2013 Riding Jacket Buyer's Guide | Gear Up

Alpinestars And AGV Sport Riding Jackets
Cortech And Dainese Riding Jackets
Firstgear And Flyracing Riding Jackets
Joe Rocket And Icon Riding Jackets
Macna And Revit Riding Jackets
RS Taichi And Scorpion Riding Jackets
Sedici Bilt Ssgear Riding Jackets
Spidi Riding Jackets
AGV Alpinestars Cortech Riding Jackets
Dainese Scorpion Ssgear Riding Jackets

If you have ever purchased a riding jacket, you know how difficult it can be to choose between the dizzying options of materials and features, not to mention finding the right size and color. To help with your next purchase, we’ve put together this buyer’s guide that features a selection of riding jackets from 15 different manufacturers. Here you’ll find leather and textile jackets with varying degrees of ventilation, armor, weatherproofing, adjustable fit, comfort and storage. Given that summer is nigh and the warm weather is upon us, most manufacturers submitted gear with that in mind and the bias here is toward mesh and perforated leather jackets.

We took two submissions from each apparel manufacturer, and present them here in alphabetical order. Some of the jackets are available in both men’s and women’s sizes, and we’ve also included several jackets specifically for the ladies. Each capsule includes a brief overview of the jacket’s features, along with size, price, contact information and the various color options where space permits. Keep in mind that even though there are 10 pages of jackets, it’s just a small selection of what’s available; if you don’t find what you’re looking for here, some research online or a visit to your local dealer will more than likely turn up exactly what you want. A sidebar included at the end of the buyer’s guide provides some helpful Tips on how to select the exact jacket to suit your needs.


A riding jacket should fit loose enough that you can fit a couple of thin layers underneath it on a cool day, but snug enough that nothing flaps in the wind.

1.Alpinestars Jaws
The 1.3mm leather of the Jaws jacket has high-density perforated front and rear inserts for cooling along with flexible stretch panels on the chest, back and elbows for comfort. External shoulder sliders and PE padding on the chest and back add even more comfort and protection, while inside is CE-certified shoulder and elbow protection along with PE padding in the chest and back compartments. A removable thermal vest is provided, and the Jaws is available in black or black/white.
Sizes: Euro 48 – 64, Price: $449.95

3.AGV Sport Mission
This textile jacket has a 600-denier polyester fabric outer shell with added safety from leather panels on the shoulders, elbows, chest and back, a CE-approved back protector and CE-approved foam armor in the shoulders and elbows. Two extra-long zippered vents in both front and back provide airflow on hot days, while a waterproof and breathable liner zips in for cold days. Two external pockets and one interior pocket are provided. Available in black or hi-viz yellow.
Sizes: S – XXL, Price: $109

2. Alpinestars Viper Air
The 600-denier Viper Air has mulTiple adjustments for a customizable fit and has a mesh-on-mesh panel construction for maximum airflow. Protection includes removable CE-certified Bio-Armor in the shoulder and elbows, along with PE comfort padding in the chest and back. Additional features include a removable windproof vest liner, reflective detailing, neoprene comfort edges on the cuffs and collar, external zippered pockets and four available color combinations.
Sizes: S – 4XL, Price: $199.95

4.AGV Sport Tornado
Constructed from 1.2mm top-grain leather with slightly thicker material in impact areas, the Tornado jacket also features a back pad and dual-density shoulder and elbow protectors (both CE-approved. The chest and belly area is perforated while two zip-open exhaust vents are provided on the back. Added comfort is courtesy of a moisture-wicking collar and cuff material, and pre-curved arms with stretch fabric on the inner areas. Available in black or black with various highlights.
Sizes: 40 – 52, Price: $349

** When trying on a jacket, sit similar to how you'd position yourself on your motorcycle. When was the last time you rode your bike standing up?

