A good motorcycle jacket is more than just a fashion statement. It’ll help keep skin on your hide, stand up against the elements, and be your best friend come rain or shine. That said, when it comes time to plunk down your hard-earned money on a new one, there’s lots of different styles of motorcycle jackets that cater to both riding interest and personal taste, made in a myriad of different materials. To help the decision-making process, we’ve put together a handful of helpful tips for buying a motorcycle jacket.

Here's a sizing chart for men from our friends at Roland Sands Design. Knowing your exact measurements is helpful because sizing varies from company to company. 

1.       Know your measurements. An XL is not universal between brands. While I wear a 2XL in RSD, in Alpinestars I’m 3XL. Read what reviewers have posted because usually someone always comments about fit. Knowing your chest size and sleeve length will help make sure you get a proper fitting jacket if you're ordering online and can't try it on.

2.       How to Measure Chest

Standing with arms relaxed at your side, wrap a measuring tape around your chest at its largest point. The tape measure should go under your armpit and stay parallel with the floor.

3.       How to Measure Sleeves

Standing with arms relaxed at your side, place one end of a measuring tape on your spine at the base of your neck. Measure over the top of your shoulder, down the point of your elbow to the wrist bone.

4.       Cuts

Motorcycle jackets come in different cuts. It can have pre-curved, slightly pre-curved, or straight arms. It can be slim-fit, straight-body or tailored. It can have an aggressive, classic or relaxed fit. Riding position generally dictates cut because a sport rider is going to want something tight with pre-curved arms while touring and cruiser riders who generally sit more upright can get away with a jacket with straight arms and a looser fit.

5.       Materials

Leather, good ol’ fashioned cowhide, is never a bad choice. Leather’s durable, protective, and ahh, that smell. It stands the test of time and gets better with age. Some companies still make throwback denim jackets, updated with strategically-placed Kevlar. Waxed cotton is somewhere in between the two and has a distinct, unique texture to it. Textile jackets are weather-resistant and versatile, while GORE-TEX ones will keep you dry.