Best Leather Motorcycle Jackets – Complete Buyer’s Guide

(Last Updated: November, 2019)

Yes, a motorcycle jacket will help you look cool. That’s not the only reason you should buy yourself a good leather jacket though. Leather motorcycle jackets are meant to help keep you safe as you ride, keep you warm when it’s a little colder, and keep the water out when you’re riding in the rain. It does help that they come in many different styles.

Check out the seven best motorcycle jackets in our guide.

Jackets

Summary

Joe Rocket Atomic Men's Jacket

Joe Rocket Atomic Men's Jacket

A jacket can be more than just clothing with this Joe Rocket jacket. Waterproof, good fit, and good ventilation to keep you safe and comfortable too.

The Leather Factory Genuine Lambskin Jacket

The Leather Factory Genuine Lambskin Jacket

If you’re looking for practicality, you’ve found it. This Genuine Lambskin Jacket has all the zippers you’ll need, and a great look too.

Editor's Choice

Milwaukee Leather Distressed Jacket

Milwaukee Leather Distressed Jacket

You have pockets everywhere and lining to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer with this Milwaukee Leather Jacket. Don’t forget the amazing look of the leather either.

Joe Rocket Vintage Rocket Jacket

Joe Rocket Vintage Rocket Jacket

Soft leather, pockets, and a relaxed fit: that’s what you can expect with this Joe Rocket Vintage jacket. Slip it on to keep you safe and protected as you ride along.

Viking Cycle Bloodaxe Jacket

Viking Cycle Bloodaxe Jacket

Comfort and practicality all rolled into one: that’s the Viking Cycle Bloodaxe Jacket. Relax with the protection and comfort this jacket provides.

Xelement Bandit

Xelement Bandit

Xelement Bandit is all about style meets safety. You have both armor and comfort with this jacket, with a design that looks great too.

Scorpion EXO 1909

Scorpion EXO 1909

The armor on the Scorpion EXO will protect you, while the vents in this jacket will keep you cool. The soft leather is another highlight.

Our Picks For The Best Leather Motorcycle Jackets

Pros

  • Protects fairly well even at high speeds
  • Solid durability
  • Snaps and loops to keep it stable

​Cons

  • The jacket is fairly hot and doesn't breathe well

More About  Joe Rocket Atomic Men's Jacket

This Joe Rocket jacket has everything you could think to be in a jacket. There’s waterproofing to ensure that the outer shell has the most amount of resistance. There’s armor in the shoulders and elbows to help with any impact or pressure. There’s even removable spine armor with an optional spine protector.

Beyond all the protection, the jacket has variable flow ventilation with zippers that are waterproof too. You’ll stay cool with this well-fitting jacket, which means that the arms will be just the right length to match your torso and you’ll be comfortable for the entire ride.

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Vermont Jacket

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Event Biker Jacket

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Pros

  • A stylish look and perfect fit
  • Good lining
  • Compact and light

Cons

  • The coating on the leather begins to chip quickly

More About The Leather Factory Genuine Lambskin Jacket

Take a look at the Leather Factory’s Genuine Lambskin Jacket for a high-quality material that is made to be durable, protective, and useful too. There are two zipped chest pockets and front pockets in this jacket, not to mention the two inside pockets. Just pull up the stand collar if the air is hitting you, and snap up the buttons for a good structured fit to your jacket. You’ll get a lot of usage out of this leather jacket, and it will, of course, look great too.

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Pros

  • Strong stitching
  • Heavy quality but helps air circulate
  • The craftsmanship is high quality

​Cons

  • Lacking vents and a warranty

More About ​Milwaukee Leather Distressed Jacket

There’s nothing quite like the look of this Milwaukee Leather Distressed Jacket, which is made to fit well. Just try to buy one size larger than your usual for the most amount of comfort. This jacket includes air vents and meshes lining to keep you comfortable as you ride, with pockets and stretching for every item in your arsenal.

Wear it during the summer or the winter, since those air vents will keep you cool but the air-tight sleeves will prevent any cool air from getting in. You can be warm even in cold temperatures, without a bulky winter coat.

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Pros

  • The leather is soft and doesn’t need breaking in
  • Looks great and fits well
  • High-quality material

Cons

  • Does run a size small

More About ​Joe Rocket Vintage Rocket Jacket

You can pick out this Vintage jacket from Joe Rocket for an old-style look and lots of protection while you’re at it. It’s stitched and tailored to provide you with a relaxed fit and comes with optional armor at the shoulders, elbows, and back to keep you safe as you ride. Zip in the quilted full sleeve liner to keep you warm, and slip your phone into one of the 2 inside utility pocket. There’s even a pocket for your eyeglasses and four outside as well.

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Pros

  • Made from high-quality materials
  • The thermal liner is lightweight and feels good
  • The exhaust vents are made to keep you cool

Cons

  • The sizing is often off

More About Viking Cycle Bloodaxe Jacket

If you’re looking for something that’s made from high-quality leather, look no further than this Viking Cycle Bloodaxe Jacket. A jacket is more than just the look though. With this jacket, you get practicality too. The cuffs have adjustable closure straps, and the jacket itself has four zippered pockets outside and two on the inside. There are even additional pockets inside to ensure that your valuables are safe as you ride along.

Don’t forget about the protection either. There’s protection along with the elbows, shoulders, and back, which doesn’t take away from the dual lining that adds some comfort to the jacket. It helps that the jacket is both wrinkle-free and water repellant too.