**1. Cortech Adrenaline
** This leather jacket is made from a combination of 1.2-1.4mm perforated and non-perforated panels, with flexibility and fit benefitting from adjustable waist belts, accordion-style panels at the shoulders, elbows and waist, and stretch nylon panels in the rotated and pre-curved arms. Protection includes removable CE-approved shoulder and elbow pads and a triple-density back protector; the Adrenaline has a removable, insulated vest and is available in black and two color combinations.
Sizes: S – 2XL, Price: $359.99

**2. Cortech GX Sport 3
** The GX Sport 3 lives up to its name with a 600-denier Carbolex shell incorporating 1680-denier material in the elbows and shoulders, pre-curved and rotated sleeves and adjustable waist belts. Weatherproofing includes the Rainguard waterproof and breathable barrier and waterproof zippered vents, and inside are Cortech's Zip-Out Quilted liner, removable CE-approved armor in the shoulders and elbows and an articulated, triple-density back protector. Five color combinations are offered.
Sizes: XS – 4XL, Tall M – 3XL, Price: $229.99

Dainese G. Super Speed Pelle Estivo
Constructed of Dainese's exclusive D-Skin leather with S1 stretch fabric in strategic areas and waist adjustment straps, the G. Super Speed Pelle offers excellent ergonomics and flexibility. CE-approved composite protectors are found in the shoulders and elbows. Perforated areas combine with zippered air inlets on the chest and sides and the NanoFeel liner for ventilation, and a jacket/pants fastening system is incorporated.
Sizes: Euro 48 – 54 (white/black), 50, 54, 58, 60 (grey/black), Price: $799.95

4. Dainese G. Air-3 TEX
The Air-3 textile jacket is made from perforated and Quick-Dry fabric for light weight and maximum ventilation. The sides, neck, sleeves and cuffs are all adjustable for a custom fit, and the shoulders and elbows are protected with CE-approved removable composite armor; a Dainese G1 or G2 back protector can be integrated into the jacket. The Air-3 is available in seven color combinations.
Sizes: Euro 44 – 62, Price: $239.95

Pay attention to the jacket's cut. Some tops are loosely tailored for a more upright riding position, while others are made for a sportbike tuck.

**1. Firstgear Mesh Tex
** Made with a 250-denier poly-mesh exterior for maximum airflow, this textile jacket features a zip-out liner, CE-approved armor at the shoulders and elbows, a soft-lined, minimalist collar and zippered pockets on the inside and outside. The Mesh Tex is offered in black, silver and Day-Glo, and in men's and contour-shaped women's sizing; matching Mesh Tex pants are also available.
Sizes: Men's S – 4XL and Tall M – 2XL, Women's XS – 3XL, Price: $179.95

**2. Firstgear Kenya
** The Kenya textile jacket combines style with utility, featuring a Hypertex waterproof and breathable shell with zippered vents in the underarm, chest and back areas along with a removable insulated liner for ample environmental control. Straps in the waist and upper and lower arms give an ergonomic fit, while the elbows and shoulders are protected with CE-approved armor. Two front cargo pockets are provided, and the Kenya is available in black, silver and loden.
Sizes: S – 3XL, Tall L – 2XL, Price: $279.95

**3. FLY CoolPro II textile
** With a multi-panel mesh design to keep you cool, the Coolpro II features 600-denier ballistic nylon in high-impact areas along with removable CE-approved armor in the shoulders and elbows. The jacket is anatomically fitted for the riding position, with three-step upper and lower sleeve adjustments, zippered side gussets and Velcro waist straps for a custom fit. The removable liner is lightweight and water-resistant, and five colors are available.
Sizes: S – 3XL, Price: $149.95

**4. FLY Butane
** The Butane's 600-denier nylon outer shell has a durable, waterproof/breathable membrane along with two shoulder and two back vents to keep you cool. Fit can be adjusted via full-length zippered side gussets, the three-step upper and lower sleeve volume control and the waist straps. The elbows and shoulders have removable CE-approved armor, while a comfort pad is found in the back. The full-sleeve quilted liner is removable, and the Butane is offered in four colors.
Sizes: S – 4XL, Price: $159.95

Many gear manufacturers now offer tall size options in addition to standard size options. The longer arms and longer cut through the torso could add that small amount of comfort you were once missing.

**1. Joe Rocket Reactor 3.0
** Intended for warmer weather, the new Joe Rocket Reactor 3.0 jacket features a combination of FreeAir mesh and 1.2mm leather along with CE-approved internal armor at the shoulders and elbows. A full-sleeve windproof liner ensures comfort in cooler weather, while a 6-Point SureFit adjustment system provides proper fit at the forearms, sleeves, and waist. Available in black, gunmetal, red, and blue.
Sizes: S – 3XL, Price: $239.99 – $254.99.

