When it comes to outerwear, few pieces measure up to the iconic motorcycle jacket. Sleek and stylish, they're appreciated by riders and casual wearers alike.
While the classic belted design with diagonal zippers is usually the first motorcycle jacket that comes to mind, there are now countless styles on the market. Jackets designed for riders have a wide range of protective features, including padding and reflective stripes. Fashionable motorcycle jackets are designed with trendy features like removable hoods, vintage patches, and unique collars.
If you're wondering which motorcycle jacket is right for you, give our buying guide a read. We're covering all the features you should know and sharing a few of our top picks at the end. Our favorite design, the Vintage Leather Men's Jacket, features oversized sleeves and shoulders that allow plenty of room to dress in layers.
Considerations when choosing men's motorcycle jackets
Traditional: Traditional motorcycle jackets, also referred to as cruiser styles, remain a top choice for fashionable outerwear. Inexpensive designs are made from faux leather, while high-end designer jackets are made from high-quality Napa leather. Protection varies quite a bit among these styles, though high-grade leather designs (namely those made with kangaroo hide) offer the most.
Street- and race-style: Street- and racing-style motorcycle jackets pare down the bulk of cruiser styles to achieve a sleek, streamlined appearance. They're made from a mixture of fabrics which may include leather, nylon, mesh, or Kevlar. These motorcycle jackets are designed to protect you as much as possible, especially designs with built-in armor.
Adventure: Adventure motorcycle jackets are used by dual-sport or off-road riders. Designs in this category often have a unique assortment of breathable details such as mesh panels, as well as waterproof or weatherproof shells. There are also adventure jackets with removable thermal liners for all-season riding.
There's more than just shopping for your size when it comes to motorcycle jackets. Fit and cut vary between styles, so examine key areas to find the best-fitting option.
Collars should be comfortable, and if you're wearing the jacket for riding, they shouldn't obstruct the fit of your helmet. There should be ample room around the shoulders to allow you to comfortably elongate your arms to reach the handlebars. If you prefer adjustability to account for layering, choose a jacket with zippers, buckles, or laces.
If you prefer to travel light, make sure you take a good look at the pockets of motorcycle jackets. Some fashion jackets are fairly limited, though authentic riding jackets usually offer a variety of storage options. This is particularly important if you have limited storage space on your motorcycle.
The vast majority of motorcycle jackets are black, though some styles are available in dark brown or gray. Accent colors, color block panels, and reflective stripes are also popular on many styles. Not only do they add instant style, the pops of color or reflection make it easy for drivers and other riders to see you.
Fashionable motorcycle jackets made with synthetic materials cost $100 and below, but they're not intended for riding protection. Those priced between $150 and $400 offer more in the way of protection and riding comfort. High-end motorcycle jackets that cost $500 and above are made with the best materials and are intended for extreme wear.
Q. What makes mesh construction so popular for motorcycle jackets?
A. Mesh keeps the jacket fairly lightweight and breathable since it allows perspiration to escape. However, it doesn't allow moisture to penetrate the shell, which keeps you dry during inclement weather.
Q. Are men's motorcycle jackets available in extended sizes?
A. It depends on the manufacturer. Many brands limit their sizing between medium through 2XL, where others go up to 6XL. Certain jackets are available in long lengths to accommodate taller wearers or those with longer torsos.
Men's motorcycle jackets we recommend
Best of the best: Vintage Leather Men's Jacket
Our take: Classic motorcycle jacket with a modern spin.
What we like: Lined for cold weather wear. Pockets are spacious to hold essentials. Well-made and durable.
What we dislike: Lining isn't removable.
Best bang for your buck: Milwaukee Leather Men's Classic Side-Lace Motorcycle Jacket
Our take: Throwback design with chunky silver zippers appreciated by budget-conscious enthusiasts.
What we like: Belted waist is easy to adjust for comfort. Sleeves are an appropriate length for each size. Available in XS through 5X.
What we dislike: Design would benefit from having a more spacious shoulder area.
Our take: Premium design with a variety of rugged wear features that are big hits among all-weather riders.
What we like: Made with high-tensile material and high-density rib padding. Removable waterproof liner. Comfortable low-profile collar.
What we dislike: Collar was a bit too loose around the neck for some wearers.
Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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