I was a die-hard leather jacket wearer for years until I went on a motorcycle tour with a company that provided me with a textile jacket.
I was surprised by how much more comfortable the temperature was inside the jacket in addition to the added armor on the joints.
After that, I went on the hunt to find my new textile motorcycle jacket. These were my five finalists—and my ultimate top choice.
Reviews of the Best Textile Motorcycle Jackets
Dainese Super Speed Textile Jacket
The Dainese Super Speed Textile Jacket is my favorite non-leather jacket currently on the market. That’s because it manages to combine safety and comfort seamlessly. Plus, while it isn’t a budget option, it doesn’t drain your wallet either.
In the case of safety, it has aluminum shoulder inserts as well as other elasticated composite inserts.
This prevents the awkward fit that a lot of protective motorcycle jackets have and allows you to move your arms more fluidly and naturally, great if you’re going to be hopping on and off the bike.
Additionally, temperature isn’t an issue because the fabric is perforated, but at the same time, the jacket includes a removable windproof insert.
This makes it suitable for riding in pretty much any season or climate. The multiple adjustment straps at the neck, wrists, and waist also help you control temperature and make it fit more comfortably.
- Great value
- Aluminum and composite inserts
- Elasticated design
- Perforated fabric
- Included windproof insert
- Adjustable neck, wrists and waist
BILT Blaze 2 Jacket
The BILT Blaze 2 is an excellent jacket for the rider on a budget.
Despite the low price it’s safe and comfortable with a mesh design that allows airflow so you can even use it in the summer.
Plus, it has shoulder and elbow armor to protect some of your most vulnerable areas. You can also add a back protector, though this is sold separately.
The main trade-off for the low price is the flimsy zipper. The jacket also runs small, especially in the arms, something to keep in mind if you’re lanky like me.
Luckily, there is a sleeve adjustment system with zippered cuffs that can help you get the best fit possible.
Other features that improve comfort include the neoprene rolled collar and the hook and loop closures at the waist to keep it tight and pulled down.
The entire jacket is also mildly reflective and comes with optional orange shoulder stripes to improve visibility and safety.
- Budget price
- High-airflow mesh
- Shoulder and elbow armor
- Zippered cuffs
- Neoprene rolled collar
- Hook and loop waist closures
- Reflective details
- Runs small
- Short arms
- Flimsy zipper
Sedici Podio Jacket
Sedici is Revzilla’s in-house brand, which means they can bring you high-quality motorcycle gear at a lower price.
In other words, the Podio is another good budget jacket, especially if you’re interested in style and want a lot of color options. Specifically, you can choose between black, white, blue and red.
Sedici took a lot of steps to make this jacket safe. While it’s 600D fabric overall, it has 1680D covers on the elbows and shoulders on top of armor inserts. I will say that the inserts are a bit smaller than in other jackets, and there’s a lack of elasticity that makes it awkward to move.
The best safety feature is carbon reflective piping. It’s one of the best reflective details on any jacket I’ve seen and makes it a good choice for regular night riders.
- Budget price
- Multiple color options
- 1680D shoulder and elbow covers
- Carbon reflective piping
- Mesh airflow panels
- Runs small
- Little stretch
- Small armor inserts
Alpinestars Andes v2 Drystar Jacket
Alpinestars is one of the most popular motorcycle jacket brands, and honestly a lot of their models could go on this list.
The Andes v2 Drysta is probably my favorite, thanks to the mid-range price, numerous style options, and temperature control.
The temperature control specifically involves, above all, the titular Drystar membrane along with the 3D mesh construction vent heat and moisture as necessary, while the long-sleeve thermal liner keeps you warm in cooler weather.
You can use this jacket year-round, so it’s a good choice for commuters.
Despite all the temperature control features and armor at the elbows and shoulders, the Andes v2 fits well too. The only issue is that it’s a little short in the torso, so you have to keep it tight at the waist with the VELCRO adjustments.