**2. Joe Rocket Comet
** A hybrid textile/leather jacket, the Comet from Joe Rocket utilizes a Rock-Tex 600 textile outer shell with 1.2mm leather on the shoulders, elbows, and forearms. CE-approved internal armor in shoulders and elbows provides more protection, with adjustable vents in the biceps, torso, and back for summer weather and a removable insulated full sleeve liner for colder climes. Available in black and red/black
Sizes: S – 2XL (black 3XL), Price: $199.99

**3. Icon Overlord Prime Hero
** Manufactured from 1.2 – 1.4mm leather, Icon's Overlord Prime Hero jacket sports CE-approved shoulder and elbow armor plus external injected plastic plates on shoulders, elbows and back. Stretch panels allow flexibility, while perforated leather in the upper arms and sides of the torso provide ventilation on hotter days; colder climes are handled by a removable insulated wind resistant vest.
Sizes: XS – 4XL, in black, white/black/red, or white/black/red; Price: $495

**4. Icon Prime Jacket Stealth
** For a less flashy appearance than the Overlord Hero but with the same basic construction, look no further than the Prime Jacket Stealth. The Stealth has the same CE-approved shoulder and elbow armor, external injected plastic plates on the shoulders, elbows, and back, stretch panels and removable insulated liner, plus perforated leather in the chest. The Prime Jacket is also available in other color combos besides the all-black Stealth.
Sizes: XS – 4XL, Price: $460 – $525

A jacket that's too tight in the forearm can cause arm pump, which will quickly suck the fun out of any ride. Choose your jacket size wisely, and make sure that it fits well across your entire upper body.

**1. Macna Chameleon
** The Macna Chameleon is two jackets in one. The core jacket is made from 1.2 – 1.4mm leather with CE-approved shoulder/elbow armor and removable thermal liner; the outer shell, which attaches at various points to the core jacket, is made from Durylon and R-tech materials with a Raintex membrane laminated inside. This enables the inner jacket to stay both completely dry and lightweight. Available in black or hi-viz colors.
Sizes S – 3XL, Price $699.99

**2. Macna Concrete Night Eye
** The Concrete Night Eye is made from heavy duty C-Touch fabric that, while appearing a neutral gray color in the day, is infused with reflective material that becomes luminescent under light at night for the ultimate in safety. CE-approved shoulder and elbow armor, two-layer liner system with detachable thermal liner to keep you dry and warm, and chest vents for warmer weather.
Sizes S - 3XL, Price $359.99

**3. Rev'It! Galactic
** The Rev'It! Galactic leather jacket features premium cowhide with ventilation panels on the front and arms, plus strategically placed stretch fabric for comfortable fit both on and off the bike. Removable Hydratex 3L liner keeps you dry in a downpour, while ProLife 3D CE protection in the shoulders, elbows, and forearms ensures impact protection. Available in white/black and black/white color combos.
Euro sizes 46 – 60 (XS – 3XL U.S.), Price: $499.99

**4. Rev'It! Stellar
** The race-inspired Rev'It Stellar jacket features the company's top Monaco Performance cowhide with injected plastic outer protection on the shoulders and ProLife 3D CE-approved inner armor. A removable thermal liner helps you keep warm in colder weather, while perforation in the front and arms ventilates in warmer climes. Available in black/acid green, black/white, and black/red color combos.
Sizes: 46 – 58 (XS – 2XL U.S.), Price: $629.99

Many jackets —but not all—come with zippers that allow you to attach the jacket to a matching pair of pants. Attaching the top and bottom garments ensures that the jacket won't ride up (or the pants down) during aggressive riding, or during an accident.

**1. RS Taichi Langley All-Season
** RS Taichi's new Langley All-Season jacket utilizes a Teflon HT Coating Nylon outer construction bolstered with CE-approved shoulder and elbow armor, plus the company's Chest Protector System for frontal impacts. A removable inner jacket to insulate against cold can be worn by itself, while vents in the upper arm and back provide cooling airflow. Available in numerous color combinations.
Sizes: S – 3XL (black 4XL), Price: $249.95

**2. RS Taichi Armed High Protection Mesh
** Boasting a heavy-duty polyester mesh construction, this jacket features CE-approved shoulder/elbow armor, with the company's removable hard Chest Protector and CE back protector. Molded PE plastic armor on the shoulders and elbows, and EVA foam padding on the collarbone, ribs, and back provide additional protection. Available in black, white/black, and black/red colors.
Sizes: M – 4XL, Price: $285.95

