point of buying, I know right where to come. Thanks for the in depth info.

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