Best mid-layer motorcycle clothing

Best motorcycle mid-layer clothing
Best motorcycle mid-layer clothing

In a world of base layers, mid-layers are often an overlooked item of motorcycle clothing. They are a great way of keeping warm in winter and can usually be worn with your existing kit to save having to replace it. This saves money overall. With the amount of choice from different brands, identifying the best mid-layer motorcycle clothing is not always straightforward. It can be difficult to know where to start.

It goes without saying that the most important type of bike gear is outerwear, both for safety reasons as well as protection from the elements. This applies to every season throughout the year, and depends on the type of bike and riding you do. No matter the occasion though, you can purchase a variety of motorcycle clothing to meet your needs. Items such as all-season textiles, summer leather jackets or lightweight adventure wear.

After that, it’s also important to invest in purpose-designed base layers. These can be thermal tops and leggings to maximise warmth without bulk in winter. The main purpose of this item of clothing is to wick away moisture from the body. This enables the rider to stay comfortable whilst in the saddle. As well as that, you can also get lightweight ‘wicking’ undergarments. These ensure the rest of your motorcycling clothing stays comfortable and effective.

A third, mid-layer should also be taken seriously, as the type you select can significantly affect your comfort and temperature management. Proper thermal mid-layer biking tops, neck warmers and other related items also ensure that the rest of your motorcycle clothing fits properly. This keeps the bulk to a minimum and can maximise your gear’s thermal efficiency. Here’s our pick of the best mid-layer motorcycle clothing that’s available right now.

Related: Best heated motorcycle jackets and vests

The best mid-layer motorcycle clothing

This men's mid-layer jacket from respected motorcycle clothing manufacturer Alpinestars comes with a 'hyper stretch tech fit' to ensure the perfect fit and minimum bulk under your outerwear and has a soft microfleece lining for maximum warmth and comfort.

It has two front pockets and a single zipper fastening for ease of use, is in 100% polyester and is machine washable, too. It comes in plain black, army green or a natty blue camo design.


  • Comfortable
  • Extra warmth
  • Stylish


  • Not the cheapest

This quilted, thermal mid-layer jacket is designed for winter use but can also be worn every day on its own. There's a matt finish taffeta fabric outer and a soft taffeta lining with Thermolite fabric insulation.

There’s also a soft, ribbed waistband, a soft, ribbed collar, durable YKK zipper fastening, two outer zipped waist pockets and two inner pockets for your mobile and wallet.


  • Extra warmth
  • Four pockets
  • Good value


  • Not the most stylish
Price: £107.13

Another quality mid-layer jacket from a respected Italian brand - this time from Dainese. The Afteride jacket manages to be both practical and stylish off-bike by providing a snug fit in 100% polyester but also has three useful outer pockets.

There are two pockets on the waist and a useful, vertical wallet pocket plus a waist adjuster, high neck for added warmth. The jacket also features subtle, stylish Dainese logos.


  • Good mid-range price
  • Stylish design
  • Quality construction


  • Not as warm as pure winter jackets
Price: £7.79

Neck 'tubes' are an often-overlooked but vital part of your biking wardrobe and can be brilliant at keeping your neck warm and stopping the wind from getting down the neck of your jacket or up into your helmet.

This bargain-price tube is typical and is from respected British motorcycle accessory brand Oxford Products. It’s in lightweight, stretch Lycra with comfortable ‘flat-lock’ seams, is subtly stylish, great at protecting your neck and lower face from wind, weather and bugs and cheap, too!


  • Cheap
  • Comfortable
  • Respected brand


  • May require larger, thicker versions in winter

Rrp: £25.99

Price: £22.99

More sophisticated than a simple, Lycra neck tube, neck warmers have a more tailored fit and extra features for improved comfort, warmth and protection. This one, from leading Italian brand Alpinestars, has an elasticated insert to help keep it in position and a double-layered, fleece-lined main construction.

The Tech Neck Warmer also incorporates stretch and moisture-wicking material for excellent comfort and freedom of movement.


  • Improved fit
  • Double-layer construction
  • Fleece-lined for warmth


  • Pricier than a basic 'tube'

This water-resistant, mid-layer vest comes with heating pads on the chest, back and collar for maximum thermal control. It's constructed in a soft nylon shell, which makes this a lightweight, highly compressible item, perfect for packing into your luggage when going on trips with unpredictable weather conditions.


  • Light and compressible
  • Heated
  • Great for taking on touring trips


  • Pricier than some

This softshell mid-layer top uses German brand Held's Clip-in technology for attachment to its compatible jackets, meaning you're simply adding warmth and windcheating ability to your existing jacket. It’s elasticated with a breathable mesh lining, a soft collar for maximum comfort, plus two external and two internal pockets. It’s also available in men’s and women’s sizes and designs.


  • Neat addition to existing jackets
  • Affordable option
  • Quality and effective


  • Restricted to some jackets

Like Held's clip-in mid-layer jackets, these padded, mid-layer pants use the German firm's 'Clip-in' technology for attachment to compatible jeans. They're in an elasticated, softshell fabric construction, have a 3M Thinsulate thermal lining, are water and wind-repellent and have stretch panels at the crotch, calves and knees for maximum comfort.


  • Thermal boost for existing trousers
  • Comparatively affordable
  • Great fit and comfort


  • Not transferable to other brands

About the author: After qualifying as a mechanical engineer, Jim Blackstock began working on magazines in the early 1990s. He remains passionate about product testing to ensure readers know what products offer good value and why. He relishes torrential rain to see if riding kit keeps water out and an hour or two to tinker on a project bike in his workshop.

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