Riding a motorcycle can be an incredibly freeing experience. The feel of the open road, the rush of acceleration, the ability to see the world from an open-air perspective – it offers a level of adventure and excitement unlike any other.
However, with the thrill of riding comes increased risk. Motorcycles provide far less protection than a car or truck during an accident. This makes wearing proper motorcycle gear absolutely essential for protecting your body. A quality leather jacket designed for riding is one of the most important pieces of gear you can invest in.
In this guide, we’ll cover the top 5 leather jackets with armor to keep you protected while you ride in style. We reviewed dozens of options and selected the best based on critical factors like impact protection, comfort, style, and overall value. Whether you’re a new rider looking for your first jacket or a seasoned veteran, you’ll find the perfect option in this roundup.
Let’s get started!
1. Icon Overlord Resistance Jacket
First up we have the Overlord Resistance Jacket from Icon. This premium jacket comes loaded with safety features while still maintaining a comfortable and flexible design.
Icon is a major player in the motorcycle gear world, known for pushing the limits of technology and protection. Their gear is designed to perform in demanding riding conditions while providing maximum coverage.
The Overlord Resistance jacket is constructed from 1.2mm-1.4mm drum dyed cowhide leather. This results in a jacket that’s thick and durable, yet still flexible enough for a comfortable fit while riding. The body utilizes textile stretch panels which add extra mobility.
For impact protection, this jacket comes equipped with CE approved armor at the elbows, shoulders, and back. This armor helps mitigate impact forces by absorbing and dispersing energy. The spine area features a flexible polymer back plate along with breathable foam padding.
Comfort is also a priority for the Overlord. It features a removable quilted thermal liner for colder rides. Along the front zippered area are adjustable intake vents you can open for increased airflow on hot days. The waist includes dual adjustment belts for securing the perfect fit, while the zippered sleeve cuffs seal out wind.
In terms of style, the Overlord Resistance comes in several color options like black, gray, and red – all featuring subtle Icon branding. It uses high quality YKK zippers throughout for durability. The overall look balances Icon’s aggressive mechanical style while allowing you to pair it with any bike.
Given the premium materials and long list of features, the Overlord sits at a higher price point. However, you’re getting an extremely durable and protective jacket built to last. For riders who want the latest technology in a stylish package, the Icon Overlord Resistance is an outstanding choice.
- Maximum armor coverage and impact protection
- Flexible leather construction with textile panels
- Removable thermal quilted liner
- Air intake vents for warm weather riding
- Subtle branding matches any bike
- Higher price point
- Sizing can run small
2. Milwaukee Leather Police Style Motorcycle Jacket
Next up we have the Police Style Leather Motorcycle Jacket from Milwaukee. Milwaukee Leather is known for their classic biker and vintage American styles crafted from high quality leather.
This police-inspired jacket utilizes 1.2mm-1.3mm milled cowhide leather sourced from the finest U.S. hides. The leather is expertly drum dyed for deep color penetration, then treated with oils for weather resistance. The result is a supple, lived-in look straight from the glory days of American motorcycle culture.
For protecting you during spills, this jacket comes equipped with CE approved armor on the elbows, shoulders, and back. The foam back pad offers impact absorption where you need it most.
In cold weather, the jacket includes a full sleeve zip-out thinsulate liner to seal in heat. The collar can also be secured in the up position to block wind. For warmer rides, vents located on the front chest and back allow airflow. The waist can be adjusted for a custom fit via side buckles and snaps.
The police-inspired styling gives this jacket a tough, vintage vibe. It’s available in classic black or rich brown full grain leather. Milwaukee also includes details like zippered sleeve cuffs and pockets for a timeless look. Heavy duty YKK zippers and hardware hold up to daily use.
While not loaded with premium tech features, the Milwaukee Leather Police Style Jacket delivers classic protection and style at a very appealing mid-range price point. For riders looking to channel their inner outlaw, this jacket is a top choice.
- Classic vintage American styling
- Full grain drum dyed leather
- Zip-out thinsulate liner for colder weather
- CE approved armor in key areas
- Quality materials and hardware
- Limited color/style options
- Not as much flexibility as other options
3. Joe Rocket Phoenix 5.0 Jacket
Moving on, we have the Phoenix 5.0 by Joe Rocket – one of the best selling motorcycle jackets on the market. Joe Rocket is focused on delivering high value, high performance gear packed with useful features.
The Phoenix 5.0 starts with a 1.2mm cowhide leather shell that provides abrasion resistance without sacrificing comfort. It’s paired with a full sleeve zip-out liner for easy conversion between warm and cold rides.
This jacket includes CE approved armor at the elbows, shoulders, and back to handle impacts while keeping you protected. The spine section uses a dual-density foam back pad that can be removed as needed.
Joe Rocket built the Phoenix 5.0 with long rides in mind. It uses perforated FreeAir mesh panels along the front and back to allow air to flow through. The sleeves include take up straps to adjust the fit, while 8 total adjustment points allow you to dial in the perfect shape.
