|1. HWK||2. HWK Dualsport||3. HWK Adventure/Touring|
For avid motorcyclists, a motorcycle jacket is more than just an aesthetic accessory. It not only makes a fashion statement but provides overall comfort and protection to the wearer. It is an essential piece of safety apparel along with a sturdy pair of gloves, a strong helmet, elbow and knee guards, and boots.
However, finding the perfect jacket can be a tedious task as it involves a lot of research and study regarding the jacket’s pros and cons and, most importantly, its safety features. Most top-end jackets with the ultimate safety features will end up burning a huge hole in the buyer’s pocket. While some might not let the price compromise with the quality, others might still be on the lookout for budget-friendly motorcycle jackets.
This buyer guide is created to help you identify and narrow down the best budget motorcycle jacket suited to your requirements. Looking fashionable and staying safe while on a budget might seem a little difficult to navigate. But an affordable price does not mean an inferior product. Some brands offer products with a quality far more superior, with better features at a much lesser price.
Types Of Motorcycle Jackets
Different types of motorcycle jackets serve different purposes. Every jacket is best-suited for a specific occasion, terrain or weather condition. A variety of features and factors differentiate one from another. The following list highlights the basic variants of motorcycle jackets made for specific types of motorcycling.
The most common type is a cruiser jacket. It is what most people think of when they picture a motorcycle jacket. Made of leather, it is more fashionable and comfortable than other jackets. As it doesn’t come with body armour, it offers no substantial protection. As the name suggests, it is suitable for casual outings. However, it cannot be recommended for hard-core motorcycling.
Next up on the list is a sports jacket. As compared to a cruiser jacket, this type of motorcycle jacket is made using leather or an abrasion-resistant material. It is form-fitting and comes with body armour features. It is aerodynamically designed to help achieve high speeds and maintain balance during the ride. Sports jackets are created to offer the ultimate level of comfort and safety.
Touring jackets are designed specifically for long-distance journeys. They tend to be quite comfortable with the bonus of re-attachable liners, multiple pockets, and a waterproof exterior. It is convenient for motorcyclists who undertake long rides and want style, comfort, and protection at a premium price.
Uncertain terrain and weather conditions are what adventures are all about. Adventure motorcyclists require strong and durable gear that will withstand extremities on rugged terrain. Adventure-oriented jackets are made of long-lasting and waterproof materials that protect the wearer against scrapes and bruises. They are breathable and lined with thermal liners. Some brands provide body armour as an added feature.
What Makes The Best Budget Motorcycle Jacket?
Several factors come into play while choosing a motorcycle jacket. It should be trendy and must provide optimal protection to the wearer. In addition to this, it must offer a certain level of comfort as well. We shall now look at some of the criteria essential for buying the best cheap motorcycle jacket.
A motorcycle jacket is a fashion statement in itself. While looking for the best budget motorcycle jacket, make sure that you select a style that compliments your motorcycling needs.
There are primarily four types of motorcycle jackets that are designed for different yet specific types of riding- cruiser, touring, sports, and adventure. Their features vary in terms of fabric, presence of body armour, breathability, durability, and safety. Rugged riding will require jackets that are long-lasting, waterproof, provide great ventilation and protection to the rider. Casual motorcycling, on the other hand, will require a much more comfortable jacket that is easy to carry and looks just as fashionable.
The next factor that needs to be taken into account is the material of the jacket. The type of riding that you undertake will determine the fabric of the motorcycle jacket.
For casual riding, any synthetic fabric will work as it is lightweight, extremely breathable, and comfortable. For high-speed riding, one might need stronger fabrics that provide protection from injuries and damage and withstand varying weather conditions.
Motorcycle jackets usually come with three main fabric options- leather, textile, and mesh.
The most common fabric used for motorcycle jackets is leather. Leather is a very durable material that provides superior levels of comfort, style and protection. Top-notch leather is abrasion-resistant and protects against grave injuries and road rash. Though leather may not be comfortable to wear during extremely hot days, certain perforated leathers are breathable.
Generally made using cowhide, leather now comes in two other variants- goat and kangaroo leather. The exotic leathers are comparatively thinner and softer with the same tensile strength of regular leather. However, leather is a rather expensive material and heavier as compared to textile and mesh.
