Best Winter Motorcycle Jackets Staff
by Staff

Dont let cold weather keep you from riding

Updated: November 2019

Winter is usually the time when most people put their motorcycles away for safe keeping, longing for the day when spring arrives and the riding season gets back in full swing. But the hardcore rider doesn’t let cold weather stop their riding (well, to a point). As it is in most cases, with the proper gear, riding in the cold isn’t so bad. Here, we’ve gathered 10 jackets that will help keep you warm once the mercury starts dropping. And since cold rides are often associated with wet rides, most of these jackets are at least water-resistant, if not waterproof.

The price ranges span a wide swath and you’ll have to decide which one is right for you. The observant among you will notice these jackets aren’t heated. This was for a reason, not least of which is the fact we’ve already written a Heated Gear Buyer’s Guide. Granted, if you absolutely love riding – but hate being cold – heated gear would be the way to go. That way you can dial in the exact amount of heat you want, head-to-toe. Yes, there are even heated footwear you can purchase to keep those toes nice and warm.

However, heated gear comes with its own complexities. You have to find a power source for them (most run off the motorcycle, but some are battery-powered), which, if you’re not electrically inclined, can be a chore. Also, you’re now tethered in some fashion to the motorcycle, which some people are opposed to on safety grounds. With non-heated gear, like the selection below, the tradeoff of not having cords or wires is the ability to be free on the motorcycle. And if you’re still cold, you have the option of bundling up and wear layers underneath.

No matter what you choose – heated gear or not – we strongly recommend wearing dedicated motorcycle apparel over your standard-issue heavy jacket or parka. While those things may provide warmth and/or waterproofing, neither will last very long when faced with protecting your skin from the pavement and in fact could cause even more harm than good should the material burn from friction with the ground, which then gets transmitted to you. Is a scenario like this likely to happen? Probably not, but why take that chance?

Now, presented to you in alphabetical order, here are our picks.

Table of Contents

Aerostich Competition Falstaff Jacket – $667

There’s no mistaking the Aerostich design motif with the Competition Falstaff jacket. Made from 10.5-ounce English waxed cotton (the non-Competition version uses 8.25-ounce), it’s a great material to stand up to cold and inclement weather, as is evidenced by the material’s use in the commercial fishing industry. Like your dad’s old pickup truck, waxed cotton develops a cool patina as it ages and gets worn. Inside you’ll find a thick plaid cotton liner to keep you warm, as well as a soft suede collar to fit comfortably around your neck. Impact protection is via Aerostich’s TF3 or TF6 technical armor (you can choose) in the shoulders, elbows, and back. When the weather does warm up again, vents under the arm and on the back help move air, and big pockets inside, at the breast, and on the back give you plenty of room to store stuff. Available in black or brown, sizes 36-54.

Alpinestars Andes V2 Drystar Jacket – $270

The Alpinestars Andes V2 is a good example of what you’ll see throughout this list: jackets meant for sport-touring or adventure-style motorcycles, as these are the kind of riders that don’t get easily deterred by bad weather. With the Andes V2 a reinforced poly-fabric textile shell is backed by Alpinestars’ exclusive Drystar membrane to keep water out while still being somewhat breathable. Inside, a 100g thermal liner (80g at the sleeves) helps keep heat trapped. If things start to get too hot, direct ventilation zips open to provide a clear path for air to cool the body. Protection-wise, removable CE-certified elbow and shoulder protectors come standard, and there are pockets for optional chest and back protection. Waterproof cargo pockets in the front are huge, and the utility pocket in the back is even bigger – big enough to stash away the internal liner once the temperature changes. Reflective piping and bold colorways like this one make it hard not to be seen. Available in size SM-4XL and in five different colorways.

