What Is The Best Armored Motorcycle Jacket?​

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Many motorcyclists wouldn’t think about jumping on their bike without putting on a helmet first, closely followed by a jacket. Making sure your jacket is optimized to help keep you protected isn’t something you might be thinking about when you’re keen to get out on the open road, but choosing the right kind of protection for riding can make a huge difference.

Designed specifically to protect against impact and abrasion in the event of an accident, armored motorcycle jackets are made with bikers’ needs in mind. With plenty of stylish, comfortable options to choose from, get to grips with what to look for in terms of safety, and how to find the right jacket for you. 

What is an armored motorcycle jacket? 

Armored motorcycle jackets are built with durable materials and include impact protection pads to keep motorcyclists protected and comfortable out on the road, track, or trail. 

Specially-designed armor pads are placed in the key areas of protection, such as the shoulders, elbows, back, and chest. The impact protection pads are usually secured in internal pockets, so they can be removed for washing or upgrades. 

Jackets that feature D3O® impact protection offer soft and flexible protection without any compromise on safety or rider comfort. Armored motorcycle jackets also typically feature reinforced stitching, and are made from hard-wearing materials like leather or technical textiles to help prevent abrasion damage. 

Depending on the specific needs of a motorcyclist, a variety of jacket styles and fits can be found. Whatever style you’re looking for, always check that the jacket features CE-certified limb and back impact protection to a minimum of EN 1621-1:2012  Level 1. By combining D3O® armor with specialized materials, armored motorcycle jackets help to keep bikers safe, as well as looking and feeling great. 

Why wear an armored motorcycle jacket?

Just like a helmet or any other motorcycle protection such as reinforced shoes and pants, armored motorcycle jackets help keep bikers safe in the event of an accident. The impact protection padding found within motorcycle jackets does this by absorbing the force of impact caused by contact with the road or rough terrain. This makes it less likely for motorcyclists to experience serious injuries as a result of a crash or fall. 

Having high quality impact protection which is CE certified (or UKCA equivalent) to the PPE Regulation 2016/425 in accordance with the  EN1621 series of standards, like that on offer by D3O, can mean the difference between a minor injury and a serious accident. D3O® armor is soft and flexible, meaning it’s protective without restricting a motorcyclist’s freedom of movement. It’s easy to see why it’s a favorite for riders looking for maximum protection and minimum restriction. 

Reinforced and hard-wearing materials, like leather or Kevlar-woven textiles, also help in the event of a crash. Reducing the risk of abrasion injuries, specific motorcycle jacket materials work with the impact protection to provide overall safety and protection for bikers.

As well as helping motorcyclists stay protected, armored motorcycle jackets have features that help bikers stay comfortable. Summer jackets are made from breathable fabrics that keep motorcyclists cool, while winter jackets are weatherproof and insulated to keep motorcyclists riding no matter how tough the elements. Extra features like reflectors, removable fleece lining, and interior pockets are all bonuses, so consider what you want to use your jacket for and how many extras you’re keen to have. 

How to find the best armored motorcycle jacket

With a huge range of armored motorcycle jackets to choose from, it can be difficult to narrow down the options and find the best one for your needs. While on the search for your ideal jacket, make sure you consider the below:

  • CE/UKCA certification. Checking if the armor pads in motorcycle jackets have CE or UKCA certification, meeting the performance requirements of EN1621, means motorcyclists can trust in their impact absorption. A CE/UKCA mark means the product meets the required laws for sale in that market, so it’s a good sign of quality.
  • Level 1 or 2. Choose the right level of protection for your riding. Most armored motorcycle jackets will be equipped with EN 1621-1:2012 Level 1 impact protection as standard, but there’s often the option to upgrade to level 2 if required. Matching the level to the type of riding you’ll be doing is key to keeping you safe. Level 2 armor is up to 50% more protective than Level 1 and is used by professional track racers, so it’s a great choice if you want the very best level of protection.
  • AAA-A classes. AAA, AA or A classes of jackets are what you should be looking for when purchasing. The AAA-A class covers the whole garment, not just the impact protection or specific features. It means the jacket has undergone rigorous testing on the materials, impact protection, comfort, fit and more to certify it. AAA-A classed jackets will also have been tested to EN 17092, which is the overall garment standard for testing. 

As a general rule:

AAA jackets. The highest standard possible, these jackets feature EN1621 Level 1 or Level 2 impact protection across the elbows and shoulders. AAA jackets also are likely to include back and chest protection as optional extras for further safety while riding. They will feature the most robust materials for abrasion resistance and will be designed for optimal rider comfort and wear. EN17902-2:2020 certification should also be present for this abrasion rating. 

AA jackets. Best suited for touring or longer road trips. AA rated jackets also feature EN1621 Level 1 impact protection at the shoulders and elbows. A back protector will also often be present. Materials will have greater abrasion resistance and may include features like reinforced stitching. The EN 17092-3:2020 certification should be present. 

A jackets. Suitable for urban or commuter riding. They should feature EN1621 Level 1 impact protection at the elbows and shoulders. Materials could be a lightweight or supple leather, or a textile with some woven abrasion resistance. EN 17902-4:2020 is the most commonly found rating for A class jackets. 

  • Comfortable fit. To keep you protected, your jacket should fit closely but not so tightly it restricts movement. It should cover your whole torso and have sleeves long enough to reach your wrists. Women’s and men’s jackets are specifically designed to fit these body types accurately, so it’s worth shopping around for one that’s best suited to your shape. Most importantly, check your impact protection and padding is sitting in the correct places. If it’s too low, high, or not giving enough coverage, look for a jacket with adjustment options or try a different size. 

