Best Mesh Motorcycle Jackets – (2021) Buyer’s Guide

| Last Updated: June 27, 2021

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Riding in the summer heat is never fun. But, the right type of gear can help make an otherwise unpleasant ride more enjoyable. Mesh jackets are meant for summer riding.

If you’re looking for something with protection that also keeps you cool, a mesh jacket is a way to go.

Comparison of the Best Mesh Motorcycle Jackets

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Available in a large variety of colors
  • Comes with armor patches added for improved protection
  • A waterproof liner included with the jacket
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  • Comes with the full adjustment option for better adaptability
  • Great for a variety of biking and sports applications
  • Safe and secure storage pockets for all valuables and devices
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  • Best for the Money
  • Concealed pocket for weapon and ammo
  • Quick and easy to fit zipper for quick fitting
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  • Best Mesh Motorcycle Jacket for Hot Weather
  • Comes with a lot of extra storage pockets added
  • Made from very durable materials to last longer
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  • Best Women's Mesh Motorcycle Jacket
  • A nice fashionable design and color
  • Uses advanced X-armor technology for added protection
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What is a Mesh Motorcycle Jacket? 

Mesh motorcycle jackets were specifically designed for hot weather riding while still keeping you safe. The lightweight material lets air circulate through the jacket, keeping cool. Plus, there are still plenty of safety features, like elbow and shoulder padding and reflective piping. 

Most mesh jackets have a lot of pockets where you can safely stash your personal belongings. These jackets aren’t always the best choice for the colder months. That said, some mesh jackets come with removable lining so they can be used in the spring and fall, too. 

Joe Rocket Phoenix 5.0

When Would a Mesh Motorcycle Jacket Come in Handy? 

Mesh jackets are a good choice where there are certain criteria you’re trying to meet. While this style might not be the best option in cold weather or rain, it’s an ideal choice in other situations. Here’s when a mesh jacket comes in handy.

For Heat

Mesh jackets at the best choice for hot weather. They have amazing ventilation that keeps you cool while riding. One of the key features of these jackets is that they keep you cool without sacrificing protection. Mesh jackets have armor protection that is just as good as textile jackets.

For Comfort

If you’re looking for a jacket that’s lightweight, mesh is one of the best materials out there. These jackets are not bulky or heavy. Finding the right jacket can be difficult, especially if weight is a concern. Mesh jackets are a solution. Plus, you can always layer clothes underneath if you want to wear mesh in cooler weather.

For Flexibility

One of the best things about mesh jackets is that they are flexible. Your arms and shoulders move freely. Bending your elbows and turning your upper body is much easier in a mesh jacket than in a leather one.

Review of the Best Mesh Motorcycle Jackets

Looking for a good mesh jacket but aren’t sure where to start? Here are a few of our top picks.

Best Overall:
Joe Rocket Phoenix 5.0

Joe Rocket Phoenix 5.0 Men's Mesh Motorcycle Riding Jacket (Gray/Black, Medium)

PROS

  • Removable waterproof liner
  • Multiple secure storage pockets
  • FreeAir poly mesh shell for superior ventilation
  • CE-approved armor at the elbows and shoulders
  • RockTec fabric at the shoulders, elbows, and ribs

CONS

  • Fits tight at the waist
  • Loose around the neck and chest

What Recent Buyers Report

Some people mentioned that they were impressed by the overall quality of this jacket, particularly the double-stitching. Recent buyers agree that this mesh jacket is exceptional in the heat but most believe it’s not suitable for colder weather. Some, though, believe that with the right layers, it can get you into fall.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We like that this jacket is so versatile. The mesh and airflow are ideal for hot, sunny days. And, it comes with a removable waterproof liner so you’re prepared for inclement weather. There are also plenty of pockets to stash your stuff. 

