The 10 Best Motorcycle Jackets

Updated December 04, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

10 Best Motorcycle Jackets
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. If your preferred mode of travel is a powerful, two-wheeled vehicle, then make sure you protect yourself thoroughly from the elements, road debris, and potential accidents with one of these motorcycle jackets. We've included models specifically designed for you men bikers in a variety of styles that will not only keep you safe, dry and warm, but keep you looking good on and off your ride, as well. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best motorcycle jacket on Amazon.

10. Pilot Motosport Slate Air

With a micro-mesh material that weighs in at 210-denier as its primary constituent, as well as 600-denier overlays at impact points, the Pilot Motosport Slate Air effectively combines durability with a tremendous amount of breathability.
  • matching dark reflectors
  • red tab visibility system
  • finicky zippers
Brand Pilot Motosport
Model 2000801-02
Weight 3.2 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

9. Cortech GX Sport 3

With 1,680-denier ballistic polyester reinforcements at the elbows and shoulders, the Cortech GX Sport 3 is one of the few options on the market that you could confidently continue to wear even after an accident that would disintegrate weaker models.
  • mandarin-style collar
  • waterproof chest vents
  • hard to replace armor after cleaning
Brand Cortech
Model 8984-0317-07
Weight 5.4 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

8. Alpinestars T-GP Plus R

The Alpinestars T-GP Plus R has extended mesh sections on its multi-material outer shell, which is a polyester-coated 450/600-denier. Its reflective detailing and accordion-style shoulder panels provide flexibility and visibility on the roads.
  • removable ce bio armor
  • slot for a back protector
  • not ideal for colder weather
Brand Alpinestars
Model 3300614-12-XL
Weight 4.1 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. Viking Asger

The Viking Asger has a total of five pockets, a padded collar, and bright panels for a high level of visibility at night. It is a thick, safe option with areas of exterior polycarbonate armor that will protect you even during a sliding accident.
  • extra shoulder protection
  • good value for the price
  • arm snaps are flimsy
Brand VikingCycle
Model VC757-2XL
Weight 4.5 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. Bilt Blaze

The Bilt Blaze is a tough and durable option that's much less bulky than most of its competition, so you won't feel the need to remove it the second you get off your bike. It features impact panels lined with memory foam and an adjustable zip tab.
  • 5-year guarantee
  • mesh body material
  • no liner or interior pockets
Brand Bilt
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. Leather King SH1011

For a classic James Dean-style appearance, the handsome Leather King SH1011 is the biker's garment of choice. It features a modern zip-out thermal liner that will keep you warm even when you're cruising along the highways and byways in the wintertime.
  • half belt for simple adjustments
  • large zipper is easy to use
  • runs on the small side
Brand Milwaukee Leather
Model SH1011-S-BLACK
Weight 5.1 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

4. Klim Badlands

The Klim Badlands is intended only for the most daring two-wheeled adventurers, with highly abrasion-resistant materials and padding in the areas most susceptible to impact and wear. It also features Gore-Tex pro laminate technology throughout for maximum waterproofing.
  • guaranteed to keep its wearer dry
  • large reflective striping
  • hefty price tag
Brand Klim
Model pending
Weight 8.6 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. Sedici Alexi 3-Season Mesh

Designed for comfortable use in all but the coldest weather, the Sedici Alexi 3-Season Mesh boasts a slew of airflow options, as well as a thick liner for the brisker days of spring and fall. Its memory foam back panel provides comfort and protection.
  • removable waterproof membrane
  • cell phone pouch
  • armored shoulders and elbows
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Xelement XSPR105 Armored Black

The Xelement XSPR105 Armored Black is crafted from premium cowhide leather. It features a button-snap mandarin collar, as well as side cinches on the waist for a tighter fit. It's available in a wide variety of larger sizes, as well.
  • ce approved armor
  • high impact absorption
  • two functioning chest pockets
Brand Xelement
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Joe Rocket Classic '92

The Joe Rocket Classic '92 comes in a brown or black finish with an attractive retro-reflective striping on the back and arms. It is made from high-quality, durable leather that is drum dyed, so it offers the ultimate level of protection and style in one package.
  • multiple pockets for storage
  • extra zip-in liner included
  • tailored for a relaxed fit
Brand Joe Rocket
Model 1326-2304
Weight 5 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

Funny Bones Aren't So Funny When You Break Them

It's a strange and terrible feeling to bang your funny bone off a desk, or a wall, or any surface for which you simply weren't accounting. That tingling feeling isn't quite pain, though it certainly qualifies as discomfort. The reality is that there's a nerve running along that area of your elbow, and when you hit the bone just right the nerve gets compressed, resulting in that miserable combination of feelings.

