How to Choose a Motorcycle Jacket: Finding Your Perfect Fit

In previous posts we’ve discussed choosing the right motorcycle helmet, finding the right riding boots, and getting the best motorcycle jeans. It seems only natural now that we should talk about one of the most important pieces of gear in any rider’s collection: their jacket.

Motorcycle jackets are essential, providing protection and projecting a rider’s sense of style and individuality. Choosing a motorcycle jacket is an important decision (and a significant investment), so you should make it an educated one.

Choosing the Right Material: Leather vs. Textile

The first decision you’ll have to make when choosing a new motorcycle jacket is whether you want leather or a synthetic textile. Both have their advantages, but tend to attract riders with different senses of style.

The Benefits of Leather Motorcycle Jackets

  • Leather is safe. A quality leather jacket provides excellent abrasion resistance and protection in the event of a fall or other accident. A well-fitted leather jacket will also keep from bunching up on the pavement, encouraging a slide rather than a more dangerous tumble in an accident.
  • Leather is durable. A well cared-for leather jacket can last a lifetime and longer.
  • Leather is classic. It can’t go without being said: the leather jacket is a classic in American style.

Disadvantages of Leather Jackets

  • Leather is heavy and doesn’t breathe too well. This can make for an uncomfortable ride, especially in summer. Mesh lining can help to alleviate this, though.
  • Leather doesn’t always do very well in rain, so it might not be ideal for touring.
  • Leather can be pricey. If you’re on a tight budget, decent leather might be hard to find.

The Benefits of Textile Motorcycle Jackets

  • Textile jackets are more lightweight and breathable than leather.
  • Textile jackets come in a wider variety of styles and colors than many leather motorcycle jackets.
  • Modern textile jackets are often made with highly protective material like Kevlar.
  • Textile is generally easier to wash than leather.
  • For safety, textile jackets often feature built-in reflective stripes to increase visibility and prevent collisions.

Disadvantages of Textile Jackets

  • Apart from specialized materials like Kevlar, textile generally provides worse abrasion resistance then leather.
  • Synthetic textiles aren’t nearly as durable as leather. They won’t last a lifetime.
  • Textile jackets are harder to fit to your body – leather stretches and naturally form-fits while synthetic textiles don’t.

Ultimately the decision is going to be based on your personal preference and riding style. If you’re a lifelong cruiser, leather will probably be more your speed. An urban commuter, however, might be more comfortable in a textile jacket.

Finding the Right Fit

Fit is important when deciding on a motorcycle jacket (which is why it might be better to get one at a store instead of online where you can’t try anything on first). A motorcycle jacket should be roomy enough that you can fit extra clothing and/or armor underneath, but not so baggy that it presents a safety hazard.

You should also keep in mind that if a jacket seems to fit perfectly when you’re standing still, it might end up seeming a bit snug when you’re in riding position.

Don’t Forget Safety

Safety is always first, and your jacket is no exception. Many modern jackets come with armor built in to the elbows or shoulders, but even if yours doesn’t make sure there’s room for armor underneath. Separate armor might be advisable if you plan to wear your jacket even when you’re not riding (no sense in having it when you’re walking to the store), but if you’re getting a jacket strictly for the road then an armored jacket will probably be easier.

Visibility is also a concern with jackets. Black leather means you’ll be a lot more difficult to see at night than in white fabric with reflective stripes. That’s not to say black leather is inherently unsafe or unadvisable, but it’s worth keeping in mind.

Pair Your Perfect Jacket with Gravitate Jeans

Of course, a great jacket is only half the equation. Gravitate Jeans are a great match with any motorcycle jacket, and offer superior comfort as well. Made from a flexible denim/spandex blend, Gravitate Jeans replace their center seam with a patented Comfort Panel, allowing them to contour to your shape, reducing the annoying gathering and riding up at the inner legs and seat areas that other jeans do.

With men’s, women’s, and women’s-plus lines to choose from, Gravitate has something for everyone. So if you’re having trouble finding the right motorcycle jacket, at least you know you’ve got the perfect jeans with Gravitate. Browse our selection now!

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