The BEST Adventure Motorcycle Jackets

Here’s a selection of the best adventure motorcycle jackets on the market today. You’ll find features, pros, cons, round-ups and winners in this article as well as info on how we selected them and what makes a great adventure bike jacket.  

The Best Adventure Motorcycle Jackets
Somewhere in northern India wearing Rev'it Zircon jacket (search for our review in the search bar at the top right) and Rev'it Defender trousers.

Contents

Adventure Motorcycle Jackets for Travellers

An adventure motorcycle jacket is different to your standard bike jacket. Companies love slapping the word ‘adventure’ on every garment they can because it sells. But just having the word in the product description doesn’t make it suitable for travel.

So, we pulled this list together to focus on proper adventure bike jackets that are perfect for all forms of motorcycle travel. And in this case, by travel we mean motorcycle adventures through multiple climates and weather conditions and that means these jackets have added ventilation and features that make them suitable for varied elements as well as those riding both road and off-road. This is what makes them adventure bike jackets.   

If you’re looking for a more road focused and cold weather jacket, then take a look at our touring jacket guide and our dedicated clothing guide for advice on how to pick the right gear for your trip. 

READ MORE: The Best Motorcycle Touring Jackets
READ MORE: The Best Summer Motorcycle Jackets
READ MORE: How to Choose Your Adventure Bike Riding Gear

What makes a good adventure motorcycle jacket?

An adventure bike jacket needs to be able to do everything and be adaptable. It’s a demanding task; the jacket has to be waterproof, breathable, vented, light, protective and keep you both warm and cool. If you’re in the market for a new jacket, then here are the most important things to look out for when choosing an adventure bike jacket. 

Breathability and ventilation is crucial. If a jacket doesn’t have big vents on the chest, ports at the back and on the arms (preferably full arm length vents) then it’s not suitable for travel.

Adventure motorcycle jackets need to have features suitable for travelling like large pockets, hidden internal stash pockets, waterproof pockets, a large rear map pocket for stuffing your liners in and extra features like slots for hydration packs. 

Fitting is also very important, these jackets need adjustable collars, cuffs, waist or chest and arm straps so you can get more airflow when needed on hot days or close it all up for a cold ride. Additionally, all the zips, poppers and straps for the vents and closures need to be high quality as they’ll be used more regularly than the average touring jacket. 

You’ll be living in your jacket on a daily basis from queuing up at borders and walking around town to heaving your bike out of sand dunes and riding day in, day out. So the last thing you want is a heavy jacket burning down on your shoulders all day. It needs to be light enough for comfort, but still have quality materials for decent protection including CE approved armour. 

It’s incredibly important that your adventure motorcycle jacket is all day comfortable, and that if it’s just too big, cumbersome and restrictive, then forget it and move onto the next option. 

Adventure motorcycle jackets often use a three-layer system of removable and internal waterproof and thermal liners and then your external outer jacket. The liners can be zipped inside your jacket and trousers when the heavens open and stuffed in your panniers when in hotter climates. Adventure jackets need to have removable layers so that they remain cool and highly breathable in hot conditions. 

The alternative to removable layers is a bonded jacket whereby the waterproof liner is fixed to the inside of the jacket or there’s the option of pro laminate where the outer jacket is waterproof. These options aren’t usually suitable for travel because they’re hotter, thicker and lack ventilation. However, we do have an exception in this list (check out the Klim below). But 90% of the time, adventure jackets are far better suited to removable layers.  

Our personal thoughts on layering

After years of travel, we’ve found that the removable internal layer system just isn’t practical for long-term trips (and bonded and pro laminate are way too hot). If you’re riding in one climate for a long period then it’s fine, but stopping in a rainstorm, taking your jacket off, finding the inner and zipping it inside is a pain (and it’s extra awkward doing that with the trousers too!). A far easier approach is to buy cheap waterproof throw-overs as it’s less faff to just chuck them over the gear you’re wearing, your outer jacket and trousers won’t get sodden either and they’re also handy to have off the bike too.