**3. Scorpion Ventech II
** One of the summer mesh jackets in Scorpion's lineup, the Ventech II features poly-mesh main construction with 600-denier panels with EXO-TEC CE-approved shoulder/elbow armor and a polyurethane foam back protector for abrasion and impact protection. A removable full-sleeve AirGuard windproof liner wards off chilly nights/mornings when you don't want all the airflow. Available in various colors.
Sizes: S – XXL, Price: $199.95

**4. Scorpion Hat Trick II
** A three-season mesh jacket, the Scorpion Hat Trick II features ballistic polyester in high-impact areas for abrasion resistance, while Sas-Tec CE-approved removable armor in the shoulders and elbows provide impact protection. Poly-mesh panels in non-impact areas offer summertime ventilation, while dual full-sleeve AirGuard windproof and EverHeat thermal liners keep you warm in cooler climates. Available in various colors.
Sizes: XS – 3XL, Price: $269.95

**1. Sedici Rapido
** The Rapido is constructed from pre-punched full-grain leather body sections for improved airflow, while fabric stretch panels in the pre-curved arms add to the jacket's sporting comfort. CE-approved armor is found in the shoulders and elbows. A detachable satin quilted liner is included, and the Rapido can be used with matching black/white or white/black pants for track riding.
Sizes: 38 – 52, Price: $349.99

**2. BiLT Trackstar
** This 1.2-1.4mm full-grain leather jacket includes perforated panels in the front, back and inner sleeve, stretch panels in the inner sleeve, upper back and waist areas, stretch neoprene cuffs, a low-profile sport collar and a detachable quilted lining. Internal protectors include CE-approved shoulder and elbow armor along with a removable memory foam back pad. Available in black and three color combinations.
Sizes: 36 – 52, Price: $249.99

**3. Speed & Strength Seven Sins Leather/Textile
** A hybrid version of the company's all-textile Seven Sins jacket, the Speed & Strength Seven Sins Leather/Textile jacket combines 1.0 – 1.1mm premium leather with AR-600 textile fabric. Knox CE-approved inner armor is used for the shoulders and elbows, plus a dual density rubber back protector. Available in black, black/white, and black stealth.
Sizes: S – 3XL, Price: $249.95

**4. Speed & Strength Twist of Fate Cool Core
** The mesh version of Speed & Strength's Twist of Fate leather jacket, the Twist of Fate Cool Core utilizes AR-800 textile with the company's Fierce Mesh to provide airflow with protection. Knox CE-approved inner armor is used in the shoulders and elbows, plus a Knox CE-approved back protector. Available in black or white.
Sizes: S – 3XL, Price: $199.95

**1. Spidi Track Wind
** The lighter summer version of Spidi's Track leather jacket, the Track Wind utilizes 1.2mm leather with extensive perforation to provide cooling airflow. CE-certified Force-Tech armor is used in the shoulders and elbows, with pockets for optional back and chest protection. An H2Out waterproof membrane or Thermo lining can be zipped in for inclement weather. Available in black or white.
Sizes: Euro 46 – 58 (XS – 2XL U.S.), Price: $599.90

**2. Spidi Hard Track H2Out
** An adventure-tour model from Spidi, the Hard Track H2Out jacket combines a three-layer textile fabric with leather inserts on the shoulders and elbows for abrasion resistance. CE-certified Force-Tech armor is provided in the shoulders/elbows, while removable H2Out waterproof/breathable membrane and full-sleeve insulation liners offer true all-weather performance. Available in black, black/ice, or olive green
Sizes: M – 3XL, Price: $549.90


** Be sure to check manufacturer websites for sizing info, as one's "XS" might be different than another's.

**1. AGV Sport Xena Ladies Vented Textile
** Constructed from strong polyester fabric and mesh material, the AGV Sport Xena Ladies Vented Textile jacket features CE-approved dual-density armor in the shoulders and elbows, plus CE-approved 8mm memory foam back padding. Removable waterproof lining shields against inclement summer weather, and pleated panels on the waist provide a non-binding fit. Available in burgundy/white, black/white, and white/black.
Women's sizes: XS – XL, Price: $109.00

**2. Alpinestars Renee Leather/textile
** From Alpinestars' City collection, the Renee hybrid leather/textile jacket incorporates leather and textile construction with light CE-certified shoulder and elbow armor to provide a fashionable and flattering female-specific design with protection. The torso shell is made from indigo denim (Black version) or reinforced poly-fabric textile (Champagne version) inspired by the latest catwalk trends.
Women's sizes: 0 – 18, Price: $399.95

**3. Cortech LRX Air 2
** Combining the company's Armor-Link 3 Mesh shell with 1680-denier Ballistic Polyester shoulder and elbow impact panels, Cortech's LRX Air 2 uses CE-approved shoulder and elbow armor with triple-density back protector to ward off impacts, while the removable Two-Stage Aquatherm liner can be used together or independently for maximum comfort. Available in black/white, black/pink, or white/silver.
Women's sizes: XS – XL (also Plus S – Plus L, Tall S – Tall L), Price: $229.99

** The women's motorcycle market is growing by leaps and bounds—check manufacturer websites for other jackets and apparel, there's more out there every day.

