Best winter motorcycle jackets

Stay warm and dry this winter with these winter motorcycle jackets

Riding a motorbike in winter

by Jim Blackstock |

There are two very obvious requirements for a motorcycling jacket you’re going to be wearing in winter; it needs to keep you warm, and it needs to keep you dry.

Numerous jackets can do one or the other but for winter, you need both of those qualities with a handy dose of comfort and ease of use. For example, it doesn’t matter how waterproof a jacket is if it takes half an hour to put on or is uncomfortable – if it doesn’t fit or work for you, then it’s little use.

The ultimate in terms of waterproofing is Gore-Tex – the famous breathable but waterproof membrane. It has pores that are smaller than a droplet of water, so the liquid stays out but they are larger than water vapour – hence moisture inside in the form of perspiration can escape.

Again, the ultimate version of Gore-Tex is Pro, a laminated version that helps to prevent the water from soaking into the outer material, as can happen when the membrane is bonded to the inside of the outer material so that water simply rolls off the outside.

While some manufacturers invest in genuine Gore-Tex, others may decide to develop their own breathable and waterproof membrane.

Related: Best heated motorcycle jackets and vests

Some jackets feature what are known as drop liners, which are separate linings that form the waterproof and windproof barrier and can be removed in case the weather improves and you need some venting, for example.

Most will also include a thermal liner for chilly rides – essential in winter and once removed, they can make the jacket useful in spring or autumn as well.

Of course, winter jackets are CE certified as well as those for year-round use or for the warmer months.

The outer should be CE certified for strength and abrasion resistance, from B to A, AA and the highest rating for protection, AAA. Similarly, the armour included will also be CE certified, either Level-1 or the more impact-absorbing Level-2.

Winter jackets may also include a host of useful features for the colder and wetter months; storm collars will help prevent water from entering through the neck of the jacket, which is notoriously difficult to prevent and storm cuffs will offer an extra layer of protection to prevent water or draughts entering through the sleeves.

Here is a selection of our favourite winter motorcycle jackets.

Spidi Alpen Trophy

Spidi Alpen Trophy
Amazon

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The Alpen Trophy from Spidi is a very serious jacket u2013 I have used it through two winters and it hasnu2019t let me down at all. The outer is formed in Cordura with reinforcement over the impact areas and there are 3M Scotchlite strips for night-time visibility.

It uses Spidi’s H2Out membrane to keep water out and let the body breathe and is AA rated for protection. It comes with a removable thermal liner that can be worn as a separate jacket in its own right and has vents to make it even more comfortable when the temperature starts to rise. The included elbow and shoulder armour are Level-2 and there is a pocket for an L2 back protector too.

Pros:

Two jackets in one

Warm and waterproof

Vents for airflow

Cons:

Collar can be high for some

Dane iKast

Dane iKast

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Nearly £600 is a lot of money for a jacket but the iKast from Dane is a lot of jacket. It may only be CE A rated but itu2019s made with a polyester outer that is lined with a Gore-Tex membrane to keep the weather out yet make sure the wearer stays comfortable.

Its thermal liner isn’t the thickest, but it is effective and zips all the way round to prevent cold spots. It comes with Level-1 armour in the shoulders, elbows and the back and vents on the front to allow airflow when warm. There are loads of detail touches; a magnetic fastener at the collar, storm flaps in the cuffs to prevent water and a crotch strap to prevent it from riding up.

Pros:

Gore-Tex membrane

Warm lining

Quality, detail touches

Cons:

Only L1 armour

Rukka Kallavesi

Rukka Kallavesi
Amazon

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If you thought almost £600 for the Dane iKast was a lot of money, then the Rukka Kallavesi will bring tears to your eyes. However, if you want to be protected from the worst of the weather and you spend a lot u2013 and we do mean a lot u2013 of time on your bike, then it may be an investment worth making.

