The best motorcycle vests provide a layer of protection without having to sacrifice style and function.
A motorcycle gear will never be complete without the right motorcycle vest. It’s a great addition that provides an extra layer of safety to its wearer. It also comes with more than one pocket for efficiency and convenience. Not to mention, the right motorcycle vest does all these while looking fashionable. Here are the best motorcycle vests that you need to cop today.
1. SOA Cowhide Leather Biker Vests
The SOA Cowhide Leather Biker Vests uses Milwaukee Leather for its body. It also comes with a satin liner to make it even more stylish and comfortable to wear. Moreover, only a single piece of leather makes up the back of the vest. This vest comes with two concealed gun pockets. Meanwhile, two hand warming pockets are on the outside to keep you temperate during cold days.
This vest comes in a cut that perfectly fits the body of the wearer. Tied together by strong and durable stitches, the SOA Cowhide Leather Biker Vests is one of the best vests out there. The great thing about this vest is that its back piece makes a great blank canvas for patches.
It’s best to use this vest during cold weather given its features. Overall, the vest feels heavy with its construction and material. It also feels hot when worn in the summer. The zippers of this vest also prove weak points compared to the quality of other parts.
2. ARD CHAMPS 10-Pocket Motorcycle Vest
At first glance, the ARD CHAMPS 10-Pocket Motorcycle Vest proves a stylish choice. However, this vest boasts more than just looks. It comes with 10 pockets that are convenient for riders. The first four pockets are outside; all of which are easily accessible. The other four pockets are inside that also provides a safe and easy way to keep your belongings.
Overall, the vest fits comfortably on the rider. It’s mostly because of the laces on the sides that makes adjustments and custom fitting possible. It also gives ample protection due to its thick construction. To assure the durability of the ARD CHAMPS 10-Pocket Motorcycle Vest, the stitching work on it is top-notch.
However, its sizing options remain limited. It can be too small for many riders that’s why it’s not the go-to for a lot of motorcyclists. When worn, the front part is also longer than expected, so that could get in the way of a comfortable ride. With the thickness of this vest, it could form an uneasy chunk at the bottom. However, it’s not easy to find a vest with these many pockets. It remains a top choice for the features it offers.
3. Xelement ‘Paisley’ Leather Motorcycle Vest
Xelement makes some of the most stylish vests you can find in the market. Case in point, the Xelement ‘Paisley’ Leather Motorcycle Vest. This vest hugs the body just right and is a great example of a well-done jacket. It comes with various colors of stitching with white as the most popular. The overall feel of the jacket remains thick yet soft. It’s due to its paisley leather construction. To complete its look, the inside of the jacket also includes a paisley design.
This vest also comes with dual pockets inside on the left and on the right. These make for great gun or ammo pockets for easy drawing. Inside, you can find a media pocket for your phone as well as an extra pocket with a snap button closure. It also has two external pockets on the chest with a hidden snap button for closure. The left pocket also comes with a slit to slip your sunglasses in. Meanwhile, the lower external pockets close through zippers.
The Xelement ‘Paisley’ Leather Motorcycle Vest is an overall comfortable gear. Its stitches are firm and secure, so you’re sure it’s a durable piece. For even more snug fit, it closes up with a double zipper as well as a front closure concealed behind a flap. However, it can be too small for some bikers. Make sure you get the proper size before making that purchase. Generally, you can’t find a vest as stylish as this with all its pockets and features.
4. True Element SWAT-Style Leather Motorcycle Vest
There’s no denying that the True Element SWAT-Style Leather Motorcycle Vest is one of the best you can find. This gem comes with a stylish look that’s utilitarian as well as lowkey. It fits perfectly around the body and comes with great storage solutions. Made with cow leather, it’s pretty thick and heavy. Its design is also modern with a hidden front zipper as well as a snap closure by the collar hidden from view.
