5 Best Mesh Motorcycle Jackets 2018 | Lightweight Reviews

Best Mesh Motorcycle Jacket

Now, I know the argument can be made that even the best mesh motorcycle jackets are technically textile motorcycle jackets.

In my opinion, a lightweight mesh motorcycle jacket offers more than enough unique benefits and features to warrant being classed as its own entity.

In the time which has elapsed since I first tried out a mesh riding jacket, I have come to the conclusion that any drawbacks of owning one are seriously outweighed by the perks, particularly if you choose one of the following models.

5 Best Mesh Motorcycle Jackets 2018





Our Rating



Bilt Blaze

Bilt Blaze Motorcycle jacket

Best Mesh

five stars



Joe Rocket Phoenix Ion

joe rocket phoenix ion motorcycle jacket


4 and a half stars



Pilot Direct Air

pilot direct air motosport jacket


4 and a half stars



XElement CF-6019

xelement cf6019 moto jacket


four stars



FirstGear Contour

firstgear contour mesh womens motorcyclejacket


four stars



Bilt Blaze

bilt blaze mesh motorcycle jacket review

Best Mesh

five stars


Xelement CF-6019

Xelement cf6019 motorcycle jacket


four stars


Pilot Direct Air

pilot motosport direct air motorcycle jacket


4 and a half stars

Best Mesh Motorcycle Jacket Reviews

In the year 2017, more and more bikers are abandoning leather motorcycle jackets. This mass exodus comes down to:

Three main factors

  • Leather comes from animals, and few people want to be seen supporting the oftentimes cruel leather trade by wearing cowhide.
  • It is pretty expensive and a lot of people don’t want to spend several hundred dollars on a jacket when a  different material can be purchased for significantly less.
  • Leather can be difficult to maintain and requires regular treatment with balms and oils.

Most bikers who have cast their leather protective gear aside have taken to mesh and textile motorcycle jackets, which are second to leather models in terms of popularity.

#1. Bilt Blaze
(Best Mesh Motorcycle Jacket)

bilt blaze mesh motorcycle jacket review

The BILT Blaze is feature-rich and surprisingly stylish for a mesh jacket and has proven extremely popular with novices and veterans alike. This model is my pick for the best mesh motorcycle jacket of 2017.


  • 600 Denier 

Motorcycle jackets are often spoken about in terms of their denier rating.

A jacket’s denier rating indicates the weight of the fibers used in the manufacturing process and therefore the thickness of the finished product.

If a jacket has a denier rating of 1000, it will be far heavier than one with a denier rating of, say, 300.

The BILT Blaze boasts a denier rating of 600, which is ideal for a motorcycle jacket as it is thick enough to protect against the elements but will not weigh you down quite as much as a 1000 denier alternative.

  • Removable Back Padding 

 The BILT Blaze is fitted with a removable memory foam back panel, so the armor can be easily replaced with an alternative pad of a higher CE rating should you wish to do so.

The removable padding also serves to make the storage of this jacket a whole lot less complicated.


  • Minimal Visibility 

The folks over at BILT have attempted to brush off the fact that this jacket offers very little visibility by branding the minuscule reflective stripe that runs across its chest as “subtle”.

I suppose it technically is, but the last thing you want while riding on a dimly lit road late at night is to be subtle.

five stars

#2. Joe Rocket Phoenix Ion

Joe Rocket Phoenix Ion motorcycle jacket

The Joe Rocket Phoenix Ion may look pretty simple, but it is anything but. This is a feature-rich mesh biker jacket for experienced bikers looking to fully commit to mesh equipment.


  • Waterproof Liner 

If you’re looking for a mesh bike jacket that you can wear in a climate that is wet even during the summer months, the Joe Rocket Phoenix Ion is your safest bet.

This jacket has the ability to ward off strong winds and is fitted with a full-sleeve waterproof liner for maximum comfort regardless of the conditions in which you are riding.

  • Smartphone Pocket 

The Joe Rocket Phoenix Ion is the mesh motorcycle jacket of the modern biker, there is no denying that.

Along with a multitude of pockets for general use, this jacket is fitted with a smartphone pocket, positioned to give you easy access to your phone at all times (but don’t use your phone while driving, obviously).

The smartphone pocket features a built-in earphone port, so you can be accompanied by your favorite music as you ride across the country.


  • Expensive 

As a consequence of the jacket’s meticulous design and many innovative features, this specific Joe Rocket jacket can be pretty expensive and tends to go for in or around $200 new.

This isn’t actually a whole lot of money when compared to other motorcycle jackets such as leather models, but it is expensive when you compare it only to other available mesh riding jackets.

four stars

#3. Pilot Direct Air

pilot motosport direct air motorcycle jacket

The Pilot Direct Air is one of the most popular products of one of the most popular producers of motorcycle jackets in the world and has been responsible for hundreds of bikers making the jump to mesh gear.