Another thing this jacket has going for it is the level of safety it provides. There are removable shoulder and neck armors and a pocket to add an aftermarket spine pad if desired. The brand’s proprietary RocTec material is lightweight and provides abrasion resistance that’s superior to other types of material.  

Bottom Line

The Phoenix mesh jacket keeps you cool, but it doesn't sacrifice protection. It’s not easy to get that balance, but Joe Rocket did it with this one. It comes in a wide range of sizes. Plus, there’s a six-point custom adjustment system so you can always get the perfect fit.

Runner-up:
Alpha Cycle Gear Breathable Jacket

ALPHA CYCLE GEAR BREATHABLE BIKERS RIDING PROTECTION MOTORCYCLE JACKET MESH CE ARMORED (BLACK WIND, XXX-LARGE)

PROS

  • 10-year warranty
  • Multiple storage pockets
  • Fully adjustable for a perfect fit
  • Mesh design provides excellent ventilation
  • CE-approved removable armor protection on the elbows, shoulders, and back

CONS

  • Not suitable for cold-weather riding
  • Some pockets do not have zippers and are not as secure

What Recent Buyers Report

Users love the fit and style of this jacket. The large mesh panels are effective at promoting airflow. Although it’s a perfect jacket for summer, some people felt that it could be used for cooler weather. All you need are a few layers underneath for warmth.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The main reason we love this jacket is that it’s an ideal combination of affordability and protection. It’s made of durable Cordura material that stands up to abrasions and protects against road rash. There’s also CE-approved armor in the shoulders, spine, and elbows. Visibility is great, too, thanks to the hi-vis logos. 

Fit is so important with a motorcycle jacket, and this one comes in a range of sizes. Plus, there are adjusters at the cuffs, forearms, and biceps to tailor the fit. The jacket only comes in black, but there are five accent colors to come from. Some, like green and orange, also increase visibility.

Bottom Line

If you’re in the market for an affordable mesh jacket that doesn’t skimp on safety, this is a great choice. It’s designed to keep you cool and safe. And, it performs on both fronts. With the right number of layers, you might even get away with wearing it in the spring and fall, too.

Best for the Money:
Xelement CF2157 Jacket

Xelement CF2157 Men's 'Caliber' Black Mesh Motorcycle Jacket with X-Armor Protection - Small

PROS

  • CE-approved XArmor protection
  • Made of 100% poly-mesh materials
  • Full-sleeve zip-out liner for cool weather riding
  • Adjustable arm and sleeve straps and velcro cuffs
  • Conceal-carry pockets in the inner lining on both the right and left side

CONS

  • Feels a bit heavy 
  • Runs a little small

What Recent Buyers Report

Most buyers are pleasantly surprised by the quality of this jacket. It fits great, though it runs a little small. Some people felt that the jacket performed better with the liner in place, though this covers up a lot of the mesh openings. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This jacket has a lot of safety features without bogging it down. It features removable CE-approved XArmor on the elbows and shoulders and a soft-foam removable back armor. Plus, the ergonomic design fits well without restricting movement. We also love the reflecting piping for increased visibility. 

The full-sleeve zip-out liner is great for transitioning from spring to summer and summer to fall. There’s also an inside media pocket with a wire feed, two conceal carry pockets, and front zippered pockets. This one is not the cheapest option on our list, but it’s priced low enough to fit into most people’s budgets.

Bottom Line

This mesh jacket is designed to keep you cool and safe. The level of protection is impressive for a jacket at this price. It delivers a great fit, too. This one comes in sizes ranging from small to 5XL. Plus, it has an adjustable arm and side straps for a tailored fit.

