You know how the old song goes. “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.” Well, we’re here to tell you that there’s a third category that needs to be added here: motorcyclists. And that’s because ever since ancient Greek soldiers realised that going into battle in loincloths might make you look like a legendary warrior and keep you super cool, it sadly does diddly squat to keep you safe from danger.
Fast forward to the present day and that eternal tug-o-war is still going on. Sure, we know about All The Gear All The Time, but when the mercury really starts skyrocketing, who in their right mind wants to dress head-to-toe in toasty black leather?
So with that thought in mind, here are five killer options to keep you cool and safe next time you decide you want to enjoy a little summer motorcycling without the unwanted mobile sauna extras.
The ‘Do-It-All’ Option: Klim Induction Jacket
The Klim Induction jacket needs no introduction—and for 2021, they have updated this fan-favorite within their line. Klim kept this amazing versatile mesh jacket pricing the same, which is surprising considering the upgrades they made.
D3O CE protection is included throughout, with CE Level 1 vented elbows and shoulders and a Viper CE Level 1 back pad. The updated 500D Cordura overlays on the elbows, shoulders and other high wear areas bump the Klim Induction up to a CE AA rating! This means you are getting better protection and abrasion in simple terms.
Klim also listened to the riders and upgraded the Karbonite Mesh chassis to make it more comfortable—along with a better hand feel and added flexibility, somehow without reducing the phenomenal strength it became known for. The added stretch panels and slide adjusters also help with the overall comfort.
- Colours: Stealth Black, Grey, Hi-Vis/Monument Grey, Navy
- FIT: Standard American Fit
- MALE/FEMALE OPTIONS: No, but check out the Klim Avalon Women’s Jacket (Revzilla | Amazon)
- MATERIAL: 500D Cordura, Karbonite Mesh
- PROTECTORS: CE Level 1 removable armor in shoulders, elbows, and back protector
- Karbonite™ industrial grade high-strength mesh
- 500D Cordura® overlays on shoulders & elbows
- 500D Cordura® bottom hem, cuffs, and high wear areas
- Breathable stretch material sides, shoulders, biceps & forearms for mobility
- 3M™ Scotchlite™ reflective material
- Biomotion recognition
- YKK® zippers
- D3O® CE level 1 vented armor in elbows and shoulders
- D3O® Viper CE level 1 back pad
- 2 zippered hand pockets
- 1 internal chest pocket
- 1 forearm ID stat card pocket
- Moisture-wicking breathable mesh liner
- Low profile hot-weather friendly collar
- Comfort collar & cuff liner material
- Adjustable Velcro cuffs
- Quick-adjust forearm straps
- Velcro adjustable bottom hem
- CE AA rating certified to EN 17092-3
The ‘Value Conscious’ Option: REV’IT! Eclipse Jacket
When all you are looking for is a motorcycle jacket that helps you stay cool and protected as the temperature rises, the REV’IT! Eclipse is the jacket of choice. It is priced surprisingly affordable without sacrificing quality. It also offers some of the best value as far as our hot weather jacket category goes.
The impact zones of the Eclipse are made of 600D abrasion-resistant polyester, while the front, back, and inner arms are equipped with mesh to allow tons of airflow to keep your body cool. Knox Flexiform CE Level 1 armor in the shoulders and elbows comes standard, with an optional pocket for a CE Level 2 SeeSoft jack protector from REV’IT’s own armor line (sold separately).
There are additional adjustment features not found in this category, with various straps and tabs concepts taken from their ADV line. The double jean loop also allows you to connect the Eclipse to your jeans to keep the motorcycle jacket in place while riding or when the rubber side does not stay down.
- Colours: Black, Silver, Green, Blue, Brown
- FIT: Regular, Tour Fit
- MALE/FEMALE OPTIONS: Yes
- MATERIAL: Polyester 600D | Mesh
- PROTECTORS: KNOX Flexiform CE Level 1 elbows and shoulders. Pocket for optional SeeSoft back protector Type RV
- Adjustment straps
- Double jeans loop
- Ventilation panels
- Hand warmer pockets
- Inner pockets
- Laminated reflection
The ‘Just Get This One’ Option: Icon’s Mesh AF textile Jacket
No prizes for guessing what the ‘AF’ initials stand for here; and Icon aren’t kidding around, either. It’s not until you see this jacket in the flesh that you realise—surprise, surprise—it’s nothing but mesh across the chest, inside the arms and on the lower back.
Yes, it may seem a little MC Hammer at first, but when worn with a suitably modest tee, it’s a really great option to keep you cool once the sun starts doing its thing. Although do note that if it rains, you’re totally taking a bath as it doesn’t come with a waterproof lining.