  • Removable Water Lining 

Most mesh motorbike jackets don’t hold up very well in wet weather, but the Pilot Direct Air is designed to withstand light to medium rainfall.

The jacket comes fitted with a removable water lining that is virtually impenetrable to any water which is not forcibly gushing down upon it.

The liner does add a little extra weight and can detract from the jacket’s ventilation system, so it should always be removed when not necessary.

  • Powerful Stitching 

The last thing you want is for your brand new jacket to fall apart after only a couple of rides thanks to weak stitching.

The Pilot Direct Air boasts powerful, sturdy seams which have been double and triple stitched for increased durability.


  • Heavy 

When compared to a leather or more mainstream textile motorcycle jacket, the Pilot Direct Air isn’t particularly heavy at all.

However, when you compare it to the average mesh motorcycle jacket, it certainly comes out on the undesirable end of the weight spectrum.

If you are a rider looking for a light jacket, you should take your search elsewhere as the Pilot Direct Air will only serve to weigh you down.

4 and a half stars

#4. Xelement CF-6019 

Xelement cf6019 motorcycle jacket

If you liked the price of the BILT Blaze but weren’t exactly thrilled by what else it had to offer, you should take a look at the Xelement CF-6019. Both jackets share the same price range but come equipped with many different features.


  • High Visibility 

There are some areas in which other jackets may trump the Xelement CF-6019, but you’re going to have a hard time finding a men's mesh motorcycle jacket which offers greater visibility than the Xelement CF-6019.

This jacket is largely composed of hi-vis mesh material, giving the wearer the perfect combination of constant airflow and perpetual visibility.

  • CE Approved 

If the padding of a motorcycle jacket meets or exceeds international safety standards, it is granted a CE rating. Most gear which has a CE rating will use it as a selling point, and the CF-6019 is no different.

Of course, you can’t exactly blame the folks over at Xelement for wanting everybody to know about the quality of their mesh motorcycle jackets with armor.

This thing boasts Level 3 advanced technology, giving it an ergonomic design, greater flexibility, and increased impact absorption.


  • Reported Zipper Issues 

A lot of bikers have reported running into some issues with the various zippers located around this jacket.

In some cases, zippers have become stuck, while in other instances they have broken clean off with a simple tug on the pull tab.

The latter is particularly concerning as it could result in otherwise avoidable damage to the cheeks and eyes in the event of a crash.

4 and a half stars

#5. FirstGear Contour - Womens

firstgear countour mesh womens motorcycle jacket

Firstgear has seen hit after hit with its motorcycle equipment releases, and the Contour Mesh only serves to further the brand’s legacy of excellence.


  • Female Design 

Many of the female bikers I have spoken to have bemoaned the lack of variety when it comes to women's motorcycle jackets, along with the fact that most of the jackets specifically designed for women seem haphazardly stitched together.

The Firstgear Contour Mesh was designed to tackle that problem.

This is a sleek and form-fitting mesh jacket designed specifically for the female form, giving all women access to quality protective motorcycle equipment at an affordable cost.

  • CE Approved 

Like I said, a lot of the jackets offered to female bikers are poorly designed, with manufacturers cutting corners and costs in an attempt to up the budget for their seemingly more lucrative male equipment.

This means a lot of female motorcycle jackets have inferior armor if any at all. The Firstgear Contour Mesh however, boasts CE certified padding on the shoulders and elbows.


  • Inferior Back Padding 

I suppose you can’t have everything. While the folks over at Firstgear thought to fit the elbows and shoulders of the Contour Mesh with CE approved padding, the foam which they chose for the back padding is not CE certified and is likely to be of little use in the event of an accident.

Thankfully, the padding can be removed and replaced with something a bit more effective.

four stars

Best Lightweight Mesh Motorcycle Jacket: Buyers Guide

best mesh motorcycle jacket

If you're on the hunt for  the best motorcycle mesh jacket, it probably means you're looking for a riding jacket which is lightweight and breathable.

I mean let's be honest, the last thing you want on a hot summer day is a leather riding jacket weighing you down.

What to look for in a lightweight mesh motorcycle jacket:

  • Size
  • Fit
  • Pockets
  • Perforated Lining
  • Ventilation
  • Lightweight material
  • Waterproof

Buyers Guide: Mesh Biker Jackets

The hot summer months are upon us and it's time to throw your trusty leather companion into the closet.

Maybe you have an old textile jacket that you normally pull out in the summer, which isn't a terrible option.

But if you haven't heard, mesh motorcycle jackets are taking over summer riding.

Mesh summer jackets provide the rider with the lightest possible, most breathable, perfectly ventilated biking companion.

There are advantages and disadvantages to owning one.

The biggest disadvantage being that they are not the best all weather options.

