Best Gore-Tex Motorcycle Jacket: Seriously Good Kit


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Last Updated: 21st August 2020

Gore-Tex jackets offer a fantastic waterproof/windproof addition to your riding armoury.

Because they’re so well made and reliable, they’re not cheap. However, they’re often lighter and more comfortable than leather whilst offering top safety and superior waterproofing.

In this article we’ve researched and reviewed a range of Gore-Tex jackets, so you don’t have to.

Our Top Pick

Flexius Gore-Tex jacket

Rukka Flexius

Top quality and durability

Offering all of the fantastic features of much more expensive relatives.

Comes with top end D3 armour, a 6-year warranty, and won’t break the bank. Check SportsBikeShop

Treat Yourself

Rukka Nivala

Rukka Nivala

Premier League Table Topper

All round D3 armour protection, enhanced multi layered Gore-Tex Pro material, a luxurious down/feather filled internal liner, and functional summer venting.

This really is the best-in-class of our reviewed Gore-Tex jackets. Check SportsBikeShop

Best Goretex Motorcycle Jacket Reviews

Lets dive into our shortlisted jackets


Rukka Flexius

At the lower end of Rukka’s range, the Flexius is built from a lightweight Cordura 500 shell, which offers a fantastic durable stretchy fabric that aids comfort and fit whilst the Gore-Tex membrane layer keeps you dry.

It has the usual internal detachable layer and a 6-Year manufacturer’s warranty. It must also be said, this is an attractive looking jacket, which can be rare in this price range.

Check Prices on SportsBikeShop

Flexius Gore-Tex jacket

It has two inner pockets that are waterproof as well as two other non-waterproof external pockets. Not having an external Gore-Tex coating means that the outer layer will potentially hold water in heavier downpours.

The detachable Gore-Tex ‘snood’ also offers further waterproofing, although some users have complained it can detach at higher speeds.

It comes with a comfortable neoprene collar and has adjustable straps on the upper arms and Velcro adjustment on the cuffs. Some users reported that the cuff straps did not always tighten enough, resulting in some water penetration up the sleeve during heavy downpours.

It’s not very vented, with one vent on the back of the jacket, and side vents, that vent into the inner membrane, so it’s all but useless for summer riding. Winter riding is a different aspect, with many users reporting excellent wind proofing and warmth.

Safety elements benefit from Rukka’s CE D3 Air armour located in the back, shoulder and elbows, offering you high end safety on lower budget.

Pros

plus iconHigh end quality/safety, lower end price

plus icon6 Year Warranty

plus iconGreat looks and comfort fit

Cons

minus icon Velcro cuffs aren’t great

minus icon Slow to dry once wet

minus icon Poor venting, no summer use

Check SportsBikeShop


Richa Cyclone

At the lower end of the price range, the Cyclone isn’t particularly exciting in the looks department.

It is however reliably waterproof, having a textile outer layer and Gore-Tex lining and stretch panels on the rear and comes with a detachable inner lining.

Check Prices on SportsBikeShop

Richa Cyclone

It’s a light jacket, but the outer textile layer will potentially retain water during heavy rain and will need drying out.

It has chest and rear vents and a Velcro adjustable waist and external pouch style Velcro pockets which aren’t waterproof and can be a pain to access with one hand.

The jacket has a good standard of well-placed CE D30 level 1 armour, although many users have complained about the back protector being less than adequate.

Pros

plus iconGood value, keeps you dry and warm

plus iconUnobtrusive armour that stays in place well

plus iconComfortable and lightweight

Cons

minus icon Outer layer will retain water in heavy rain

minus icon Poor back protector

minus icon Velcro pockets aren’t easily accessible

Check SportsBikeShop


Rukka Armaxis

This attractive mid-priced jacket is constructed with a super hard-wearing Gore-Tex Pro Shell, consisting of triple layered textile technology.

It has a high quality insulated inner jacket that can be used as a separate day-to-day jacket and comes with a 6-year manufacturer warranty.