It’s a similar case for thermal liners. It makes more sense to do away with the liner that comes with the jacket and buy your own quality compression down jacket that packs up small and can be used when off the bike. 

However, we appreciate that this way of thinking isn’t for everyone and there are circumstances where a layer will work well, especially if you are in one type of climate for a considerable amount of time. It’s your call. 

You’ll find lots more information about the different types of motorcycle travel clothing setups in How to Choose Your Adventure Bike Riding Gear.

How we chose these adventure bike jackets

We based these jackets on the criteria above. Each jacket is waterproof, has excellent ventilation, plenty of deep pockets, is lightweight and protective with additional features we feel motorcycle travellers would appreciate. We believe these jackets are perfect for adventure bike riders, long-distance motorcycle travellers even for those going on a round the world motorcycle trip.

Let’s get to it, here’s our selection of the best adventure bike jackets on the market today as well as our three winners. 

The BEST Adventure Motorcycle Jackets

Rev’it Sand 4 Adventure Jacket 

Quick info: from £439, removable liners, all rounder 

The Rev’it Sand 4 H2O is what most people think of when someone mentions adventure bike jackets. The Sand 4 is the upgrade from the Sand 3, which previously held this Best All-Round Award top spot. The main improvement is the large vent openings on the chest, the fabric can be unzipped and pinned open allowing a lot more air to pass through than on the 3’s smaller vents. The 4 epitomises adventure bike jackets with big ventilation openings, chunky zips, loads of pockets, removable liners, it’s well made, lightweight and looks the part too. It also comes with loads of extra features like hand warmer pockets, a slick collar closure and clever fitment fastenings. 

Rev’it have also made the Sand jacket compatible with their other products such as neck braces, HV vests, cooling vest and trousers. 

Klim Badlands Pro Adventure Jacket 

Quick info: from £749, Pro laminate Gore-Tex, premium

The Klim Badlands Pro is the crème de la crème of adventure biking jackets – and it’s got a price tag to match. This is a premium, ultra high-quality jacket. It’s covered in tough abrasion resistant material, is packed with pockets, fitting straps and loads of high quality additional features. 

But the Badlands jacket is the exception to our adventure bike jackets list because it uses a pro laminate Gore-Tex setup while the rest of the jackets have removable waterproof liners. Pro laminate jackets rarely (if ever) have decent ventilation because their priority is to be waterproof. Pro laminate means the outer material is waterproof so rain slides off it like water off a duck’s back. That’s not good for adventure jackets because they can get hot and heavy, but the Klim jacket is the exception because it is pro laminate Gore-Tex and still has loads of ventilation throughout. 

The other jackets in this line-up (and most adventure styled jackets) have a thin and removable waterproof layer instead. That means the outer jacket gets sodden in downpours, but they’re often lighter and cooler in hot conditions. 

UPDATE: It looks like Klim might discontinue the Badlands jacket in favour of the Kodiak, Carlsbad and Adventure Rally. So if you want one, get one soon while the prices lower to potentially clear stock. We’ll keep this page updated with the Klim replacement. 

RST Pro Series Adventure-X Jacket

Quick info: from £239, budget jacket but packs a punch

The RST Pro Series Adventure-X jacket is the lowest price jacket on this test, but that doesn’t mean you should take it for granted. It’s made using MaxTex synthetic material with hardened armour sections and abrasion panels for extra protection. It also comes with shoulder, elbow and a CE level 2 certified back protector as standard (something a lot of higher priced jackets don’t include). 

It has a single removable waterproof and thermal lining and a fixed inner mesh layer, standard zipped vents on the arms, shoulders and back. But it also has large vent panels on the chest – revealed by unzipping and pinning back the two panels on the upper chest.  

There are a few extra features like a large removable rear map pocket (which can be used as a carry bag when off the bike), pocket for hydration pouch and an opening for the hose and a removable quilted collar.

