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Motorcycle Jackets: Leather vs. Textile – Which is Right for You?

Is your motorcycle jacket whispering sweet promises of wind-whipped freedom, but leaving you tangled in the thorny debate of leather versus textile? Fear not, asphalt crusaders! This guide is your pit stop for navigating the intricacies of motorcycle fashion and function. Prepare to rip through myths, peel back layers of features, and find the perfect jacket that matches your motorcycle riding gear under a budget.

So, buckle up, gearheads, and let’s dissect the leather vs. textile showdown. By the end, you’ll be ready to roar away with the perfect jacket, feeling both fierce and fabulous.

Leather Motorcycle Jackets:


Leather jackets are renowned for their durability and abrasion resistance. They provide excellent protection in case of accidents and have a timeless, classic look that many riders adore.


However, leather jackets can be heavy and less breathable than their textile counterparts. They may also require more maintenance to keep their pristine appearance.

Textile Motorcycle Jackets: 


Textile jackets excel in versatility and comfort. They are often lighter, more breathable, and come with advanced features like waterproofing and ventilation, making them suitable for various weather conditions.


On the downside, textile jackets may not offer the same level of abrasion resistance as leather. They may not age as gracefully, and some riders prefer the classic aesthetic of leather.

Factors to Consider While choosing Leather or Textile Jackets:

When choosing between leather and textile, consider factors such as riding conditions, budget, and personal style preferences. Leather jackets might be ideal for colder climates, while textile jackets shine in warmer weather.

Comfort and Fit: Regardless of the material, a well-fitted jacket is crucial for comfort and safety. Knowing how to choose the right size and style ensures you get the maximum protection without compromising your riding experience.

Safety Features: Both leather and textile jackets come with various safety features. Leather jackets often have built-in armor and extra padding, while textile jackets may incorporate advanced materials for impact protection.

Maintenance and Durability: Taking care of your motorcycle jacket is essential for its longevity. Leather jackets demand proper conditioning, while textile jackets may need special attention to maintain their waterproofing and other features.

Fashion and Style: Beyond functionality, motorcycle jackets are a style statement. Leather jackets have a timeless, rugged appeal, while textile jackets offer a more modern and customizable look. 

Popular Brands and Models: Discovering reputable brands is crucial when investing in a motorcycle jacket. We’ll highlight some top brands and models for both leather and textile, ensuring you make a well-informed decision.

Top Brands and Models for Leather Riding Gear:

Leather offers excellent abrasion resistance and weather protection, making it a popular choice for motorcycle riders. Here are some top brands and models to consider:

Sport Riding:

  • Dainese D-Air Smart Jacket: This high-tech jacket features an airbag system that automatically deploys in a crash, offering superior protection.


  • Alpinestars Atem V4 Suit: This one-piece suit is constructed from premium kangaroo leather and incorporates Alpinestars’ advanced protection technologies.


  • REV’IT Apex Leather Suit: This suit offers excellent value for money, combining high-quality leather with features like pre-curved sleeves and CE-approved armor.

Touring Riding:

  • Belstaff Hyde Transit Jacket: This stylish jacket is made from water-resistant leather and features a removable thermal liner for all-weather comfort.
  • Klim Badlands Pro Jacket: This jacket is packed with features for long-distance touring, including waterproof ventilation panels and ample cargo space. 
  • Schuberth 1903 Gear: This brand offers a range of classic-style leather jackets and pants that are perfect for touring.

Cruiser Riding:

  • Vanson Leathers Legend Jacket: This iconic jacket is made from thick cowhide leather and features a timeless design.
  • Indian Motorcycle Chieftain Jacket: This jacket is made from premium leather and features Indian’s signature branding.
  • Harley-Davidson Road King Classic Leather Jacket: This jacket is a classic Harley style with all the durability and comfort you expect.

Top Brands and Models for Textile Riding Gear:

Textile gear offers good weather protection and breathability, making it a comfortable choice for warmer climates. Here are some top brands and models to consider:

Sport Riding:

  • Dainese D-TEC Course Tex Jacket: This jacket is made from abrasion-resistant Cordura® and features a removable waterproof liner.
  • Rev’It Mantis Jacket: This jacket features a sporty design and incorporates Rev’It’s SEEFLEX™ armor for excellent protection.

Rev’It Mantis Jacket

  • Alpinestars T-GP Plus R V3 Jacket: This jacket offers excellent value for money and features a comfortable pre-curved fit.

Touring Riding:

  • Klim Adventure Rally GTX Jacket: This jacket is packed with features for adventure touring, including waterproof ventilation panels, ample cargo space, and removable armor.
  • Spidi 4Season Evo Jacket: This jacket features a modular design that can be adapted to any weather condition.
  • Held EvoTech GTX Suit: This one-piece suit is made from high-quality Cordura® and features a waterproof Gore-Tex® liner.

Cruiser Riding:

  • Tourmaster Sentinel Textile Jacket: This jacket offers excellent value for money and features a waterproof liner and removable armor.
  • Firstgear Kilimanjaro Jacket: This jacket is made from durable Cordura® and features a classic cruiser style.
  • Joe Rocket Phoenix 5.0 Jacket: This jacket features a relaxed fit and plenty of pockets for storage.

Remember, the best motorcycle gear is the gear that fits you well and is comfortable to wear. Be sure to try on different brands and models before making a purchase.


Leather Jacket:


  1. Protection: Leather provides excellent abrasion resistance, making it a top choice for protection in case of a slide or fall.
  2. Durability: Leather jackets are generally more durable and can withstand wear and tear over an extended period.
  3. Style: Leather jackets are often associated with a classic and stylish look, appealing to many riders.
  4. Weather Resistance: Leather offers good wind resistance, providing some insulation against colder temperatures.


  1. Weight: Leather jackets can be heavier than their textile counterparts, which may be less comfortable for some riders.
  2. Breathability: Leather may not be as breathable as textile, making it less suitable for hot weather or long rides in warm conditions.
  3. Maintenance: Leather requires regular maintenance, such as conditioning and cleaning, to keep it in good condition.
  4. Cost: Genuine leather jackets are usually more expensive than textile jackets.

Textile Jacket:


  1. Versatility: Textile jackets are often more versatile and adaptable to various weather conditions. Many come with removable liners and ventilation options.
  2. Weight: Textile jackets are generally lighter than leather jackets, providing more comfort, especially on long rides.
  3. Breathability: Textile materials are often more breathable than leather, making them suitable for warmer weather.
  4. Cost: Textile jackets are usually more affordable than leather jackets.


  1. Abrasion Resistance: While modern textile materials offer good abrasion resistance, they may not be as durable as leather in this aspect.
  2. Style: Textile jackets may not have the same classic or stylish appearance as leather jackets, which may be a factor for some riders.
  3. Maintenance: While easier to clean than leather, textile jackets may still require some maintenance to keep them in good condition.

In the end, the choice between a leather and textile jacket depends on your personal preferences, riding style, and the conditions you typically ride in. Some riders may prefer the classic look and maximum protection of leather, while others may prioritize the versatility, comfort, and affordability offered by textile jackets. It’s essential to consider your specific needs and the type of riding you’ll be doing when deciding.

Wrapping Up!

Choosing the right motorcycle jacket is a decision that impacts your safety, comfort, and style. Whether you opt for the timeless appeal of leather or the versatility of textiles, ensure your choice aligns with your riding needs and personal preferences.

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