Written By
Published Aug. 3, 2021

The sun is shining, the weather is warm, it’s officially summer, and that means it’s riding season. As much as you want to head out in your t-shirt and shorts, you know this is a terrible idea. Being a responsible rider means wearing the necessary protective gear. However, if you’re anything like us, you’re not looking forward to wearing your heavy leather jacket. 

What you need is a summer jacket. It combines all of the safety and protective features you need with the cooling comfort you crave. Say goodbye to sweat rolling down your back as you sit at a stoplight. No more arriving at your destination in a sweaty mess. These summer motorcycle jackets will have you making the most of your warm-weather riding season.

The Best Motorcycle Jackets For Summer

Ensuring you can keep cool and dry on a long ride is one of essentials of a summer motorcycle jacket and with its FreeAir polyester/mesh shell the Phoenix is a breath of fresh air. The outer mesh construction provides a cooling airflow to pass through, helping to keep the temperature down as you ride. But this is not a loose jacket; the fit is slim and looks super-smart, and has all the essential body protection you need. The shell is reinforced at the shoulders, elbows, and ribs, and there is quality armor at the shoulders and elbows without weighing the whole jacket down. You also get sculpted high-density padding over the kidneys and lower back. There is a removable waterproof liner and a secure front zipper, as well as pant attachments as well as enough pockets for your essentials. Available in a choice of 13 colorways and at our budget’s mid-price point, this smart, lightweight, and well-made mesh summer riding jacket ticks all the right boxes to be our review’s Best Choice.

Key Features
  • FreeAir poly/mesh reinforced shell
  • CE approved armor at shoulders/elbows
  • High-density padding at lower back
  • Removable waterproof liner
  • Snap loops pant attachment
Specification
  • Brand Joe Rocket
  • Model 851-4004
  • Weight 2.3 pounds

Designed for warm weather riding and with the look of a racing rider, the T-GP Plus is a handsome lightweight motorcycle jacket that boasts a host of keep-it-cool features. Made from durable and abrasion-resistant polyester, the outer shell has mesh panels on the torso and arms to improve airflow while the full mesh lining boosts internal ventilation to help overheating. Velcro fixtures on the wrists and waist let you fine-tune the fit, while a full circumference bottom zipper makes fastening to Alpinestar pants a breeze. When it comes to rider protection, the T-GP Plus has the bases covered, with elbow and shoulder protectors as well chest and back PE foam padding, which can be upgraded to a full chest/back protector. In four colorways – variants on black and grey – bold white reflective stripes ensure you are always seen. For just shy of $250, you get a solid protective hot weather motorcycle jacket that is effective in keeping you cool on a hot ride.

Key Features
  • 450/600 denier polyester shell
  • Mesh panels and liner
  • Adjustable Velcro at wrist and waist
  • Elbow and shoulder protectors
  • PE foam padding on chest and back
Specification
  • Brand Alpine Stars
  • Model 3300617123L
  • Weight 4.19 pounds

With a tough leather styling, the Atomic’s outer shell is actually made out of Tock Tex and Hitena for an impact-resistant summer motorcycle jacket that looks the part. Pretty lightweight, the Atomic is a good entry-level buy if you are on a budget but want the performance of a more expensive jacket. This jacket knows how to keep its cool, thanks to variable flow ventilation that has a ‘wind tunnel’ cooling system to take some of the heat out of summer riding. But it is also adaptable, thanks to the waterproofed outer shell and removable insulated sleeve liner, and can up its thermal game when the temperatures drop. Add in the shoulder and elbow armor, as well as removable spine armor and you, get the right level of protection to boot. You also get a choice of 11 smart colorways and enough adjustors to get your preferred fit. For a smaller budget, this is a pretty good buy to add to your summer motorcycle gear shopping list.

Key Features
  • Rock Tex/Hitena outer shell
  • Spine, shoulder and elbow armor
  • Variable Flow ventilation system
  • Waterproof outer and zippers
  • Removable waterproof liner
Specification
  • Brand Joe Rocket
  • Model 1651-5005
  • Weight 5 pounds

Enjoy maximum airflow in this high tensile nylon summer jacket. It features oversized high tensile mesh panels on the torso, back, biceps, and forearms. The design directs air into the jacket, around your body, and out the back. You’ll have extra abrasion protection at the impact points, thanks to reinforced panels of nylon. It also has elbow and shoulder impact armor and a pocket for an added back protector. A removable waterproof liner helps make the jacket wearable when you are surprised by a sudden summer shower. You’ll appreciate the comfort features, such as the attack fit articulated arms, hook-and-loop closure cuffs, and a low-profile collar with Lycra comfort lining.

Unfortunately, this jacket lacks pockets. It only has two zippered hand pockets. It could also have more reflective detailing for better visibility. There are five color options, but they are all plain-looking.

Key Features
  • High tensile nylon construction
  • Removable waterproof liner
  • Mesh airflow panels at forearms, biceps, torso, and back
  • Attack fit
  • Included shoulder and elbow armor
Specification
  • Brand Speed and Strength
  • Model Hot Head
  • Weight Three Pounds

Enjoy style and function with this simple yet protective motorcycle jacket. It features a durable mesh polyester 600 Denier outer shell. Protecting your shoulders and elbows is Knox CE Level 1 armor. A CE Level 2 SeeSoft back protector is sold separately. Riders that sit in a more upright riding position will find this jacket comfortable thanks to the touring fit. There are adjustment straps to help you customize the fit. Ventilation panels encourage airflow, while a double jeans look keeps the jacket securely in place while riding. There are two slit pockets on the front and one inner pocket for your valuables.

