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5 Best Motorcycle Protection Jackets

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Typical motorcycle jackets are great for added protection when you ride, but they have their shortcomings. For starters, even the lightest mesh jackets run hot during proper off-road riding, where speeds are lower and you’re much more active on the bike. This is where motorcycle protection jackets come into play.

In an attempt to part the biblical seas of sweat, many riders peel their jackets off entirely and stuff them into a pannier, but if you’re not wearing a motorcycle protection jacket underneath, you know that’s a dangerous game to play. 

Add to that the fact that regular armor-inserted motorcycle jackets are often too loose-fitting to actually keep their protection in place when you go down, and you’ll start to see the conundrum here. Motorcycle protection jackets like the ones recommended below offer a one-size-fits-all solution for every riding style.

The gang and I gearing up before our trip motorcycling Vietnam.
The gang and I gearing up for the ride through Vietnam

You can rock them with a simple dirt jersey when off-road, and then throw your abrasion-resistant shell on when you hit the blacktop. You’ll be just as well protected (if not more), much more comfortable, and as a plus, you’ll get rid of the “Michelin Man Effect” that bulky armor is known for. Ready to take the leap? Here are your best options.


thumbnail of the Bionic Tech V3 jacket.

Alpinestars Bionic Tech V3

Just released the Alpinestars Bionic Tech V3 Protection Jacket is your go-to choice for top-notch safety without compromising comfort. At the time of writing this there is yet to be anything comparable with complete CE level 2 protection.

The Quick List of Motorcycle Protection Jackets

  1. Alpinestars Bionic Tech V3 – Nothing compares at the moment to the style, comfort and protection of this jacket.
  2. Rev’it! Proteus – For those looking for a low-profile armor that is very affordable and almost equally as protective as the Biontic Tech V3.
  3. Forcefield Pro X-V2 Air Shirt – Full CE level 2 but more base layer “shirt” style if that is your thing.
  4. Fox Titan Sport – Best budget option along with the Bionic Action V2 from Alpinestars.
  5. Leatt 3DF Airfit Hybrid – Most protective in terms of armor placement.

Best Motorcycle Protection Jackets

1. Alpinestars Bionic Tech V3

Alpinestars updated their selection of motorcycle protection jackets back in 2019, and the Bionic Tech V3 is our favorite update of the lot. We’ve put thousands of miles on these jackets over the last few years and they’ve saved us from an untold number of injuries in some pretty remote places. 

Our favorite feature of the Bionic Tech V3 is the fit and comfort of this protection jacket. The mesh is stretchy and comfortable on the skin, and does a fantastic job of keeping the armor in place when you come off the bike.

The floating chest protector design is particularly good in that regard, as it’s directly tethered to the pack protector rather than directly sewn into the jacket. The Tech V3 is also impressively breathable and takes full advantage of Alpinestar’s open porous armor to flow a ton of air without sacrificing protection. 

Me riding through the hot & humid jungle of Colombia with my protection jacket.
Me riding through Colombia with the original Alpinestars Bionic Tech protection jacket.

Speaking of protection, the Bionic Tech V3 receives an upgrade from the V2 by incorporating CE level 2 armor at the shoulders and elbows. This now means the Bionic Tech V3 is now fully covered with CE level 2 rated armor. Which is what we’ve wanted from this jacket version.

Eva foam pads have been added for roast protection and this version now touts rib protection which is a welcoming sight as this has been abysmal in earlier versions.

As far as cons go, the floating chest protector fits better and feels more comfortable than the bulkier split protector on jackets like the Alpinestars Bionic Action, but there’s something to be said for the simplicity of a split protector. All things considered, it’s a welcome tradeoff in the name of comfort and safety, but a tradeoff nonetheless.

It’s also worth pointing out that while the Bionic Tech V3 is clearly the superior offering here, the Bionic Action is still around for more than $100 bucks less. Protection is significantly better on the V3 though, so if you’ve got the money to spend and are seeking premium quality with highly rated protection, you won’t regret it.  

The crew and I riding offroad in Central Oregon.

The Good 🤩

  • All day comfortable with CE level 2 armor throughout.
  • Eva foam pads for added roast protection.
  • Armor panels all stay in place reliably and are highly breathable.

The Not So Good 😔

  • Single piece chest protector lays over zipper.

2. Rev’It! Proteus Protection Jacket

Rev’It was a little late to the game on motorcycle protection jackets (the Proteus just came out in 2021), but boy did they come out swinging. The Proteus is their first foray into the segment, and in typical Rev’It fashion, it outclasses the overwhelming majority of the competition by a solid margin.

We love the Proteus because where most jackets of this ilk stick to level 1 armor in the shoulders and elbows, Rev’It upgrades to their comfortable level 2 Seeflex armor in both zones. You’ll also get a level 2 Seesoft back protector, which is particularly impressive considering that the Proteus is also one of the more affordable jackets on our list. 

We also dig the split chest armor design Rev’It uses here, allowing you to fully unzip the jacket without taking anything off, which is great when you’re exploring off the bike but don’t want to strip everything off to be comfortable.

Other highlights include solid padding along the ribs, tougher mesh fabric in high wear zones like the elbows, and thumb loops to keep the sleeves in place when putting on a jacket or gloves.

The main drawback to the Proteus is that the split chest protector employs less-protective CE level 1 armor, presumably to reduce overall bulk. It does make for a svelte and streamlined package though, so if you split your time evenly between pavement and dirt, it’s a great option.

Rev'it Proteus product close up.