- Great value
- 5 style options
- Drystar membrane
- 3D mesh ventilation
- Long-sleeve thermal liner
- Shoulder and elbow armor
- Short torso
Klim Kodiak Jacket
If you ride a lot or ride long distances and want a jacket you can use for years, take a look at the Klim Kodiak. It’s named such because it could keep you warm and safe even in Alaska.
You do have to pay a top-shelf price, but for the money you get some of the highest quality on the market in addition to a lot of extra features.
The Kodiak keeps you warm with a Gore-Tex Pro shell that resists water as well. However, it can also handle hot weather because it has multiple vents in just about every part of the jacket.
Klim went above and beyond with safety too. It increases visibility with 3M Scotchlite reflective material and leather covers over the shoulders and elbows, which also include D3O armor.
And the unique features?
The Kodiak has a removable kidney belt, a jacket-to-pants connection that keeps it from riding up, a snap-back collar, and a ton of pockets including a specific hidden passport pocket.
This jacket is a great idea for the international rider or anyone else who plans to be on their bike for a long time.
- Warm Gore-Tex Pro shell
- Extensive venting
- 3M Scotchlite reflective detailing
- Armored and reinforced elbows and shoulders
- Tons of pockets
- Jacket-to-pants connection
- Snap-back collar
- Top-shelf price
Considerations, care, and cost
Armor and Protection
Safety should be your top priority when looking for a textile motorcycle jacket. Part of this is just the shell of the jacket itself. You want a tough fabric, which means a high Denier count over 600D.
More importantly, look for armor inserts on the shoulders and elbows. These joints are some of the most vulnerable parts of your body when you have an accident, so they need extra protection.
These inserts are usually made of composite material, but sometimes you’ll find aluminum armor, which is even more protective.
On top of shoulder and elbow armor, many jackets also have pockets where you can insert chest and back armor. Usually, the inserts aren’t included with the jacket but have to be bought separately.
One thing to keep in mind when looking at armor is comfort.
Having pieces of composite or aluminum at your joints can make it awkward to move. To compensate for this, quality jackets include a lot of elasticity and stretch fabric in these areas. You should definitely look for this feature if you need to frequently get off and back on the bike, like if you’re a courier.
While you need a motorcycle jacket for safety’s sake, it can be uncomfortable in hot weather.
If you’re going to ride in the summer, you want a jacket with a lot of ventilation and mesh construction that allows air to pass through the material and cool you off.
Read our guide to the best summer motorcycle jacket.
Of course, you don’t want to have to buy a different jacket for every month of the year. Really good jackets will keep you cool in the summer but warm in the winter as well.
Read our guide to the best winter motorcycle jacket.
An easy way to get this versatility is with removable layers. For example, a removable windproof layer will keep you warm in the cooler months, but you can just take it out for summer riding.
Lastly, commuters and serious riders should look for water resistance. You’re bound to encounter rain at some point, which can make riding cold regardless of the season. You want to keep the water off your skin with overall water-resistant material or a removable waterproof layer.
Even though most motorcycle jackets have numerous sizing options, each rider is different, something I know all too well thanks to my condor-like wingspan. What if you need a medium in the torso but your arms are closer to a large?
To solve this problem, good motorcycle jackets have a lot of ways to adjust the fit.
Most commonly, this involves zippers or loops at the wrists or waist so that you can keep the jacket tight where you need it tight and loose where you need it loose. Similarly, top-shelf models may include the same type of adjustment at the neck.
Some jackets have more pockets than others. Of course, it all comes down to your preferences, but personally, I like a lot of pockets. For example, it’s easier to get to my wallet without getting off the bike if it’s in a jacket pocket instead of in my pants.
In particular, there are a few pocket features you should look for. One, zippers are ideal. After all, you don’t want your wallet falling out onto the highway. Two, waterproofing is important. Rain on your skin might be annoying, but rain on your cell phone can be downright devastating.
A textile motorcycle jacket is a comfortable, safe, and stylish alternative to the classic leather jacket.