Tried and tested: Dainese Racing 3 jacket review

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This Dainese Racing 3 jacket was launched back in 2017 and updated with the Racing 4 version in 2022. It featured some light upgrades and new colours, but both versions are essentially the same.

It’s available in men’s or women’s fit and vented or non-vented, like mine. It also zips to matching leather bottoms, which are sold separately. I’ve been wearing it on road testing photoshoots, trips to work and around the UK.

I’m a 52 in most leather jackets and I went for this size with the Dainese Racing 3 leather jacket. Although it generally fits well, it’s baggy around the arms, pulls slightly in the shoulders and doesn’t give the snug, racer-like feel I was expecting. I could’ve gone down to a size 50, which would’ve fitted better around my body, but being tall (6ft) it would’ve come up too short.

Tested by Michael Neeves for three years, 2500 miles


  • High quality
  • Stylish
  • Smells great


  • Baggy fit
  • Comfort
  • Practicality
  • Looks
  • Quality
  • Protection
  • Value
  • Verdict
Construction Tuto leather with S1 bielastic fabric sections and removeable external aluminium shoulder armour.
Type Leather motorcycle jacket.
CE rating garmet Cat.II 89/686/EEC
Armour EN 1621.1 certified shoulder and elbow armour
  • Two external pockets
  • Internal pockets for chest and back protector
  • Waist adjustment
  • Reflective inserts and stretch panels
  • Breathable mesh lining

It’s the same story with the leather bottoms I occasionally wear: fine in the length but loose everywhere else. That said with its soft leather, S1 fabric and Microelastic 2.0 stretch panels and a fabric section to the back of the neck, the jacket is comfortable on and off the bike. It’s long enough in the waist not to expose your lower back leant forward on sporty bikes.

This being the non-vented version it’s nice and warm in the autumn/winter/spring months and comes with zippable vents in the chest and kidney areas to keep cool in the heat.

Although it looks like the top half of a track-focussed racing suit the jacket’s cut is more relaxed (a bit too much for me in places), making it easy to take it on and off, even when I bulk up with a base layer, mid-layer and back protector/airbag vest underneath.

Dainese racing 3 jacket rear

The leather jacket is surprisingly light, has a breathable mesh lining (but no extra thermal inner) and best of all, doesn’t have a race hump in the back, which is the main reason I chose this model. I think a flat back looks better on the road and race humps often get in the way when you’re wearing it off the bike.

The main pockets are big and nicely positioned, but there are no inside pockets other than ones for an accessory chest protector.

Dainese arguably produce the coolest-looking leather jackets and the most amazing-smelling leather, too. It’s a treat for the nose like a box-fresh Arai or the haze of Castrol R-infused two-stroke smoke. The removable aluminium shoulder protectors and bright lumo yellow flashes are pure Rossi, too.

Dainese Racing 3 jacket lining

Dainese haven’t cut corners with this jacket. The leather screams quality, the stitching is perfect and the zips and fasteners work flawlessly. The attention to detail goes right down to the crisply cut Dainese logos and letters. My jacket is three years old now and still looks like new.

EN 1621.1 certified shoulder and elbow armour come as standard, as do the pockets for a chest and back protector, which you’ll have to buy separately. The leather is ‘Tutu’ cowhide, which Dainese claims high resistance to abrasion, tear, cut and traction.

It’s a fair investment for a leather jacket and you’re no doubt paying a chunk for the Dainese logo but for style, quality, durability and downright coolness it’s well worth it.

Dainese Racing 3 jacket front


Dainese’s Racing 3 leather jacket isn’t as well fitted as I’d like but being tall and thin I’m an odd shape. It doesn’t come with a removable thermal liner, there are no inside pockets and isn’t cheap either, but you get what you pay for.

The Dainese Racing 3 is a superb sporty jacket that’s stylish, well made, not too racy… and smells good, too.

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