Best Motorcycle Vest: Recommendations and Guide for 2021

Any biker would agree that the rush of adrenaline through their veins when speeding through the highway is one of the best feelings ever. But given the risks that come with riding a two-wheeler, it’s only a matter of seconds that someone ends up in a road rash. 

Your safety is second to nothing, and that’s why investing in the best motorcycle vest is something we recommend to every biker — in or out of our team. 

While some companies treat biker jackets solely like a fashion statement, others only remember their utility. And it leaves us thinking — why can’t we have both? So, that’s what we have here. 

Let’s go take a look.

Top 10 Best Motorcycle Vests

Whatever jacket you buy, the best way to make sure it won’t be collecting dust in your closet is to get one that you’ll love. And your best bet to do so is to check out some reviews beforehand. 

1. HWK- Leather Motorcycle Vest

When it comes to biking attire, you’ll probably agree that there’s nothing more iconic than a leather jacket. And that’s precisely why we couldn’t help put this vest from HWK at the top as our favorite choice.

Being a brand by motorcyclists for motorcyclists, we could tell that they sure knew their game. 

The cowhide leather quality used to make this is superb. It’s smooth with multiple pockets for the small and big stuff — even one for a hidden gun (safety measures!). And if you’re into a more form-fitted look, the lace adjustments on the sides will be really handy to get it just right. 

Since this has micro polyester lining attached on the inside, we found it very comfortable and snug.

It’s quite weatherproof as the leather comes pretty stiff out of the package. You’ll definitely need to break it in a bit. And the size variation going up to 56 inches (7 XL) is great news if you’re a big guy.  

This has some really nice detailing like the stainless-steel buttons which won’t rust, and the patch access feature. And the easy-snap button at the front was so satisfying to close every time! 

There are extra-stretchy back panels to allow enough wiggle room as you ride your steed. Not to mention, the leather is pretty thick (1.2mm) to save your skin when needed.

Pros

  • Its leather is thick and high-quality to prevent serious injury
  • Allows easy and discreet carrying of a gun
  • Great stylish design
  • Adjustable side laces and easy-snap front button

Cons

  • Leather is a bit on the stiff side

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2. JAYEFO- Alpha Leather Motorcycle Vest

As a team of bikers who’ve stuck together for years, we were personally looking for a vest that we can put multiple patches on.

While there are a lot of those in stores today, this particular one from JAYEFO stood out to us the most. It’s the perfect black canvas to proudly display your club sigils as it has panels both front and back. 

What’s more, the quality is amazing with its 100% leather material. In terms of size, there are options from a regular S all the way up to an impressive 7XL. The black color went great with a variety of motorcycle designs and looked both vintage and edgy. 

That red ‘Alpha” patch at the back was a detail we loved as it really made the black leather pop.

After wearing it the first time, we noticed that the finishing looked very detailed- not like the cheap machine-stitched clothing we see in regular stores. And after digging around a bit, we found that this was indeed hand stitched.

Overall, we found this very comfortable due to the leather laces. Its buttons are original YKK which is made of stainless steel, and you’ll have two concealed pockets to carry your wallet, phone, or anything else you don’t want others to get their hands on. 

Pros

  • A great variety of sizes
  • Has many pockets (two conceal carries) 
  • Panels for patches on both sides
  • Heavy-duty original leather at an affordable price

Cons

  • Pocket linings are a bit fragile

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3. Milwaukee- Men’s Distressed Leather 10 Pocket Vest

Are you an old soul who feels like he/she belongs in some old Hollywood film rather than the modern-day? Then this one should suit your taste perfectly. This distressed style leather jacket is sure to bring out your inner Tom Cruise. 

With the vintage brown color and the classic four-snap front buttons of antique brass, this is the type of jacket to turn people’s heads. 

But wait, it’s not just a looker — the quality was also top-notch, much to our delight. One of our team members who’d been using it for a couple of years has testified how it saved their skin from serious damage during an accident. Honestly, that’s what made us put this on the list — it’s bound to be a good investment.

There are 6 pockets in this, including hidden ones for keeping some firepower at hand. The ones in the front have zippers which are actually quite convenient to prevent items from getting lost during windy rides. You’ll also get a media pocket and interior patch access for customization.

The liner inside is black and orange. And while it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, we actually found it quite fashionably unique. For ones who are 6 ft tall or even taller, this vest will be a perfect fit. 