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Pros

  • Plenty of good ventilation
  • Pockets are big enough to fit many items
  • The padding is light but very durable

Cons

  • The arms tend to be a little bit too short

More About Xelement Bandit

This Xelement Bandit jacket is made to be durable, with a collarless design that includes a snap button closure up near your neck. You’ll have removable armor included with this jacket on the shoulders and elbows, which is meant to keep you safe when you’re riding. Rest assured that all the armor has been tested and proven to work, and won’t impact the ergonomic design of the jacket itself.

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Pros

  • The armor does work if you crash
  • Great fit
  • Made well and everything is removable

Cons

  • The buttons and zippers are not as durable

More About Scorpion EXO 1909

The Scorpion EXO is made of soft distressed grain leather, so you can rest assured that it will feel comfortable when you slip it on. Even the armor at the elbows and shoulders won’t take away from the comfort level, especially with the perforated panels at your back and on the sides of your torso. Make use of the 4 external pockets for your keys and your phone.

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Factors to Consider When Shopping For A Jacket Online

Comfort

A large factor in how comfortable your motorcycle jacket is is the fit. Of course, while you may have a general idea of what 'standard' size you wear, that doesn't mean ordering this size will work when it comes to motorcycle jackets. Sizes often vary across brands, so check the sizing chart for good measure.

Leather motorcycle jackets also come in a variety of styles, which can affect how tight or lose the jacket is through different areas. Extra buttons, fastenings, and zippers that tighten or loosen the fit of the jacket helps to get a more tailored fit.

Construction

Look for a motorcycle jacket made of high-quality leather. The leather should be thick enough to shield your upper body from flying debris and unfortunate weather. At the same time, you need a jacket to be ventilated enough that you won't end up overheating as the sun comes out or the weather turns warmer.

If possible, try on the jacket (naturally this is only an option if you look in person). Ideally, there won’t be large uncovered areas and gaps, such as around the collar and the ends of the sleeves. Checking for this helps ensure that you won’t have one spot where frigid air is forced into; which would essentially negate the benefits of coverage and warmth you gain by choosing leather.

Pockets

Having sufficient pockets in your leather motorcycle jacket is important. However, having plenty of pockets isn't always enough. You want to get a jacket that has an even mix of both interior and exterior pockets. Exterior pockets offer easy access to the items you'll want to get out more frequently, like small pieces of extra gear. On the other hand, interior pockets are still easy to access but can keep more sensitive items shielded from exposure to the elements.

How many pockets you need depends on your personal preference, as well as how much you plan on carrying in your pockets. That said, it’s never a bad idea to err on the side of caution and opt for a jacket with a few more.

Quality​​

There's a big difference in the different quality levels of leather produced for commercial purchase; that means that as a consumer, you need to be a keen investigator. Often you can tell the leather's quality from the manufacturer's specifications, although it's always worth checking out yourself in person if possible. If you end up needing the protection your leather motorcycle jacket gives you, you'll be glad to have chosen a high quality, high durability leather jacket.

Why Leather?

Some riders might turn up their noses at the idea of buying a more expensive cowhide leather motorcycle riding jacket. After all, textiles can be much cheaper and easier to maintain. While leather requires occasional care and may have a higher price tag, you can still count on that same leather to be a part of your gear for years to come.

Leather also offers incomparable protection when you compare it with textile gear. The level of protection is so much higher that come track day, participating riders are required to wear leather, not textile motorcycle jackets.

Safety Benefits of Leather Motorcycle Jackets

Shielding From Scrapes and Scratches

When you ride a motorcycle, you're more exposed to all the debris on the road. Small impacts like pebbles or sticks often go unnoticed when you're driving a car. When you're on your motorcycle, however, you'll feel it when they hit. Textiles won't provide much shielding, but leather gives you max protection from debris flying at you.

If you happen to have an unfortunate collision, you'll be glad you wore a leather motorcycle jacket. Where textiles tear and leave your skin to take the brunt of the damage, leather will keep the barrier from your skin to the pavement.

Protection From Exposure​​

Since you're more exposed on a motorcycle, foul weather can turn a great ride into a miserable one. Leather provides more protection from exposure to the elements, especially when the weather turns cold and wet. That's important because even a light mist can feel like pebbles pelting you when you're riding at highway speed. It's safer to be protected by leather than to lose control because precipitation strikes you.

Retains Body Heat​​

The best leather motorcycle jacket is ideal for riders who go out in cold weather. As you pick up speed on your motorcycle, you'll notice that you feel colder. When you're cold, your body has involuntary responses, such shivering. When you're on a motorcycle this can cause your grip to slip, or cause you to have less control over your bike. Leather is a great material for keeping your body heat inside the jacket, not dissipating into the cold air.

While it may seem small, this can be a huge safety factor when you're riding in these situations. Keeping a consistent temperature does help keep you comfortable. That said, if you ride hard, keeping your muscles warm can also help after the ride is over. Why is that? It can reduce muscle fatigue and strain, meaning you’re less sore the next day.

Conclusion​​

Motorcycle jackets are a critical part of your riding gear, no matter what kind of rider you are. While there are a lot of flashing new textile motorcycle jackets out there, there’s something you just can’t beat about the old classic: leather. Yes, it’s ideal if you’re motorcycle rider that has a taste for more rugged, vintage styles.

With that said, leather motorcycle jackets are also ideal if you want top-notch protection from wet weather, freezing temperatures, and a tough barrier between your skin and rough asphalt should you have a collision. Leather is fairly easy to care for, and it can stand up to a lot of wear and tear. Even if leather isn’t your preferred ‘look,’ it’s important to remember that when textiles and leather go head to head, leather offers superior protection, hands down.

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