Held Carese II Gore-Tex Jacket – $849

Designed with sport and adventure touring in mind, the Held Carese II Jacket delivers year-round functionality along with impressive styling. Constructed with zippered direct venting on the front, back, and arms for warm weather, and for cold or wet weather, the removable Gore-Tex liner has you covered. The inner lining is provided by CoolMax breathable mesh. Crash protection comes from Held Cloverleaf SAS-TEC shoulder and elbow armor. A Temperfoam back pad is included, and an optional back protector is available. Waterproof external pockets carry your little essentials. The outer shell is constructed from 500D DuPont Cordura. Rider comfort is handled by shoulder stretch panels and a waist belt, along with dual arm adjustments. Of course, there is a soft collar and reflective 3M Scotchlite material. The Held Carese II Jacket is available in sizes S-3XL in the following colors: black, grey-black, grey-blue, grey-orange, and grey-red.

Klim Adventure Rally Jacket – $1700 – $1800

With a price tag starting at $1700, the Klim Adventure Rally Gore-Tex jacket pulls out all the stops. If the name didn’t give it away, this is one of the most advanced Adventure jackets out there, so it’ll also serve you well if simply sport-touring is your thing. Gore-Tex Three-Layer Pro Shell Armacor construction on the exterior means the jacket is both tough and waterproof. Further abrasion resistance comes from Gore-Tex three-layer Pro Talisman Superfabric placed in the shoulder and elbow areas – the spots most susceptible to road rash. By virtue of its sturdy construction and liberal layers of Gore-Tex, the Adventure Rally does a good job of keeping cold out. Inside, a moisture-wicking mesh internal liner adds another layer that’ll serve the rider well in varying conditions. Impact protection comes from D3O Xergo CE level 2 pads on the shoulders and elbows, and D3O Viper Pro CE level 2 padding at the back. Being an adventure jacket, storage is not an issue. There are no less than 10 pockets – and that’s just on the outside. Internally there are three more pockets to stash valuables. It’s compatible with various hydration systems and even comes with its own three-liter reservoir. Hardcore ADV riders will appreciate the neck brace-compatible collar system. There are a myriad of adjustment straps all over to tailor the fit to your liking, and vents in the torso, underarms, and back help move air when the weather gets warmer. It’s only available in this grey color in size SM-3XL.

Merlin Yoxall Wax Jacket – $300

Traditional ADV jackets not for you? No problem. A classic British four-pocket design featuring diamond embossing across the shoulders, the Merlin Yoxall jacket is all about functional style, and is equally at home on or off the motorcycle. Halley Stevensons Scottish waxed cotton provides the distinctive outer shell, which provides natural weather resistance and ages gracefully over time. Further waterproofing comes by way of the Reissa waterproof, breathable membrane. All of this keeps the elements out while a removable 100g full (upper) body thermal liner with Marton Mills tarton panels not only looks classy but keeps you warm, too. Protection comes from CE level 1 padding in the shoulder and elbow and there’s a pocket for an optional back protector. There are vents both front and rear for better airflow on warmer rides, and in case you couldn’t tell, there are pockets everywhere. Lastly, there are adjustments for the waist, bicep, forearm, hem, collar, and cuff. Available in either black or brown in sizes SM-3XL.

REV’IT! Sand 3 Jacket – $500

An upgrade to the popular Sand 2 Jacket, the Sand 3 offers 4-season functionality while refusing to compromise on any single season. For hot weather, the polyester shell offers longer zippers to open enlarged areas of 3D mesh to the airflow. For wet weather, the waterproof layer is completely removable for better dry weather breathability. The thermal liner is also removable and can be carried in the roomy back pocket. Combine all the layers for the cold and wet or remove them all for a free-breathing summer jacket. The zippers allow for fine tuning of all temperatures in between the extremes. Seeflex CE Level 2 protection is included at the shoulders and elbows, while the jacket can accept the optional Seesoft Back Protector-Type RV. The Sand 3 can also accept Challenger Cooling Vest and Hi-Viz Connector Vest for even more versatility. Finally, either the Leatt or Moveo neck brace can be accommodated. The REV’IT! Sand 3 is available in sizes S-4XL. The color combinations are: black, black-blue, sand-black, and silver-anthracite.