Pros

  • Looks very unique and has patch access 
  • Zipper pockets at the front are very handy
  • Good quality heavy-duty leather with antique buttons
  • Comes with two concealed pockets

Cons

  • Inner lining is orange which some people might not like

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4. Jackets 4 Bikes- SOA Men’s Leather Motorcycle Club Vest

For a more uptight and formal look, you might want to get something like this one from Jacket 4 Bikes. This is a black vest made of 1.2mm thick cowhide leather. You’ll get two chest pockets and two waist pockets with the ‘conceal carry’ feature. 

Something that we often look for but seldom find in motorcycle vests is the combination of front buttons and a chain-up zipper. And this one has them both!

There’s also a removable back armor in this for some added protection. Patches can surely be added since there are panels at the front and back. 

Another great thing about this particular item is the inner lining being made of non-allergic polyester.

So, if you’re a bit itchy about actual leather-to-skin contact, this will be a relief. We noticed that it’s been double stitched and has options for waist adjustments so that you can use it even after losing or gaining a bit of weight.

Complete with two waist pockets, two chest pockets, and interior ones for added security, this has a very simple yet functional design. It’s sleek and modern but not at all boring. 

Besides, with a sleeveless jacket, there’s always room for making things interesting. Get a size bigger and you can style it with a sweatshirt or a fleece jacket underneath.

Pros

  • Very comfortable to wear 
  • Thick leather with back armor for good protection
  • Has waist adjustments
  • Designed with both snap-shut buttons and a zipper at the front

Cons

  • Velcro on interior pockets is not very strong and a bit prickly

5. Blueimperial – Motoker Adult Motorcycle Armor Vest

Here is a beginner’s favorite — this vest from Blueimperial has a distinct steampunk aesthetic to it and fits almost all body types.

Before we get to the main features, let’s just say- this vest is dope! When it’s 90 degrees out and wearing your padded leather jacket is akin to putting yourself in the oven, this one will be your savior.

This is a shock-resistant and anti-bump vest that’s padded on the inside. The shell is also quite sturdy to protect your chest and back. And it’s suitable for plenty of sporty activities outside of riding a bike. For example, you can wear this for skateboarding or cycling. 

Both the length and width of this are adjustable, making it suitable for both genders and people of different age groups. Although this isn’t leather, the material being PE plastic on the outside is good for giving newbies the confidence needed to ride freely. 

It has quite the good wear resistance, too, so you can count on it to be a good armor in case of a fall.

Again, its maximum waist circumference is 59 inches with 90% stretching capacity. As for the minimum, it’s an average of 30 inches.

Although the black color may seem boring to you, it’s possible to paint over it. We’ve even had one of our members use this as part of a cosplay outfit after pairing it with a gothic helmet. 

Pros

  • Looks very cool
  • Very affordable price
  • Suitable to be used for multiple sports activities
  • Outside shell is good for protecting the chest and back spine

Cons

  • Larger people might have trouble with the short shoulder straps

6. A&H Apparel- Women Motorcycle Biker Classic Vest

Just because we’ve been pointing out men’s jackets doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten about our femme fatal biker ladies. Our gal pals deserve the fun, too right? 

We’ve got something both stylish and durable to make sure you ladies look the part while behind the wheel. That’s why we’ve put this A&H Apparel classic women’s vest in our favorite’s list. 

It’s made of high-quality cowhide leather and looks very classy. Even more than looks, the material is durable and stiff enough for protection.

There are interior pockets and a gun pocket with snap-enclosure. You can use it for keeping your cell phone or wallet (and even a few makeup items) secured and safe on the ride. 

What’s great about this particular vest is a great quality matching the well-made design. For example, the cut at the bottom is genius since it prevents the vest from bunching up when you sit. There are options for customizing it with pins and patches. 

If you like your fit to be different based on the ride’s duration, the adjustable laces have you covered.

We loved how the V-neck gave a modern yet timeless, edgy look when worn. While there aren’t snap-shut buttons at the front, it does have a very retro-style YKK zipper that’s bound to be durable.

Pros

  • Very stylish and classy looking
  • Well-made with top-notch leather so it’s durable
  • Adjustable laces included and nice cut
  • Interior pocket has snap-enclosure

Cons

  • Not the best for carrying magazines

7. Jackets 4 Bikes Store- New Men’s Armor

Coming in a variety of sizes, this is yet another great option from Jackets 4 Bikers. It’s made of tough 1.2 mm cowhide leather.

The design is pretty unique with a comfortable lining on the inside made of non-allergic polyester. We loved it because of its simplicity, great leather texture, and amazing price point. 

Some of us on the team don’t prefer adjustment laces, and we figured you might be the same.