Check Prices on SportsBikeShop

Rukka armaxis Gore-Tex jacket

It’s big on a water-stopping, constructed with an external Gore-Tex layer, preventing water absorption on the outside (water beads and disperses). It also has an ‘aquaseal’ front zip, a detachable Gore-Tex stretch collar, and Gore-Tex coated cuffs to prevent water getting down your collar and up your arms.

Comfort wise, there are width adjusters in the upper and lower arm, a soft neoprene collar and an adequate number of non-waterproof outer pockets, plus two internal waterproof pockets.

Top end CE approved D30 air protectors are provided and cover the elbows, shoulders and back, and there’s some nice reflective detailing around the elbows.

Pros

plus iconGreat waterproofing and quick drying times from external Gore-Tex

plus iconHigh end quality, warmth and safety

plus iconAttractive sports look

Cons

minus icon Inner jacket fixings can cause ‘rising’ and can be fiddly to fit/remove

minus icon Poor venting makes this a poor summer option

minus icon Waterproof pockets are small

Check SportsBikeShop


Rukka Nivala

It’s the most expensive jacket in this review, and although it’s looks are a bit plain, it reeks of quality and is packed with features.

It’s beautifully constructed, with a triple Aramid, Cordura and Gore-Tex Pro layer, creating a super waterproof stretchy laminated shell and it comes with a fantastic 6-year manufacturer’s warranty.

Check Prices on SportsBikeShop

Rukka Nivala

As expected from a premier league contender, this jacket offers the highest level of waterproofing, and as with its middle-class brother, the Armaxis it has an external Gore-Tex layer, an ‘aquaseal’ front zip, a detachable Gore-Tex stretch collar, and waterproof GTX cuffs.

It’s the only jacket in our line-up that has 100% waterproof pockets, inside and out. It’s also well vented, with zip slits on shoulders and sides, and users report good summertime cooling.

The inner jacket is a luxurious detachable down/feather jacket that would look good on any mountain climb, and also comes with further waterproof pockets and a separate storage bag.

As you would expect from a premium jacket it has safety features aplenty, with unobtrusive CE approved D30 air protectors to cover the elbows shoulder, back and even the chest (which also creates extra warmth and wind proofing).

Collectively this armour offers level 1 CE protection, something that could be questioned considering the price.

Pros

plus iconHigh spec armour, comfort and waterproofing

plus iconLong lasting quality

plus iconWell ventilated

Cons

minus icon Not cheap

minus icon Waterproof pockets are small

minus icon Only level 1 armour

Check SportsBikeShop


Alpinestars Ares

At the bottom end of the price spectrum in our review sits the Ares. And the first thing to note about this jacket is that it’s a bit of a ‘plain Jane’ and not up to Alpinestars usual flamboyant standards.

It has a textile outer layer with a Gore-Tex membrane, including a number of stretch panels and has the usual internal detachable liner.

Check Prices on SportsBikeShop

Alpine Stars Ares

The Ares offers all the required waterproofing features via its Gore-Tex membrane, ensuring you will always be dry on the inside.

It has a number of external non-waterproofed zipped pockets (zips being a preference for many riders) and includes a waterproof forearm pocket and two internal waterproof pockets, the former being a nice touch.

The jacket has waist adjusters and further comfort features include a soft microfleece collar.

Safety elements offer removable CE approved protection, and although there is a pocket for rear and front protection, it’s disappointing to note that a back protector isn’t included.

Pros

plus iconGreat value

plus iconSome waterproof pockets

plus iconAble to be warm in winter and cool in summer

Cons

minus icon No back protector included

minus icon No D3 armour

minus icon A bit ‘Meh’

Check SportsBikeShop


Best Goretex Motorcycle Jacket For Women – Rukka Flexina

Rukka have also developed a Women’s version (or is the Flexius the Men’s version of the Flexina?), which offers all the Pros and Cons of the Flexius with the added benefit of an improved ergonomic fit.

