We’ve said it before; when your kids want to get involved in motorcycling, it can be heart-warming and terrifying in equal measure. If they want to ride themselves, then inevitably it will be on dirt bikes and there is plenty of protective gear around for all ages to cope with potential tumbles on mud and grass should they occur – which they will, eventually.
However, it’s a different matter if they want to ride pillion with you. Then, you need the proper equipment to make sure that they are as well protected as possible in the event of an accident.
Just like your grown-up clothing, you should be looking for abrasion-resistant outer materials and protective armour in the key locations, including shoulders and elbows. You may struggle to find back-protector inserts small enough for children’s jackets so you might instead need to look at a separate back protector – potentially not as comfortable but much better protection than no back protector. We've included one of these in our round-up.
When you’re looking, textile jackets should be waterproof and include a thermal liner – there’s no reason why, just because they are smaller than yours, that they shouldn’t be to a proper specification.
Inevitably, they won’t fit as long as yours do but avoid the temptation to buy big and hope they grow into them. Many have built-in adjustment to allow the arms to be extended, for example, but always buy the right size and as and when they get out-grow them, you’ll just have to buy again. As a parent, you’ll be used to that…
CoFit Children's Motorcycle Jacket
This touring-style jacket from CoFit comes in four colour options, black with blue, red, hi-viz yellow or grey and is made of 600D Cordura on the outside with what is described as CE approved armour at the shoulders and elbows. There is also a foam back protector (though you may want to upgrade this) and a quilted lining though there is no mention of whether this is removable. It has plenty of pockets and adjustment and features a YKK full zip for reliability.
Frank Thomas Kids' Leather Motorcycle Jacket
For the cooler youngster looking to make an impression yet remain safe, this leather jacket from legendary motorcycle kit manufacturer Frank Thomas is just the job. Doing up with an offset zip and a medium-height collar, it is made in cowhide and features CE armour at the shoulders and elbows as well as a foam back protector.
It has a slightly longer back to prevent gaping and a quilted lining for warmth. There are additional layers of leather over the shoulder and there are two outside pockets with zips at the cuffs and poppers on the collar.
IXS Explorer 2 Children's Motorbike Jacket
This touring-style jacket is a serious piece of kit. Formed in a 600D Polyoxford outer, it has a SoltoTex membrane to keep the weather out yet allow the body to breathe, just like Mum and Dad's.
It has a removable thermal lining and though there is no mention of armour, other jackets in the Ixs range feature CE armour at the shoulders and elbows and come with back protectors too. One cool feature is extendable arms thanks to zips while there is plenty of adjustment around the body for when the child grows.
Frank Thomas Tornado Kids' Jacket
This is, according to the manufacturer, a kids' sized version of the popular adult jacket and is a slightly more sporty style, even though it is still described as a touring jacket.
It features plenty of adjustment to get a great fit, including at the waist and hem with poppers at the collar and zips and Velcro at the cuffs. It also features two zip-open vents on the front, at the top of the chest for cooling airflow for hot rides and there is dual-layer foam padding at the shoulder, elbows, forearms and back.
Wulfsport Kids Alpina Jacket
This jacket from off-road specialist Wulfsport is part of its huge range of clothing for kids and features a Cordura outer with a fully waterproof membrane to keep the younger (off-road) rider or pillion dry while a removable lining keeps them warm.
It comes with padding in the back, shoulders and elbows and the front zip is covered with a double storm flap to keep the worst of the weather out. There are adjustment tabs in the waist and hem as well as the upper arms and there is also a pair of matching trousers available to complete the protection.
Duchinni Jago Children's Motorbike Jacket
Duchinni has an enviable reputation when it comes to great-value adult clothing and the Jago kids' jacket is built the same way. Formed with a 600D polyester outer, the jacket is CE AA rated and comes with removable CE armour in the shoulders and elbows while there is also a pocket for a back protector.
It is wind and waterproof and is also breathable to allow younger riders to remain cool while the thermal liner makes sure they don’t get cold on chilly rides. There are zipped sleeve extension panels as well as plenty of adjustment and also three sets of vents to help stay cool on warmer rides.
Lindstrands Gobi Junior
Like several other brands, Swedish manufacturer Lindstrands don't have a huge presence in the UK, which is a shame as the company's products are technically very interesting.
This short jacket is formed in Texdura, which is woven from polymeric cords and is reinforced with Hi-Art, a material developed by Halvarssons to increase abrasion resistance.
It has a Dryway+ breathable and waterproof membrane and a removable thermal liner as well as CE armour in the shoulders and elbows while there is also a pocket for a back protector. The sleeves are adjustable for length as well as width and there are zips and pull-tabs at the cuff, on the main zip and the two external pockets.
Frank Thomas Krag Jacket
Another jacket from Frank Thomas, the Krag is a more technical touring-style 3/4 length garment. It is made with a Cordura outer and this hides a removable thermal liner for cooler rides.
The outer is waterproof and has multiple pockets and adjustments, including the waist, hem and upper and lower arms. It also has extending arms to give extra room as the wearer grows and vents to admit cooling air in the front, with exhaust vents in the rear to give a flow of air. It features armour at the shoulders and elbows and there is also a connecting zip at the rear to join matching trousers.
Bering Maceo Jacket
The Maceo from Bering is a sports-style jacket and features an outer in 600D Fibretech with a BWTech waterproof and breathable membrane to keep the wearer warm and dry but allow their body to breathe.
There is a removable thermal lining to keep them warm when it’s cold but conversely, allow them to cool down when it gets warmer by removing it. The jacket features removable CE armour in the shoulders and elbows, the latter adjustable for position and the back is slightly longer than the front to prevent gaping.
SafeMax Kids' Back Protector
If you aren't satisfied with a back protector that is included with a jacket for your children or you just want to add something significant, then a standalone back protector can work well. This example from SafeMax is rated at CE Level-1 and not only covers the back but extends down to the coccyx as well. Adjustable elasticated shoulder straps and a wide kidney belt keep it secured to the body.
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