While we typically associate mesh jackets with warmer climates, hybrid mesh jackets can be a great option in the hottest summer months.
After hours of research and with over six decades of combined motorcycle riding experience between us, we’ve come up with this list of the 5 best options to suit every budget.
Best Mesh Jacket Reviews
Dainese Air Frame – Ultimate Comfort
This jacket is comfortable in a way that has nothing to do with hot weather. The “anti-floating sleeve” design has a funny name but does what it says on the tin.
The neck, waist and wrists are fully-adjustable and lined with soft material, but the real selling point is the removable windproof liner.
This liner will make your jacket significantly more comfortable when the temperature drops. This is a nice touch for UK summer riding – given the changeable nature of the weather and the difference daylight makes.
The Air Frame features CE-certified armour in the elbows and shoulders and has a dedicated pocket for back protection. Its quick-dry fabric is another notch on its belt of adaptability. Summer riding wrapped up.
What we like: Excellent, comfortable Dainese construction, removable, windproof liner and quick dry fabric
RST Pro Series Ventilator – All-Weather Pick
RST’s Ventilator is a fairly complete solution to summertime riding. While it uses K300 mesh panels throughout the jacket and an inner mesh lining for comfort, the big attraction of this jacket is its removable thermal, waterproof lining.
Though it’s primarily geared towards summer riding, hardier folk wear these jackets well into autumn because of its versatility.
All the usual solid construction stuff you’d expect from RST is present – MaxTex abrasion-resistant fabric bonded seams and hook and loop adjustable arms and waist. This jacket is one of only two on our list to ship with elbow, shoulder, and back armour.
Overall, a great jacket at the price and more functionality than the competition.
What we like: It’s still a breezy summer jacket, but if the conditions change, you’ll be warm and dry
Rev’it Eclipse Jacket – Style Pick
Rev’it has gone for a back-to-basics look, kept the price reasonable, and still managed to offer decent protection with this jacket.
With an understated cut and Knox Lite armour in the shoulders and elbows, this jacket is an excellent choice for summer riding when you might also spend some time off the bike. Impact zones use 600D polyester fabric, and mesh ventilation panels are on the chest, back, and sleeves.
The Eclipse is highly adjustable – straps at the hips and tabs at the cuff and upper arm help dial in a perfect fit. It has a couple of easy-to-reach slit pockets on the outside and several internal storage pockets.
We like the understated styling, how it feels lightweight and easy to wear off the bike, and its performance in hot weather.
This jacket doesn’t offer a lot of versatility outside of summer riding, but it is a quality piece of equipment for the price.
What we like: Classic styling, well-ventilated, and super comfortable
Alpinestars T-SPS Air – Durable Equipment
This jacket is designed for comfort in warmer conditions and boasts quality armour and rugged construction.
Rugged 600D polyurethane-coated polyester makes up the bulk of the jacket, and ventilation is supplied by the large mesh panels used on the front, back, and underarms.
The areas over the quality Nucleon Flex Plus shoulder and elbow armour panels are reinforced, making this a very durable summer jacket well suited to the UK.
Hook and loop adjustments at the waist and a low profile collar make this a particularly comfortable jacket – especially in weather when a draft down the neck is welcome. Not quite as light as some of the other jackets on our list, but this one should last a few seasons.
What we like: Durable, comfortable jacket with good protection
Macna Furio Textile Jacket – Great The Rain
This is slightly different from the other options on our list. It’s a textile jacket with 3D mesh inserts that help to increase airflow. I’ve used these “3D” mesh inserts before in the tropics, and they work, despite their silly name.
The main part of the jacket is constructed using 600D polyester with Durylon panels.
Safetech shoulder and elbow armour inserts are included, and this jacket ships with a CE certified back protector already installed. A waterproof over jacket is also included, and compatibility with Macna’s Hot Vest is present – extending the seasonal range of this jacket.
What we like: Tough construction and a waterproof over jacket
Mesh jackets and clothing used to be a speciality item for summer in hotter climates – places like continental Europe, Asia, and parts of the USA.
But for the hottest summer months in the UK or tours through Greece, Italy, Spain, etc., a mesh jacket is always a nice touch and sometimes a lifesaver.
Mesh jackets use porous fabric to the front and rear that allows air to pass through, cooling the rider down while using abrasion-resistant materials on impact zones and armour.
All the jackets on our list come with shoulder and elbow armour pre-installed, and many with a dedicated pocket for back protection. Typically, mesh jackets don’t ship with back armour inserts included.
You want to leave enough space for air to circulate but not so much that there’s material flapping around.
If you want to wear another layer under your jacket to get more use, consider going up a size. Mesh jackets are usually only intended to be worn over a thin base layer. Read our guide to the best motorcycle base layer.
Making a jacket that allows air to pass through freely but not water is pretty tricky. But if you have the money, such an item can be bought.
Other jackets opt for quick-drying fabrics. In weather hot enough to choose mesh clothing, you’ll dry quickly once the rain stops.
Some of the jackets on our list have a removable windproof liner, meaning your jacket can be used in less than ideal conditions. This is a welcome feature in the UK, where the weather is unpredictable at the best of times.