The Best Waterproof Motorcycle Jackets

Welcome to the Best Waterproof Motorcycle Jackets Guide. Here you’ll find a selection of the best jackets on the market today as well as a buyer’s guide to waterproof bike jackets, what to look out for as well as info on picking the right one for your needs.

The Best Waterproof Motorcycle Jackets

Contents

Waterproof motorcycle jackets

This article will focus on waterproof motorcycle jackets specifically aimed at touring and adventure bike riders. There are waterproof jackets out there for commuters and sportsbike riders too, but they don’t need to be as versatile or adaptable because the riding conditions and uses aren’t as varied. So that means these jackets will be heavier duty but also come with adaptability, be breathable and include ventilation.

But not all waterproof jackets are made equal. There are varying factors to consider, such as the type of waterproofing used, whether it has a removable or laminated liner, the technology used and how well you need it to perform. We could say get the Rukka Nivala and that’ll keep you bone dry in serious downpours, but it’ll be wildly unsuitable for someone who is then planning on wearing it in summer. 

Read on for our guide to choosing the right jacket for your needs before moving onto the 10 best jackets on the market today. 

How to choose a waterproof motorcycle jacket

As with any item of motorcycle clothing, suitability is very important. It’s no use buying the most expensive and adventure-focused waterproof jacket if you only ride a sportsbike during summer.

Only you know how you plan to use the jacket, so only you can decide which jacket would be best. If you plan on using the jacket all year round, or in different climates, you’ll need something that has the ability to keep you comfortable in the different temperatures you’re riding through.

There are some basic garment considerations to take in first. Pay special attention to areas where it’s easier for water to get in. Cuffs, collars, zips and pockets are all potential weak spots where water can creep in. Look out for waterproof pockets, storm cuffs and zips that will help keep the water out.

Jacket cuffs also want to be large, preferably with a zip opening so you can easily get the sleeve over your glove and tighten it up for a secure fit. It’s infuriating having a cold weather or waterproof jacket with a tight sleeve as you won’t be bothered to force the sleeve over a large glove and then your arm and gloves will get soaked.

The technology used and the way your jacket is waterproofed (type of liner used) is perhaps the most important aspect when looking for a waterproof motorcycle jacket. So we’ve given them their own sections below. 

The waterproof membrane of your jacket can be installed in one of two ways. It can be bonded and laminated to your jacket. This means it can’t be removed and is a part of your gear. Or, it can be installed using loops and buttons as a removable layer so you can take the waterproof liner out.

Removable layer

Having a removable liner means these jackets can be used in a variety of conditions and climates. If rain is unlikely and the temperature is high, the waterproof layer can be removed to keep the rider cool.

The downside to a waterproof layer is that the outer jacket will eventually soak up rainwater and become heavy and sodden. You’ll be left with a very wet and heavy jacket that will eventually cause wind chill and the entire jacket will need drying before your next ride. However, it does take some time for this to happen so you do have a good few hours of rain riding time.

Laminated

As the laminated jackets have the waterproof membrane fixed into the material of the jacket, it stops the water from entering your jacket and will last longer and keep you drier in serious rain. The downside to this type of jacket is that they’re more expensive and run hotter. You don’t have the versatility you do with a removable liner. However, if the bulk of your riding is in cold or wet conditions, then this may be for you.  

Choosing the right one for you

Picking the right type of liner is a huge factor when choosing a waterproof motorcycle jacket and completely depends on the type of riding you’ll be doing. Laminated are more expensive, thicker, heavier, warmer but not as versatile. Go for one if you’re riding is predominately rain based or if it has a large number of vents. Removable liners are better suited for travellers or those who ride more in the summer but need the added waterproof protection.

The obvious and simple answer is that a good waterproof jacket keeps the water out and you dry. However, it runs a little deeper than that. You could wear 10 bin bags and that’d keep the rain out (probably) but you’d still be a soggy mess underneath because there’d be no breathability. So, it’s not just about waterproofing, it’s also about breathability and comfort. That means the type of waterproofing is just as important.

