Textile motorcycle jackets offer a great alternative to more-traditional leathers. They’ve come a long way in terms of design, features, and materials to make them an excellent and versatile option for riding.
Whether you want a fully waterproof, all-year option or a short-style sports jacket, there’s one for every rider.
We’ve gathered the best of the bunch here for you to take a look through, along with a quick guide so you know what to look for in a quality textile riding jacket.
Let’s get started.
Best Textile Motorcycle Jacket – Quick Picks
Alpinestars Andes V3 Drystar Textile Jacket: Best Overall
Rukka Kalix 2.0 Gore-Tex Jacket: Best Premium
Oxford Mondial Advanced Textile Jacket: Best Value
RST Tractech EVO 4 CE Textile Jacket: Best Sports
Richa Cyclone Gore-Tex Textile Jacket: Best Touring
Best Textile Motorcycle Jacket Reviews
Let’s dive into our top picks
The Alpinestars Andes V3 jacket is an awesome bit of kit packed with features that make it our favourite overall textile jacket.
It is constructed from a durable, reinforced polyfabric with a Drystar waterproof/breathable membrane and a removable thermal liner for extra warmth. There are multiple pockets, both internal and external, including waterproof front pockets and wallet pocket, as well as a rear lower back utility pocket.
It’s the comfort details that I really love about the Andes: There are pre-curved sleeves with elbow flex panels, a soft edge collar, plenty of adjustability options for the right fit and also lots of ventilation to tailor the right amount of airflow to the riding temperature.
It’s not just comfortable, though; it’s also safe. One excellent safety feature of the Andes jacket is that it accommodates the Tech-Air 5 airbag if you want further protection.
You get CE Level 1 shoulder and elbow protection with the jacket, which can be upgraded, but there are also pockets for adding both chest and back protection too.
The last big bonus is that the Andes doesn’t cost the earth. It is priced fairly for the quality, design and features that you get, making it great value.
- Removable thermal liner
- Plenty of storage pockets
- Tech-Air compatible
- CE Level 1 shoulder and elbow protection
- Back and chest protector pockets
- Back protector not included
Rukka’s reputation for quality, safety, and technical advancements is why at least one of their riding jackets has to make our list.
First things first, there is only one downside to Rukka jackets: They are expensive. You need to consider a Rukka purchase as an investment in your riding equipment, and you can do so with the knowledge that you’re getting the best that money can buy.
The Kalix is a waterproof touring jacket that has rider comfort at the heart of the design.
It has a Gore-Tex Pro two-layer laminate construction for maximum waterproof protection, a neoprene comfort collar, upper arm and cuff adjustment options, plus vents with two-way zips.
CE Level 1 D30 shoulder and elbow armour is included with the jacket, along with a back protector pocket. D30 protectors are some of the best you can get, as the armour remains supple and soft, moulding to your body. Should an impact occur, the armour hardens to absorb the impact.
Rukka have such faith in their products that they even include a six-year warranty — just remember to register online.
- Quality construction, materials, and design
- CE Level 1 D30 shoulder and elbow protection
- Six-year warranty
The Oxford Mondial jacket is our best value pick. It is an advanced technical riding jacket that far exceeds its price point.
Oxford has used their Dry2Dry laminated waterproof, breathable membrane in the Mondial, which keeps it super lightweight but waterproof at the same time. The lamination means water rolls off the jacket as opposed to being absorbed by the material and weighing the jacket down.
A removable, insulated lining and zip-operated ventilation panels help you regulate your temperature as you go.
For storage, you have two external pockets and four internal pockets. The internal pockets are not marked as waterproof, but as they are on the inside of the waterproof liner, in theory, they should be.
CE Level 1 certified armour can be found in the shoulders and elbows and there is a pocket for a back protector, too, which, at this price point, won’t be too much of a burden to add.
- Excellent value
- Laminated waterproof membrane
- CE Level 1 shoulder and elbow armour
- Removable thermal liner
- Plenty of pockets
- Tight fit especially around the cuffs
If you still want the sporty look that you get with a leather jacket, then the RST Tractech EVO 4 is the one for you. It’s a sports-textile jacket that combines important sports features with the benefits of waterproof and thermal liners that you get with textile jackets.
RST has utilised the SinAqua lining, which is a fixed waterproof liner, plus there is a removable quilted thermal liner.