Textile motorcycle jackets are a budget-friendly alternative to leather jackets. Offering a slightly lower level of protection, they come with additional features such as removable liners, multiple storage pockets, and body armour. Textile jackets provide great ventilation and are waterproof, in most cases.
The best cheap motorcycle jacket is a blend of nylon and polyester, making it ultra-lightweight and suitable to wear on hot and rainy days. It can be worn by sport, touring, and adventure motorcyclists. Furthermore, some brands are offering the best of both worlds- a blend of textiles and leather. These jackets can be worn throughout the year.
Mesh jackets are perfect to wear on hot summer days. They provide excellent ventilation for riders during long rides. Mesh jackets can be worn during casual outings along with the right protective gear. They offer little to no protection to the wearer. Some jackets come with additional padding for the chest, back, and shoulders but nothing strong enough for superior safety. Mesh material does not guarantee lasting use and can tear easily.
3. Protective Features
No matter what the weather, wearing a jacket while motorcycling is important. Regular clothes do not offer adequate protection from road rash and other injuries. The best budget motorcycle jacket comes in bright colors with built-in or removable body armour, spine, and impact protectors.
Many of the best motorcycle jackets include or are compatible with external armours that protect high-impact areas such as shoulders, chest, and forearms from grievous injuries. CE-approved protective equipment undergoes rigorous testing to ensure product quality and effectiveness.
Flexible foam armours absorb the impact on vulnerable areas and prevent severe damage. On the other hand, hard, metal armours are designed to slide easily and protect the wearer against road rash and impact from falling on the ground.
New materials have been designed that are similar to cornstarch oobleck- they are soft until struck but become rigid on impact. Innovations are being made to incorporate the airbag system into jackets to offer more protection to the motorcyclist.
Select a jacket with a suitable body armour that compliments your riding and offers great comfort and overall protection.
b. Reflective Elements
It is recommended to wear riding gear with either bright, fluorescent colors or reflective strips so that you are visible to others on the road at night.
Fluorescent colors like neon yellow, green, and orange are proven to enhance visibility during low-light or fog situations. Reflective strips, piping, or logos on the shoulder and back shine bright in the headlight and help avert accidents.
High-speed riding such as off-roading requires the rider to wear special braces to protect high impact parts of the body such as the neck, chest, and knees. The dynamic nature of the sport tends to cause more focused injuries rather than scrapes and bruises. Chest protectors and neck and knee braces support the bones and prevent torn ligaments from crashes with other motorcyclists.
During really hot days, some jacket materials can get warm, thick, and dense. For example- a leather jacket might keep you warm on a cold morning but as the day progresses, it will get uncomfortable and unbearable.
With effective ventilation, the best motorcycle jacket will keep you comfortable in all types of weather. Jackets are now available with perforated leather, textile mesh, or adjustable zippered air vents that regulate airflow.
Motorcycling is an all-year-round activity which means that motorcyclists need riding gear that can be worn during all four seasons. This is where removable liners shine. These zip-out liners can transform the best budget motorcycle jacket into comfortable all-seasonal wear.
There are two types of removable liners- full liner inclusive of sleeves or a vest-style liner. The former offers insulation against cooler temperatures. If your jacket has thicker sleeves, the latter will work just as well. Certain variants are waterproof too.
Top-quality motorcycle jackets will have a contoured fit and allow you to layer clothes underneath. They are designed to be form-fitting for greater aerodynamics. The sleeves must reach your wrists and provide room for your elbows and shoulders. Certain models will have wrist cuffs and zippers to seal and reduce the flapping.
Snug-fit jackets protect the wearer from cold winds during high-speed rides. A short stand-up collar keeps the air out from the chest cavity and does not interfere with the helmet. Additionally, magnetic storm flaps over the main zipper ensure a tight fit and seal out cold air.
This guide is now one step closer to helping you find the best cheap motorcycle jacket. Following is a list of some of the top brands with budget-friendly jackets that offer the best style, comfort, and protection.
Top 11 Best Budget Motorcycle Jackets 2021
1. HWK Motorcycle Jacket
The HWK Motorcycle Jacket is an all-season, textile jacket with removable body armour. Made from polyester 600D Cordura fabric, this jacket is durable, soft, and waterproof. It keeps the wearer warm during the winter, cool during the summer, and safe at all times.
