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7 Adventure Motorcycle Jackets for All-Terrain Protection

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Imagine trying to explain the concept of adventure motorcycle jackets to an engineer for the first time: You want an all-season touring jacket, but it’s gotta work well on technical off-road trails too.

You need it to be 100% waterproof, but it can’t run too hot in the summer… Or cold in the winter for that matter. And let’s also throw in a couple dozen storage pockets for good measure, and if it’s not too much to ask, let’s make those waterproof while we’re at it. 

At first glance, this sounds like a project best left to the folks at NASA or maybe next year’s graduating class at MIT, but lucky for us adventure riders, these outrageously versatile and protective jackets can be obtained without any serious connections in the scientific community.

The Quick List of Adventure Motorcycle Jackets

  1. Klim Badlands Pro – Best jack of all trades.
  2. Rev’It Vertical GTX– Best overall value for your buck.
  3. Olympia Dakar – Best budget option.
  4. Firstgear Kilimanjaro – Technical shell on a budget.
  5. Alpinestars Halo Drystar – Best new ADV motorcycle jacket.
  6. Klim Baja S4 – Best hot weather ADV jacket.
  7. Rev’It Sand 4 H20 – Honorable mention.

Best Adventure Motorcycle Jackets

What’s even better is that nowadays there’s a great adventure motorcycle jacket option out there for pretty much any budget.  Here are my personal favorites so far. 

1. Klim Badlands Pro Adventure Jacket: Best Jack of all Trades

The Klim Badlands Pro has been the adventure motorcycle jacket to beat for years, and at the time of writing, it’s still the best ADV jacket out there. Every inch of this jacket screams quality from its premium Superfabric slide zones to its D3O CE Level 2 armor panels in the shoulders, elbows, and back.

The 3-layer Gore-Tex shell delivers industry-leading waterproofing, and its twelve total vents provide endlessly adjustable airflow. 

Me wearing the Klim Badlands Pro Adv Motorcycle Jacket while riding down the highway in California.
“Klim’s Badlands Pro is the jacket I equip when I know the journey will involve highway speeds and variable weather below 90 degrees”

The Klim Badlands Pro is an absolute go-anywhere in any weather beast, and I have been abusing mine for over 4 years with zero issues to report.

You’ll pay a pretty penny for this level of technology and protection, and the heavy-duty fabrics will run a bit warm in the hottest weather, but pound for pound there’s no other adventure motorcycle jackets out there that deliver the goods like the Klim Badlands Pro. 

Klim Badlands Pro adventure motorcycle jacket product shot.

Klim Badlands Pro Jacket

The Good 🤩

  • Premium materials throughout.
  • Top-notch safety features with CE level 2 armor.
  • Proven Gore-Tex 3-layer weatherproofing.
  • One layer to beat most all weather. No sub layers or external layers.

The Not-So-Good 😔

  • Runs too warm above 90 degrees.
  • Expensive af.
  • Heavy at 6.5lbs.

2. Rev’It Vertical GTX: Best Overall Value

I know what you’re thinking: How did the Rev’It Vertical GTX make this list while top-dollar jackets like the Dominator and Defender are nowhere to be found? Well, I’ve got three words for you: Laminated Gore-Tex liner.

As in the liner that’s not included in the Rev’It Defender’s $900 asking price. As in the liner that you’d have to pay nearly $1500 for in the Dominator.

Granted the Rev’It Vertical uses a two-layer version rather than a three-layer, but it’s just as “money-back-guaranteed” as its fancier sibling, and doesn’t require a second layer to keep the wet stuff out. You’ll also get the same premium SEEFLEX CE level 2 armor in the shoulders and elbows and the same fantastic VCS ventilation system.

The 400D fabric is thinner than what you’ll find on more expensive options and you’ll have to drop another $70 for the back armor (same deal as the Defender), but the quality of this jacket punches so high above its price point there’s just no contest for us. 

Revit Vertical GTX motorcycle jacket product close up.

Rev’It Vertical GTX

The Good 🤩

  • Premium features at an outstanding value.
  • Laminated Gore-Tex shell.
  • SEEFLEX level 2 armor in impact zones.

The Not-So-Good 😔

  • Back protector sold separately.
  • Shell fabric could be thicker.

3. Olympia Dakar Jacket: Best Budget Option

Olympia jackets don’t get enough love in the ADV community, which is a shame considering the Olympia Dakar is one of the most well-equipped adventure motorcycle jackets out there for the money.

For about $400 you stand to gain a burly 1000D/500D outer shell, CE-rated armor in the shoulders, elbows and back, and added thermal and waterproof liners for all-weather versatility. 

Me hanging out at Crater Lake on my KTM 790 while wearing my Dakar Jacket.
This 3+ season Adventure jacket continues to be my hot summer pick for it’s mesh breathability on the chest and arms. Here it is on Rim Drive in Crater Lake National Park

On its own, the highly breathable mesh makes for a great hot-weather jacket, but should things get wet/cold, you can arrange the other two layers to suit the climate.

Having to tote around and rotate three different layers gets old after a while, and the Dakar’s boxy cut won’t score you any cool points next to something like the Klim Badlands above or Alpinestars Halo below, but at this price point, the Dakar’s versatility deserves some serious love and admiration.  

Olympia Dakar adventure motorcycle jacket product close up.