The jacket has a MaxTex outer construction with good abrasion-resistant properties, plus nylon triple-stitched seams that are Coates bonded for maximum strength. There is CE certified shoulder, elbow, and back protection along with TPU shoulder sliders as added armour externally.
It is a short-style jacket, so there is a full zip to connect to RST jeans for maximum coverage. Just be sure to order a size up since the jacket runs small.
- Waterproof liner
- Removable thermal liner
- CE shoulder, elbow and back protection
- Sports styling with shoulder sliders
- Runs small
In terms of a jacket for touring, you can’t go wrong with the Richa Cyclone.
Richa has developed the jacket keeping in mind all the elements riders face year round: water, wind, sun, and frost. This is why it is one of the best touring jackets on the market — long-distance riders often ride through different conditions on a daily basis.
The Gore-Tex liner provides 100% waterproofing and remains breathable. There is a removable, quilted thermal liner and an advanced ventilation system at the chest and back for excellent airflow.
Richa has included D30 armour at the shoulders and elbows, as well as a D30 back protector.
You can make adjustments according to your preferences in all the key areas. You also get a jacket-to-jeans connection zip for full riding protection.
Like the RST, Richa’s jackets do tend to come up a bit small, so you may need to order a size up.
What do we need to consider when choosing a textile jacket?
Textile jackets are typically constructed from polyester or polyester fibre mix. Polyester is durable and will hold up just as well as leather in a slide. The abrasion resistance is achieved by using a thick fibre with a high denier rating.
You want to look out for jackets that have double- or triple-stitched seams and those that have reinforced sections in high impact areas like the elbows.
Jackets with connecting zips for riding trousers are good because they connect the two garments to form a suit to prevent the jacket from sliding up and exposing your back in an accident.
Read more about choosing the right motorcycle jacket.
We aren’t lying when we say textile jackets today are just as protective as their leather counterparts. Aside from the abrasion-resistant construction, you should be looking for jackets with CE-rated armour in the shoulder and elbows as a minimum.
Most manufacturers provide this and have optional pockets for a back protector. You really should purchase a back protector at the same time as the jacket. The safety benefits far outweigh any reason not to have one.
Some sports textile jackets also come with features like shoulder sliders.
Be sure to check any supplied armour is CE rated and not just foam padding! You should be able to upgrade your armour to a higher CE rating if you wish.
The biggest benefit of a textile jacket over a leather jacket is the fact many come with waterproof liners. There are a few different levels of waterproofing when it comes to motorcycle jackets.
The number one undisputed king of waterproofing is Gore-Tex. A jacket with a Gore-Tex liner is guaranteed to be waterproof but remain breathable. Gore-Tex is tested to a very high standard and is used in products across several industries thanks to its waterproof capabilities.
The only step up from a jacket with a Gore-Tex liner is one with laminated Gore-Tex, where the Gore-Tex liner is laminated to the outer material. The Gore-Tex membrane prevents any water ingress immediately and the water just beads off the jacket.
The Rukka Kalix jacket is laminated Gore-Tex and would therefore be the one recommended for 100% waterproof protection. The Oxford Mondial doesn’t have a Gore-Tex membrane, but it does have its own version that is laminated, so this would be a close second.
Many manufacturers have developed their own waterproof liners, like the DryStar from Alpinestars or SinAqua from RST.
With a liner, the water gets through the outer layer but not past the inner liner. This can add a little weight to the outer jacket as it gets wet. Some waterproof liners are more breathable than others.
Many textile jackets come with removable thermal liners. These are great because you can easily add or remove the layer depending on the riding temperature.
You should also look for jackets that offer good ventilation options. A jacket with vents at the front and rear of the jacket is best as the air can flow straight through them.
If there are no rear exhaust vents, air gets trapped coming in from the front and can actually cause you to get warmer as opposed to cooler.
It would be hard to go wrong with any of our favourite textile motorcycle jackets. Each one will suit a different rider’s needs.
Without a doubt, the Alpinestars Andes V3 Drystar jacket is one of the best, most versatile textile jackets on the market. I have personally tried this jacket and fell in love with how comfortable it is.
Of course, if you’re looking for a budget option, you’ll still get a good jacket out of the Oxford Mondial.