So it’s blazing hot and you want a ride, but you know if you keep it below 30mph you’re going to cook in your heavy bike gear.
A riding shirt offers a cooler alternative and can also double up as an extra safety layer or extra insulation in the cold.
We’ve put this guide together to route you through the options and help you pick the right product:
Best Armoured Motorcycle Shirt Reviews
Lets look at our top options.
Knox Urbane Pro Shirt
Made from Knox’s ‘Arrowmesh’ material, which claims to be abrasion/cut and tear resistant, the Urbane Pro offers Level 2 protection for the back, and Level 1 for the shoulders and elbows.
There is no built-in chest protection but Knox suggests adding their micro lock chest protector (how nice of them). It has two exterior and two interior pockets and thumb loops to prevent sleeve’s rising up.
This shirt’s USP is that it can totally replace your riding jacket, plus it’s low profile will allow you to wear a non safety approved casual jacket over it.
Comfort levels are good with it feeling unrestricted when riding, whilst it’s mesh material is well vented.
- High levels of flexibility/movement in limbs
- Good looking, light, low profiled shirt
- Offers replacement jacket protection
- Only works as a standalone top layer on warm dry days
- No built-in chest protection
- A fraction heavier than it looks
Pando Moto UH-01 Shirt
The Moto Shell UH01 is made from a highly durable dyneema/lycra fabric, meaning this shirt is stretchy and allows armour to be held in place more effectively.
It contains CE Level 1 SAS-TEC triple flow shoulder and elbow protectors (a viscoelastic foam) but has a pocket for additional back protection (available for an additional cost).
Offering fashionable looks in a low profile shirt, Pando Moto states that the UH01 is designed to be worn under your current jacket to add further protection.
- Good looks
- Figure hugging fit to optimise armour placement
- Premium SAS-Tec protection
- No chest protector
- Back protector is an extra cost
- A little bit pricey for the offering
Forcefield Sport Shirt 2
If you’re looking for an overall safety package, then the Sport shirt 2 offers Level 2 chest and back protection. Unlike our other shirts in this review, it also contains level 2 shoulder and elbow protection; making this our ‘Best for Safety’ pick.
The cheapest and most certified shirt in our review, the Sport Shirt is made from a lightweight compression material and the armour is fully removable for machine washing.
The chest protector, however, is bulky, with some male riders suggesting it gives them ’moobs’, whilst it’s size makes it a great insulator providing unwanted heat on warm days (it’s also removable). Further irritation is added by the awkward side zip access.
- Top level safety certification
- Reasonably priced
- Lightweight and machine washable
- Mahoosive chest protector
- Annoying side zip access
- Chest protector acts as a heat insulator
Forcefield Proshirt X-V1
This mid-range priced option is made from Forcefield’s ‘BeCool’ fabric (fairly self explanatory). It has the usual level 1 shoulder and elbow protection, all contained in a machine washable anti-bacterial shirt.
It has level 2 Back armour, which sits behind a mesh material. This also has level 2 chest armour, which although provides highly certified protection, is a chunky affair.
The shirt is accessed via a side zip (to accommodate the chest protector), which some users have found ‘annoying’, plus some feedback has suggested quality concerns over the shirts construction.
- CE2 protection front and back
- Machine Washable
- Annoying side zip
- Large chest protector
- May not last the test of time
With armoured shirt selection, our advice would be to decide on what you need. Do you want a cool vented summer shirt, an armour/safety enhancement to your existing jacket (see ‘Best for Safety), or potentially both?
As a brief reminder, CE armour levels will assist your decision in what shirt contains the best safety features. It can be a mind numbing area when you get into the detail, but there are essentially two main certification standards that manufacturers can apply to their products:
As a reminder, there are essentially two main certification standards that manufacturers can apply to their products:
- CE-1 – this is the lowest bar armour has to clear in order to make CE approval, and is often cheaper than CE-2.
- CE-2 – offers a higher level of protection, and we reckon it’s the best choice, especially for back armour that looks after your spine, although it may cost a little more.
For a full guide including armour standards see our: Motorcycle Armour Guide
Shirts offer riders the opportunity to wear vented, lighter clothing than a typical jacket but as can be seen safety features often compromise comfort.
However, purchase the correct shirt for your needs and you can get the balance right.
A low profile, unrestricted shirt can be used in the summer months as a standalone garment or as an additional layer to aid armour and even offer extra warmth to your normal jacket in the colder months.