Olympia Dakar Jacket

The Good 🤩

  • Modular 3-layer system adds versatility.
  • Breathable mesh is great in hot climates.
  • Great value for a “3+ season” jacket.

The Not-So-Good 😔

  • External rain shell required for waterproofing.
  • Boxy cut/dated styling.

4. Firstgear Kilimanjaro: Technical Shell On A Budget

Firstgear is known for delivering high-quality motorcycle gear at standout prices, and the Kilimanjaro adventure motorcycle jacket is arguably the best value in their lineup.

At just over $400, this is one of the most affordable jackets on our list, yet Firstgear managed to bake premium features like laminated 2.5-layer waterproofing and D30 armor (including a back protector) into the price. 

Think of the Kilimanjaro as the more affordable version of the Rev’It! Vertical above: A well-built technical shell that’s built to handle any weather or terrain. The liner is proprietary rather than Gore-Tex, so it doesn’t breathe quite as well, but Firstgear includes other rain-focused features to make up for it like a tall neoprene storm collar and waterproof exterior pockets.

I’ll also note that there’s no thermal liner included in the Kilimanjaro, but you’ll have plenty left over for warm layers considering the $250 price difference. 

Firstgear Kilimanjaro adventure motorcycle jackets

Firstgear Kilimanjaro

The Good 🤩

  • Waterproof laminate shell at a great price.
  • D3O armor including back protector.
  • Fantastic rain features like a neoprene collar and waterproof pockets. 

The Not-So-Good 😔

  • Proprietary waterproofing not as breathable as Gore-Tex.
  • Thermal liner not included.

5. Alpinestars Halo Drystar: Best New ADV Jacket

The Alpinestars Halo Drystar is new for 2022, and offers a bold new take on the essential adventure motorcycle jacket. The Alpinestars Halo gets high points in our book for its four-season versatility, which combines a removable Drystar waterproof/breathable layer with insane levels of adjustable ventilation (you can literally zip the sleeves clean off) for a jacket that’s just as good in the hot desert sun as it is in freezing rain. 

The anorak/side zip style might not be everyone’s cup of tea (it definitely works better in black, if you’re asking me), and the sewn-in armored panels limit your standalone armor options (the Halo wouldn’t be a great match for the Alpinestars Bionic Action jacket, for instance).

Small complaints considering this adventure motorcycle jacket delivers CE-AA rated protection and all-weather performance for half the price of its competition. 

Alpinestars Halo Drystar product close up.

Alpinestars Halo Drystar

The Good 🤩

  • Four-season comfort.
  • Fantastic adjustable ventilation.
  • CE-AA rated protection.

The Not-So-Good 😔

  • Polarizing style.
  • External rain jacket required for waterproofing.
  • Non-removable armor.

6. Klim Baja S4: The Best Hot Weather ADV Jacket

Adventure motorcycle jackets are great, but if you’ve ever worn one in the serious desert heat, you know they get sweaty in short order. Klim knows this too, which is why they designed the Baja S4 as a laser-focused hot-weather riding jacket for the off-road enthusiast in all of us.

With a full mesh chassis and an abundance of four-way stretch zones, this jacket keeps you all day cool and comfortable, even when you’re hard at work tackling technical terrain. 

We also love that although the Baja S4 is ideal for off-road biased adventure riders, it’s no slouch on the road either. Klim achieves a CE AA safety rating without sacrificing rider comfort by using a mixture of vented D3O armor inserts and air-permeated Superfabric crash zones.

The jacket has zero insulation or rain protection to speak of, but if you spend most of your time riding warm sunny days, there’s no better adventure motorcycle jacket out there. 

Klim Baja S4 adventure motorcycle jacket close up product shot.

Klim Baja S4 Jacket

Pros 🤩

  • Full mesh construction for maximum airflow.
  • Outstanding range of motion for technical off-roading.
  • Maintains CE AA safety rating.

Cons 😔

  • No rain protection.
  • Limited to warmer months.

7. REV’IT Sand 4 H2O: Honorable Mention

If you’re loving the fit and finish of the Rev’It gear above but just aren’t looking to shell out that much cash, you’re in good company beside the thousands of satisfied Rev’It Sand 4 H2O owners out there.

We consider the Sand series Rev’It’s first “serious” adventure motorcycle jacket, and as such, it checks all the essential boxes: It’s waterproof, four-season ready, well protected with SEEFLEX level 2 armor, and packs plenty of adjustable ventilation for hot days. 

The Sand series takes a more basic approach to keep costs down, so you’ll get a three-layer system for weather protection (like the Olympia above) and proprietary waterproofing (as opposed to Gore-Tex), but it gets the job done year-round and remains one of the best entry-level options on the market.

The latest version also employs a full 500D ripstop polyester chassis and a full-length center vent at the front of the jacket at no extra cost compared to the outgoing Sand 3. 

Revit Sand4 H20 product close up.

Rev’It Sand 4 H2O

Pros 🤩

  • Rev’It quality and construction at an entry-level price.
  • Fantastic ventilation.
  • Four-season versatility.

Cons 😔

  • Three-layer system.
  • Proprietary waterproofing rather than Gore-Tex.

So which adventure motorcycle jacket is the one for your next ride? Hope you found this post helpful!

READ MORE: 5 Adventure Motorcycle Pants That Will Go the Distance or 7 Best Adventure Motorcycle Boots.

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