HHR’s motorcycle jacket comes with a detachable thermal liner that provides maximum ventilation. The CE-approved armour has a shoulder and elbow protector along with a high-density foam back protector. In addition to this, it has waist and arm adjusters for customizable fitting, external and internal storage pockets, a reflective surface for night-time visibility, and a soft collar with Neoprene lining.
Priced under $60, HHR’s HWK Motorcycle jacket is a leading contender for the best budget motorcycle jacket. It promises maximum quality at a minimum price.
2. HWK’s Dualsport Motorcycle Jacket
The Motorcycle Moto Jacket is an all-weather jacket made from polyester Cordura fabric. It has a Reissa membrane that is waterproof and breathable. With a detachable CE-approved armour, this jacket provides superior protection to the shoulder, elbows, and back.
HWK’s Moto Jacket has a rugged yet soft exterior with a mesh-lined thermal interior. It has zip-out air vents that regulate airflow and keep the wearer comfortable throughout. There is foam padding at the front and the back of the jacket for maximum absorption of impact. Additional features include a soft collar to prevent chafing, arm and waist adjusters, storage pockets, reflective surface, and waist connection zip for motorcycle pants.
With an eye-catching 3-color contrast design, the Moto Jackets are stylish. Retailing under $60, these jackets are a bargain for the features they offer.
3. HWK’s Adventure/Touring Motorcycle Jacket
The all-weather Adventure Motorcycle Jacket from HWK is next on the list of the best cheap motorcycle jackets. It is fitted with CE-approved body armour and a high-density foam back protector.
With durable and strong exteriors, the jacket features 600D Cordura fabric in areas of high impact such as the shoulders and elbows. As it is an all-weather jacket, it features removable thermal lining along with a breathable and waterproof Reissa membrane. There are a total of five zip-out air vents on either side of the jacket that improve ventilation. It also has an adjustable soft collar lined with Neoprene that prevents chafing and rashes. The Adventure Motorcycle Jacket comes with high-visibility reflective strips and logos around the arm.
HWK is a newly established brand for bikers, by bikers. Their products are designed keeping in mind the requirements of riders for all-season adventure motorcycling. Purchasing their products is like money well-spent.
4. Viking Cycle Ironborn Motorcycle Jacket
Viking Cycle’s Ironside Textile Mesh Motorcycle Jacket is designed keeping in mind the importance of airflow and ventilation during riding. The mesh design makes it the perfect summer riding jacket. It allows the wearer to control the airflow based on the weather.
The Ironside is made from durable 100% 600D Polyester Cordura fabric which keeps it wrinkle-free. It is fitted with CE-certified body armour that protects the shoulder, elbows and the upper and lower back from injuries and abrasion. It is one of Viking’s most stylish designs.
It features a Velcro-adjustable collar, Velcro wrist strap, adjustable waist and arms and multiple inner pockets with zips to store valuables. In addition to this, it has reflective piping on the shoulder, chest and back for enhanced visibility and air vents in the front.
Viking Cycle’s products are trusted and recommended by several motorcyclists. The prices for Ironside Textile Mesh Motorcycle Jackets can range anywhere from $35 to $55.
5. ILM’s JK41 Jacket
The JK41 from ILM sports a carbon fibre armour for the shoulders, back, chest and kidneys in addition to a detachable CE-certified spine and elbow armour.
Its unique ventilation system made up of air vents on the sleeves, front and back of the jacket make it ideal for summer motorcycling. The exterior of the JK41 jacket is waterproof and is lined with a removable thermal quilted liner that keeps the wearer warm during cold days. It has white reflective piping running across the back for visibility during the nights and low-light situations.
ILM’s JK41 Jacket is designed for all-year use. The reinvented ventilation system regulates airflow during warm days and the full-sleeve thermal liner seals in the warmth during cold days. JK41 is positioned at the higher end of the budget-friendly spectrum despite offering all the features a moderately priced jacket would.
6. HWK’s Mesh Motorcycle Jacket
Mesh Motorcycle Jacket from HWK is a popular name that is often categorized under the best cheap motorcycle jacket. Made from micromesh and 100% 600D Cordura fabric, this jacket allows effective ventilation during motorcycling.
