Sometimes, you want the full-length protection that a touring-style textile motorcycle jacket offers. The combination of coverage, adjustability and flexibility just can’t be beaten, particularly if you’re commuting or on a long tour. However, other times, you may want a less formal and traditional style of jacket, particularly if you’re out for a short ride for fun or in an urban setting, for example. In this case, there are plenty of casual textile motorcycle jackets around that will keep you safe, warm and even dry but won’t necessarily look like a motorcycle jacket.
What to look for
Of course, regardless of the style, you should still be looking for a jacket that will keep you protected, so investigate CE ratings, which apply just like other garments, with B the lowest-protection rating up to A, AA and AAA, the latter the highest.
Also look for armour in at least the elbows and shoulders and if one isn’t present, a pocket for a back protector. Again, Level-2 armour is more effective than Level-1.
Related: Best urban motorcycle boots
Some jackets may include removable thermal liners to keep you warm on chilly rides while many will offer some form of waterproofing, at least water resistance to offer some protection in showers.
With so many casual textile motorcycle jackets on the market, choosing the right one can be tricky, but here a few we reckon look good and will look after you on your bike.
Have you seen those bizarre Youtube videos of people taking things out of packaging? I think they
Enginehawk is a still-new British brand from the people behind Ruroc helmets, and while the Mother Trucker name might be a tad cringey this is a classy textile jacket. Calling it ‘textile’ is perhaps a bit misleading, as the 85% cotton (and 15% nylon) material gives a modern wax jacket look and feel. It feels heavyweight and robust, without actually being cumbersome.
Detailing is great: I really like the logos on the high-quality press studs, loops to attach to a belt, discreet zip-open vents, subtle branding and chain-link hanger tag. I like the sense of safety too: it’s got an AA rating for tear and abrasion resistance and comes with lightweight, flexible armour in the shoulders, elbows and back. Feels like I could trust it in a spill as well – and that’s important.
There’s a fur lining inside the collar and main body (with mesh inserts for the vents), but despite this the Mother Trucker hasn’t really the warmth that calling it a ‘classic winter trucker jacket’ implies. Mind you, I’m nesh and feel the cold, and the jacket is great three-season clobber with just a T-shirt or single base layer underneath. There’s no fur in the sleeves, so it’s easy to slide off on a warm day. There’s no fancy membrane or mention of the word waterproof either; however, Enginehawk say that it's water resistant and it’s certainly resisted the showers I’ve encountered so far.
Criticism? The collar clips down, but it’d also be handy if you could clip the tips together to hold it up and keep you neck snug on a cool ride. And, of course, the name is a bit duff. But this is about it. Everything about the jacket justifies its price, from the features and fit right back to that impressive unboxing carryon. Worth £329? Definitely. However, Enginehawk have been having a sale and at the time of writing the Mother Trucker is just £159. Blimey. For a jacket with the quality to rival the best stuff from the established go-to brands, that’s astounding.
MCN Rated Best Women's Jacket
I always have the issue with women’s jackets that they are too short in the arm or the body, but
The jacket is waterproof for the most part and I only had a little seepage through the zip in exceptionally heavy rain, so the Aquashell membrane held up well. The finish is nice to the touch, and the D30 shoulder, back and elbow protection is one less thing to worry about, although the elbow pads made the jacket quite tight on the arms to begin with.
The pockets are a decent size and can handle a phone easily, and the detachable thermal lining was welcome when the weather got too hot. Which is ideal because even though it is a waterproof jacket, it doesn’t look out of place on a summer ride.
You can get the Lausanne in grey or black, and there is a connection zipper for trouser attachments if you have any handy. Just remember to do up the collar button else you’ll be driven insane with the collar tapping on your helmet at motorway speeds.
Sorry, who? I’d not heard of John Doe until my teenage son Ed started looking for proper bike kit
With more than a hint of a classic M65 military jacket, the Explorer is made from cotton twill but with XTM Fiber underneath. This is their abrasion-resistant material, which is also stretchy and includes Coolmax to make it breathable and un-clammy. With this fancy material and discreet armour in the elbows, shoulders and back, the jacket has full-on AAA safety certification.
It’s staggering that something so light, comfy and easy to wear can be so handy at protecting your bark should it all go upside-down. There’s no fancy-sounding waterproof membrane, however the tight weave of the cotton and a Beeswax finish mean it’s water-resistant to a column of 900mm – this means it’ll deflect unexpected showers but doesn’t have the weather-beating capabilities for a 400-mile ride in a winter storm. Not that you’d wear it in winter anyway; with no thermal liming the Explorer is what you’d call a ‘three-season’ jacket (at best).
Details are good. The press studs are large and satisfying to click, there are plenty of pockets, its interior lining has a quality feel, and the sleeves are long and so don’t ride-up on the bike. I appreciate the discreet logos and badges, too. In business since 2001, John Doe clearly believe in the product too: there’s a five-year warranty. Colour options are Olive (this army-ish green), Camel (a warm sand colour) and Black (which is… er, black). Sizes range from XS to 5XL.
Buy directly from John Doe’s website (where you’ll also find some rather cool trousers, protective shirts, gloves, boots and more) and the Explorer is around £30 delivered to your door, depending on exchange rates. There are also a few stockists in the UK so you can go and see it for yourself, including Sportsbike Shop.
I love the way that motorcycle gear has changed over recent years and you can wear protective kit,
It’s a great fit and has been designed specifically for women, it comes in a full range of sizes and the fit is true to size. There’s cuff adjusters and the sleeves fit perfectly under all manner of riding gloves. Zipped outer pockets accommodate keys and cash, while inner pockets will hold a mobile phone. I’ve worn it since the spring time and found that because there’s no venting and with it being a solid black colour, on warmer days it’s a little too hot.
There’s CE approved, level 1 armour at the shoulders and elbows plus a back protector pocket, the back protector can be purchased for around £35. I like the way it looks, I think it’s great when paired with either riding leggings or denims, casual and smart, with the protection of a biking jacket but not the bulk. At under £100 it’s great value for money and a welcome addition to my riding wardrobe.
5. Jet Hoodie
Great for warmth
We've looked at Jet clothing before and it always seems to get good reviews. This armoured hoodie
The jacket is formed with a softshell, water-resistant material so it’s light and flexible and though it's windproof, it’s also breathable, making it ideal for summer rides.
Back in the day (late 1970s/early 80s}, everyone wanted a Harrintgon. The short British jacket
Another timeless design, the MA-1-style flight jacket is now brought up to date by Spada, which
It has a waterproof liner that helps keep the cold out while allowing the body to breathe and this is finished in the traditional bright orange – used by downed pilots to signal rescuers. Elasticated neck and cuffs and an arm pocket complete the look.
This CE A-rated jacket from Spidi has an Artic explorer look and feel to it, with an elasticated
It comes with a four-piece Level-1 armour set with the option to add a back protector and the H2Out membrane will keep water out but allow the body to breathe.
This hoodie from French manufacturer Furygan packs a serious punch; AA rated for overall
10. Richa Titan
Hoodies certainly seem to be the casual style of choice at the moment and this one from Richa
11. RST Frontline
The Frontline, from RST, forms part of the brand's 'Built with Kevlar' collection and has a
12. Weise Stealth
One for the ladies here, as the Stealth has a more fitted design. A soft, fleece hoodie that hides
13. ARMA Liyla
Another jacket only available in a ladies' cut, this short textile casual comes with a faux
One for when the mercury really drops, this CE A-rated jacket from Italian casual-clothing