3 Best Jackets of 2016

2016 Editors' Choice

Motorcycle Jackets cover a lot of surface area and should provide a good amount of protection. They're also one of the most diverse products out there, with tons of options for virtually anything you're looking for. From leather to Gore-tex, we tried out some of the best looking and highest quality motorcycle jackets money can buy, and here are our favorites.

Black Brand Street Team
Jon McD's preffered jacket is the Street Team textile jacket from Black BrandStaff

Associate Editor: Jon McDevitt

I love the Street Team Jacket from Black Brand. Lightweight, definitely a year round jacket, it keeps you plenty warm in colder weather and with the vents open, it does a good job of keeping you from overheating in hot weather. The jacket comes with a three-year warranty and with your purchase a donation is made towards Homes for Our Troops. Black Brand has paid attention to detail and it paid off. Making sure they use quality materials to make the best overall quality jacket. They use YKK Zippers, D30 Armor for protection and comfort, 37.5 thermal regulating inner liner, Full-sleeve, windproof zip-out liner fits in jacket pocket, subtle reflective piping, and a snap down collar.

The Street Team does an excellent job of blocking the wind keeping you as comfortable as possible. I have taken worn it over a thousand miles in the last year, from cold weather to hot weather and I have no complaints. The jacket comes in at $250 and is worth every penny. You can feel confident you are getting a quality product knowing you have that three-year warranty, as well as the fact that it is assembled with quality parts.

For these reasons the Street Team Jacket from Black Brand is my 2016 Cruiser Editor’s Pick in the jacket category.

Editor Choice motorcycle jacket
Jordan Mastagni's all-weather textile Houston jacket from RSDStaff

Editor-In-Chief: Jordan Mastagni

I tested a lot of jackets this year, and by far the one I pulled from the hanger most for the multiple-season riding I do is Roland Sands Design's Houston Jacket.

When I first unwrapped the Houston ($650) from the box I received from the RSD crew, I thought to myself, “Self, another waxed cotton jacket? What’s the big deal?” I didn’t think of it too much for the wintertime because it was very lightweight and I associate warmth with big, bulky, and heavy. And while the aforementioned jackets serve a purpose in certain climates, in all actuality, after further studying and testing the Houston on the road, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Not only do the neoprene wetsuit-equipped sleeve cuffs and neorprene-lined collar keep the cool air out (like zero ventilation should you so choose), but also they do a great job of keeping your core body heat trapped inside. After hitting some thunderstorms in Southern California (if you can believe it), the Houston kept my shirt completely dry. Whenever I gear up for a test where inclement weather is possible (pretty much every time) the days of packing an extra rain jacket are few and far between thanks to the Houston.

The Houston is constructed of premium British Millerain waxed cotton that is both water repellent and abrasion resistant. To keep the elements out all seams are taped and the jackets have been reinforced with a waterproof barrier to keep the rider dry. When the temperature rises a quilted thermal vest can be removed and the waterproof back and upper chest vents can be opened to increase airflow. The neoprene-lined collar ensures comfort while adjustable outer cuffs and wetsuit style inner neoprene cuff keep the rider warm and protected while eliminating wind intrusion. Front, sleeve and rear reflective details enhance visibility. The Houston is fully armor ready with shoulder, elbow and back protector pockets. The fit is a slightly longer and more traditional. The Houston is offered in Black and Brown and features custom RSD trims and tonal, understated logo hits.

All in all, if you’re looking for a lightweight, functional riding jacket that will keep you warm this winter, the RSD Houston is it.

Spidi Fandango jacket
Morgan's Fandango Jacket from SpidiStaff

I've gotten to test a lot of really great jackets this year. On the lightweight side, Rev'it's Tracer over-shirt is waterproof and has padded protection, but is still great looking and casual off the bike. Speed and Strength's Soul Shaker Kevlar Reinforced Pullover is a solid buy for just $100 and is a great, easy layer to keep with you. But when it comes to a fully protective jacket, if I had to choose, it would be Spidi's Fandango Leather Jacket.

Everything about this jacket is top-of-the-line. The Fandango’s styling is a unique blend of classic Schott Perfecto-esque biker jackets and traditional cafe racer pieces. The leather is extremely high quality, soft and strong. The pads in the shoulders and elbows are not intrusive and fit well to my body when I wear it. Pockets are well placed and well thought out, and like everything else I love from Spidi, it is perfectly simply. There is just the one, well placed leather pocket inside. The liner is a simple and stylish, stretchable modern fabric.

This is Spidi’s tip-top, but I have tested a good number of their other jackets around the $4-500 range as well, and they are all exceptional. They are one company that has truly mastered the art of simplicity in design. While it may be in the top tier of their pricing structure, it’s justified when you see/ feel the quality of this jacket.