Brace for the cold: Best winter motorbike jackets

Winter motorbike jackets are a crucial purchase if you ride year round because, if there’s one thing you can be sure about motorcycling in winter – at some point it will be cold.

But while that puts some people off riding altogether, advances in clothing design and materials means there are now some brilliant textile suits, both one and two piece, available that can keep you warm and dry no matter what the weather. There are even some great options for those wanting separate jackets or trousers.

High-tech materials such as Gore-Tex help keep you warm; multi-layer, detachable designs mean you can have as many thermal layers as temperatures dictate; sophisticated waterproofing materials and membranes keep you dry and the latest CE-approved armour, tough textiles such as Kevlar and more ensure you get the maximum protection throughout.

Related: Best motorcycle thermals and base layers

But what’s out there? What do you get from your money and which should you go for? To help you decide here’s our current pick of some of the best winter motorbike jackets – across all budgets.

Price: £868.99

If you're into bikes, Italian clothing brand Dainese should need no introduction having been worn for years by no less than MotoGP GOAT Valentino Rossi, and the Antarctica is its top of the range, all-season, textile suit literally brimming with quality design features and materials - as it should be considering the price.


It has a highly abrasion-resistant outer, a removable goose-down thermal liner, laminated Gore-Tex waterproof membrane and fabulous build quality – it’s right up there with the very best and is highly rated as such.

Find the matching trousers here

Pros

  • Premium brand
  • Top spec features and materials
  • Durable and versatile

Cons

  • Hefty price

One-piece textile suits aren't that common in motorcycling, but they can make a brilliant, weatherproof winter option by virtue of a design which means it can be easily worn over normal daily clothes and a one-piece construction which has few connectors, joins or separation, is intrinsically more weatherproof than two-piece versions.


This Klim item isn’t cheap but again is one of the best thanks to its three-layer design, Gore-Tex outer with Cordura overlays and D3O CE-level body armour including back protector.

Pros

  • One-piece design
  • Quality materials
  • Practicality

Cons

  • Pricier than some two-piece suits

Price: £300.96

Another mid-price textile suit from a respected brand that's highly rated by buyers (and again comes with a 'Recommended' commendation from MCN's sister magazine RiDE) - and it's not hard to see why.


The Cyclone is a great balance of features, quality, style and value. It’s a waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex two-piece suit with a removable thermal liner and D3O CE-certified armour. What’s more, buyers say it’s well made, comfortable and completely warm and, especially at this price, who can ask for more than that?
Find the matching trousers here

Pros

  • Mid-priced
  • Respected brand
  • Highly rated

Cons

  • Not as flashy as some

Dane motorcycle textiles have made a name for themselves, as highly rated and have even gained a 'Best Buy' commendation from MCN's sister magazine RiDE.


The Nimbus is a durable water and windproof jacket with a cleverly-designed adjustable collar, three-layer construction, a luxury, removable, DuPont ComfortMax thermal liner, CE-rated armour, waterproof outside pockets, adjusting tabs on the sleeves and much, much more. It’s not even that expensive (compared to some!)

Pros

  • Impressive spec
  • Clever design
  • Reasonable value

Cons

  • Limited availability at this price

Price: $299.95
Alternative Retailers
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$299.95

Alpinestars is renowned as one of the world leaders in quality motorcycle clothing, but often with the prices to match. But the Andes two-piece, all-season suit proves that a suit from a great brand with high quality and year-round features doesn't have to have a sky-high price.


The Andes has a waterproof textile jacket with a removable thermal lining, lots of airflow vents and also ‘Flex CE’ limb armour. It zips neatly together with the matching trousers and comes in a wide choice of colours and sizes. For the price, what more can you ask?

Find the matching trousers here

Pros

  • Premium brand
  • Lots of quality features
  • Decent value

Cons

  • Fewer features than high-end items

Price: $314.97

A quality, mid-priced, well-styled all-season textile jacket and trousers combo from respected British brand Oxford Products and one that is also highly rated, not just by owners but gaining a Recommended tag from MCN sister brand RiDE magazine.


Its decent, low-to-middle range price has helped it become a best seller; it’s a strong nylon jacket with a laminated waterproof membrane, a removable thermal liner and it comes with CE-approved limb armour as well.

Pros

  • British brand
  • Highly rated
  • Good value

Cons

  • Not as fashionable as some

Spada are a highly-respected motorcycle clothing brand and their Barn textile jacket and zip-together Milan textile trousers are both highly rated and packed with winterproof features - and cut specifically for women riders.


The Barn comes with a waterproof membrane and a removable laser-quilted lining. It also has CE-approved armour and adjustable fit. The Milan trousers are fully waterproof and breathable and again have a thermal lining, CE-approved knee armour and come with a zipper leg closure. Both are also brilliant value.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Respected brand
  • Ladies cut

Cons

  • Lacks sophistication of some

Let's end with one of the very best, if only to illustrate the kind of luxury and sophistication that's available - if you can afford it. Yes, Finnish-made Rukka gear is expensive but it's also widely regarded as among the very best winter gear and their Nivala suit is at the top of that tree.


It’s made from a mix of high-tech Aramid fibres and Cordura, has a Gore-Tex Pro membrane and Aramacor strengthening, D3O body armour (including back and chest), a down/feather thermal lining, waterproof zips and pockets… the list goes on. Not cheap, but if you want the best...

Pros

  • One of the best brands in the biz
  • Fabulous spec and quality
  • Very durable too

Cons

  • Er, do you have to ask?

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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