This vest has a total of four pockets. The first two are outside and they come with zippers. The other two are inside. One of the pockets comes zippered while the other has a snap closure. The single panel back also makes for a great canvas for all your patches as well as embroidery.
To make this vest even more comfortable, it comes with a polyester lining. For a snug fit, you can make more size adjustments through the side straps. The straps come in leather and have Velcro for easy attachment and detachment. Moreover, you have three on each side to make sure it’s the perfect fit. Not to mention, underneath the side straps is spandex so stretching it out a bit shouldn’t be a problem.
5. Highway 21 12-Gauge Leather Motorcycle Vest
The great thing about Highway 21 is that you can rest assured of its products’ quality. The Highway 21 12-Gauge Motorcycle Vest, in particular, uses only 100% genuine premium leather. That alone gives it a fine texture and overall great construction. It zips up to the chest in front and has snap closures on the sides. It also comes with a mesh lining for comfortable wear.
To adjust the fit of the vest, you can opt to use the naps on the side. It’s a pretty cool feature but it’s not the best option for side adjustments. This vest also doesn’t come with a lot of pockets. It only comes with efficient two external pockets closed by zippers. Inside, there’s one pocket for concealed carry.
Generally, the feel of the vest is light, soft, and supple. It’s perfect for summer rides. To make sure you don’t have to keep adjusting the side snaps, always double-check the size of the vest you’re getting.
6. Alpinestars Cooling Vest
Riding in the summers can’t get any better with the Alpinestars Cooling Vest. It features an innovative design that other vests (even those in this list!) can’t compete with. As its name suggests, this vest is on top of the comfort game. How exactly does its cooling technology work? It’s much simpler than you’d expect.
You simply have to fill its water chamber (located at the lower-left rear part of the best) with half a liter of water. Then, you must squeeze the vest to distribute the water all over the vest. The water chamber will dispel water droplets on the torso through a liquid-cooling delivery system.
Made from triple-layered textile, this vest also comes with a moisture-wicking fleece lining. The water chamber, despite its contents, remain lightweight as well. The airports on the vest also allows for great airflow to make your every ride cool and breezy. To prove that, the vest can help drop temperatures 15 degrees down. To empty the water in the vest, you simply have to open the water chamber and let all the water drain from there.
Best Motorcycle Vests Guide & FAQs
Learn more about what we recommend to look for when your buying a motorcycle vest!
Types of Motorcycle Vests
The most popular material used for motorcycle vest is leather. More often than not, it’s in black. Leather has been part of biker culture for a while so it only makes sense. It’s also a very durable material compared to textile. Most leather motorcycle vests come in boxy cuts and designs. Vests for women, on the other hand, can have some shaping along the waist to define the body. Either way, such vests come with either a snap or a zipper to secure them. On some occasions, it comes with both for even more secure closure.
Leather vests also include a liner for comfortable wear. Despite it being one of the most durable materials, they can be uncomfortable to wear. The lining can make it easy for the rider to wear a leather vest. It also helps keep the leather clean at all times. However, it’s not easy to maintain. Any leather material needs a certain cleaning routine to keep it in peak condition.
Vests made from textile also probe popular for those who want comfort. They usually come in a wide array of colors and may also be high-visibility vests. This type of vest makes safety come easy especially during night rides. They also come with zipper closures. But it gives even more options with Velcro and buckle closures.
A textile motorcycle vest can have even more pockets than a leather vest. It can also easily be adjusted depending on your desired fit. Some vests can have heating or cooling systems perfect for rides during peak temperatures.
As its name suggests, armored vests provide the optimal protection among all types. Also called exoskeleton vest, armored vests come with mesh material for comfort alongside safety and protection. They can also have pockets for CE shells. However, the same thing can already be incorporated into the vest. Other vests won’t have this kind of feature. This feature makes it a perfect choice for sports bike riding.
Despite the strong shell that comes with such a vest, they remain breathable and even adjustable. It specifically stands out for the chest plate it comes with and/or an articulated spine protector. Velcro straps also wrap around the rib cage for security.