The word ‘breathability’ is thrown around a lot when it comes to motorcycle gear – especially waterproof kit. But just how breathable a fabric is, is debatable. Breathability is affected by your gear’s armour, the garments you’re wearing underneath and the riding conditions you’re in. So, while it is an important factor, try not to put too much emphasis on it. For example, a pro laminate waterproof jacket will be hot, but the manufacturer may state that it’s very breathable. Take this with a  pinch of salt, because it will be thick and heavy and most likely unsuited to warmer conditions.

What you will want to pay attention to instead, is the ventilation. You’re guaranteed breathability with decent sized ventilations as air can flow into your suit.

The final thing to consider when looking at waterproof jackets is weight. Advances in material technology mean many modern-day motorcycle jackets can be quite lightweight, but once you start adding removable layers or waterproofing, the weight can quickly increase. If you’re spending long hours in the saddle, a heavy jacket will increase fatigue, but it will also be more durable and potentially higher quality.

It’s all a balance that only you can make dependent on your personal circumstances and needs.

There are several different technologies manufacturers utilise to make their clothing waterproof. Some manufacturers have developed their own waterproof technologies too, like Alpinestars with their Drystar material. Other manufacturers use technologies developed by other companies, such as the most famous waterproof material – Gore-Tex.

If you’ve spent any time researching waterproof riding gear, you’ll no doubt have come across the name Gore-Tex. Gore-Tex is a company that manufacture and produce waterproof materials made from Teflon. The technology prevents water (rain) from penetrating and getting in, while simultaneously also allowing water vapour (your sweat) to get out. This makes it both waterproof and breathable.

It’s been around since 1969 and has been touted by many as the pinnacle of waterproofing. Of course, Gore-Tex isn’t the be-all and end-all when it comes to waterproofing. The Alpinestars Drystar waterproof technology is also waterproof and breathable, as is Oxford’s Dry2Dry.

Motorcycle jackets with Gore-Tex liners certainly demand a higher price tag and it offers a premium touch to a product. That’s because a manufacturer can’t just chuck some Gore-Tex into their product, instead it has to be built and designed to Gore-Tex’s specifications for maximum waterproofing and then the company tests the final product as their name is on it too. But, there are other companies and waterproof technologies out there, so don’t think it has to be Gore-Tex.

Besides standard Gore-Tex, there is also Gore-Tex laminate and Gore-Tex Pro.

Gore-Tex laminate is a thin membrane of Gore-Tex material laminated between an inner and outer layer. The types of layers on either side of the laminate membrane determine the versatility of the garment. A jacket with a two-layer laminate construction will be durable and warm if it also includes a lining. Those with a three-layer construction offer low bulk and high durability. Gore-Tex Pro is designed for use in the most serious and extreme conditions, and uses a three-layer construction that includes a robust Gore Micro Grid Backer inner lining. It’s the serious waterproof option and demands a much higher price tag. 

The BEST Waterproof Motorcycle Jackets

Rukka Kalix 2.0 Gore-Tex textile jacket

Quick info: From £599.99, Gore-Tex Pro construction, six-year warranty

Rukka has a strong reputation for producing high-quality weatherproof motorcycle clothing, and the Kalix 2.0 is one of their best yet. Rukka opted to use a Gore-Tex Pro two-layer laminate construction to ensure waterproofing in even the worst conditions. The Kalix isn’t just about serious waterproofing as it includes large zipped ventilation on the sides of the jacket. The pockets are also water resistant. If all that isn’t enough, the jacket also comes with a six-year warranty.

Oxford Hinterland Advanced textile jacket

Quick info: From £263.98, trilaminate material, removable thermal liner

The Hinterland is a versatile jacket from British manufacturer Oxford, which features Dry2Dry trilaminate materials to provide top level waterproofing, breathability and abrasion resistance up to AA CE approval. A WarmDry removable thermal lining has been included to keep you warm as well as dry. While many jackets use external adjusters for the perfect fit, the Hinterland features Oxford’s Active construction, which they say moves with the rider to expand and contract as required.