Rev’it Defender 3 GTX Adventure Jacket

Quick info: from £729, quality jacket, well-made, packed with features

The Rev’it Defender 3 GTX is a serious adventure jacket and packed with features. It’s the successor to the excellent Defender Pro  Teflon coated for abrasion resistance and comes with protective sections as well as elbow and shoulder protectors and a back protector. You can feel the hard wearing materials and textiles on the jacket. 

The Defender has a detachable Gore-Tex liner that can be quickly zipped in and out in rainy weather and comes with with waterproof inner pockets, two large hand pockets at the bottom and two more pockets up top, an extra large map pocket, slit pockets, a sleeve card holder and hand warmer pockets. The Pro excels in the ventilation department with huge sleeve and chest vents too.

It also comes with plenty of adjustable straps to get the fit perfect, including velcro tabbed cuffs, sleeve adjusters, two waist straps and a very sleek collar fastener (with a hook closure to keep the collar out of the way when you want it undone). It’s a hard wearing, tough jacket and I’ve used it for years around the world.

While this is the update from the Defender Pro, it’s fundamentally the same jacket, so it may be worth checking out our Defender review: 

READ MORE: Rev’it Defender Pro GTX Jacket and Trousers Review

Spidi 4Season Evo Adventure Jacket

Quick info: from £499, new and improved, removable liners

At £499, the new Spidi 4Season (replacing the previously listed Spidi Modular) is not a cheap jacket and doesn’t fall into the budget category for good reason. However, Spidi have made some huge improvements and are massively upping their adventure bike jacket game. 

The 4Season has got all the features you’d expect from an adventure jacket: fitment fastenings on the waist, biceps, forearms, collar and chest, big pockets, a rear map pocket, ventilation on the chest (improved with large pin back openings), sleeve and back and removable waterproof and thermal liners. 

Richa Touareg 2 Adventure Jacket

Quick info: from £269, everything you’d expect from an adventure jacket

The Richa Touareg 2 is a mid-priced adventure jacket with plenty of vents, removable waterproof and thermal liners, fitting fasteners at the cuff, waist, hem, collar and neck and large pockets. It’s a simple, no frills adventure bike jacket that does everything you need without making a fuss. 

Klim Carlsbad Adventure Jacket

Quick info: from £500-£700 dependent on the colour option

The Klim Carlsbad is a serious adventure jacket. It’s bigger brother is the Klim Badlands jacket – listed above, but the Carlsbad is lighter, more flexible, not as thick (2-layer waterproof membrane instead of the 3 layer on the Badlands). It’s highly vented, peppered in pockets and features, fully waterproof, adjustable and protective.  

Spidi Crossmaster Adventure Jacket

Quick info: from £389, new all round adventure jacket from Spidi

The Spidi Crossmaster is Spidi’s latest adventure bike jacket offering. It’s an all-round styled jacket as it’s waterproof, windproof and breathable. It works on a three-layer system with removable waterproof and thermal liners, but what’s nice is that the waterproof liner can be used as a rain jacket on its own – something not a lot of other jackets offer. 

It’s packed with pockets (six external, two waterproof ones and two internal), mesh panels for extra ventilation and plenty of adjustments for a good fit. 

 

The Best Adventure Motorcycle Jacket Winners

The Best All-Round Adventure Motorcycle Jacket:

Rev’it Sand 4

5/5

The Rev’it Sand 4 takes the win here because of its features, fit, style and materials. Budget jackets in this genre sit at around £250-£300 and the Sand 4 sits just above that in the mid-range at £400. The only let down is that the back protector has to be bought separately. Other than that, it’s an excellent jacket, all-day comfy, stylish, well ventilated and simple. Perfect for any adventure. 

The Best Features Adventure Motorcycle Jacket:

Klim Badlands Pro  

5/5

The Klim Badlands Pro jacket is eye-wateringly expensive at £1,000, but there’s no denying the extremely high build quality and materials used. The Badlands’ functionality is top notch too with plenty of pockets, hidden stash pockets, ventilation and extras like a bladder pack pocket. It’s also Gore-Tex pro laminate which means you don’t need to worry about layers, but still has plenty of vents so you won’t sweat up either like with most pro laminate suits. 