It uses Gore-tex’s Pro three-layer laminate to prevent water soaking into the outer shell, formed of Cordura and Armacor. It has storm cuffs and a neoprene-lined collar and comes with a crotch strap in case you don’t use the zip to join to matching trousers. It uses D3O armour for protection and comes with a full suite – shoulder and elbow, back and even chest armour and comes with a six-year warranty

Pros:

Gore-Tex Pro laminate membrane

Cordura and aramid-fibre mix outer

Full suite of D3O armour

Cons:

Eye-watering price

Richa Cyclone

Richa Cyclone

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The Cyclone from Richa is a mid-priced jacket that works well in cold and wet conditions. Its thermal lining is well integrated so it doesnu2019t feel cumbersome or bulky like some jackets can and the Cordura outer is backed with a Gore-Tex membrane for weatherproofing and comfort.

It’s A-rated and comes with Level-1 D3O armour though this can be upgraded as an option. It has several vents around to add airflow and the thermal liner can be removed when installed, it gives a nice, even feeling of warmth. It’s light on features but keeps the wind and rain out and the warmth inside.

Pros:

Gore-Tex membrane

Snug and subtle fit

Vents for warmer rides

Cons:

Only CE A rated with L1 armour as standard

Weise Onyx Evo

Weise Onyx Evo

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The Onyx Evo from Weise is described as a four-season jacket but it is more than capable of holding its own in winter. It features a heavy-duty nylon outer with a removable thermal liner and a separate removable breathable and wind/waterproof liner so it will keep the elements out yet allow cooler rides in warmer conditions.

It has chest and arm vents as well as rear exhaust ones and features expanding panels for movement on the bike. It also has a facemask to keep more of the cold out from around the collar, as well as preventing water entering. It also comes with a five-piece suite of Knox Microlock armour.

Pros:

Great value

Year-round design with winter performance

Long, touring-style cut

Cons:

Multiple liners can get cumbersome

Alpinestars Andes Pro

Alpinestars Andes Pro
Amazon

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The Andes Pro is Alpinestars touring jacket and its use of the companyu2019s Drystar breathable membrane means it will keep the weather out yet allow the rider to breathe. Its polyester outer will help shed water, which is useful, as itu2019s a fairly heavy item to begin with.

It features a removable thermal liner and is built to work with Alpinestars’ airbag system though it then gets even heavier. It does come with Level-2 armour though, but the back protector is extra.

It has huge vents in the front which can be zipped open or the full panel rolled up in case the ride gets very warm making it useful in spring and autumn as well or when riding in more demanding conditions.

Pros:

Airbag compatibility

Good, snug fit

Level-2 armour as standard

Cons:

Heavy

Held Yoshima

Held Yoshima
Amazon

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The Yoshima from Held is an interesting, year-round jacket that with the addition of the companyu2019s clip-in additional thermal liner, becomes a genuine winter proposition. As it stands, itu2019s a polyester outer that is backed with a Reissa Z-liner to keep the weather out but let the body breathe.

It comes with Level-1 armour but no back protector – it’s an optional extra and the additional clip-in thermal liner uses poppers to fix. While this inevitably increases the bulk, it isn’t too cumbersome for colder riding.

Pros:

Modular design

Held’s breathable membrane

Vents for warmer rides

Cons:

Needs additional liner for full winter protection

Oxford Hinterland

Oxford Hinterland

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The Hinterland from Oxford doesnu2019t instantly look like a motorcycle jacket u2013 it doesnu2019t have the traditional adjustment straps all around but this is deliberate u2013 itu2019s designed with expansion sections to allow you to move around with the need for adjusters.

It uses a trilaminate design to minimise water retention with Oxford’s Dry2Dry membrane for comfort and weather protection. The removable thermal liner uses Polartec insulation for warmth without bulk and the whole jacket is rated AA.

It comes with Level-1 armour in the shoulders and elbows with a back protector pocket. There are also vents to allow cooling air in case the weather takes a turn for the better.

Pros:

Active fit design

Laminate construction

AA CE rating

Cons:

Only L1 armour

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