The biggest advantage being, they are the PERFECT summer riding jacket.

PROS: Why Do I Need a Lightweight Motorcycle Mesh Jacket?

The pros of owning mesh motorcycle jackets for men in 2017 may not be as obvious as those of owning a leather or textile model.

You may have to take to the road with a mesh jacket before you can fully understand the perks of owning one.

Once you do, you will see that those perks are there in copious amounts.

Mesh Is Breathable

The best hot weather motorcycle jackets offer arguably the greatest ventilation of any kind of motorcycle jacket on the market. Specific jackets are made for summer and warm weather riding.

They are composed of a material that is both breathable and resistant to the wind.

This allows air to pass in and out of the garment without causing you any discomfort.

It has been said by many experienced mesh-loving bikers that even the cheapest mesh jacket will provide better ventilation than the most expensive, motorcycle jacket, made from leather.

Mesh is so effective in increasing the breathability of a jacket that many of the more expensive leather and textile models feature mesh patches.

They are located around the back and under the arms in order to improve ventilation. So you can imagine how wonderful a jacket composed predominantly of the material will feel in the summer.

The Best Lightweight Material

In biking, it is important to minimize the load you have to carry.

This is particularly important if you are planning on a journey that is going to see you on the road for a couple of hours at a time.

The last thing you need when you’re making a long trip across the country is a heavy collection of protective gear.

Especially when its weighing you down and making you feel less like a biker and more like a medieval knight.

As well as being far more breathable than most other motorcycle jackets available today, mesh biker jackets tend to be a whole lot lighter than their leather and textile counterparts.

Provide More Room For Storage

The lightweight material of a mesh motorbike jacket will allow you to double or triple a number of personal items you take with you on the road.

When riding in leather equipment, even the slightest addition to the pockets could render the weight you have to carry unbearable.

With a mesh jacket, you have more than enough room for all your valuables, including your wallet, your watch, and your smartphone.

Easy To Maintain

As well as being incredibly easy to store, the motorcycle mesh requires very little effort to maintain. I’m sure all you experienced motorcycle riders will get a great deal of joy out of hearing that.

Considering the fact most motorcycle equipment is notoriously difficult to look after, the best leather motorcycle jackets in 2017 require a very specific cleaning and treatment routine in order to continue performing to their highest possible standard.

Textile jackets are certainly significantly easier to maintain than leather models. One thing to consider is, many of them must be carefully cared for. This is done in order to avoid tears in the seams and padding.

Caring for a mesh riding jacket is just about as easy as it gets. For this reason, our laziest readers should strongly consider purchasing one.

A mesh motorcycle jacket should be hand washed with warm, soapy water once every couple of weeks or whenever you feel it is necessary.

You should avoid machine washing as it is not entirely impossible the mesh won’t be torn or worn away by the power of your washing machine.

Similarly, avoid machine drying and instead hang your jacket on a clothesline and allow it to dry naturally.

The wait for your jacket to be wearable again won’t be quite as tedious as you’re probably imagining right now as mesh biker jackets dry in almost half the time of their leather and multi-textile counterparts.

Mesh Material Is Inexpensive

Because I’ve been involved in biking for so long (more than half my life). A lot of young bikers come to me for advice when they first decide to get involved in the community.

I’m asked for advice on a wide array of subjects. From how to handle the stigma from more conventional members of society, who are too quick to lump all of us law abiding bikers in with the dastardly one percent to what kind of equipment is right for a biking novice.

When asked about the latter, I am in the habit of recommending mesh motorcycle gear. There are a number of reasons for this.

My main motivation for guiding young bikers towards motorcycle jacket mesh is that they are simply less expensive than most of the alternatives.

For most young people these days, money is tight. This means dropping $300 on a quality motorcycle jacket could leave them without food or rent money at the end of the month.

A lot of them float the possibility of purchasing a cheaper leather jacket, perhaps a WalMart model, but I strongly advise against that.

A quality men's mesh motorcycle jacket can be purchased for just under $100. It will serve you far better than any of those cheap, ineffective, poorly stitched leather jackets offered by bargain stores.

If you're looking for a well-ventilated option, which you can find for around $150, take a look at the atomic 4.0 joe rocket mesh jacket.

Furthermore, when you purchase a leather jacket, you must also purchase the balms and oils which are necessary to maintain it.

If you buy a mesh jacket, you can take the money which would have gone to jacket maintenance supplies and put it towards something else, such as a quality helmet or a pair of gloves.

CONS: Why You May Not Want a Mesh Jacket

choose a mesh motorcycle jacket

Men's motorcycle mesh jackets are not without their shortcomings. There are some drawbacks to owning one and I’m going to cover them here in the interest of fairness.

As a lover of mesh, it’s going to hurt me, but it has to be done. Let’s begin.

