MO Tested: Alpinestars Brera Airflow Jacket Review

Evans Brasfield
by Evans Brasfield

A basic vented leather jacket that's not so basic

Summer is upon us, and that means that vented gear is in high demand. While the options of flashy, multicolored sporty bike jackets are numerous, finding a good looking black vented jacket that can be worn on a variety of motorcycle types can be a challenge. The Alpinestars Brera Airflow Jacket is a great option for someone looking for a classically styled black (or brown) leather jacket in a slim, European fit.


The Brera Airflow is constructed of a leather shell in a natural finish in either black or brown. Straight out of the box, the leather is supple yet still sturdy. The perforated front, back, and inner sleeve panels deliver plenty of airflow when you’re moving, though at a stop, you’ll still get warm. The cut of the jacket is a slim fit that forms to your body without limiting movement. The pre-curved sleeves and expansion panels on the shoulders allow the jacket to naturally fit the rider’s arms in a riding position without binding. The waist of the jacket has a five-inch zippered flaps on each side of the lower back to accommodate those of us who are a little fuller in the midsection.

The suppleness of the leather is especially noticeable at the mandarin collar where stiff leather would irritate the neck.

Aside from the abrasion resistance provided by the leather, the Brera Airflow comes with slim-fitting, extremely flexible Bio Armor in the shoulders and elbows. Of course, the armor is CE certified and removable – though I don’t know why you’d want to. The jacket comes with a back pad for comfort, but I upgraded to the Alpinestars Nucleon KR–1i Hybrid Back Protector Insert ($79.95) for CE Level 2 spine protection. Constructed of a hard shell and energy absorbing foam, the Nucleon has tons of venting holes so that it can also flow cooling air.

Inside the jacket there are three pockets for carrying necessities. The zippered left side chest pocket is deep enough to handle large-sized smartphones – as is the snapped one on the right side. A third unclosed pocket is in the lower right part of the jacket. The two zippered exterior handwarmer pockets feature leather pull tabs to ease operation. The sleeves have zippered closures that are adjustable with snaps for a better fit.

The Brera Airflow comes with a comfort pad for back protection, but we upgraded to this Nucleon KR–1i Hybrid Back Protector Insert for additional protection.

I’ve been riding with the Alpinestars Brera Airflow jacket for the better part of 10 months, and from the moment I first donned it, the jacket felt like I’d been wearing it for years. Within a few weeks, the sleeves took on that creased look that leather gets when it’s broken in. The fit is slim, and I would recommend trying it on before buying, though the Euro 54 sizing feels accurate. I highly recommend the Alpinestars Brera Airflow Jacket for riders who are looking for a sophisticated variation on the classic black (or brown) leather jacket.

The Alpinestars Brera Airflow Jacket is available in European sizes 46–60 in either black or brown for $499.95. Remember, you might want to add in the cost of the Alpinestars Nucleon KR–1i Hybrid Back Protector Insert ($79.95) if you desire armored spine protection.

The embossed Alpinestars logo on the shoulder is a nice touch.


Evans Brasfield
Evans Brasfield

Like most of the best happenings in his life, Evans stumbled into his motojournalism career. While on his way to a planned life in academia, he applied for a job at a motorcycle magazine, thinking he’d get the opportunity to write some freelance articles. Instead, he was offered a full-time job in which he discovered he could actually get paid to ride other people’s motorcycles – and he’s never looked back. Over the 25 years he’s been in the motorcycle industry, Evans has written two books, 101 Sportbike Performance Projects and How to Modify Your Metric Cruiser, and has ridden just about every production motorcycle manufactured. Evans has a deep love of motorcycles and believes they are a force for good in the world.

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