The Phoenix channels Joe Rocket’s signature subtle styling with clean lines and minimal branding. It’s available in classic black as well as eye-catching options like red, blue, and hi-viz yellow.
As an added value bonus, Joe Rocket offers this jacket at a very wallet-friendly price. It delivers premium protection and functionality rivaling more expensive options. For riders seeking high performance without the premium price tag, the Phoenix 5.0 is easily one of the best values available.
- Loaded with useful features
- Full sleeve zip-out liner
- Perforated panels for ventilation
- CE approved armor in key areas
- Very affordable pricing
- Limited style options
- Not as premium of materials as higher cost jackets
4. Alpinestars Oscar Monty Jacket
If you’re looking for premium protection infused with high tech features, look no further than the Alpinestars Oscar Monty jacket. Alpinestars is known for advanced technology inspired by their deep racing heritage.
This jacket uses 1.3mm full grain leather construction for the outer shell – providing a supple feel while still being highly abrasion resistant. Stretch panels are integrated along the sleeves and sides for added flexibility and ease of movement.
The Monty jacket includes CE approved armor at the elbows and shoulders to protect those vulnerable impact zones. It also features Alpinestars’ advanced dual-density back protector for highly effective spine protection during falls.
Built for performance riding, the Monty has an athletic fit silhouette made for the riding position. The sleeves feature a zippered gusset so you can easily access your gloves and cuffs. Zippered air intakes allow airflow directly to your body for cooling.
In terms of style, the Oscar Monty draws inspiration from vintage cafe racers with its clean, minimal design lines. It’s the ideal blend of retro style with ultra-modern protective technology. The jacket is available in classic black as well as vibrant red and blue colorways.
Due to the premium materials and technology, the Monty sits at a higher price point than other options. However, you’re getting features found on Alpinestars’ racing suits in a jacket suited for the streets. For riders seeking high end protection with timeless styling, the Alpinestars Oscar Monty is a true standout.
- Premium leather paired with stretch panels
- Integrated CE approved armor
- High performance dual-density back protector
- Sleeve gussets for easy glove access
- Classic cafe racer inspired style
- Higher price tag
- Only available in three colors
5. Harley Davidson Rooke Leather Jacket
Last but not least we have the Harley Davidson Rooke leather jacket – an instant classic ready for miles of road. The Bar & Shield brand needs no introduction, with Harley being synonymous with American cruising and rebellious style.
The Rooke starts with a 1.2mm-1.3mm top grain cowhide leather shell available in classic black or rustic brown. At this thickness, the leather provides serious abrasion resistance while remaining pliable and comfortable.
The jacket includes CE approved armor at the elbows and shoulders, with a foam back pad providing additional spine protection. Padding at the collar and lower back kidney area provide cushion during impact.
Harley built the Rooke for long days in the saddle, incorporating useful features to keep you comfortable. The quilted zip-out liner and stand up collar seal in heat when needed, while the action back panels ensure a comfortable riding position. Convenient zippered pockets secure small items while riding.
It wouldn’t be a Harley jacket without that signature styling, and the Rooke delivers with bell sleeves, epaulettes, and classic angled front zipper. Subtle Bar & Shield branding and hardware add authentic flair.
With its premium American leather and loaded with Harley character, the Rooke commands a higher price point than other non-branded jackets. However, you’re paying for the quality materials and craftsmanship that define the Harley ethos. For Harley riders seeking the perfect protective leather jacket, the Rooke is the ideal choice.
- Signature Harley styling
- Durable top grain American leather
- Quilted zip-out liner for colder weather
- Foam back pad for spine protection
- Zippered pockets and front closure
- Higher price for the Harley name
- Only available in black and brown
So there you have it – our picks for the top 5 motorcycle leather jackets with armor to keep you protected. Each jacket was evaluated across critical categories like protection, comfort, style, and value to determine the standout options for every budget and preference.
Here are some key takeaways:
- Look for jackets with CE approved armor in impact zones like elbows, shoulders, and back for the best protection. Materials like cowhide leather provide abrasion resistance during spills.
- Consider useful comfort features like zip-out thermal liners, ventilation zippers/panels, waist adjustments, and stretch panels that allow flexibility.
- While protection is key, also choose a jacket that aligns with your personal style. Options range from classic vintage looks to high tech sporty designs.
- Investing in a quality leather motorcycle jacket is worth the value given how critical proper gear is for your safety. Look for quality construction and materials.
- Be sure to take the time to try on different jackets, whether at your local shop or through online ordering with free returns. The right fit makes all the difference for comfort and protection.
Riding a motorcycle is all about freedom and adventure. But protecting yourself with proper gear should always be the top priority. We hope this guide has helped you learn about the highest rated jackets on the market and identify options that meet your needs. Ultimately there is no substitute for sliding into a premium leather jacket designed for life on the road. Here’s to many miles of happy trails ahead!