So, we were looking for something a bit different but still allowed that custom-fit everyone loves. That’s when we stumbled upon this particular product- something without laces but still gives a custom fit.

There are adjustment straps on the sides for this jacket that pull the entire look together (literally!). Thanks to those, the simplicity seems very modern and provides a custom fit to the wearer. 

Again, you’ll get multiple pockets for great functionality — a total of 7 to be precise. With three 3 inside pockets allowing conceal-carry, you can bet it’ll come in quite handy for either your phone or something like a gun.

As the zippers are original YKK, we found that they are strong and durable. Mandarin collars are a classic, and the dual front closures are snug and very sharp giving this a more expensive look than it really is. 

Plus, you’ll have a preinstalled armor pocket at the back where you can add or remove any padding as required. So, what’s there to complain about?

Pros

  • Has budget-friendly pricing
  • Great utility thanks to multiple pockets and a back protector panel
  • Strong and durable leather
  • Adjustment straps look great and fit great

Cons

  • Leather is a bit stiff

8. Xelement XS3450 Men’sPaisley’ Black Leather Motorcycle Vest

This product is, in our humble opinion, the best overall pick. Be it in terms of price, style, or durability, this is a definite winning deal.

The leather used to make this is 1.2 to 1.3mm thick.  And as the quality is premium, it’s sure to save your butt from any potential damage in the occurrence of an accident. 

With this leather vest on your shoulders, you can ride with confidence and ease (we know we did). There are tons of pockets for utility purposes.

From your house, keys to passport or wallet to anything dainty like a pair of glasses can be kept safely at reach in them. 

Moreover, two concealed gun pockets can function as both emergency ammo storage or a nice place to hide all your cash. 

Another interesting thing about this product is the patch access zipper pockets which also allow embroidery to be done or added. It’s great for customization and proudly showing off your club’s logo. 

And last, but definitely not the least — the white stitching. Can we just address how stunning the finishing of white stitching on polished leather looks?

While not many jackets have this style, it’s candy for the eyes. For something that’s under two hundred bucks, this is definitely worth each penny.

Pros

  • Has very heavy-duty thick leather for good protection
  • White stitching finish looks awesome
  • Panels for embroidery and patches included
  • Variety of pocket sizes and conceal carry feature for keeping multiple items

Cons

  • No place to put in back armor

9. 3S TACTICAL- Motorcycle Biker MC Conceal Carry Leather Vest

When it comes to pockets, the more, the merrier right? And if they come in a smaller price tag, that’s even better!

This is why we thought we’d add this awesome jacket from 3S TACTICAL into our list of reviews. After all, who doesn’t love the idea of saving cash while getting maximum utility in the long-run?

Suitable for both men and women, this leather vest has 10 pockets in total. That means you’ll get to carry at least double of the items your average high-end jackets allow the wearer to have on them. And the fact that it’s made of 100% genuine leather gives this extra brownie points.

The side laces are adjustable to help you ease your way through the bike ride, no matter the day’s weather or the longevity of the journey.

What’s more, there are panels to sew on patches easily in both the front and back of the jacket. The double stitching on this has a great finish, and the luxury lining is super comfy. 

This vest is very easy to clean. As the leather is lesser prone to wrinkle due to its good quality, you can just use a slightly wet cloth to wipe all the dust and dirt off it after a long day’s ride.

Not to mention, it comes in two different colors — black and brown. So, you can choose whichever you fancy. 

Pros

  • Genuine leather at an affordable price
  • Very well stitched with 10 pockets
  • Adjustable laces make it comfier
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Leather is very stiff

10. Viking Cycle Odin Premium Cut Club Motorcycle Vest for Men

To Finish things off with, we’d like to present to you this vest from the Viking Cycle store. Unlike all the other leather products we’ve talked about so far, this is made of buffalo leather and has been crafted with exquisite craftsmanship.

We loved how weatherproof this vest was thanks to its zipper closure which was water-repellent. It’ll keep you quite dry and cozy while riding in the rain. And since there aren’t sleeves in this, it’s conveniently lighter in weight.

The racers of our team found it very easy to carry, and it fits all of their different body shapes. Of course, the adjustable straps did play a role in making sure it fit ok. 

For the ammo-enthusiasts who like to have their trusted guns at hand, this has a neat surprise. Multiple hidden pockets make it easy to carry both dainty and heavier items with no worries.

We tried this out during the summer and autumn months and found it very comfortable- not too clingy and definitely not too hot. And to tie it all together, it comes at a very affordable price like the one we discussed before. 