Now, I'd like you to imagine hitting that bone against a run of pavement, your body traveling along at 65 m.p.h. without a shred of protection between the asphalt and your skin. Sounds pretty terrible, right?

Yet, day after day, I see riders out on the highways and sideways of southern California with nothing but a T-shirt on as protection. Maybe they're convinced that they're invincible, and maybe they are. Even if they are invincible, though, I can tell you this: they aren't doing their tan lines any favors. T-shirt + Motorcycle = Farmer's Tan. That's basic, third grade math right there.

If you've tried on a few motorcycle jackets, you might have noticed that their arms tend to run a little long. That's so the skin on your wrists will be protected from the sun in your riding position. Along those arms you'll also find strong elbow pads, designed to keep that area of bone protected in a sidelong fall, and to protect that nerve from the kind of damage than can result in a potential amputation.

Shoulder pads exists for a similar reason, as there are a lot of fragile bones and joints in the rather complex shoulder assembly.

Not all motorcycle jackets have back pads, and some come with a much softer padding that you'd find in the elbows or shoulders, but you ought to be able to upgrade this or any other pad in a good jacket.

Never Say Never To Leather

You're going to encounter two pretty staunch camps in the motorcycling community when it comes to jacket material. The one camp prefers leather, the other textile. Both jacket types have their pros and cons, and part of the final decision for you is going to come down to style.

Leather motorcycle jackets come with a much heftier serving of built-in cool. I mean this metaphorically, of course, since leather is probably the worst material to don along a sun-bleached freeway on a hot summer's day. In any other weather, though, leather can't be beat.

It isn't just a matter of leather having superior abrasion resistance to textiles, either. Over time, a leather jacket will mold to your body in its riding position better than any other material, which will ensure that your padding is firmly set in all the right places should you take a spill.

Textiles, on the other hand, come in a much wider variety of climate options, with layered, weather-proof models that can withstand even the harshest of winter storms. Why you would be out riding in the middle of a blizzard is beyond me, but, hey, to each his or her own.

You can also get amazing hot weather gear in textile jackets, the mesh construction of which makes it feel like you've got a weak air conditioner blowing on you as soon as you get above 35 m.p.h. It's not going to keep you quite as cool as riding around in a T-shirt, but it's a lot cooler than leather and it's not going to expose your skin to harmful UV rays.

In short, you probably need two jackets. My first jacket was a killer leather number with a removable cotton quilt lining. That's because I bought my first bike in December. Come May, I went out and got a mesh textile jacket for the summer. I suggest you do the same.

A Zipper To Seal The Fates

Before the 1920s, leather jackets worn by motorcyclists were of the fashion used by aviators and other military members. One notable thing about them was that they were made as button-ups. It wasn't until Irving Schott of Schott Bros. added an asymmetrically offset zipper to his leather jacket design in 1928 that the leather jacket as we know it today found its iconic form.

Still, despite its popularity and its practicality for and among motorcyclists, the Schott and its imitators by Sears and Harley Davidson didn't find a point of resonance in popular culture until a little movie came along in 1953 inspired by the Hollister riot of 1947.

That movie was called The Wild One, and it featured a young actor named Marlon Brando whose sleek, rebellious appearance in a classic Schott jacket seared a specific image of cool into the zeitgeist.

From that moment on up through the punk movement of the late 1970s and into today, the motorcycle jacket has endured as a symbol of freedom and a means of personal expression in a world increasingly weary of individuality. It's an important starting point, but as Dennis Hopper says, "It takes more than going down to the video store and renting Easy Rider to be a rebel."

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Last updated on December 04, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.

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