The best reason to own textile motorcycle gear is its versatility.
Leathers are great for what they are but not really practical if your day includes any significant time off the bike.
We’ve researched and reviewed a range of textile jackets in this article, so you don’t have to.
Best Textile Motorcycle Jacket Reviews
Let’s dive into our top picks
Oxford Montreal 4.0 Textile Jacket
Though Oxford doesn’t explicitly say, we assume the Montreal 4.0 is made of some kind of poly-fibre composite. It certainly feels comparable to the textiles used in some of the higher-end options.
Durability tests put it above many of the other options at this price.
An adjustable collar and cuff ensure the jacket is very comfortable at these contact points.
Ran protection is provided by a new type of inner membrane known as “Dry2dry”. This is fully waterproof and also breathable.
Breathability is further enhanced by front and rear vents that allow for decent airflow in hotter weather.
The front of the jacket is sealed with a double-zipped storm flap, and all zippers are certified as waterproof.
CE approved armour is included in the shoulder and elbow slots. A pocket is also included for aftermarket back protection.
This feels a little stiffer than Alpinestars’ Bio-Armour but is well-placed and comfortable. Not a deal-breaker.
I remember a time when Oxford made budget-friendly gear that worked great but looked like budget-friendly gear. I think those days are behind us. The Montreal 4.0 might be my favourite jacket on this list, aesthetically.
Pockets are well-placed with two water-resistant ones in the front, as well as thermal-lined ‘hand warmers’ behind them.
A large box pocket in the rear, as well as lots of utility pockets, mean you won’t be stuck for places to keep stuff. The internal pockets are completely waterproof.
The thermal liner can be removed for the summer months, and the ventilation feels adequate for the UK weather.
Reflective panels and accordion-style stretch panels for a better-fit round out the features of this excellent adventure-styled jacket.
- Won Ride magazine’s ‘Best Buy’ category
- Hard to beat at the price
- A little bulkier and heavier than Alpinestars
Dojo Kiso Textile Jacket
The Dojo Kiso is made from 600D polyester fibre. 600D is known to have strong resistance to damage from UV and to be able to withstand many washes. It also has good durability to abrasion.
Despite all these qualities, it remains an affordable material and is often used in military and consumer-grade backpacks.
This jacket has a Dry Tek (industry jargon) waterproof liner. As we said in the buyer’s guide (below), this will keep you dry – but the outer layer will soak up some water.
The storm flap front zip closure will keep you dry in a torrent, and the two external, waterproof pockets and waterproof wallet pocket are a nice touch.
CE approved armour ships in the elbow and shoulder slots. Both a back and chest pocket are included if you want to upgrade to a full armour kit.
Shoulder and elbow pads are in a single, fixed position (some higher-end options offer a modular system). Both felt ergonomically placed if slightly stiff and should be comfortable on long rides.
For an entry-level jacket, the Dojo Kiso is surprisingly feature-complete. Its tailoring is also above what we might expect at this price point.
The fit is ergonomic, the placement of the armour comfortable, and the vents are effective.
I’m 176cm at 65 kgs, and I tried both medium and small. The small was a good fit across the shoulders, and luckily they have included a longer cut on the arms to allow for a variety of riding positions without the cuff riding up onto the forearm.
It’s entirely subjective, but I think this thing looks pretty good at the price too. It has a simple, utilitarian look, Vision Tech reflective panels and uses stretch panels at key points to improve comfort and fit.
- Really good value
- Detachable thermal liner
- Warm at this price
- Not the most breathable on our list – potentially hot in summer
Alpinestars Andes V3 Drystar Textile Jacket
The Andes Drystar is made from a poly-fabric textile. Alpinestars refer to it as being ‘specially reinforced’. While the exact process the cloth goes through remains an industrial secret – the feedback on this jacket is that it is highly durable compared to standard 600D.
Rain protection here comes from the waterproof, breathable Drystar membrane. This sits against the poly shell like a removable liner.
It’s fixed in place using a limited number of points, presumably to avoid having to blind stitch and seal any large seams.
Breathability is significantly improved over some more budget options, and the thermal liner is fully removable.
With the shoulder vents open and the thermal removed, this jacket is ideal for even the hottest UK summer (though, of course, not as cool/breathable as perforated gear).
The Andes Drystar uses Alpinestars’ ‘Nucleon Flex Plus armour’ in the shoulders and elbows and includes back and chest protection pockets.
Nucleon Flex Plus is Alpinestars’ proprietary armour technology and is much thinner and more flexible than traditional foam inserts whilst providing more protection.
The thinner profile of the armour inserts means the outline looks almost like a regular jacket. It flexes at the shoulder and elbow joints and has a premium feel.
Various colourways are available, and all come with reflective details to aid visibility.
All the straps and closures use micro velcro. The kind that won’t catch on any other part of the coat and cause the fabric to pull and ball.
Alpinestars is a high-end brand and lives up to its reputation with this jacket. To get it at under the 200GBP price point is a good deal.
- Excellent quality
- Waist and sleeves can be adjusted for a unisex fit
- Only comes with CE level 1 armour
Richa Infinity 2 Textile Jacket
Richa has been making quality motorcycle gear since the 1950s and continues to push functional, durable and reliable kit. The Infinity is no different in this respect. It’s advertised as being made from a “high-performance abrasion-resistant fabric” without actually giving a Denier rating.
The internal membrane is both waterproof and breathable. The outer Aquashell Pro layer is fully waterproof, and the whole apparatus feels very breathable.