  • Suitable style. Whatever your preferred style, there are a variety of armored motorcycle jackets out there to meet your needs, including leather or textile jackets that wouldn’t look out of place when you’re away from your bike. 

  • Material. Leather and reinforced textiles are the most common materials for motorcycle jackets. Each type offers different levels of breathability, waterproofing, and abrasion resistance. Check that materials are covered by the AAA-A class system and EN17902 for surety. Garment materials also need to conform to EN ISO 13688:2013, meaning they do not contain, release or degrade to leach harmful substances.

  • Ventilation. To keep motorcyclists protected from the weather, jackets may have multiple layers. Making sure some of these layers are made of lighter mesh, are removable, or have flaps that can be opened will help keep you at the right temperature whatever weather you’re riding in. Protection plays an important part too - opt for D3O​​® armor with built-in airflow, such as LP1 (level 1) or LP2 Pro (level 2) shoulder and elbow protectors, Viper Stealth (level 1) or Viper Pro (level 2) or BP4 level 1/2 back protectors, and CP1 chest protectors. 

  • Climate. If you mainly ride in sunny and dry conditions, then it's unlikely you’re going to need a winter motorcycle jacket with extra layers and thicker fabrics. Taking the climate where you ride into account will help you find a jacket that will keep you dry and comfortable.

  • Visibility. For safety on the road, you need to be seen as well as protected. Reflective stripes, lights, and lighter colors will all help you to be spotted if the weather takes a turn for the worse or after nightfall. 

The best armored motorcycle jackets

If you’re not sure where to start your search for a quality armored motorcycle jacket, then the below options offer premium D3O® protection as well as stylish comfort. 

Klim Badlands Pro A3 Jacket

No adventure ride is too extreme for the Badlands Pro A3 Jacket. A limited-edition version of the best-selling Badlands Pro jacket, its sage-colored softshell fabrics are strong and highly durable, while still being breathable and waterproof. It offers plenty of storage options, moisture-wicking mesh, waterproof fabric and abrasion resistance.  With custom-built Aero Pro D3O® CE EN1621-1:2012 level 2 armor in the shoulders and elbows and a D3O® Viper Pro back protector (rated to CE EN1621-2:2014 level 2), this jacket is sure to keep you cool as you ride and covered in the event of an accident. Class AAA and CE EN17092-2:2020 for overall safety, the Klim Badlands Pro A3 is one of the best protected jackets available on the market.

Klim Artemis Jacket 

Available in a range of colors and sizes, the Artemis Jacket is engineered for women, based on crowd-sourced feedback. Redesigned for greater abrasion resistance, more storage, better mobility and ventilation, the specially-designed fabrics are just as protective, but without the bulk. Cross core vents and a springless collar have also been added after feedback from female motorcyclists. The D3O® elbow, shoulder and back protectors are certified to CE EN1621-1:2012 Level 1 and can be upgraded to CE EN1621-2:2014 Level 2 as required. The Klim Artemis is AA class and rated CE EN 17092-3:2020, making it a fantastic option for touring riders. Available in three colors and with added reflective strips, the Artemis jacket is perfect for female bikers who want comfort, protection, and a great ride.

Icon Airform Jacket

The Icon Airform Jacket will mean you’re prepared for casual and everyday riding. With an iconic hood that can be stowed away safely when riding, this jacket also has a WP1 level of waterproofing to protect motorcyclists from sudden showers and four vents to keep them cool in the summer. Plus, breathable D3O® LP1 impact protection on the shoulders and elbows and the Viper Stealth back will help you stay comfortable and safe in any season. The Airform is tested and certified to CE EN17092-4:2020 Class A. With a sporty shape offering close-fit protection without being tight or bulky, the Airform is great for riding in all seasons and weather.

Icon Tuscadero2

Lightweight, flexible and high-quality, the Tuscadero2 looks like a high street jacket but has all the protection casual motorcyclists need. Designed to fit women, an insulated vest liner and perforated laser panels will keep riders feeling good in any weather. CE EN1621-1:2012 Level 1 certified D3O® LP1 Armor is featured across the shoulders and elbows and a Viper back is in place to protect from impacts. the Tuscadero2 is a great choice for both style and protection. 

Richa Bodyguard 2 Jacket

If you’re looking for a summer jacket that’s versatile, the Bodyguard 2 jacket from Richa will keep you looking and feeling cool. This unisex, slim-fitting armored jacket comes with optional waterproofing, and integrated reflective details to help you stay visible in dark conditions. The Level 2 D3O shoulder and elbow pads, along with the Viper Central back protector provide breathable protection. Complete with a CE EN1621-1:2012 Level 1 removable chest protector, the Bodyguard 2 gives you safety and security as you ride.

Furygan Houston V3 Leather Jacket

For a cool and classic biker look with integrated impact and abrasion protection, choose the Furygan Houston V3. Made from cowhide leather, the Houston V3 is an updated version of Furygan’s classic jacket. With effortless biker cool looks, this is an all-season option perfect for commuting and casual riders. The thermal lining is removable, and the outer jacket is shower-proof thanks to the waxed fabric. Equipped with D3O® CE EN1621-1:2012 Level 1 shoulder and elbow protection, and featuring built-in pockets ready for you to add a Furygan ##D3O​​## back protector or Furygan D3O® chest protector, you can trust that this jacket will keep you comfortable and safe. 

Explore more D3O partners and products on the D3O website to find an armored motorcycle jacket that will keep you not only protected, but also feeling and looking great, no matter what.