Of course, all those holes do have a downside, and that is much less abrasion resistance should you ever find yourself in an intimate encounter with some fast-moving bitumen. But being an Icon piece, the fit and finish is sure to please as will the company’s dedication to including top quality 3DO armour in all their jackets.
- Colours: Black, White, Grey
- FIT: Sporty
- MALE/FEMALE OPTIONS: Yes
- MATERIAL: Durable textile chassis
- PROTECTORS:D3O CE Level 1 removable back, elbow, and shoulder impact protectors
- Durable textile chassis
- D3O CE certified removable back, elbow, and shoulder impact protectors
- Pre-curved arms
- Reflective accents
The ‘Money’s No Object’ Option: Helite Free-Air Mesh Airbag Jacket
While uber airflow mostly means a reduction in abrasion resistance, it’s nice to know that you can still get both—providing your pockets are deep enough. Enter the Helite ‘Free-Air’ Airbag Jacket.
Equipped with their impressive-yet-comical-sounding ‘Turtle Airbag’ technology for maximum protection, it also has a 600D Cordura exterior with mesh panels for windtunnel levels of breeze. And unlike the Icon jacket above, the Helite comes with a removable waterproof liner for those unexpected downpours or cold snaps.
Put simply, if you plan on crunching some serious road miles in the summer months and you want ultimate safety, real cooling and max convenience, you’re going to want to get this one. Sure, it’s not as cool-looking as some of the other options here, but you probably won’t care after you step off your bike at the end of the day still cool, alert and comfortable.
- Colours: Black & grey, black & hi-viz
- FIT: Touring/comfort
- MALE/FEMALE OPTIONS: No, but check out the Helite Xena for a leather airbag alternative
- MATERIAL: Abrasion-resistant 600D Cordura
- PROTECTORS: CE approved shoulder and elbow protectors, SAS-TEC CE 2 back protector
- Airbag fully inflates in less than 0.1 seconds
- Removable waterproof liner
- Retro-reflective piping at front, back and arms
- Abrasion-resistant 600D Cordura
- Comfortable neck
- Mesh panels
- Zippered cuffs with strap adjustment
- 1 60cc CO2 cartridge and 1 lanyard included
- Multiple pockets
- All sizes use the 60cc CO2 cartridge
The ‘Dirt Superhero’ option: Alpinestars Bionic Action Jacket
For those of us whose tires have more knobs than grooves, here’s a tried and true summer option from Alpine Stars, the snow-gear-turned-go-gear maker and one of motorcycling’s best-known brands.
Yes, it looks rad but it also is surprisingly affordable. And with more holes than even Icon’s potty-mouthed Mesh AF, this thing is quite literally all protectors and not much of anything else. But boy, doesn’t it look tough? Sadly, it doesn’t come standard with superpowers, but it will protect you like a superhero.
Designed to be a motocrosser’s go-to protection, the jacket should also provide superior safety for dual-sporters and flat trackers, too. And if the plastic muscles look doesn’t take your fancy, you can always improve things by throwing a MX jersey over the top, such as this tasty little Fasthouse Carbon number.
But as with all off-road gear, it’s important to note that they aren’t designed for on-road use, and they probably won’t be staying in place should you come off at freeway speeds on surfaces that have much higher friction coefficients than good ol’ dirt or grass.
- Colours: Black & red
- FIT: Batman
- MALE/FEMALE OPTIONS: No, but check out the Stella Bionic alternative
- MATERIAL: High performance polymeric blend
- PROTECTORS: Back protector CE certified against EN 1621_2:2014 Level 1
Divided chest protector CE certified against EN 1621_3:2016 Level 2
- Back protector developed in three waist-to-shoulder dimensions in order to cover all body sizes
- All shells optimized flexibility and excellent weight-saving properties
- All shells are highly perforated for maximum breathability and air ventilation
- Single injected shells constructed with a back integrated grid structure which absorb and dissipate impacts forces
- Shells are vented and channeled to improve airflow and prevent heat buildup
- Ergonomic protection shell contour following the natural curve of the back ensuring optimum fit while riding
- Plates lock to prevent overextension of the back
- Removable upper back panel for Bionic Neck Support compatibility
- Soft touch BNS puller for convenient and safe engagement of the BNS
- Shoulder and elbow adjustment straps for personal fitment
- Lateral adjustment straps to tighten the back protector towards the chest shell for safe and secure fit
- Kidney belt to tighten the back protector to the body
- Technical elastane main construction is highly breathable and retains shape
- Shoulder reinforcement for BNS attachment and position stability of protector