Best Mesh Motorcycle Jacket for Hot Weather:
Viking Cycle Ironside Jacket

Motorcycle Jackets for Men Viking Cycle Ironside Men’s Mesh Motorcycle Jacket (Small, Black)

PROS

  • Adjustable fit for maximum mobility
  • Reflective piping for maximum visibility
  • Multi-pocket storage with inner and outer pockets
  • Mesh design lets you choose the amount of ventilation
  • CE-approved armor on the back, shoulders, and elbows

CONS

  • Fit runs a bit small
  • Torso may be short

What Recent Buyers Report

Most buyers have nothing but good things to say about this jacket. For most people, the fit is great. And, the mesh design is extremely breathable, even on those hot summer days. Best of all, it’s comfortable and doesn’t restrict movement which is just what you want when riding.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The thing we like most about this jacket is how versatile it is. The open mesh design is great for hot weather. And, it’s adjustable so you can let in less air when the temperature drops. The cuffs, waist, and collar have adjustable Velcro and the arms have buttons to modify the fit. 

It also provides great protection at an affordable price. With CE-certified armor in the upper and lower back, shoulders, and elbows. The design protects against abrasion and the reflective piping increases visibility. There are multiple pockets to stash your belongings, too.

Bottom Line

Here’s an affordable jacket that keeps you cool and safe. The mesh design allows for significant airflow, and the adjustable fit is comfortable and doesn’t restrict movement. CE-approved armor protects against road rash. Plus, there’s plenty of storage to bring along the necessities on your ride.

Best Women's Mesh Motorcycle Jacket:
Xelement CF508 Jacket

Xelement CF508 Women's 'Guardian' Black and Pink Mesh Jacket with X-Armor Protection - Small

PROS

  • Super lightweight materials
  • Adjustable straps for a tailored fit
  • Reflective piping for high visibility
  • Made of breathable polyester mesh
  • Removable CE-approved armor on the shoulders and elbows

CONS

  • Sizing runs a bit small
  • May be a bit warm for hot temperatures

What Recent Buyers Report

Most buyers commented that they love the jacket and seem impressed with the quality. That said, a common complaint is that the sizing runs a bit small. There were some concerns that the padding wasn’t quite protective enough for heavy riding. Some buyers felt it was great for a casual passenger.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Women are built differently than men and men’s jackets don’t always fit properly. There’s a need for women’s motorcycle jackets. Although the sizing is a bit small, ordering a size up seemed to work for most buyers. You can adjust the fit, too, using the adjustable arm snaps, side straps, and velcro cuffs. 

This jacket has CE-approved XArmor on the shoulders and elbows. XArmor is designed to absorb higher impacts without restricting movement. It’s super lightweight, which combined with the mesh, makes this jacket a comfortable choice for a hot day.

Bottom Line

This jacket offers some impact and abrasion resistance, though some buyers felt that it was more appropriate for a passenger. The adjustable arms, cuffs, and sides make it easy to get a snug but comfortable fit that doesn’t inhibit movement.

Advantages of Investing in a Quality Mesh Motorcycle Jacket 

Here are the top three advantages of investing in a good mesh motorcycle jacket:

Keeps You Cool

As mentioned, mesh motorcycle jackets are designed to keep you cool in hot weather. Instead of a solid panel of material, these jackets have mesh on the front and back. This allows air to flow through without anything getting in its way. As a bonus, some mesh jackets also come with a removable liner. This liner may be used to provide protection when it rains or when the temperature drops.

Keeps You Protected

It’s easy to think that a lightweight jacket made of mesh might sacrifice some of the protection you get from other types of jackets. Luckily, this isn’t the case. Mesh jackets are designed with CE-approved armor, usually covering the elbows and shoulders. Some even have back protection.

Keeps You Comfortable

Because mesh jackets are so lightweight, they are very easy to move in. Leather and even some textile materials take a while to wear in. Until they do, it can be a little hard to move around which can affect your ability to steer the bike comfortably. With mesh, you can move your arms and bend your elbows without anything inhibiting you.

Comparison Overview 

If you’re still not sure if a mesh jacket is for you, here are some direct comparisons to help you make up your mind.

