By James Wilson
When we think about motorcycle riding, we usually think about leather jackets and helmets right away. On the contrary, when we think about cycling, we do not always visualize the helmet, safety gear, and jackets.
According to statistics, both cyclists and motorbike riders are vulnerable to getting into accidents on the road. It is thus essential for all road users to be sufficiently protected.
While jackets have long been designed and marketed to motorcyclists, road bike users have not always been a major target group for manufacturers. Nevertheless, lots of riding jackets these days are designed for all kinds of bikers.
Below are some features that biker jackets should have, followed by some of my top recommendations.
Features of an Ideal Biker Jacket
Many people love to ride at night, as it tends to get breezy and cool. However, one of the biggest issues is limited visibility.
In places where street lights are faint or non-existent, the moonlight is barely sufficient for you to spot obstacles. It would also be difficult for other road users to see you before it’s too late.
This issue can be resolved with the help of a reflector, so that heavy vehicles (think of trucks and buses) could see you from a distance.
Zip and Open Pockets
While buying a good riding jacket, you need to have enough storage space. While zip pockets are important, you should also look out for open pockets.
Zip pockets make it quite difficult to get things out while riding, and that’s where open pockets are useful. Items such as chewing gum and a snack bar could go into your open pocket, while zip pockets are great for securing valuables.
While looking for a rider jacket that is solely for bike riding, fitting is very important. If the fabric is too loose or too tight, your movement would be restricted. Take into account that you would be moving your legs and pedaling while riding a road bike.
One of the major reasons to buy a jacket is to provide adequate covering. It should be able to provide some protection to your neck, elbow, shoulders, and back. If it is padded in these areas, that would be an added advantage.
Most people like only leather jackets as they look stylish. One thing to consider is the climate of the area where you live. Leather is thick; you could end up sweating and melting inside a leather jacket. In summer, this might become unbearably warm.
In short, the fabric should be weather-appropriate rather than style-appropriate. A mesh jacket and a textile jacket are two very good options for summer.
Every jacket has a lining. The purpose of a lining is to make the inside of a jacket either cozy or breathable. Apart from this, lining absorbs sweat, dust, and other things.
A detachable lining is a bonus. Having one means that if you don’t want to wash your jacket too often, you can simply detach the lining and wash it.
Best Riding Jackets For Cyclists and Bikers
Unlike most leather jackets, this gives a completely modern look with a little hint of the 19th century. Two soft-toned leather colors have been used in this jacket, along with buttons and a brass zipper. This zipper gives off a very traditional look.
To make sure it is not all about style but also about utility, this jacket comes with multiple pockets. You will get a chest pocket, ticket pocket, side pockets, and internal pockets as well. The leather panels have been kept porous on both sides to help the body breathe. The padded shoulders help in providing extra protection for the shoulder area, and you can also adjust the waist accordingly.
You can get this jacket in more than one color, which means you can choose according to your fashion preferences. The inner thermal liner is removable too.
If you are one for the classics, this is probably the only jacket you will need. Designed according to the American spirit, this leather jacket is a traditional motorcycle jacket.
This jacket’s buttons and zipper are made of stainless steel. It comes with two external and internal pockets along with a separate pocket for sharp and fragile objects.
The strap at the waist area is adjustable, and you can easily fit the strap according to your waist size. For the sleeves, there is a zipper that helps you control the air flow.
Overall, the jacket is a good addition for those who love the look of leather.
This textile jacket has been made with durable PU-coated Cordura that is weatherproof as well as heavy-duty. The elbow, arms, spine, and shoulders are fully covered, which makes it ideal for biking.
It sports a modern and fresh look, and offers two external zippers, one internal pocket, and a zipper for the phone, wallet, and eyewear. The best thing about this jacket is that it’s versatile and can be used throughout the year.
The fabric quality is good, with an easy pull-up design and smooth zipper. If you want to get something that is stylish and can protect you from the summer heat, this jacket is a suitable choice.
Another textile jacket to consider is the Ironside. Although it is available in more than five colors, we like the black one best as it mimics the look of leather, but without the heat.
Like the previous model, this jacket is lined with durable PU-coated Cordura and good-quality mesh.
We think it is a great choice for summer, where comfort and safety are both important. This jacket comes with an internal pocket, external pockets, and separate zipper pockets for your valuables such as wallet and phone.
If you want something just for summer, this jacket is perfect for you. It covers up the body in all the right places and gives you enough protection. This jacket is made from PU-coated Cordura along with ergonomic pullers. For ventilation, it has open air flow vents and a breathable design.
There is a removable thermal liner which makes for easy washing. One stand-out feature is its six-point adjustment lock. The jacket also boasts added protection in the form of CE-approved padding around the elbows, shoulder, and chest region. Furthermore, the neon reflector design makes it ideal for riding at night.
All in all, this jacket offers a complete package.
Biker jackets are no longer just confined to the domain of motorcyclists. If you ride on the road frequently and wish to have extra protection while staying stylish, consider getting these jackets soon!
Featured image: Unsplash / Arivoli Tamilarasan
Post images by Unsplash and Viking Cycle.
James Wilson is a fitness enthusiast and marketing executive at Born Tough and Viking Cycle. Knowing how being overweight affects a person’s life and personality, he has spent years working on fitness and body transformation, including metabolic training and HIIT. He hopes to share all his experience and knowledge with those who are keen to learn.