Leather vs. Textile Motorcycle Jackets: Benefits, Differences and Choosing Which Is Best for You

Leather vs. Textile Motorcycle Jackets: Benefits, Differences and Choosing Which Is Best for You

What to Pack for an Overnight Motorcycle Trip: Your Essential Checklist Reading Leather vs. Textile Motorcycle Jackets: Benefits, Differences and Choosing Which Is Best for You 4 minutes Next How Motorcycle Gloves Should Fit

It should also be comfortable without limiting your range of motion. An overly tight or loose jacket can be a recipe for disaster on the road. Regardless of how you like to ride, use a motorcycle Bluetooth headset to access your phone on the road. You can call for help or check in with your loved ones without taking your hands off the handlebars.

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Use this guide to find the right motorcycle jacket based on your riding style.

Leather Jackets vs. Textiles

Let’s see how these materials compare across the following categories:

Comfort and Fit

Both leather and textile jackets can be comfortable on the road. However, leather tends to stretch over time. Most leather jackets and products will adjust to the exact outline of your body so the jacket fits perfectly every time. It’s important to maintain your leather by keeping it out of the rain or it may expand beyond the size of your body. 

If the jacket feels stiff when you first put it on, try moving your body in different directions to loosen up the fibers. The more you move, the faster it will stretch

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Textile jackets don’t stretch. They are known for maintaining their dimensions over time. This can be a benefit or an asset depending on the initial fit. The material won’t adjust itself around the shape of your body, but you don’t have to worry about overstretching it either. 

It’s important to find a jacket that fits regardless of what material you choose. The jacket should fully cover your arms and torso. The sleeves should ideally connect all the way to your gloves so you aren’t exposed to the elements. The jacket should flap up when riding or leave your back exposed when bending forward. 


Leather tends to cost a bit more than textiles. You should also consider the cost of maintaining your leather jacket over time. You might have to pay to have the leather repaired or use conditioning sprays to prevent it from stretching too far.

Many riders can’t resist the look and feel of genuine leather, so you might want to pay a little extra if it means syncing up with the rest of your crew.

Buying a textile jacket can help you save money, but avoid purchasing a cheaply made jacket that won’t last the test of time. The materials should be soft on the skin while protecting you from the wind and rain.

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Durability and Protection

Both kinds of jackets are known for their durability. They will both hold up if you get into an accident, but textile jackets tend to offer the best protection.

It’s best to use a waterproof jacket when it’s raining or snowing outside. Leather usually stretches when it gets wet. You can buy a waterproof leather jacket, but this may cost over a thousand dollars or more.

Textile jackets are perfect for keeping the elements at bay. They won’t stretch while keeping you safe and dry. If you are adamant about using a leather jacket, consider wearing a waterproof vest or pullover on top of your jacket to protect it from the rain.

Textile jackets also tend to be warmer than those made of leather, which will come in handy in the winter. Add warming layers under your leather or textile jacket for extra comfort. 

Many riders choose to buy two jackets one for staying comfortable in the summer and one for riding in the winter. If you go with textiles, you might be able to buy two jackets without going over budget.

Keep this information in mind as you look for the perfect riding jacket. Don’t forget to add Bluetooth motorcycle helmet speakers to your shopping list to make the most of your time on the road.