With CE-approved armour padding the back, elbows, and shoulder, the Mesh Jacket is ideal for summer rides. Micro and macro mesh with 3D mesh panels provide ample ventilation. It is breathable but not waterproof. It offers a ton of storage space in the form of internal and external pockets in addition to adjustable fitting and a soft collar.
HWK’s Mesh Motorcycle Jacket offers maximum quality for a reasonable price. With a blend of 100% micro and macro mesh, the jacket is ideal for motorcycling during warm days.
7. Xelement CF-6019-66 Motorcycle Jacket
The ‘Invasion’ Motorcycle Jacket by Xelement is a leading choice for several motorcycling enthusiasts. It is made of scratch-resistant textile and mesh. With a CE-approved removable armour, the jacket is fully ventilated with mesh panels.
The motorcycle jacket is made of Tri-Tex 600 Denier Mesh and Tri-Tex 1680 Denier Anti-abrasion material. With reflective panels on the front, the jacket has X-armour on the shoulders, elbows, and back. Additional features include dual gun pockets, adjustable waist straps, removable internal liner, full-sleeve thermal quilted liner, and external zippered pockets.
Xelement Motorcycle Jackets are priced between $90 and $190. They are towards the higher end of the budget-friendly section. If the reviews are anything to go by, this jacket is worth every penny spent on it.
8. Xelement CF38 Mesh Jacket
Next on the list of the best budget motorcycle jackets is Xelements’s ‘Devious’ Motorcycle Jacket. With CE-approved X-armour and a textile-mesh blend, this jacket is the finest on the market.
It is made of strong Tri-Tex 600 Denier High-Performance fabric that is breathable and a lot less bulky than regular motorcycle jackets. It features the X-armour, a relatively new level of protection that is ergonomically designed to absorb more impact.
The armour provides padding to the shoulders, elbows, and the back. The ‘Devious’ Motorcycle Jacket has several internal and external pockets including two gun pockets and a media pocket for wires etc. To protect the wearer from cold winds, it is lined with a removable quilted thermal liner and a mesh lining to allow airflow.
Xelement produces some of the finest riding apparel in the market. It is no doubt that many motorcyclists use and recommend their products. Priced between $80 and $190, the motorcycle jackets from Xelement are bang on the buck.
9. Viking Cycle Ironborn Motorcycle Jacket
Ironborn Textile Motorcycle Jacket by Viking Cycle is a top contender for the spot of the best budget motorcycle jacket. The all-season jacket is fitted with zip-out air vents that help regulate airflow depending on the weather.
The Ironborn Jacket is one of Viking’s best-sellers. It is a well-fitting jacket with adjustable Velcro straps on the cuffs and waist. Arms have adjustable buttons. It has multiple internal pockets for storage with strong zippers. The jacket has zippered air vents on the front, sleeves, and back for effective ventilation.
Furthermore, it features detachable CE-approved armour on the elbows, shoulders, and spine with reflective strips on the shoulder and arms. The interior is lined with a removable thermal liner that offers insulation against colder rides. The jacket is waterproof and wrinkle-free.
Retailing under $65, Viking Cycle’s Ironborn Motorcycle Jacket is one of the best on the market. It has excellent reviews from customers and is highly recommended.
10. Wulful Vintage Motorcycle Jacket
Faux leather apparel is the trend of today. It is no surprise that WULFUL’s Vintage Faux Leather Motorcycle Jacket is popular among casual motorcyclists. Made from a blend of faux PU leather and polyester, this jacket is durable and comfortable to wear.
The jacket features a removable hoodie, many storage pockets, and a warm quilted cotton lining. The Vintage Motorcycle Jacket is form-fitting and does not have any customizable adjusters. It has a fashion design complete with shoulder straps and a decorative chest zipper.
Priced between $26 and $40, this Vintage Faux Leather Motorcycle Jacket is made for riders interested in low-speed motorcycling that does not involve any imminent dangers. However, purchasing an external body armour is highly recommended.
11. Motorcycle Jacket
Made with abrasion-resistant and durable Denier polyester, the all-season Borleni’s Motorcycle Jacket is next on the list. It features a breathable mesh lining with a removable warm cotton liner.