**1. Dainese G. Racing Pelle Lady
** An aggressive yet nicely styled leather jacket, the Dainese G. Racing Pelle Lady is contructed from the company's premium cowhide, with co-injected outer shoulder armor with aluminum and composite protection. CE-certified inner armor provides additional impact protection in the shoulder and elbows/forearms, while zippered vents provide hot weather airflow. Available in black/red trim and white/red trim.
Women's Euro sizes: 40 – 52 (6 – 18 U.S.), Price: $599.95

**2. Scorpion Verano Mesh
** Utilizing polyester mesh main body construction with 600-denier polyester impact panels for abrasion resistance, the Scorpion Verano Mesh jacket also features CE-approved Exo-Tec armor in the shoulders and elbows, plus a polyurethane rubber back protector. A removable full sleeve AirGuard windproof liner shields the rider from cooler climes. Available in black, black/neon pink, white/purple.
Women's sizes XS – XXL, Price: $139.95

**3. Speed & Strength Radar Love Cool-Core Mesh
** As with the men's Twist of Fate Cool-Core mesh jacket, the Speed & Strength Radar Love Cool-Core Mesh women's jacket combines AR-600 textile fabric with the company's Fierce Mesh material for summertime airflow. CE-approved shoulder and elbow protection and a dual-density rubber back protector ward off impacts, while a removable Cool-Core vest liner shields against cooler nights. Available in black, white, or red.
Women's sizes XS – XX, Price: $149.95 www.ssgear.com

What To Look For In A Jacket

As we mentioned in the introduction, buying a jacket can be a frustrating experience — there is an almost overwhelming selection of features and options to choose from. This short primer on what to look for will help you make those decisions and pick the right jacket to suit your riding needs.

Probably the most important decision to make is between leather and textile as the base material for your jacket. There is little question that leather provides better protection than textile, but there are some tradeoffs: A leather jacket will be more expensive, and the versatility of textile allows jackets made from that material to be more functional over a wider range of conditions. For example, an unperforated leather jacket will be nice and warm in the cooler seasons, but unbearably hot in traffic on a summer day. There are textile jackets intended for temperature extremes (such as those with an all-mesh construction), but in general a textile jacket will have mulTiple adjustable vents that you can open and close as necessary. Likewise, a textile jacket can more easily be made waterproof than a leather jacket, further expanding its usefulness.

There are several aspects to consider when it comes to a jacket’s protective properties, even aside from the material. A jacket for sport riding should have a low cut in the back, so that when you are leaned forward your entire back is still covered. Look for armor in the elbow and shoulder areas, and at least some form of back protection; most jackets have a simple foam pad in the back, and it’s wise to consider upgrading to an actual back protector. Make sure the arms and waist have some adjustments so that you can keep those areas snug. If you crash and the sleeves rotate on your arms or the jacket rides up on your back, even the best armor won’t help you. Also look for thicker material in areas likely to touch down in an accident, what external armor the jacket has, and if there is any additional padding in the chest area. An often-neglected safety feature is the color of the jacket; the brighter the better, and better yet is reflective material on the front and back.

Additional comfort features can be found on many jackets. The arms should be curved and rotated into the correct position for the riding you intend to do — the jacket needs to be most comfortable when you are on your bike, not standing and looking in the mirror at the dealer. Stretch panels in strategic places can help with fit as well as keep armor in the right place. The collar material and shape can make a big difference on a long ride; a high collar can keep the wind off your neck, but can chafe over time. Zippered vents, perforations in leather or areas of mesh material can help keep you cool in the summer, while most jackets have a removable liner for winter use.

Finally, it’s the little things that can leave you happy with your jacket or annoyed every time you put it on: cuff closures that fit nicely under your gloves; pockets inside and out for your wallet, keys and phone; large zipper pulls that you can work while wearing gloves; and pockets and zippers that are waterproof.