Fashion is cyclical, which means what is in style today may no longer be cool next year, but if you wait a decade or two, it could come back. This is good news for people who like to hold on to every garment they’ve ever bought, but for the rest of us, it can make it challenging to spend money on clothes that we may have to replace by next season.
One item that seems to be insulated from changing trends, though, is the motorcycle jacket. From James Dean to the Fonz, to Tom Cruise in Top Gun and Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man, the motorcycle jacket is a timeless classic. And if you’re actually on a motorcycle, it can mean the difference between walking away from a crash or not.
Motorcycle jackets have two fundamental but very distinct classifications, the fashion option and the functional option. The fashion option can be worn just about anywhere, from a professional sporting event to a fancy restaurant. The functional option comes with padding, secure zippered compartments, ventilation, and more features that make riding a motorcycle safer and more comfortable.
Because we think both types of motorcycle jackets can belong in one closet, we’re shining a light on each one in our list. Here are some of our favorite stylish and practical motorcycle jackets.
1. Wantdo Men’s Faux-Leather Jacket
Wantdo Men’s Faux-Leather Jacket is a stylish and warm jacket that will keep wearers looking and feeling good. Animal lovers will appreciate the jackets’ use of PU-faux leather, which looks and feels like the real thing. The warm jacket is great for all weather and comes with a detachable hood and fleece zipper lining. A cross between fashion and function, the Wantdo offers some light cotton padding and a windproof outer layer. Cuffs at the wrists and hips help to keep cold air out, while multiple zippered pockets on the inside and outside of the jacket offer secure storage of personal items.
Pros: The Wantdo comes in six color options including Wine Red and Brown.
Cons: The Wantdo does not offer the same amount of padding as other jackets on our list.
2. HWK Textile Motorcycle Jacket For Men
The HWK Textile Motorcycle Jacket For Men is designed with CE-approved removable armor to protect a rider’s arms, shoulders and back. The comfortable jacket has a soft collar with a neoprene lining and is designed to be warm in cool weather, with small air vents allowing some airflow in warmer months. With a 100% waterproof outer shell and adjusters at the wrists and waist, the HWK is designed for all-weather riding. The HWK also has a waist connection for riders who like to wear matching motorcycle pants for added safety. Made with durable Polyester 600D Cordura Fabric, the HWK is available in four color options.
Pros: The HWK has a huge size range for riders, with jackets ranging from Small or a 38-inch chest to 5X or 52 inches.
Cons: The jacket cannot be machine or hand-washed, making it difficult to clean.
3. Viking Cycle Ironborn Protective Textile Motorcycle Jacket
If you want a jacket that looks good both on and off your bike, try the Viking Cycle Ironborn Protective Textile Motorcycle Jacket. The Ironborn has waterproof removable CE-approved 600D Cordura armor padding that protects the rider’s upper and lower back, shoulders and elbows. The inner liner can be zipped out during warm weather, with zipper-locked vents providing additional airflow when necessary. Velcro straps on the waist and wrists help to keep out cold air and provide a more custom fit. Reflective strips on the shoulders and arms help to keep riders visible to other motorists.
Pros: The Ironborn has a dedicated phone pocket that makes it easy for riders to keep their cell phones safe while riding and allows for quick access when not on their bike. The jacket also includes three inner pockets and two outer pockets for additional storage.
Cons: The Ironborn does not provide much air circulation in hot weather.
4. Milwaukee Leather Men’s Classic Side Lace Police Style Motorcycle Jacket
For a jacket that is timeless and classic, try the Milwaukee Leather Men’s Classic Side Lace Police Style Motorcycle Jacket. The traditional leather jacket comes with several updated features, including a full-sleeve zip-out thermal liner that makes this a great option for all seasons. Made from premium milled cowhide, the police-style jacket has side-lace detailing to help achieve a custom fit, as well as a half belt for added adjustments. Quarter zippers at the wrist make it easy to provide some airflow and movement. Customers are recommended to go one size up when ordering as the jacket has a fitted style.
Pros: The police-style jacket includes a dedicated electronic media pocket with a wire feed for headphones.
Cons: Because this jacket is made with real leather, it’s the heaviest option on our list at 5.6 pounds. It also doesn’t offer any armored padding.
5. Joe Rocket Phoenix Ion Men’s Mesh Motorcycle Jacket
While many motorcycle jackets feature zippered vents to provide airflow in warmer weather, only the Joe Rocket Phoenix Ion Men’s Mesh Motorcycle Jacket has a liner that can be removed to give riders a setup that still has CE-approved padding but provides all-over airflow. The Ion has a two-stage waterproof and insulated zip-out liner to keep riders protected from rain and cold air. Externally accessible CE-approved armor at the shoulders and elbows and DYNAX reinforced at the upper back, ribs and forearms provides protection, while the six-point Sure Fit adjustment system enables riders to achieve a comfortable fit. A smartphone pocket with a built-in earphone port and a micro-lined glasses pocket are just some of the thoughtful features included in the Ion.
Pros: The Ion jacket is available in both regular and tall sizes and goes up to 5XL.
Cons: The Ion jacket has the biggest price tag on our list.
6. Joe Rocket Atomic Men’s Riding Jacket
Stay warm and dry with the Joe Rocket Atomic Men’s Riding Jacket. Designed with accessible CE-approved armor, the Atomic jacket has a variable flow ventilation system that can be used in warm weather as well as a removable full-sleeved liner for cooler temperatures. Waterproof zippers keep out rain and wind, with quarter zippers on the wrists making it easy to wear motorcycle gloves with the jacket.
Pros: The Atomic has a Six-point SureFit custom adjustment system that allows riders to find their perfect fit.
Cons: The Joe Rocket comes with a big price tag.
7. Borleni Motorcycle Jacket
Protect yourself from falls with the Borleni Motorcycle Jacket. Designed with five EVA protectors on the shoulders, back and elbows, the Borleni is a racing-bike-inspired jacket with a waist cushion and a short torso for a comfortable fit. Designed for all seasons, the jacket includes a removable cotton liner. The jacket is made with abrasion-resistant and windproof 600 denier polyester high-performance fabric and has an adjustable collar, cuff and hem. Available in black, red and blue, the Borleni includes two exterior pockets for personal items.
Pros: Borleni asks buyers to include their height, weight and chest circumference when ordering a jacket to ensure they receive the best fit, which takes the guesswork out of sizing for customers.
Cons: The Borleni has the fewest size options available and only comes in a Medium, Large, X-Large and XX-Large. It’s also not waterproof and the padding isn’t CE approved.