It is fitted with removable CE-certified armour on the back, shoulders, and elbows. Adjustable cuffs, waist, and soft collar improve the fit of the jacket on the wearer. The removable quilted cotton liner transforms the jacket into ideal summer and winter wear. The jacket on its own provides effective ventilation. It has two pockets to store valuables while riding. However, it misses an important component of safety features- reflective strips or panels.
Borleni’s Motorcycle Jacket is priced towards the higher end of the spectrum. If the reviews are anything to go by, buyers are content with the purchase. The absence of reflective surfaces makes it suitable for day journeys only.
FAQs on Budget Motorcycle Jackets
Q1. Should A Motorcycle Jacket Be Tight?
Ideally, yes. A form-fitting jacket ensures better aerodynamics during motorcycling and offers better protection from road rash and impact-related injuries.
Contour-fitting jackets often allow the wearer to layer clothes underneath them while keeping some room to move the forearms, elbows, and shoulders. Often, the cuffs of the jacket will have additional buttons or magnets to prevent them from flapping in the wind.
Having form-fitting jackets also protect the rider from cold winds that may cause discomfort. A soft, short collar ensures a snug fit and does not interfere with the edge of the helmet.
Q2. Which Is The Safest Motorcycle Jacket?
Any jacket with a rugged and strong exterior made from an abrasion-resistant material would be considered to be the safest. Additionally, it must be fitted with CE-approved body armour or must be compatible with external body armours and braces. The presence of reflective logos or strips is a bonus as it enhances the rider’s visibility to others on the road at night.
During high-speed motorcycling, it is pertinent to wear protective motorcycle gear to prevent or reduce the extent of the injuries. Motorcycling jackets with thick exteriors, body armours, and impact-absorbing padding will protect the wearer from road rash and grievous injuries.
Q3. What Should I Look For In A Motorcycle Jacket?
First and foremost, a motorcycle jacket must compliment your form of motorcycling. Each style of jacket is made for a specific type of riding. You cannot wear a cruiser jacket while participating in off-road motorcycling.
There are four main categories of jackets- cruiser, touring, adventure, and off-road. Each style has its own characteristics and safety features. Once you identify with a type of motorcycling, you can look into the requirements of each activity and finalize a jacket based on those criteria.
Q4. Which Is Better- Leather Or Textile Motorcycle Jacket?
Real leather jackets surely offer better resistance against abrasion and road rash. They offer superior levels of protection against scrapes and bruises. However, while looking for a budget-friendly option, leather jackets might be heavy on your pocket.
On the other hand, textile jackets are extremely budget-friendly but might not offer the same level of safety. They are lighter in weight and easy to maintain.
To get the best of both worlds, try opting for jackets with blends of leather and textile that have great tensile strength and offer protection against injuries while not burning a hole in your pocket.
Best Budget Motorcycle Jackets – Conclusion
One cannot help but feel powerful sitting astride a bike, cruising by at high speeds. What you wear affects the way you feel. Wearing a stylish and comfortable motorcycle jacket surely seals the deal.
While purchasing the best budget motorcycle jacket, one must keep in mind the parameters that make it the best. Make sure that the jacket compliments your style of motorcycling and offers ultimate levels of comfort and protection. The jacket must have a built-in armour or accommodate an external body armour as it is an essential part of the motorcycling gear.
Secondly, the wearer must feel comfortable donning it at all times. It must not get too warm or cold for the wearer. Jackets with air vents or perforated panels and detachable thermal liners offer better breathability and warmth when needed.
Your motorcycle jacket must make you feel stylish, comfortable, and safe- all at the same time. We hope this buying guide has helped you find your perfect motorcycle jacket. Happy motorcycling!
Jason’s our founder and a biking enthusiast, Motorcyclelarry was his brainchild. Having lived his entire life in poverty, Taylor was never able to afford a bike of his own. As an adolescent, he used to watch his uncle repair bikes and so grew his passion with him. After doing engineering, Taylor started working but never gave up on his passion for bikes. He always keeps himself updated on the latest bike tech. At 30, he decided to share his knowledge with the world and he started Motorcyclelarry.