One drawback of this jacket is that it doesn’t come with a back protector. You’ll need to buy one separately and add it to the jacket. The sizing also runs small, so you’ll want to size up from what the size chart lists.

Key Features
  • Mesh polyester 600D
  • Knox CE Level 1 armor at shoulders and elbows
  • Touring fit
  • Double jeans loop
  • Ventilation panels
Specification
  • Brand REV'IT
  • Model Eclipse
  • Weight N/A

Own the road on your sportbike with this high-end summer jacket. It features an innovative construction of Duratex and Boomerang fabric. This jacket will hug your body like a second layer of skin thanks to the elasticated fabric inserts and adjustments on the neck, wrist, and waist. The perforations throughout the fabric encourage airflow. Add the removable windproof insert and wear it throughout the year. Standout additions are the aluminum inserts on the shoulders and the composite protectors certified to EN 1621.1/97 Standard on the shoulders and elbows. Additional pockets on the back and chest let you add more protection. There are two outside pockets and one inner pocket.

One potential drawback of this jacket is the price. It’s noticeably more expensive than other jackets on this list. However, you get your money’s worth with top-notch safety and comfort features. This jacket is designed for the serious rider and less so for the weekend hobbyist.

Key Features
  • Duratex and Boomerang fabric
  • Removable windproof insert
  • Aluminum shoulder sliders
  • Composite protectors certified to EN 1621.1/97 Standard
  • Neck, wrist, and waist adjustments
Specification
  • Brand Dainese
  • Model Super Speed
  • Weight N/A

Stay cool and comfortable in this affordable jacket. It has an ultra-flow mesh shell that’s constructed of 600D material. Protecting your shoulders and elbows are CE-rated armor shells. An inner airflow mesh lining helps to create space that encourages airflow throughout the jacket for maximum circulation. You’ll appreciate the security of the pockets with their zipper closures. Both the front and internal pockets are zippered. A standout feature is your ability to adjust the fit with zippered cuffs, hook-and-loop closure waist adjustment points, and sleeve adjustments.

One potential drawback of this jacket is that it doesn’t come with a back protector. You’ll need to purchase one separately and add it. The mesh lining isn’t removable and not waterproof, making it less functional than other jacket linings on this list.

Key Features
  • Ultra-flow mesh shell
  • 600D protection panels
  • Airflow mesh inner lining
  • Zippered cuffs
  • Neoprene comfort rolled collar
Specification
  • Brand BILT
  • Model Blaze 2
  • Weight N/A

Be ready for anything while expressing your personal style in this urban-inspired jacket that comes in six colors. If you ride a sportbike, you will appreciate the jacket’s shaping that falls in line with Icon’s Sport Fit. The durable textile chassis is breathable and comes with an insulated liner for three-season wearability. The ballistic nylon paneling will help to keep the jacket breathable. Removable D30 armor is in the back, elbows, and shoulders. You’ll like the ratcheting waist closure that gives you a better fit.

One potential issue with this jacket is that it doesn’t have a pants connection zipper. This can create a gap between your jacket and the pants. While the jacket has adjustment ratchet straps on the waist and arms, they aren’t very effective. You may find the jacket is loose through the waist.

Key Features
  • Icon Sport Fit
  • Durable textile chassis
  • Removable D3O back, elbow, and shoulder armor
  • Removable insulated liner
  • Ballistic nylon paneling
Specification
  • Brand Icon
  • Model Contra 2
  • Weight N/A

Be ready for any adventure in this jacket with its heavy abrasion- and tear-resistant mil-spec-derived Klim Karbonite nylon mesh. The durability of this jacket is a notable feature thanks to the Klim Rhino-Stitch construction technology. It also has an impressive amount of armor with Adjustable D3O EVO XT Level 1 armor at the elbows, D3O EVO Level 1 shoulder pads, and D3O Level 1 back pad. A unique feature of this jacket is the UV-resistant treatment on the main mesh material. You’ll appreciate the creature comforts, including stretch material on the inside of the elbows, moisture-wicking liner, and fleece lined collar.

Unfortunately, the styling of this jacket is a bit bland. It also has articulated arms and a longer torso length. This combination can make it uncomfortable to wear on some bikes. It can also be too long for those with an average or short torso length.

Key Features
  • Karbonite nylon mesh
  • Rhino-Stitch construction technology
  • Abrasion zones at elbows and shoulders
  • Articulated fit
  • Breathable moisture-wicking liner
Specification
  • Brand Klim
  • Model Induction
  • Weight N/A

Our Top Pick

With a lightweight mesh shell and solid protective construction, the Joe Rocket Phoenix 5.0 Men’s Mesh Motorcycle Riding Jacket is an excellent all-around summer jacket that rides in as our Top Pick. The Phoenix keeps you and your riding cool when the temperature rises, and a removable waterproof liner makes it a versatile jacket to see you through into the cooler seasons. With excellent protection, a smart, slimline fit, and a good choice of colorways, this is a good buy to get you safely through the summer.

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