Check Prices on SportsBikeShop

Rukka flexina jacket

Many users report that the stretchy Cordura offers Women riders a more flattering fit compared to a typical Unisex jacket. Whilst retaining a sleeve length that offers a great fit over gloves.

It also has the extra benefit of being slightly lighter than the already svelte Flexius.

Pros

plus iconHigh end quality/safety, lower end price

plus icon6 Year Warranty

plus iconGreat looks and comfort fit

Cons

minus icon Velcro cuffs aren’t great

minus icon Slow to dry once wet

minus icon Poor venting, no summer use

Check SportsBikeShop


Buyers Guide

So what do we need to consider when choosing the right Goretex jacket?


Price

Prices vary from the £270 markup to an eye watering £1,700+ for top end jackets.

However, these Gore-Tex jackets offer a 100% waterproof Gore-Tex guarantee, and blend-in other hard wearing materials such as cordura and armacor to deliver safe, long-lasting, lightweight jackets that offer great comfort and movement.

You’re unlikely to be buying one of these as your first jacket but experienced motorcyclists know that buying quality pays off in the long run.

Gore-Tex Technology

Gore-Text closeup with water beading

Discovered by the Gore family in the 1970’s, here’s some data for fact fans:

  • It was discovered when a layer of plastic resin was stretched
  • This was developed into a multi layered laminated ePTFE membrane
  • One square inch contains over 9 million pores
  • Each pore is 20,000 times smaller than a water droplet
  • Whilst being totally waterproof and windproof, it’s also breathable
  • It has an internal Oleophobic layer that prevents pore blockages from body oils and sweat
  • Garments bearing the name have to comply with strict production processes and rigorous testing
  • Famously Gore-Tex offer a lifetime guarantee on their material

As a standalone material, Gore-Tex offers a fully waterproof layer, but consideration should also be given to the outer material it is bonded to.

Cost and quality will affect the denier, weave and water beading properties.

They will still keep you 100% dry, but lower quality fabrics have the potential to retain some water albeit in heavier downpours.

Gore-Tex Pro

A further enhanced material, seen in higher end jackets, where extra layers of ePTFE are bonded directly to the outer layer, giving 28% greater breathability and durability.

Armour

Jacket armour offers protection in four key areas, elbows, shoulders, back and chest, with the latter being a more common feature in top end garments.

The majority of jackets come with CE approved level 1 armour, an all but adequate level for all but the most advanced track day racers. These consist of varying materials such as silicon, memory foam, hard plastic and something known as Viscoelastic.

The flex, weight and placements of this material will affect comfort, maneuverability and vary the level of shock absorption, impact dissipation, and abrasion levels.

There are a number of superior Viscoelastic products, One example being D3O armour, which is beginning to be utilised by a large number of leading brands. It uses a lighter flexible premium material that has advanced impact qualities to provide even better crash protection and comfort.

Read more about motorcycle armour.

Warranty

Some manufacturer’s offer extended warranties, and as per our reviews this is often seen with higher end higher quality jackets. These have to be registered fairly soon after purchase and cover most damage outside of general wear and tear.

Other Points

All of the jackets in our review come with connection points for trousers, allowing for greater waterproofing.

Most brands are designed to interface with their own trousers, so if you buy an expensive brand, you may want to raid the piggy bank for a pair of matching strides.

Conclusion

Gore-Tex jackets clearly offer a good reliable option for cold/wet riding, and being honest, that’s most of the year in the UK. They’re not always so versatile when it comes to summer heat.

Throughout this review we’ve tried to refrain from using the phrase “you get what you pay for”, as there’s a clear correlation between features and price.

However, if you want something that is going to last an eternity then the old saying “buy cheap, buy twice” applies here. But whatever you choose you’ll certainly be dry and warm with a Gore-Tex on your back.


Image Credits

All images via SportsbikeShop