Motorcycle jackets need to be form-fitting so that their padding can work better, but it can get difficult to find motorcycle jackets that fit well when you’re much taller than the average person.
If you’re one of these tall riders, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite motorcycle jackets that fit well with taller riders.
We’ve also included pros and cons so you can see what makes them stand out at a glance.
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We also wrote a buyer’s guide so you can see what makes a good motorcycle jacket, including what makes a good tall person’s motorcycle jacket and included a FAQs section at the end of it.
These resources can help you make a more informed purchase.
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Best Motorcycle Jacket For Tall Riders – Comparison Table
Best Motorcycle Jacket For Tall Riders – Reviews
Best Motorcycle Jacket For Tall Riders – Buyer’s Guide
How to choose the best motorcycle jackets
Since we’re focused on their fit, it’d be more useful to elaborate on motorcycle jackets as a whole. This buyer’s guide goes through the styles of jackets, the material, and the differences in fit between Europe and America.
Styles of motorcycle Jacket
What many people may think of when hearing the term ‘motorcycle jacket’ may be a far cry from the different styles you’ll find on the market. The uninitiated will probably think of cruiser jackets, the V-collared leather jackets made famous with the Greaser image popularized in the 1950s. Needless to say, not all cruiser-style jackets are made of actual leather, and these jackets are more of a fashion accessory than a protective measure.
The most common styles you’ll see are sport and adventure style jackets. Sport jackets follow a lot of the design specs of racing style jackets, which we’ll get to, but are laxer and fit looser on the body. They’re commonly textiles, which can easier facilitate the inclusion of ventilating mesh and removable liners.
Armor is common with them, but pockets are minimal. Sport and adventure jackets would be our recommendation of style, being the mid-ranges between functionally flawed cruiser jackets and unforgivingly functional sports jackets.
Adventure-style jackets are more of a niche, and feature jackets made from very durable textiles that are both breathable and waterproof to perform in hot and wet environments. If armor isn’t included, it’ll almost always be an option for you to place your own pads and protectors in. The big difference adventure jackets have is their abundance of pockets, making them perfect for lengthy trips, which is why we’d recommend these for everyday use. They also tend to have tall collars for neck coverage too.
Racing style jackets are very high-performance jackets that are made with abrasion-resistant material, often thick cowhide or synthetic paneling. They have a very tight fit. This means the pockets are minimal to none, hence why we mentioned these jackets aren’t very forgiving when it comes to living in these on your motorcycle commutes. Instead these are performance jackets that are better for occasions.
As mentioned, motorcycle jackets come in two main materials, these being leather or textiles. It’s a heated discussion in the community and, like any heated discussion, there’s no cut and dry answer to be found. Instead, it comes down to preference and application since each carries with them their own benefits and detriments.
Leather jackets suffer from the fact that leather comes in different grades. Quality varies with textiles too, obviously, but with leather the protection you get is going to be dependent on the quality of the leather, and good quality leather can get very expensive.
It pays off in its abrasion resistance, though, and you’ll find high-end performance jackets favoring leather over textile for this reason. It’s also an aesthetically pleasing material to make jackets from, and those jackets have a long history in the culture of motorcycling.
However, leather gets hot and isn’t naturally water-resistant, though it can be treated to be. They can be perforated to make them easier to wear in heat, too, but both treatments will see an increase in the price of the jacket, and it won’t compare to textiles. Leather is also heavier than textiles.
Textile motorcycle jackets are the much more versatile option since they’re easier to work with, supporting more features that can be built into them. They’re easy to make waterproof and can support more ventilation systems to keep riders cool. They’re also lighter and generally more flexible. They’re not as durable as leather, however, and mesh-using textile jackets don’t have the same abrasion protection. They also wear out faster than good leather too.
European and American Fit
You should be wary of the differences between European and American fit, mainly the fact that European fit is consistently taller and slimmer than the wider American fit. Since you’re shopping for jackets that fit well with tall people, in particular, you’ll need to pay more attention to the fit.
You’ll need to strike a balance between a taller, conventionally European fit but not have it too thin to the point where it’s uncomfortable to wear. Fortunately, most product pages should have some sort of table that can help you to convert European sizing over to American, but if not there are more generalized conversion charts available on the net.
Should a motorcycle jacket be tight-fitting?
It depends on the jacket but generally, yes. If it’s not in some way tight to your body, it won’t be offering much in the way of protection. Now, if you mean tight to the point of constriction, absolutely not. Textiles and leather jackets both loosen with time, though textiles do this to a lesser degree, the point being that it can also depend on material and type of jacket.
As mentioned above, racing motorcycle jackets are near skintight for aerodynamics purposes, and so they’d fit tighter on you than a more lax adventure or sport motorcycle jacket which has lots of pockets and padding that makes the overall product less snug.
In short, should your racing motorcycle jacket be tight-fitting? Yes, as long as you can breathe and comfortably move your arms. Should your padded-out, adventurer-style jacket be tight-fitting? Not really, no, it has no business being tight to the point where it becomes an issue.
How do you break in a motorcycle jacket?
With how tight motorcycle jackets can fit, it’s sometimes required to break them in before throwing the jacket out thinking that it doesn’t fit you. Breaking in only ever needs to be done with leather jackets, though if a textile jacket is just a little too tight there’s no question that it’ll loosen with time and wear.
You need to be very careful breaking in your jacket if it’s leather, since any damage done will be semi-permanent. They’ll wear with use anyway, but there are a few tips to speed that process up.
There’s an old motorcycle jacket ritual, of sorts, that can help you break in your leather motorcycle jacket. It involves getting the leather wet in a light rain and then performing movements to stretch the now softened leather where it counts, mainly around the arms. Bend them as much as possible, or shadowbox, until the leather is dried. You can put it in the washing machine, but this will cause shrinkage, so we wouldn’t recommend it given how you’ve taken the time to find the right tall fit.
If you haven’t seen anything you like or you’re on a tight budget and would prefer to buy used, we always recommend checking Ebay!Check Ebay
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