Best mesh motorcycle jackets

Keep your cool as the temperature hots up in summer with these protective mesh jackets.

Riding motorbikes in hot weather

by Jim Blackstock |

We tend not to get that many heatwaves in the UK and when we do, they're fairly limited in duration. However, it doesn’t take much of a climb in the mercury for protective motorcycle clothing to become cumbersome, hot and sweaty.

While you may have lighter weight clothing for the summer months or garments with lots of venting in them, they can still become stifling on hot rides.

That’s where mesh clothing comes in. You might only need it for a couple of weeks of the year but once you’ve tried it, you’ll realise that the difference it can make over those rides is so profound, it’s worth the investment for future summers.

Mesh clothing tends to use solid material in key impact and abrasion areas – the outside of arms, shoulders, upper back – and mesh that is transparent to air in non-key areas, such as the insides of arms, the area below the arms and the front of the jacket.

Related: Best summer motorbike gloves

Of course, if masses of cooling air can get in, then so can water so you can’t expect mesh clothing to be waterproof. You may want to take some waterproofs with you just in case – unless the garment in questions is a multi-layer one in which case, you may already have a waterproof layer to hand.

Here is a selection of mesh motorcycle jackets that will help you stay cool in summer.

Frank Thomas Desert

Frank Thomas Desert
Amazon

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The brand Frank Thomas has been around for donkey's years and this mesh jacket from the iconic manufacturer will help keep you cool. It is a three-quarter-length touring-style jacket with multiple mesh panels for cooling airflow.

It comes with CE-approved armour in the shoulders, elbows and forearms with a foam back protector, though this can be upgraded. There is also a zip to join it to the matching mesh trousers.

CE rating: N/A

Armour rating: L1

Oxford Dakar Dry2Dry Air 1.0 Textile Jacket - Grey Camo

Oxford Dakar Dry2Dry Air 1.0 Textile Jacket - Grey Camo

Tried and tested by Commercial Content Editor Adam Binnie: "I've written at length about how much I like this jacket in our Oxford Dakar review - but it's an impressively versatile garment that features highly breathable mesh panels and a water-and windproof drop liner in case the weather turns.

"In practise this means you can wear it without fear of a summer downpour, and even consider extending the season you wear it into the warmer weeks of spring and autumn.

"The HD polyester construction offers good abrasion resistance without being still and heavy to wear, while three colourways range from neutral silver and blue, off-road suitable green and (my favourite) grey camo.

"Whichever you end up with, you'll get a short, sporty cut and precurved arms that enable a more aggressive riding position without excess material bunching up."

CE rating: AA

Armour rating: L1

Tucano Urbano Network

Tucano Urbano Network
Amazon

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The second-generation of Tucano Urbanou2019s Network jacket uses solid Oxford Cotton panelling in the key areas with wide mesh in non-key areas and combines them in a classic, slightly retro-style jacket that I have used extensively in hot weathers and it is one that both performs well and fits nicely.

It has two hand-warmer pockets and a rear pocket and zipped and Velcro-fastening cuffs. The matching trousers also feature large mesh panels on the front of the thighs and shins and have the cool trick of the lower leg zipping off to turn them into shorts for use off the bike.

CE rating: A

Armour rating: L1

Dane Soro Jacket

Dane Soro Jacket

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Dane have an enviable reputation when it comes to clothing and this stretches to mesh motorcycle jackets too. The range-topper is the Drakar, a mesh garment that includes a Gore-Tex waterproof and breathable layer that can either go inside or outside the mesh jacket but you pay for the privilege - £599.

This Soro version, though, is far less expensive without the waterproofing option. A longer, touring-style jacket with mesh panels and Level-2 armour in the shoulders and elbows and a pocket for an optional L2 back protector, it can also be paired with Dane’s Fano waterproof jacket to offer protection from the elements, though this is available separately.

CE rating: Unknown

Armour rating: L2

Knox Urbane Pro Mk2

Knox Urbane Pro Mk2
Amazon

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Weu2019ve mentioned the Knox Urbane before. Itu2019s described by the company as an armoured shirt and is designed to be worn over a thin base layer. It is intended to be a snug fit and combines both impact and abrasion resistance in its own right. It is CE AA rated as a garment and comes with Knoxu2019 Microlock Level-1 armour in the shoulders and elbows, though this can be upgraded and an L2 back protector.

It is intended to be worn on its own or under a hoodie or an outer jacket and provide protection itself rather than rely on another garment. I’ve tried this and it is a seriously impressive bit of kit.

Read our full review of the Knox Urbane Pro Mk2 here

CE rating: AA

Armour rating: L1, L2 (back protector)

RST F-lite

RST F-lite

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British firm RST are on a mission to democratise airbag technology and this is one of their latest garments with airbag technology built in. The F-lite is an AA-rated mesh jacket with huge panels of open-weave mesh to the front and arms for maximum cooling airflow but with an In&motion-powered airbag integrated into the garment.

Not only does it offer exceptional safety and cooling, it also comes with a removable windproof lining to help keep you warm on chillier rides and has Level-1 armour in the shoulders and elbows.

CE rating: AA

Armour rating: L1

T-Ur J-Four

T-Ur J-Four

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The mesh-equipped J-Four (and matching P-Four pants) from T-Ur, Tucano Urbanou2019s adventure brand, is an adventure-touring jacket that features an outer with large mesh panels for touring or off-road rides in warmer climes where maximum cooling airflow is needed.

It has two front and a Napoleon pocket as well as a poacher’s pocket on the back and will accept T-Ur’s drink bladder system. It also comes with a waterproof, windproof and thermal liner that can be fitted for colder or wet rides then removed when the temperature goes up.

Its spec is also impressive; CE AA rated and it comes with Level-2 D3O armour in the shoulders and elbows and there is a pocket for the D3O L2 back protector.

CE rating: AA

Armour rating: L2

Icon Mesh

Icon Mesh

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This sporty jacket from Icon features front and rear panels made almost entirely in mesh for huge cooling ability while protecting the key impact zones, of the shoulders, outside of the arms and the elbows with solid material.

The arms are pre-curved for a comfortable fit and it features detailing on the upper arms that includes reflective accents. It comes with D3O armour in the shoulders, elbows, and in the back.

CE rating: A

Armour rating: L1

Revu2019It Ladies Eclipse

Revu2019It Ladies Eclipse

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Cut for ladies, this jacket from Revu2019It features 600D polyester in the key impact zones and open mesh on the front, back and inner arms to provide masses of cooling airflow. The fit can be tailored with multiple adjusters and it comes with famed Knox Lite CE armour and a pocket for a Level-2 back protector from SEESOFT. Overall, the garment is CE rated A.

CE rating: A

Armour rating: L1

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