So, if you’ve got an eye for fashion but also want to stick to your budget, consider getting this without second thoughts. 

Pros

  • Comes with multiple hidden interior pockets
  • Great quality leather which is fit for summer, autumn, and spring
  • Good adjustability due to side straps with Velcro
  • Lightweight and affordable

Cons

  • There’s no panel to insert back protection

What to Look for Before You Buy?

When pondering on which jacket to buy, bikers tend to either lean more towards fashion or function. But the truth is, you don’t have to sacrifice one for the other. 

As long as you keep a few factors in mind while choosing, your armor will not only fit well, it’ll also feel good. So here are the pointers:

Construction Counts

In the case of any kind of clothing, craftsmanship counts just as much as the design, color, and material. It’s no exception for biking attire.

Look for a jacket that has good stitching with a smooth finishing. The seams should not be distracting, and there should be double or triple stitches done for durability. 

Size ‘Em Up!

The second factor you need to look out for is size variation. Measure your sizes and match them with the charts given by the store. It’s always a good idea to go up one size rather than sizing down. 

But if you like a tighter fit, getting something with adjustable straps and laces is the way to go. Whatever the fit, just make sure it’s not restricting your movement by grabbing at the knees or bottom. 

Zipper Up Buttercup!

Ah, the zipper vs. button debate — a classic argument between jacket lovers. While snap-shut buttons are amazing (and very ASMR) to use, zippers have a more retro and stylish look that you can’t deny.

 If the zippers on the pockets or front are cheaply made and wear out, the utility of the outfit drops by miles. So, get something with authentic YKK zippers, which are made of steel. Metallic zippers last longer than plastic.

Weathering with the Ride

While your motorcycle attire is supposed to protect you from crashes and cemented highways, it’s also meant to keep you dry in the rain and cooler during the summer heat.

If you’re usually riding on hot days, good ventilation is a must. Underarm vents and bigger pulls for the zippers are great for this. 

Again, water-resistant and waterproof material is very comfortable to be worn during rainy seasons.

Some vests come with removable linings, but those tend to prevent moisture from escaping. Speaking from experience, you wouldn’t want to sweat like a hot bucket while on a long bike ride. 

Pick the Pockets

Grab something that has lots of pockets – we know you’ll need them. When on a two-wheeled vehicle that allows lesser storage, it’s essential to have enough pockets to keep your important items at hand and safe. Besides, firearms and ammo need space to be carried in case of emergencies. 

Material Matters

Just as your regular loungewear needs to be of good material to be sustainable and comfy, your riding gear must be built with top-notch material for the best experience.

While beginners may argue that the material doesn’t really matter as long as it’s thick -we beg to differ. 

Premium and textured leather will actually save your life more than artificial leather ever will. We highly recommend getting cowhide or buffalo leather jackets for proper protection.

Types of Motorcycle Vests

Think there’s just one type of biker vest out there? Think again, buddy! Depending on your purpose, there are actually many different types of attire for motorcyclists.

And while they’re not as specific as a “please hire me” shirt, they’re pretty much made to fit their boxes just right. 

Here are some of the more popular ones:

Dual Sport Vests

Probably one of the more niche types of jackets is the dual-sport one. Always made with the most durable textiles, these are breathable and usually waterproof.

They’re designed to be worn in all temperatures so you’ll find them with insulating liners and longer coverage. 

Some also call these ADV (adventure vests) asthey’re worn for touring or sports. 

Racer Vests

The two most risky things motorcyclists get up to are- stunts and racing. But the plethora of risks doesn’t really stop the daredevils in us.

That’s why companies have come up with racing vests that are tailored to be thick, resistant to abrasions, and fit the body like a glove. 

You’ll rarely find pockets in them, and they’re made for mobility at high speeds.

Cruisers

Usually made with synthetic textiles and artificial leather, these are pieces meant for comfort and style more than being safety nets.

Their fits are a bit looser on the sides giving a more classic bike outlook. With more companies tapping into this type of outfit, they’ve started to become more protective as armor.

Street Style Jackets

Imagine these as the more relaxed versions of the typical race jackets. Their cuts are similar, and they’re designed to suit sports activities as well.

Moreover, their number of pockets is also scanty. But they have armors and weatherproofing features for more versatility.

By now, you’ve probably found a type that fits your niche and needs perfectly. 

Final Words

When the going gets tough, we bikers need the best motorcycle vest to keep going. And if you’re going to be a knight in shining armor, why not invest a bit to look the part? 

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