The Good 🤩

  • Center zip is easy to live with on and off the bike.
  • CE level 2 protection everywhere but the chest.
  • Low profile and impressively comfortable.
  • Surprisingly affordable.

The Not So Good 😔

  • Chest armor CE level 1 only.

3. Forcefield Pro X-V2 Air Protection Jacket

If all-out protection is what you’re after, the Forcefield Pro X-V2 Air is the armored jacket to beat. Forcefield have made a name for themselves by selling some of the most protective armor on the planet, and the Pro X-V2 delivers a full buffet of their best stuff from top to bottom. 

Every piece of armor on this jacket carries a full CE-2 rating. That includes the chest, back, shoulders, and elbows, which makes this the most protective jacket in its class pound for pound.

Previous iterations of the Forcefield Pro were notoriously hot and heavy due to a lack of mesh material, but the latest version is 100% mesh rather than solid moisture-wicking fabric, so breathability is now a non-issue. We also appreciate the Pro X-V2’s thumb cuffs for easier layering, and its unobstructed zipper which runs down the side of the jacket to prevent chafing and irritation.

The Forcefield is definitely a force to reckoned with in terms of armor quality, but it comes with a few tradeoffs as well. The first thing you’ll notice is that the armor is significantly bulkier than most motorcycle protection jackets, so you while some will appreciate how “buff they look” under that jersey, most will have to take it with a grain of salt in the name of protection.

Our second complaint with the Pro X-V2 is that there’s no extra padding built into the biceps/ribs/hips etc. Granted some folks will appreciate the added breathability of its all-mesh approach, but if you spend a fair amount of time riding in the woods, prepare yourself for a proper branch-whipping. 

Forcefield Pro X-V2 Air motorcycle armor jackets

The Good 🤩

  • Highest level of protection available with CE-2 armor everywhere.
  • Extremely light and breathable mesh.

The Not So Good 😔

  • Extra armor = extra bulk.
  • No additional padding at ribs, biceps, hips, etc.

4. Fox Titan Sport Protection Jacket

Fox’s Titan armored jacket has been a massively popular choice for off-roaders for years, and the updated Titan Sport adds some much-needed refinement to the original design. The highly-breathable mesh chassis and center zip design remains the same, but nearly every other part of the Fox Titan has been refined.

The armor has been reshaped to provide better articulation and increased comfort, the adjustment straps have been moved down to the forearm for a more secure fit, and the back protector has been shortened up to get rid of that annoying overhang below the waist.

Fox also designed the back protector to be completely removable, so you can use it as a standalone unit with just the kidney belt as needed. 

Fox Titan Sport Armored Motorcycle Jacket
On WABDR with the KLR and Fox Titan Sport protection jacket.

All things considered the Fox Titan Sport delivers solid protection at a great price point, but it certainly feels more budget-focused than our other favorites. The armor uses a simpler motocross-style plastic covering, which is great for fending off the gravel your buddy kicks up in front of you, but feels less refined than other jackets on our list.

The chest protector is particularly bulky, and protrudes out at the ribs similarly to the Forcefield jacket above. Still, it’s a great option for off-road-focused riding, and should feel particularly familiar if you’re coming from a motocross background. 

Fox Titan Sport motorcycle protection jacket close up.

The Good 🤩

  • Affordable.
  • Split chest armor design making it quick and easy to put on or take off.
  • Removable/standalone back protector.

The Not So Good 😔

  • Basic CE 1 protection throughout.
  • Plastic-plated armor lacks refinement.
  • Bulky chest protector.

5. Leatt 3DF Airfit Hybrid Motorcycle Protection Jacket

If you’ve spent any time riding in the dirt, you know that Leatt is one of the first names in protection. They make some of the best chest protectors and knee braces in the game, and the 3DF Airfit Hybrid Body Protector is their top-of-the-line motorcycle protection jacket for dual-sport use. 

This jacket takes its name from its “hybrid” approach to body armor, which uses a soft 3DF armor against the body, but adds a layer of hardshell protection over the top for extra reinforcement. The design is well executed and remains impressively streamlined unlike other hardshell options like the Fox Titan Sport above. 

The other major selling point here is the added padding in the biceps and flank area, which is easily the beefiest in our roundup. We’re also impressed by how comfortable and well-ventilated the Leatt 3DF Airfit Hybrid is in spite of it all.

You’d think all that added padding would make the jacket feel hotter and heavier than something like the Forcefield above, but Leatt added air ports to every piece of armor on the jacket, so it’s easy to forget you’re wearing it at all once you get going. 

The main downside to the Leatt is the price, as it’s easily the most expensive jacket on our list. The price is particularly painful considering the shoulder and elbows offer the same CE1 level protection as most motorcycle protection jackets, and for the premium price, CE2 doesn’t seem like too much to ask for.

Still, there’s added value in Leatt’s hybrid hardshell approach to armor (both in terms of protection and durability), and if you’re looking for a leg up on protection without sacrificing off-road chops, the AirFit Hybrid won’t disappoint. 

Leatt 3DF Airfit Hybrid Body Protector up close.

The Good 🤩

  • Hybrid hard/soft armor adds a degree of protection.
  • Best extra bicep and flank protection on our list.
  • Comfortable fit with well-designed adjustment system.

The Not So Good 😔

  • CE1 only at shoulders and elbows
  • Most expensive option on our list

READ MORE: 7 Best Adventure Motorcycle Boots or 5 Best Adventure Motorcycle Pants

So which motorcycle protection jacket are you choosing? Thanks for reading and I hope you found this list helpful!

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