Limited Use 

When I first used a mesh riding jacket, it was the middle of summer. The sun was sitting high in the sky, scorching everybody who had the nerve to wander outside from the hours of six in the morning to ten at night.

Needless to say, the ventilation system of my mesh jacket felt like a gift from the motorcycle gods. However, as the leaves withered and summer turned to autumn and autumn turned to winter, I began to find my mesh jacketless and less useful.

While it was capable of warding off light wind and rain, the generally extreme winter weather conditions proved no match for the garment and I was ultimately forced to return to one of my many leather models.

To this day, I still use that mesh jacket for every summertime journey. I pack it away in early September and don’t touch it again until the warmer months roll back around.

If you purchase a mesh summer motorcycle jacket, you should be mindful of the fact that you will not be able to wear it year round unless you live in a perpetually hot climate.

This means you will have to make a decision between limiting your biking activities to the summer months or purchasing a heavier jacket to protect you from the elements during autumn and winter.

Limited Protection

Most of the best motorcycle jacket mesh options offer accurate protection in the event of a fall from your bike or slight collision. A lot of bikers believe that they would be of little use in a serious crash.

Fortunately, I can’t confirm this belief because neither I nor any of my mesh-wearing biker friends have suffered any major accidents while riding.

That being said, I do have to concede that I am doubtful of my mesh jacket’s ability to provide total protection to my torso.

The mesh material, while great for letting in the air while you ride, doesn’t feel particularly sturdy and I wouldn’t be overly surprised if a prolonged skid across the asphalt were to tear it or burn it away altogether.

If you decide to purchase motorcycle jacket mesh but can’t find one with a particularly reassuring level of padding, it may be a good idea to drop an extra bit of cash on an exterior pair of elbow pads, as well as chest and back protectors.

Tricky Fitting

Of all the materials used to manufacture motorcycle jackets, leather is at the top of the mountain when it comes to fitting.

If you do a little bit of research and try on a couple of leather jackets before deciding which is the one for you, you are certain to find a form-fitting jacket that doesn’t hang too loosely or squeeze you too tightly.

On the opposite end of the mountain, right down at the bottom, some would argue that you have mesh jackets.

Mesh is a tricky material to fit, with many mesh jackets hanging from the bodies of those who wear them.

Obviously, you don’t want your jacket - or any of your equipment, for that matter - to be loose while you ride, as you would run the risk of it becoming caught on the components of your bike.

Furthermore, the looser your jacket, the less likely it is to adequately protect you in the event of an accident.

An expertly designed mesh jacket will likely get sizing just right, but most bikers who have purchased from unknown brands have been forced to do an extra layer or two in order to obtain a comfortable fit, which isn’t what you want when you’re riding in the summer.

Why Choose Mesh Over Leather

Why choose a mesh jacket

A couple of decades ago, my buddy and I bought our first motorcycle equipment together. We both opted for leather jackets and trousers because we thought that was what we were supposed to do.

I have experimented with different motorcycle equipment in my time of regular riding. Yet I have a buddy who has refused to buy anything not made from leather. Now, this is not only extremely expensive but incredibly impractical too.

Leather is a clunky material and takes up a whole lot of space. Which meant my friend was obliged to purchase a second closet some years ago in which to store all of his leather motorcycle equipment.

It was taking up way too much room in his daily wear wardrobe. Despite my best efforts, I have actually experienced a similar problem and have been forced to give away many of my favorite leather and textile motorcycle jackets.

I just don’t have the room for them in my home.

Are you looking for motorcycle equipment that will take up little to no space in your wardrobe? If so mesh is the way to go. Given that the best mesh jackets are a great deal lighter than most other motorcycle jackets and have featureless armor padding.

They can be easily packed away and stored in small spaces. This leaves you with plenty of room for normal, boring, non-motorcycle related clothing.

The ease with which mesh motorcycle jackets can be stored and packed away has made them a popular choice for motorcycle enthusiasts traveling to attend bike conventions and expos.

Best Motorcycle Mesh Reviews: Conclusion

Even after years of using mesh jackets motorcycle and decades in the biking community, I would not dare attempt to declare one of the jackets we just looked at as the absolute best mesh riding jacket in the world.

Each has a legitimate claim to that title, but it’s important to remember that each jacket offers a number of unique features, which means the best jacket for me may not be the best jacket for you.

That being said, the jacket which has proven most popular mesh motorcycle jacket review, among the bikers I have spoken to.

Much of the Xelement CF-6019’s popularity has come as a result of its low price. This has persuaded many longtime mesh holdouts to snap up the bargain and take the plunge.

The visibility offered by this jacket is pretty much unrivaled by any mesh jacket available today. This ensures every driver who shares the road with you will be aware of your presence.

In the unlikely event of a crash or a collision, you will be protected by the CF-6019’s plentiful CE approved padding.

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