The Best Budget Adventure Motorcycle Jacket:

RST Pro Adventure-X

5/5

The RST Pro Adventure-X is the cheapest jacket on test at £239. But it doesn’t take this win just because it’s the cheapest – it’s also one of our favourites because of what you get for your money: excellent ventilation including full arm vents, vent panels on the chest, removable back-pocket, hydration pack ready and a thermal and waterproof bonded liner.  

Read more on motorcycle clothing and gear

Thanks for checking out The Best Adventure Motorcycle Jackets Guide. We hope you enjoyed it! Here are a few more articles on motorcycle clothing and gear that we recommend you read next. 

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Let us know what you think of this Best Adventure Motorcycle Jackets guide in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you if you have any suggestions, questions or use any of these jackets. 

12 thoughts on “The BEST Adventure Motorcycle Jackets”

  1. As you mention these 3 in 1 jackets are a pain in real world use. I want to do layering – cheap waterproof on the outside and fleece/down on the inside. Which is the best single layer jacket for this purpose?

    Reply
    • Hi Tim, thanks for your comment. Good question, but the answer really depends on a lot of variables… ie what type of riding do you do (off-road, long motorway rides, travel), which country/s and temperature, what’s your budget etc etc… this makes a difference as to how thin your jacket is, how many vents you need or if it’s mesh etc.

      I’d say something like the Rev’it Sand or Defender are generally great options for layering (they come with layers but you can chuck those). But of course, any lightweight, ventilated jacket will work. Hope this helps!

      Reply
      • Thanks for the reply. Yes it looks like the options are going to be one of the 3 in 1 jackets with the extras left behind even though that seems like an over-engineered (and thus expensive) product. The Sand (subject to the suitability of the tight Euro fit) might be the best option as I need something very well ventilated here in Oz. The other option would be two jackets – a light one for the heat and a heavier one for winter but I don’t want to have to buy two because of the expense.

        Reply
        • Yeah you’re right, it is over-engineered and a little wasteful.
          And yes the Sand will probably come up a little tight, if you’re layering it’s always a good idea to go up half or a full size because stuffing a down jacket in a tight-fitted jacket will be a pain – especially on the wrists, arms and neck.
          Jackets like the Sand are good options because they’re so versatile (and durable). If you’re based somewhere and it’s for everyday riding then a winter and summer jacket is also a good idea, but like you said, a bigger expense.
          Good luck with finding the right one, please feel free to shout if you have any more questions mate,
          Andy

          Reply
  2. Hi mate,
    Which jacket is it on the picture with the RE himalayan on top of the article “ The BEST Adventure Motorcycle Jackets”?
    Cheers

    Reply
    • Hi Antoine, that’s the Rev’it Zircon jacket in sand. Here’s my Rev’it Zircon Review. I used it mainly on a few big tours in India (where that picture was taken) but also around Europe. Excellent jacket. Although unfortunately, I believe Rev’it has discontinued it in the sand colour and it’s now only available in black and olive. Here are the two currently available colours on sportsbikeshop.co.uk.
      Hope this helps!
      Cheers,

      Reply
  3. I’m happy to see the Klim Carlsbad suit has made it onto this list. It’s saved my ass before and is an awesome jacket all year round. I wouldn’t ride in anything else now. Great website by the way.

    Reply
  4. Good article but wondering if you have any recommendations or an article for taller riders. Looking for 4 season jacket but with Tall options(6’3” @210 lbs. Thanks, jerry

    Reply
    • Hi Jerry, thanks for your comment.
      We don’t have any dedicated articles for taller riders i’m afraid. Your best bet is to check each jacket you like individually using the links provided and see what sizings they provide the jacket in and take a look at the manufacturer’s sizing chart.
      It’ll also depend on which manufacturer you go with, as European companies will tend to have a slimmer, more ‘fitted’ fit compared to American companies etc so bear that in mind when looking too.
      Hope this helps and best of luck choosing a jacket.
      Cheers,
      Andy

      Reply

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