Rukka Spektria Women’s Jacket – $1100

Rukka stuff ain’t cheap, but Rukka also throws everything, including the kitchen sink, at its jackets and the Spektria women’s jacket is a perfect example. The stretch polyamide shell is laminated with three layers of Gore-Tex, resulting in a shell that’s lighter and less bulky than less expensive jackets with a separate Gore-Tex layer. And of course, the jacket is waterproof and breathable. Armacor at the shoulder and elbows are an extra layer against road rash. To keep the rider’s body temp under control, the removable 60g insulation also features Outlast material that absorbs, stores, and releases body heat – slowing the rate of change for body temperature within a person’s own microclimate. If this technology sounds out of this world, it’s because it practically is – Outlast material was originally developed for NASA. Unlike most other jackets, CE level 1 D3O armor is used in the shoulder and elbows, while a CE level 2 protector is used for the back. Most jackets have it the other way around, if they include CE-rated back protection at all. Two waterproof external pockets are backed by two waterproof internal pockets, with yet another (non-waterproof) pocket inside the liner. Available in black or black/pink in sizes 34-46.

Scorpion Yosemite Hi-Viz Jacket – $390 – $405

As mentioned earlier, most jackets that can handle the cold are also built to handle the other three seasons, too. The Scorpion Yosemite is a perfect example. Inside the 500 denier shell (with 1680 denier in abrasion zones), you’ll find a full sleeve AirGuard waterproof/windproof liner and a full sleeve EverHeat thermal liner – just to make sure the elements stay away. Once the temps warm up, huge panels across the chest and back open up to reveal ventilation zones for airflow (take out the liners for full effect). For impact protection you’ll find CE level 2 armor in the shoulders and elbows, with the latter being adjustable for a better fit. A foam back pad can up upgraded to a level 2 Sas-Tec protector, sold separately. In case you didn’t see it before, the hi-viz yellow helps others see you in low visibility situations. There’s a total of four pockets up front, a huge cargo in the rear, and an internal waterproof pocket in the liner to store whatever items you need to bring. Available only in this hi-viz yellow colorway, in sizes SM-3XL.

Spidi Firebird Jacket – $650

If you’re simply looking for a classic jacket that can handle the cold, yet looks good both on and off the motorcycle, Spidi’s Firebird jacket ticks all the right boxes. Underneath the understated classic design and soft 0.9mm Nubuck leather lies a removable 100g thermal liner. But what really makes the Firebird standout in the cold is the fake fur liner on the collar to help trap heat that would otherwise escape from your neck (don’t worry, it’s removable). Robust armor sits in the shoulder and elbows to help protect from impact, while the pocket in the back is made to accept an optional level 1 or 2 back protector. Flex joints and accordion paneling are placed in key areas to help with natural movement, while a clip allows the wearer to attach the jacket to their normal pants. The Spidi Firebird is available in just this brown color, in sizes 46-58.

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2 of 7 comments
  • Hailey Arnold Hailey Arnold on Nov 06, 2019

    I think you guys left out some pretty underrated men's jackets by Rev'it in favor of the Sand 3. Several other styles have laminated Goretex shells, which is the best lightweight, breathable, completely waterproof material out there (this is the same sort of material Klim is known and loved for). Laminated Goretex shells are SO much better than a waterproof inner liners. They completely shield you from rain, they're less bulky, lighter-weight, and allow you to layer more appropriate warm midlayers underneath. Best of all, they're not going to soak up any water or require time to dry out after a ride.

    The Dominator GTX for hardcore ADV riders easily competes with the top-tier Klim jackets, with better adjustability for a slimmer fit. The Poseidon 2 GTX is a great jacket for touring and commuting, with low-profile-yet-complete protection and a cozy detachable "storm collar" to comfortably shield your neck from wind and rain.
    My personal favorite is the minimalist Trench GTX jacket, though. It's really stylish, comfortable, and simple. It's got the features you need without the extra bulk or fanfare. It's also pretty reasonably priced for a high-end Goretex jacket!
    They all come with removable insulative liners too.

    I love to see more brands moving towards laminated Goretex shells. Hopefully in the future, top-tier brands will do away with removable internal "waterproof" liners entirely...

  • RT RT on Jan 15, 2020

    Aerostitch suit. Forget the rest.