Mesh vs Textile Motorcycle Jackets

As mentioned, mesh jackets are the best choice for hot weather riding. Textile jackets often have mesh panels or vents that provide a little bit of air movement. But the truth is, they won’t keep you nearly as cool as a mesh jacket will. 

It’s easy to assume that a mesh jacket provides more protection than a mesh one, but that’s not necessarily the case. Most mesh jackets have armor that rivals that of textile jackets. While the actual amount of protection varies depending on the brand and design, generally, mesh coats have just as much armor as textile. 

Mesh vs Leather Motorcycle Jacket

The biggest difference between mesh and leather jackets is the amount of airflow. Leather jackets don’t breathe well. Even those that have vents will never be as cool as mesh jackets. 

The one place where leather jackets have an edge on every other type of material is abrasion resistance. Leather is the best material to protect you from road rash in the event of an accident. Mesh does a pretty good job, but it doesn’t quite measure up to leather.

How to Clean a Mesh Motorcycle Jacket 

To keep your mesh jacket looking and performing like new, it’s important to clean it every once in a while. Here’s how to do it.

How to Clean the Mesh Liner of a Motorcycle Jacket

Whether you have a mesh liner in a textile jacket or want to clean a jacket made of mesh, the technique is the same. Handwashing is always recommended. Fill a large sink or your tub with warm water. Add some baby shampoo or gentle soap and work it into the mesh. When you’re done, be sure to rinse thoroughly and let the jacket dry completely before wearing it.

How to Clean Bugs From Motorcycle Jacket Mesh

The best way to remove bugs from motorcycle jacket mesh is to just keep handwashing it until it’s gone. You can try a soft-bristle toothbrush if there’s something particularly stubborn stuck. If that doesn’t seem to be working, read the label on the jacket. Sometimes, you can wash the mesh in the washing machine on a gentle cycle. But don’t try this unless the label specifically says it's okay.

Conclusion 

Mesh jackets are the best choice for hot weather riding. They keep you cool and provide the same level of protection as a textile jacket. There are a lot of great options out there, but we think the products we chose are the best of the best.

People Also Ask

We know it’s not always easy choosing the best motorcycle gear, especially something as unique as a mesh motorcycle jacket. Here are some of the things that people wonder about the most.

How Safe Are Mesh Motorcycle Jackets?

Mesh motorcycle jackets are much safer than you might think. The armor protects just as much as the armor used in textile jackets. Some of them are even made of a material that’s able to stand up to abrasion.

How Long Do Mesh Motorcycle Jackets Last?

It depends on how often you wear them. If you only wear a mesh jacket in the summer, you may get two or three years out of it.

If you wear it through parts of the spring and fall, you may only get 18 months or so.

What is Cooler in the Summer? A Motorcycle Mesh Jacket or Armored Shirt?

Mesh jackets are cooler in the summer. Most armored shirts are made of flannel or denim. These materials do not breathe well. While armored shirts do protect in the event of an accident, a mesh jacket is a much better option if you’re concerned with staying cool. 

How Protective Are Mesh Motorcycle Jackets?

Although it varies from one item to the next, mesh jackets provide a significant amount of protection. Most have armor in the elbows and shoulders. Some even have some protection in the back. 

Does a Mesh Motorcycle Jacket With Armor Really Protect?

Yes. The armor that’s in a mesh jacket is the same armor that’s used in textile jackets. Most mesh has CE-approved armor. CE is the European testing and certification body. This means that it’s been tested and approved to vigorous safety standards.

Can You Dry Clean a Mesh Motorcycle Jacket?

It’s not necessary. Read the label to be certain, but most mesh jackets can be washed by hand or in the washing machine on a gentle cycle.



Hi, my name’s Troy. I started riding motorcycles with Clay mid-2020 and soaking up his vast knowledge of bikes. I have been writing for a few years and decided it was a good time to start writing about what I’m passionate about - motorcycles. No matter how bad your day is, a bike will always make you feel better, that’s my motto.