Richa Infinity 2 Pro textile jacket

Quick info: From £329.99, D3O armour, pocket for chest protector

Richa’s Infinity 2 Pro features a laminated Aquashell Pro outer layer, which Richa claims will keep you dry even in the heaviest of downpours. A removable thermal liner and zip ventilation ensure the jacket will keep you comfortable too. Unlike most jackets, the Infinity 2 Pro comes with a back protector as standard.

Rev’it Trench Gore-Tex textile jacket

Quick info: From £539.99, Gore-Tex laminate, pocket for chest protector

The Rev’it Trench has been designed for high-mileage all year round riders. A laminated Gore-Tex outer shell, which stops water pick-up, is in charge of waterproofing, while a removable thermal quilted liner is used for insulation. Zipped vents on the front and exhaust on the rear of the jacket take care of airflow on the warmer days, making this a four-season jacket.

Rev’it Poseidon 2 Gore-Tex textile jacket

Quick info: From £739.99, Gore-Tex laminate, removable storm collar

The Rev’it Poseidon is designed to withstand even the worst weather, thanks to an outer shell that is made from both two-layer and three-layer Gore-Tex laminate. This mixture of laminates provides optimum waterproofing while also maximising breathability. The Rev’it Poseidon also features a removable Gore-Tex storm collar for when the rain gets really bad. When the sun comes out VCS Aquadefence ventilation on the chest, and zipped vents on the arms and back will help keep you cool. The Poseidon comes with Seeflex CE level 2 protection at the shoulders and elbows and can also fit a Seesoft back protector and chest protector.

Klim Latitude

Quick info: from £699.99, long distance comfort design

Klim are a well-known brand in the adventure bike market, and for good reason. Their equipment is always practical, versatile, and performs exactly as advertised. The Klim Latitude jacket is no different.

It features two layers of Gore-Tex instead of a removable waterproof liner, adjustable armour pockets for maximum comfort, plenty of vents, and lots of pockets, including two hidden pockets on the chest and back. The Klim Latitude jacket comes complete with top-spec armour from D3O, including a back protector as standard.

Alpinestars Andes V3 Drystar

Quick info: from £197.96, airbag compatible

The Andes V3 Drystar jacket has all the bells and whistles you could want when it comes to a waterproof jacket. The jacket includes Alpinestars’ Drystar waterproof and breathable membrane offering up 100% waterproofing, as well as a removable thermal liner. The Andes V3 also has plenty of storage capacity, with two waterproof pockets on the front of the jacket, a large utility pocket at the back, and an internal waterproof pocket.

Richa Cyclone

Quick info: from £499.99, 3L Gore-Tex lining

The Richa Cyclone has been developed to keep the wearer comfortable no matter the conditions. The Cyclone features a 3L Gore-Tex lining – the only system currently on the market that is guaranteed to be 100% waterproof and breathable. There’s a removable thermal lining and vents on the front to keep the temperature comfortable while riding too.

Rukka Rimo-R

Quick info: from £599, six year warranty

As with most higher end jackets, the Rimo-R features a laminated Gore-Tex membrane instead of a removable waterproof liner. This means the jacket is waterproof as well as breathable. It comes with two large outside pockets with zips, sleeve pocket and a large rear map pocket as well as two waterproof inner pockets. 

But importantly, unlike many previous iterations of Rukka jackets, the Rimo-R comes with added zipped ventilation along the sides, chest, back and upper and lower arms to make this more comfortable in warmer weather too. 

Oxford Mondial

Quick info: from £189.99, removable thermal lining

The Oxford Mondial Advanced jacket may appear cheap, but it has all the features necessary for a reliable motorcycle touring jacket. That means it’s both waterproof and breathable, with a removable thermal lining for colder rides. There’s plenty of ventilation and pockets, as well as adjustability at the waist and arms, ensuring maximum comfort.

The Mondial jacket also features CE protection at the elbows and shoulders, as well as a pocket for a back protector, and connecting zips for use with trousers.

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. 

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.

The Defender is a brilliant example of a high-quality waterproof jacket with a removable liner. It is on the pricy side at over £700, but that’s due to the materials and premium feel of this jacket. Most jackets with removable liners tend to be far cheaper than their laminated counterparts.