The D30 armour included in this jacket’s shoulder, elbow, and back is some of the lightest and most flexible armour on the market – definitely comparable to Alpinestars’ Bio-Armour.
This, like many fluorescent jackets, regularly goes on sale at a massive discount. The design for the price here is really hard to refuse.
Bear in mind that this is a shorter ‘sports’ type jacket and not a longer touring one. It sits just below the hips, and for the really cold months, you’ll want to zip it into a compatible pair of textile trousers.
Reflective detailing and generous waterproof pocket space complete this impressive textile jacket.
- Super breathable and adaptable
- Uses some of the best armour on the consumer market at this price-point
- Some people get put off by the fluorescent colours. Fortunately, it’s also available in black.
Weise Outlast Element Textile Jacket
The Outlast Element is manufactured using 600D Ripstop nylon fibre. This is a less bulky fibre that retains strength but allows for more flexibility.
The removable, waterproof drop lining is also breathable, lightweight and windproof. Feedback on using this jacket in the rain is very positive.
It relies on a hook and loop storm flap to ensure durable water resistance in the front opening.
CE approved armour is included in the shoulder, elbow and back pockets. This armour is a little bulkier and stiffer than Alpinestars’ Bio-Armour, but the inclusion of back protection at this low price is a real bonus.
Again, this is subjective – but I like the minimal, black design.
Reflective panels and detailing offset any worries about visibility, and the four external pockets and large rear pocket mean you won’t be stuck for places to stash stuff.
The collar is lined for comfort, and both sleeves and waist are fully adjustable.
A fully removable waterproof and thermal layer means this thing really will perform in any season.
- Fully modular – can remove thermal and waterproof layer for comfort
- Some UK customers report the sizes as coming up smaller than advertised
RST Blade Sport 2 Textile Jacket
The RST Blade uses a ballistic 1660D poly and Maxtec outer shell. From what I can tell, the Denier rating combined with the addition of Aramid from German textile Manufacturer Maxtec makes the cloth used in this jacket the highest-end on our list.
It is lighter, more breathable and quicker drying. It also has excellent abrasion resistance qualities.
Sinaqua is RST’s proprietary waterproof, breathable membrane, though the high-end material used in the outer shell also has some water-resistant and quick-drying properties.
I did a few jumping jacks in this one to investigate its claims of breathability. It’s very decent at the price.
The RST Blade includes a CE level 1 approved back protector and CE approved armour in the shoulders and elbows. They are well-placed and should remain comfortable on longer rides.
This is billed as a ‘street/sports’ style jacket and, as such, is cut short. For winter use, it’s best to zip them into a compatible pair of RST textile trousers.
The quilted thermal lining is fully removable, and the vents’ placement and function are excellent. With the thermal lining removed, this would make an excellent summer jacket worn over a pair of jeans.
- Crazy price for this build quality
- Nails that ‘street/sport’ aesthetic that some people are after
- Not to everyone’s taste style wise
What do we need to consider when choosing a textile jacket?
When a jacket is marketed as textile, it’s typically a type of polyester fibre.
The density per thickness of this fibre is rated in denier (D).
Generally speaking, the higher the D rating, the more durable the jacket.
For motorcycle gear, this durability is often referred to as ‘slide time’, meaning the amount of time before you run out of jacket and the road connects with skin.
All jackets on our list feature CE approved shoulder and elbow armour, protecting the rider during their initial contact with the road.
As is typical for commuter/street type jackets, all the options on our list ship with pockets for back protection. Only a few come with armour inserts pre-installed.
Some of the more premium options also have a dedicated pocket for chest protection.
Flexibility, thickness, durability and breathability separate cheaper armour from the more premium options.
The most common way to waterproof a polyester fibre garment is to spray it with a polyurethane coating. This means the top layer of the jacket is impermeable.
This is fairly important.
In jackets with an internal waterproof membrane, the outer poly layer will soak up water. You’ll be dry on the inside, but there is a slight addition to overall weight when wet.
In my experience, jackets with a waterproof membrane last longer – countering the minor drawback of the permeable outer layer.
Read our roundup of waterproof motorcycle jackets for more options.
For me, textile jackets have always made sense for their balance of function, cost and aesthetics.
There’s a reason professionals wear leathers on the track, but we aren’t (or at least shouldn’t be) doing those kinds of speeds.
For their cost, textile jackets offer solid protection. And, crucially for me, they don’t look or feel wildly different from a jacket I might wear to the supermarket on a windy day.
I’ll happily meet a friend for coffee and a chat in my textile jacket and trousers. I might feel a little uncomfortable in full leathers.
With decent ventilation and/or a removable thermal layer a single, textile jacket can be a year-round option.
Most jackets will feature at least a set of two zippered vents in the front and rear.
Many older riders will caution against wearing darker colours as it makes you harder to see. Reflective materials have come a long way.
A jacket that appears dark under normal daylight can now reflect significant amounts of light from car headlights. Brighter colours may contribute to a rider’s visibility in daylight.
Reflective panels and pinlines are always a welcome safety feature.
There are lots of excellent options on this list. It’s really hard to go wrong.
The best advice I can give is to think about where it will fit in your wardrobe of motorcycle clothing.
Waterproof textile jackets with removable thermal liners are a one-stop shop for all seasons in the UK, and if you can only afford one set of gear – make it a textile one.
All images via SportsbikeShop