7 Of Our Favorite Summer Riding Jackets

These summer jackets will help you look—and stay—cool

You don’t have to be a motorcyclist to know this summer has been particularly brutal—but it sure helps. When you’re in the saddle, baking under the direct sun with hot air blasting off the blacktop, extreme heat can make you more than just uncomfortable; it can be downright dangerous. But the answer isn’t to strip down! Leaving yourself exposed by not wearing proper riding gear is just plain stupid.

There are plenty of ways to stay safe and look cool. Here are a few of our favorite summer riding jackets that will do both.

Roland Sands Design Ronin Perforated Textile Jacket

Roland Sands Design Ronin Perforated Textile Jacket
$350 from AmazonRoland Sands Design

It’s no secret that Roland Sands Design’s heritage style has set the bar for a million moto-gear imitators. The Ronin is a blend of sleek style and practical features for hot summer riding months. The water-repellent, waxed cotton is lightweight (11.5 ounces without armor) and breathable, and the forward-leaning fit, pre-curved sleeves, elongated back, and relaxed shorty snap collar make it as functional on the bike as it is comfortable off of it. Side adjustable waist tabs and leather contrast touches keep things tidy. Heads up: RSD riding jackets are outfitted with armor-ready shoulder, elbow, and back pockets—but you’ve gotta buy the armor separately.

Icon Mesh AF CE Jacket

Icon Mesh AF CE Jacket
$250 at RevzillaIcon

The name says it all. Perfect for when it’s hot AF outside, large panels of iron-weave mesh provide airflow and a durable textile chassis provides abrasion resistance. The aggressive fit with pre-curved arms says it’s meant to be snug, making it aerodynamic and comfortable at speed. Ideal for wearing over a T-shirt. Ready to go out of the box with a complete set of D3O elbow, shoulder, and back armor.

Black Brand Perforated Leather Fahrenheit KoolTeK Jacket

Black Brand Perforated Leather Fahrenheit KoolTeK Jacket
$283 at AmazonBlack Brand

Black Brand's leather Fahrenheit KoolTeK jackets are given a special treatment that supposedly keeps the leather up to 20 degrees cooler in the sunshine. We tested this tech out a couple of years ago, and holy moly, it seemed to really work; no, we didn't bust out the thermometer, but this jacket actually felt cooler to the touch than another black leather jacket lying next to it for 20 minutes. And the perforations help airflow too. It ended up being one of our favorite summer leathers. The Fahrenheit KoolTeK comes with full D3O armor and a moisture- and odor-wicking liner and, best of all, it's a heckuva lot cheaper now than it was when first released.

Belstaff Frith Jacket

Belstaff Frith Jacket
$595 at RevzillaBelstaaff

When it comes to the finest British moto style, you can’t beat Belstaff. Yes, you’ll pay a premium price, but you’re getting premium product. Top-quality materials and workmanship combine with exquisite design and thoughtful enhancements to make a summer riding jacket that’s as close to perfect as we’ve found. The Frith Jacket marries waxed nylon and cotton with a large Cordura mesh body and arm panels and a soft velvet collar and cuffs. A snap flap over the lightweight nylon zipper won't scratch your bike’s paint. Comes with removable CE Level 1 soft armor on the shoulders and elbows.

Rev'It Eclipse Jacket

Rev'It Eclipse Jacket
$595 at RevzillaRev'It!

At this price point, it’s no surprise the Eclipse is one of the more popular summer riding jackets on the road, ideal for all types of riders on all kinds of bikes. This is gear the way we like it: no fancy graphics, no hi-viz colors or logos—just clean lines, quality materials, and solid workmanship at a great price. The relaxed fit and simple styling mean it’s as comfortable and effective on the interstate as it is on the boardwalk. Made with durable polyester and mesh, with armor in the shoulders and elbows, it’s available in solid black, brown, or sleek silver for better visibility. Plenty of pockets complete the all-purpose theme.

First Manufacturing Turbine Jacket

First Manufacturing Turbine Jacket
$250 at AmazonFirst Manufacturing

A great summer leather jacket, the Turbine is naked cowhide, perforated for breathability. It’s designed to be soft and pliable, as comfortable off the bike as on. It’s also pretty reasonably priced. We like it for all these reasons. We wish it came with armor though; and from what we can tell the armor pockets aren’t very large, so we doubt standard D3O would slip in without some trimming. It’s got abundant pockets and is very comfortable. If you’re in the market for a lightweight, comfortable summer leather jacket and aren’t hung up on armor, this is a fine choice.

Dainese Razon Perforated Leather Jacket

Dainese Razon Perforated Leather Jacket
$500 at RevzillaDainese

The understated, simplistic styling will make any rider look chic and stay cool. Straight from the Italian legend’s racing heritage, the Razon features a smooth, refined Tutu cowhide leather body that’s perforated for breathability. Elegant yet protective, with CE-certified composite protectors, a removable thermal liner, and integrated chest vents. Stay classy out there.