Best motorcycle touring jacket

Make sure you are prepared for whatever the weather can throw at you with a top-notch touring jacket

Riding a Yamaha Tracer 700 in a touring jacket

by Jim Blackstock |

A touring jacket is perhaps one of the most versatile bits of motorcycling gear. A decent one will keep you warm and dry when the weather gets unpleasant but allow you to stay cool, calm and collected when things start to warm up a bit.

It will have a decent thermal liner to keep you warm but it should be removable so that, when the temperature starts to climb, you can remove it to stay cool yet remain fully protected.

It should also keep the rain out, either by virtue of the material it is made from, from a separate waterproof layer bonded to the outer material or by a membrane, such as Gore-Tex or the garment manufacturer’s own proprietary version.

The theory is that the membrane is full of tiny holes, big enough to allow water vapour – sweat – out but not liquid water – rain – in. This means you stay dry but without the unpleasant feeling of being wet on the inside, albeit warm and wet instead of cold.

You may also be looking for vents in the jacket, to allow you to get further cooling when the weather gets warm by opening them and allowing air in. These may be on the chest, under the arms or on the forearms or on the back. Remember the best way is to open the rear vents as well as front vents, to create a through-flow of air and allow the warm air to escape.

One of the ways a touring jacket differs from a sports jacket, for example, is in its length. Touring jackets tend to be longer to make sure they eliminate any gaping while riding and you will usually find a zip in the small of the back to join them to matching trousers from the same manufacturer. You may find these zips work with other manufacturers but that would be a coincidence, not by design.

Related: How to go touring on your motorbike

Like all other forms of motorcycle clothing, jackets must conform to CE regulation EN17092 which provides several levels of rating for abrasion resistance, cut resistance and construction.

These ratings are B, A, AA and AAA in increasing levels of strength and resistance, AAA being the best. However, you are unlikely to find textile touring jackets with this rating, the highest probably AA.

In addition to the overall rating, the armour included will also have a CE rating, either Level-1 or Level-2. Level-2 is rated to absorb greater amounts of energy and hence, is the better of the two. Expect to find armour in the shoulders and the elbows and at least a pocket for a back protector, if not a protector itself.

Here is a selection of touring jackets we know work well.

Oxford Mondial

Oxford Mondial
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The Mondial from Oxford is a laminated touring jacket that is packed with features. It uses the companyu2019s own Dry2Dry membrane to keep the elements out but allow the body to breathe and it has a removable thermal liner for chilly rides.

It also has a series of vents for when the temperature starts to climb, including folding covers over mesh panels on the chest, zips on the forearms and exhaust zips on the rear. It has two pockets on the front and a poacher’s pocket on the rear and comes with armour in the shoulders and elbows with a pocket for an – optional – back protector.

CE Rating: A

Armour rating: L1

Spada Ascent

Spada Ascent

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The Ascent from Spada is one of the British companyu2019s touring jackets and like many of its other products, is very well specified when it comes to protection u2013 from the elements as well as potential offs. It is CE-rated AA and comes with a full suite of armour, including Level-2 in the shoulders, elbows and back protector.

It uses a cotton canvas outer with a waterproof and breathable membrane bonded to the inside. This does mean the outer can absorb water but it shouldn’t enter. It has a neoprene collar and plenty of adjustment, at the waist, arms and cuffs. It also has good vents in the chest and the arms and a removable thermal liner.

CE rating: AA

Armour rating: L2

Held Zorro

Held Zorro
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The Zorro from Held is a low-budget jacket that punches above its weight. It may only be A-rated and come with Level-1 armour (though a Level-2 back protector is optional) but it sheds water from its Heros-Tec outer and the Humax-Z membrane makes sure that no water enters the garment while allowing it to breathe.

It has a removable thermal liner for when the weather starts to get warm and vents in the chest and arms to further aid airflow.

CE Rating: A

Armour rating: L1

Dane Ikast

Dane Ikast

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The Ikast from Dane is a serious bit of kit, designed to keep the rider warm and dry for the long term. It is formed with a textile outer backed with a Gore-Tex laminated membrane on the front to shed water, preventing the material from becoming saturated.

It also allows the body to breathe for additional comfort when riding for long periods and an effective thermal liner will keep the rider warm on cooler rides. The liner can be removed when the temperature increases though and the chest vents opened for increased airflow.

It comes with Level-1 armour in the shoulders and elbows and a host of nice design touches, such as a crotch strap to prevent it riding up if not zipped to matching trousers.

CE Rating: A

Armour rating: L1

Richa Cyclone

Richa Cyclone
Amazon

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Another jacket using Gore-Tex u2013 and hence towards the middle of the budget bracket for touring jackets u2013 the Richa Cyclone was given a Recommended triangle by sister title RiDE in its product test. It is a traditional 3/4 length touring jacket that has a slightly fitted cut so it is not quite as voluminous as some and feels snug as a result.

It has a Cordura and Spandex outer shell with a bonded Gore-Tex membrane and a removable thermal liner as well as chest vents and a neoprene-edged collar which can be fastened back for extra airflow. It comes with D3O armour and is CE A-rated.

CE rating: A

Armour rating: L1

Duchinni Hurricane

Duchinni Hurricane

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The Hurricane from Duchinni is incredible value at full retail but with £10 off currently at Sportsbike shop, itu2019s even more so. It uses a heavyweight polyester outer layer with a waterproof, windproof and breathable lining though experience shows it isnu2019t as breathable as some.

There are no vents either, so airflow in warmer temperatures isn’t as good as some but removing the thermal liner helps. I have used this jacket and found it to be completely waterproof and very comfortable in use and combined with a CE rating of AA and Level-2 armour at the shoulders and elbows with a Level-1 back protector just another £20, it’s superb value.

CE rating: AA

Armour rating: L2

Rukka Kallavesi

Rukka Kallavesi

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Thatu2019s not a misprint u2013 the Rukka Kallavesi really does cost over £1100. But if you spend enough time on your bike, either on enormous tours or you ride all day, every day, then you may find it an investment worth making.

It is a superb jacket – a Cordua outer shell with Armacor reinforcement in key abrasion areas and Gore-Tex Pro three-layer laminated membrane, so water literally runs off it.

It has a removable liner with Outlast temperature-regulating sleeves, a detachable storm collar to prevent water from getting in around the neck and storm cuffs to keep water out of the sleeves. It comes with D3O shoulder and elbow XTR armour as well as a back protector and chest armour.

CE rating: N/A

Armour rating: L1

Spidi Alpentrophy

Spidi Alpentrophy

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Iu2019ve used this jacket extensively through winters and summers and found it to be a really good all rounder. It has an outer made of Cordua and Tanax which helps keep the water out and Spidiu2019s H2Out membrane furthers protect the rider from water ingress while allowing their body to breathe.

It has a separate pop-in thermal liner with a deep collar to make sure no draughts interfere and it comes with Spidi’s Warrior Lite shoulder and elbow armour with a pocket for a back protector and chest armour. There is a mesh lining for comfort and airflow when the liner is removed and plenty of adjustment to get a good fit when wearing it.

CE rating: AA

Armour rating: L2

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