With a variety of different motorcycle jacket styles and brands, it can be a daunting task trying to choose the right jacket that is not only comfortable enough for riding but also suits your style and protects against the riding elements. When buying motorcycle jackets, you should be concerned with the jacket’s protection, comfort and durability but most importantly, you need to find a jacket that is most suitable for your needs. You should consider the type of riding you will be doing, the weather conditions that you are likely to be riding in and what type of materials you are after. With that said, we compiled a few tips to help you narrow down your search when it comes to choosing a motorcycle jacket.
Leather is the most popular among riders because of its look and feel and because leather jackets breathe better in the summer. If you are buying a leather jacket however, make sure it is loose enough to wear something underneath in winter and remember they are not waterproof. Cowhide and water buffalo leather jackets are recommended. It’s a good idea to know the pros and cons of leather motorcycle jackets:
- Well fitting
- Provide adequate protection
- High abrasion
- Great for cold weather riding
- Low maintenance
- A lot heavier than textile jackets
- Not waterproof
Aside from leather, the use of textile jackets has become increasingly popular. In cases of commuting and touring, mesh textile material is highly recommended by both manufacturers and riders. The use of it connotes a healthy air circulation. Unlike leather, this material is a lot easier to maintain and Textile material also comes with a water-proof protection feature. Also, textile material allows for other types of armor protection to be sewn in like Kevlar, hard plastic, and metal more easily and cost effective than leather.
- More design and colors available
- High Puncture resistance
- Not as pliable as leather
- Can be more bulky
Summer Motorcycle Jackets vs. Winter Motorcycle Jackets
It’s a good idea be aware of the differences when buying a motorcycle jacket for summer or for winter. A summer jacket has a shorter, thinner liner. There is no reason however, that your summer jacket should not have good solid armor to max extra padding. A winter jacket has a longer, detachable liner and is well protected against the harsher weather. If you are looking for a jacket for all seasons make sure you get a jacket with zip pen vents in the front and back.
Mesh motorcycle jackets have become extremely popular especially in warmer climates because they keep you cool by allowing air to flow freely through them. They also have thicker fibers on the exterior fabric utilize a more open weave so that air flows directly onto the rider. Mesh jackets have many features that include removable wind and water resistant liners and also offer leather or textile material reinforcements in vital areas for additional protection; making these jackets more appealing.
Many riders prefer the classic look and feel of vintage style motorcycle jackets. When shopping for these jackets, it’s always important to keep a few things in mind. Not all vintage leather biker jackets are created equal so look for important value elements when choosing a vintage leather jacket, including quality leather that has had decent treatment, interesting details, solid wear at the right spots and most importantly make sure it provides a good fit.
When it comes to color it is a good thing to think of safety, not just style. Black has always been a popular choice for motorcycle jacket colors, but riders are now opting for bright colors such as golds, yellows and oranges. The bright color lets other drivers and riders notice you better.
The most important thing to consider when choosing a motorcycle jacket is size. When it comes to textile fabric if the jacket is too loose it will catch some air during your ride and will “balloon” at your arms and back. If a jacket is too tight it may become uncomfortable and lead to distraction while riding. Choose a jacket that fits just right with enough space for you to breathe and move about. Make sure you can make the sleeves fit snugly around your wrist, either with elastic, velcro or zippers, so that wind does not get in.
Overall, avoid cheap, poorly made jackets. The construction of the jacket is very important. Make sure seams and stitching are strong where impact points are. By purchasing a low quality jacket, it can end up costing you more in the long run.
We hope this is helpful information about how to choose a motorcycle jacket. What tips would you add?