How to shop for a motorcycle jacket

There is far more to a motorcycle jacket than meets the eye. It protects a motorcyclist's torso and is part of protective gear, along with helmets and trousers. Some jackets even have built-in armour to minimise the impact in an accident.

So when you shop for a motorcycle jacket, remember that safety should get priority. Jackets that protect most have reinforced elbows, shoulders, chests and backs. Kevlar may be inserted in vulnerable parts of the jacket. Check that the inserts do not shift or move around too much - that's a sign of a low-quality jacket and it may be quite useless in an accident. The most sophisticated (and expensive) jackets come with internal reusable air bag systems that inflate the moment a rider is jerked off a motorcycle.

A good jacket must keep a rider dry and comfortably cool or warm, depending on the weather. Remember that you must stay warm because if you are too cold and shivering you lay yourself wide open to accidents because of sluggishness and reduced reaction time, induced by shivering.

Ensure that your jacket has reflectors. They make you far more visible to other drivers. This lowers the chances of an accident.

Now that we have been through the safety aspects, let's take a look at other features in a motorcycle jacket.

Consider the fit. It should have a comfortable fit, for summer and winter - not too tight, not too loose. Some jackets come with a zip-out lining, which is useful.

The sleeves should be long enough to go beyond your wrists when holding the handle-bars and roomy at the shoulders for ease of movement. Ensure that your jacket has a good number of pockets to hold your mobile phone, wallet, keys and whatnot.

A jacket that reaches below the hips is better at keeping out the cold. A good leather jacket looks sleek and stylish. But take care to see that it has vents because leather does not breathe very well, even though it is treated with and you may end up quite uncomfortable during summer.

Be careful while buying a leather jacket online. The best jacket would be made of naked cowhide, a premium leather that feels natural to the touch. Pigskin leather is also good, but not as durable. The thickness of the leather should be a millimeter thick or more. It is best to check with your vendor how thick the material is.