What Makes the Best Motorcycle Vests
Lucky for you, there’s not much to choose from when it comes to vest material. It’s only between leather or textile. Some vests even employ the use of both. Leather is hot, in general. However, it provides the best protection. That’s why many bikers prefer this. For more breathable wear, you can opt for a textile vest that could not give the same protection as leather. The upside of this is that textile vests can be visible even during the night, depending on the treatment the material gets.
If you’re concerned with safety, pick a material with high ballistic strength. It’s always better to spend more on your vest than on your hospital bills.
Along with picking the right material, you should consider whether you’ll be comfortable wearing it. Check the fit of the vest twice or even thrice. Measure yourself first carefully with and without layers for accurate sizing. Every manufacturer follows their own size chart, so just because you bought medium from Brand A, doesn’t mean you have to get the same size from a different brand.
With that said, some sizing can run big or small, so check for reviews. Reviews can be your honest view into how the vest wears. Aside from the general size of the vest, consider checking the size of the armholes. Be sure that you can freely move your arms around with the vest on. The right length also plays in the overall comfort and fit of your vest. It shouldn’t overlap the top of your jeans. Longer vests are uncomfortable to wear during rides. If you found the closest size you can get, you can trust side straps to help make it snug. Straps allow the vest to accommodate as many body types as possible.
To check the comfort of your vest when worn during rides, put it on then sit on your bike. It will give you a quick window on your overall experience with it on.
Features & Safety
Affordable vests can’t have the same functional features as other motorcycle vests. If you’re looking for a vest that’s more than an accessory, adjust your budget to find vests with great features.
Its most common features include a pocket. It’s a small thing that can go a long way especially if you’re riding on two wheels. Unlike riding a car, you can’t have compartments all over and empty seats to cater to your storage needs. Pockets are as close as you can get for easy access to your belongings. Pockets work in a variety of ways. Firstly, they can work as storage for your wallet, sunglasses, or even your phone and gun. Great jackets should have interior pockets for security. Firearms are usually stored here.
You can also find other features on a vest like reflective material for riding in dim areas or during the night. Removable liners will make sure that your vest will always be clean and in peak condition. Cooling and/or heating elements as well as waterproofing, on the other hand, can keep you comfortable during extreme weather.
A key feature of a vest is safety. Armored vests come with CE shells for that. Leather, meanwhile, is more abrasion-resistant than textiles. Textile vests can be more visible, however. Whichever type of vest you choose, pick one with great securing means. You don’t want it flying off of your body or suddenly swinging open during rides.
Don’t ever let the great features of a vest get in the way of you finding a stylish one. Your personal style still plays a huge part in the picking process. Your vest should also conform to your personal style as well as the overall look of your bike. You don’t want to go overboard or under-dressed for your ride.
Why You Should Use Motorcycle Vests
Wearing a motorcycle vest can be an added layer of protection for every trip. There’s nothing wrong about picking one out before leaving. If you’re going out at nights, it’s best to have a vest with reflective material to make it easier for other drivers to spot you.
It also helps in making your overall journey comfortable. Whether it’s through cooling or heating tech, vests help a lot. They also provide extra compartments for the most important things.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How big should my motorcycle vest be?
Always make sure you’re getting just the right size. Measure your chest, shoulder, waist, and hips for a better overview of your size. Check reviews if the vest you want to buy is true to size. If not, get a size that’s a notch bigger or smaller than your actual size. Don’t underestimate the power of side straps and snaps. They help in adjusting the overall size of your vest.
Q: Can I iron a patch on my leather vest?
While leather vests allow space for patches, riders usually sew patches instead of ironing them on. Heat can ruin the leather and doesn’t leave a good mark on your vest.
Vests can go a long way for you and your journey. If you’re still missing this from your gear, consider the ones on this list. They can help make your journey more comfortable and a lot safer in more ways than one.