A few years ago, I finally got tired of showing up to work drenched in sweat. It was time to admit my old leather jacket just didn’t cut it in the summer.
I needed a motorcycle jacket specifically designed for hot weather. I went searching and found five that could keep me safe and cool at the same time.
Reviews of the Best Summer Motorcycle Jackets
Alpinestars Viper v2 Air Jacket
Alpinestars is one of the most popular motorcycle jacket brands for a reason, and the Viper v2 Air Jacket is my favorite for hot weather. It’s a terrific value but still durable and capable of lasting summer after summer.
Like any good motorcycle jacket, the Viper v2 protects you with a multi-fabric shell and armor at the shoulders and elbows.
However, it remains cool thanks to mesh panels on the chest and back that increase airflow and ventilation. Plus, you can remove the windbreaker liner, which makes this jacket great for those in places where the weather changes regularly.
In general, the Viper v2 is comfortable and unintrusive, but it does run pretty small, so consider getting a size larger than usual.
It has waist adjustment to get the perfect fit, pre-curved sleeves, which lets you relax on the bike more easily, and a low-profile collar that allows wind to hit your neck to cool you down.
- Great value
- Protective fabric and armor
- Removable windbreaker liner
- Waist adjustment
- Pre-curved sleeves
- Low-profile collar
- Runs small
BILT Blaze 2 Jacket
If you don’t ride a lot in the summer and just need a protective jacket for the occasional cruise, I highly recommend the BILT Blaze 2 as a budget option.
The 600D fabric and shoulder and elbow armor protect your torso against abrasion in case of an accident, while ultra-flow mesh allows air to pass through and cool your body.
Just because it’s a budget model doesn’t mean the Blaze 2 lacks features, though. These include hook and loop closures to attach the jacket to your pants. (You don’t have to be that guy showing his back to the cars behind him.) There’s also a sleeve adjustment system for getting the ideal fit.
Where BILT cut costs seems to be the zippers, which are a little flimsy. On the other hand, there are a lot of them on the inside pocket and cuffs. This makes the jacket more secure overall.
- Budget price
- Tough fabric and armor
- Ultra-flow mesh
- Hook and loop closures
- Sleeve adjustment
- Zippered cuffs and pockets
- Flimsy zippers
- Runs small
REV’IT! Eclipse Jacket
REV’IT! is a European brand with a lot of experience making jackets for commuters. As a result, their Eclipse model is a great way to keep comfortable in both spring and summer weather day after day.
This fairly basic jacket provides protection and comfort without extra bells and whistles. It has 600D polyester fabric along with shoulder and elbow armor. Plus, you can even add a back protector, though it’s sold separately.
The biggest problem with this jacket is its stability. The velcro on the cuffs is weak, and while it does come with jeans loops, they also slowly come undone due to the weak velcro.
It is cool and comfortable, though, mainly thanks to the mesh design. There are also dedicated ventilation panels that increase airflow.
- Tough fabric and armor
- Can support back protector
- Mesh design
- Ventilation panels
- Runs small
- Weak velcro
Klim Induction Jacket
If you ride a lot in the summer, especially in hot and humid climates like the South, the Klim Induction Jacket is a great way to keep cool.
It has a mesh design that provides airflow and wicks away moisture, and it’s also UV resistant. This keeps it from heating up too much in the sun and preserves the fabric’s integrity.
This is important because this jacket is very safe and protective. It’s made from even tougher nylon than most jackets: 840D Klim Karbonite. Additionally, it features extra reinforcement at the elbows and shoulders and reflective patches on the arms and back.
Finally, this Klim jacket is one of the most comfortable on the market. It has stretch mesh at the elbows and shoulders to fit snugly in almost any position. The quick-adjust straps on the forearms also keep the sleeves from riding up while allowing you to get the fit as exact as possible.
- Moisture-wicking mesh
- UV resistant
- 840D nylon
- Stretch mesh at elbows and shoulders
- Quick-adjust forearm straps
- No armor
- Top-shelf price
Dainese Super Speed Textile Jacket
This Dainese jacket is another top-shelf model with increased protection and comfort, making it ideal for commuters who need a jacket for the summer.
If you’re especially concerned about safety, I would consider this model. That’s because of the aluminum shoulder inserts and composite elbow armor that give you maximum protection in the most vulnerable places.
As for keeping you cool, the Dainese Super Speed keeps temperatures down with an elaborate mesh design. You can also remove the windproof insert when the weather heats up.
Lastly, you’re unlikely to find a better, more comfortable fit. There’s adjustability at the neck, wrist, and waist, along with a secure fastening system to attach the jacket to your pants.
- Aluminum and composite armor
- Mesh design
- Removable windproof insert
- Adjustable neck, wrist and waist
- Jacket-pants fastening system
- Top-shelf price
Temperature regulation is your primary concern if you’re looking for a summer jacket. Motorcycle jackets can keep you cool while protecting your body in a couple of ways:
The main thing you should look for in a summer jacket is a mesh or perforated design. This provides the same protection against abrasion as a standard motorcycle jacket while still allowing the wind to pass through and cool your body.
Another great addition to a summer jacket is sweat-wicking fabric. This absorbs sweat off of your skin, which in turn removes heat from your body.
You should look for this feature if you live in an especially humid area like the Deep South, where it’s hard for sweat to evaporate away.
You may also find summer jackets that have removable layers.
This allows you to adjust them to the weather, and if it’s really hot, take out all but the outer protective layer.
These types of jackets are best for those who live where the weather changes a lot and commuters who have to deal with variable spring weather.
The most challenging part of finding a good summer jacket is balancing protection with coolness and breathability. There are a few things you should look for in a summer jacket to make sure it’s still protecting your torso and the most vulnerable parts of your body.
Most manufacturers make summer jackets out of dense nylon fabrics to allow for mesh design and breathability. The toughness of these fabrics is measured in a unit called “Deniers.” Basically, the higher the Denier, the tougher the material. Look for a jacket rated at least 600D.
Even if a jacket has tough fabric that protects against abrasion, you still want more protection in those areas that usually strike first in an accident: your shoulders and elbows.
Many manufacturers include polymer composite armor in these places or even inserts made of aluminum.
An extra feature you may find on some jackets is reflective patches. These make you more visible, which decreases your chances of an accident.
Also, see our guide to the best textile motorcycle jacket.
Lastly, you also just want your summer jacket to be comfortable. Whether you’re touring or commuting, an uncomfortable coat that’s too tight in places or rides up in others can really ruin the experience.
There are a few specific features that make for a comfortable jacket.
Whether with velcro, zippers, or elastic, the more parts of the jacket you can adjust to your body, the better. Most commonly, these adjustable straps are at the wrists, but you may also find them at the neck and waist.
Few things are more annoying than having your motorcycle jacket ride up your back.
It’s not just uncomfortable, though; it can even be dangerous.
To help with this, many companies put loops or other fastening mechanisms on the waists of their jackets so you can attach them to your pants.
Read more about how a motorcycle jacket should fit.
There’s no reason you can’t stay safe in the summer while keeping cool at the same time.
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