Adventure Motorcycle Jacket Buyer’s Guide

Get started on your next adventure with a fresh new riding jacket.

Adventure Motorcycle Jacket Buyer’s Guide
Adventure riding is a whole lot more fun and comfortable, when you’re properly dressed.Jeff Allen

An adventure motorcycle jacket can be your best friend on a long ride. Particularly if you've taken the time to pick your gear wisely, ensuring the features and level of protection are up to the demands of the road you're traveling. For an adventure jacket to be a true asset, you'll need to account for the likelihood of rain, wind, or cold. You'll need to have a rough idea of the amount of storage space you absolutely must have on your person and also the level of impact and abrasion protection you want on your side should things turn sour.

The more complex these features, the higher the price, as you might imagine. That being said, however, this gear segment is rich with options, and there are some quality jackets available at more palatable MSRPs. We’ve selected a range of jackets below that cover a wide cost spectrum, all which offer fit, features, and function tailored for adventure.

Klim Kodiak Jacket

Klim Kodiak Jacket
The Kodiak is an elite adventure jacket, replete with the best Klim has to offer.Amazon

The Klim Kodiak is an elite adventure jacket, jam-packed with the best this adventure-focused brand has to offer. That means a Gore-Tex Pro outer shell that's guaranteed to keep you dry; D3O Level 2 armor in the shoulders, elbows, and back; 12 storage pockets; 10 vents; and leather overlays on the elbow and shoulders. You'll need to base layer well with this one, however, since you'll be lacking the internal insulation found in many other adventure jackets. While that might seem like a big part of the puzzle to be missing, Klim makes up for it with superior build quality in every detail, as well as an incredible practical lifetime warranty against any failure in the manufacturing or materials used on the piece. With proper care, the Klim Kodiak will be a long-term investment that will get you through many, many miles.

Rev'It Sand 3 Jacket

Rev’It Sand 3 Jacket
Form fit and stylish, the Sand 3 is a long popular option from Rev’It.Amazon

For about half the cost of the Kodiak, you could have the Rev'It Sand 3 jacket. This popular piece can be configured in a number of different ways. For maximum protection, ride with the insulated liner and hydratex removable waterproof liner installed to stay dry and warm. Or if you're traveling in hotter climates, stash the two liners in your luggage and pop open the vents on the chest, arms, and back for maximum airflow. It's equipped with SeeFlex Level 2 armor in the shoulders and elbows, and fits a SeeSoft Level 2 back protector for an additional charge. There are plenty of internal and external pockets too. Rev'It tends to fit a little snug for some, so be sure to try your typical size first with the knowledge you may need to size up if you're accustomed to a roomier feel with your riding jackets.

Alpinestars Revenant Gore-Tex Pro Jacket

Alpinestars Revenant Gore-Tex Pro Jacket
This highly durable, robust Alpinestars Revenant Gore-Tex Pro jacket really inspires confidence to tackle any challenge.Amazon

Back into the pricer range for a moment, the Alpinestars Revenant Gore-Tex Pro adventure jacket is a solid, sturdy piece. I've worn this jacket before and it is like wearing a flexible suit of armor. The Gore-Tex Pro exterior is highly protective against the elements, and Armacor reinforcements in key areas really beef up abrasion protection. There are numerous fitment adjustments, easy-to-access flap-covered pockets, and ventilation options for airflow, however there's no insulated lining inside. Alpinestars has opted instead to provide the anchors and room necessary to accommodate its Tech-Air Street Airbag system should you want to upgrade to maximum protection. As is, the Revenant comes with Bio-Air protectors in the shoulders and elbows, along with external TPU protectors at the shoulders. This jacket is comfortable, no doubt, but the sum of its materials make it a noticeably hefty piece. If top-notch protection is top of the list though, the Revenant is a great choice.

Olympia Dakar 2 Jacket

Olympia Dakar 2 Jacket
For a comfortable fit and unique features, look no further than the Olympia Dakar 2.Amazon

The Olympia Dakar 2 adventure jacket is much more budget-friendly. While it doesn’t come with Gore-Tex or a proprietary waterproof membrane, it does have an interesting three-layer system that includes a removable rain jacket that can be worn inside or outside the top-level shell. The rain jacket also has a stow-away hood and neck gaiter so you can really seal yourself up against the rain. The third layer, beyond the outer shell and rain jacket, is a thermal liner to keep you warm in chilly temps. Its construction beyond that is straightforward, with 500-denier Cordura fabric, abrasion reinforcements in key areas, Motion Flex armor in the elbows, shoulders, and back, along with a handful of vents and pockets. It’s nowhere near as complex in its construction as the Klim or Alpinestars jackets previously mentioned, but it’s a solid piece nonetheless. And Olympia fit tends to be more comfortable than stylish.

Scorpion Yosemite Jacket

Scorpion Yosemite Jacket
The fit of the Scorpion Yosemite jacket is one of its strong suits.Amazon

The Scorpion Yosemite jacket is a direct competitor with the Dakar 2. It's a three-layer system, with removable H2O Blok waterproof liner and a removable EverHeat thermal liner. The exterior shell is a 500-denier nylon reinforced with 1,680-denier panels on the elbows and shoulders for abrasion resistance. Sas-Tec armor is included in the shoulders and elbows as well. There are vents on torso and arms and seven pockets total, inside and out. I really appreciate the fit of Scorpion gear, which helps to make the Yosemite a stand-out piece. This jacket finds a happy balance between form fit, which is important when considering the reliable placement of armor in the event of a crash, and comfort. It's not baggy, but it's not restrictive. You can move comfortably on the bike and off, and can adjust the finer fit details using forearm, wrist, waist, and cuff adjusters.

Tourmaster Transition Series 5 Jacket

Tourmaster Transition Series 5 Jacket
The Tourmaster Transition Series 5 is one of my favorite adventure jackets as far as fit is concerned.Amazon

I put a lot of miles in my Tourmaster Transition Series 4 jacket, and the Series 5 retains all the elements I came to appreciate in the former version. It utilizes 600-denier Carbolex polyester fabric for the main construction, with 1,680-denier ballistic polyester on the elbows and forearms. It's got CE-approved Armadillo armor in the shoulders and elbows, and a waterproof Rainguard barrier along with a removable thermal liner. What I really enjoy about this jacket is the quality of the details, especially considering its affordable price. These include the Aqua-Barrier under-the-helmet hood that quickly deploys from the collar, pockets that are easy to access with gloves on, pinch vents to help keep the intakes wide open and the air flowing, and two-way main zipper closure for a reliable seal against the elements. The fit is also spot-on for me, much the same as the Scorpion. Not too bulky or heavy or baggy in my standard size, but not too tight or restrictive either. Plus, the Series 5 adventure jacket is available in men's and women's cuts, and ranges up to 5XL for men. There are tall cuts too, ranging up to 4XL.

Dainese Tempest 2 D-Dry Jacket

Dainese Tempest 2 D-Dry Jacket
A Dainese jacket at an affordable price, ready for whatever the road may deliver.Amazon

Dainese can be a daunting brand if you’re on a budget, but the Tempest 2 D-Dry adventure jacket allays those fears. And you still get the benefit of Dainese quality. This is a two-layer piece, with a Cordura chassis equipped with D-Dry waterproof membrane. D-Stone reinforcements provide protection in key areas, and a removable thermal liner inside allows you to adjust to conditions outside. It’s got pockets for chest and back protection, and comes with protectors in the shoulders and elbows. The nice, high collar will keep your neck well-protected in any situation. There are an assortment of fitment adjusters, vents, and pockets as well.