Great ventilation, all day comfort and protection are all things you need for long rides in the saddle. As the warm season approaches we picked our favorite jackets that do just that in 2016.
Whether you ride for fun, to sightsee over long trips or to break up the monotonous of the commute, you’ll need a jacket that is protective, versatile and ultimately comfortable to wear. What separates a touring or commuter style jacket from its racier sport bike brethren, is that they’re made a bit more practical in both fit and function. Don’t tell your diehard sport bike friends, but let’s face it, riding in full tuck for more than 20 minutes isn’t the most practical, and that’s why you’ve hopped on a more upright and comfortable bike! As we ride closer towards the warmer months you may be looking for a jacket more up to speed, so we picked our five favorite commuter and touring style jackets for the spring and summer!
Ready for spring and summer is the MotoCentric Assault Jacket. Tons of mesh provide more than ample airflow to combat even the highest temperatures and a low cut collar adds even more summertime attitude. Bringing the Assault into other seasons, is the removable waterproof liner that will get you through spring and fall showers. Allowing this jacket to be capable of an assault on the streets is reinforced mesh in the chest, back and sleeves along with C.E. rated shoulder and elbow armor. Dual waist and arm adjustments as well as ample storage pockets add even more value to this price conscience jacket. As straightforward as you can get, the MotoCentric Assault jacket vents incredibly well and is equipped with enough protection and features to keep you riding throughout the summer. We would recommend adding this jacket to your collection for warm weather use, or as a primary jacket in warm weather climates.
Blasting on the scene is the Joe Rocket Atomic 5.0 jacket, boasting a powerful combination of protection and versatility. Joe Rocket stitches their “Hitena” high-impact resistant material on the shoulders and elbows, while including C.E. rated armor pieces that slide underneath the Hitena covered areas. The Atomic 5.0 does not come with a C.E. rated spine protector, however the included foam protector can be easily upgraded. What makes the Atomic 5.0 jacket a true three season jacket is the waterproof shell combined with a quilted warmth liner, and generous zip-adjustable intake and exhaust vents. Four intake vents on the shoulders and chest can be operated via waterproof zippers. Once the air flows into the jacket, it circulates through the liner and out the large exhaust vents on the back. Additional features like neoprene cuffs, 360 degree reflective panels, large padded storage pockets and six points of size adjustability make the Atomic an absolute winner in our eyes. If you’re looking for a do-it-all, multi-season jacket for touring or cruising around, the Atomic 5.0 from Joe Rocket won’t let you down.
Sticking with the same multi-season benefit is the Gunner Waterproof jacket from Alpinestars. The Gunner features a waterproof outer shell and multiple vents like the Atomic 5.0, however delivers it in a way that only Alpinestars can. With Alpinestars, you can always expect style to be equal parts of the design and with the Gunner it’s no different. Easily the most stylish jacket on our favorites list, the Gunner still has a bit of that race vibe but luckily for us, the fit actually leans much closer to traditional touring fit than sport. Now this jacket does favor a colder climate (spring, fall and winter), but still incorporates two shoulder intake vents and a large exhaust vent in the back for warmer season riding. If you live in the Southern part of the country or where the summers are hot, you’d want to look at the Assault, Atomic or Tornado 2. Northerners whose summers are a bit milder, this jacket can be worn year-round.
Thrown into the mix is the Tornado 2 jacket from Rev’it! The Tornado 2 is the second jacket on our list with substantial amounts of mesh that place it at that two/three warm season spectrum. The first iteration of the Tornado was a rider favorite, so Rev’it! left well enough alone, and only upgraded the jacket in a few departments. Right off the bat, this jacket has a slick, sporty style like the Alpinestars, with refined stitching and panels for ultimate freedom on the bike. Additionally, they upped the ante on protection with more abrasion resistant outer materials and by also adding C.E. rated “Seeflex” shoulder and elbow protection. As we previously said, this jacket has a lot of mesh in the chest, back and sleeves that prove to be incredibly valuable during those hot summer rides. Inside is a removable waterproof and quilted liner that adds a heavy dosage of versatility making early spring and late fall rides a breeze as well.
Last up on our list is another jacket whose predecessor heralded much acclaim and that’s the Icon Motorhead 2. The O.G. Motorhead was a straightforward, leather jacket, and that simplicity and attraction still exists in the second generation, Motorhead 2. As the sole leather jacket on our list, the Motorhead is crafted in 1.2 – 1.4mm “TrackSpec” leather. For 2016, Icon did a fantastic job keeping the style very subtle and clean while offering five different color schemes that match well with most OEs. Bringing the most protection to the table, you’ll find D30 (CE rated) armor in the back, shoulders and elbows. Keeping things cool is an array of perforations as well as two chest vents and a low cut collar. A removable quilt liner will keep this jacket cruising through both spring and fall even when the temps drop. Despite its edgy look, the Motorhead isn’t an aggressive sport cut jacket, and fits more relaxed than a typical Icon leather jacket. Full three seasons of versatility, protective, strong and comfortably built, the Icon Motorhead 2 is the perfect leather jacket for you.