High-performance waterproofing for your bike. Here are eight of the top Gore-Tex motorcycle jackets for your money.
The old saying goes "a little rain never hurt anybody" – but on a bike, it can mean soaked through clothing that leaves you shivering and looking for the next stop for shelter, so a decent waterproof motorcycle jacket is a must.
Gore-Tex is one of the biggest names in waterproof technology, and has been adopted in garments for every outdoor activity possible from hiking and camping gear to snow sports and walking gear: motorcycle gear included.
There are a wide range of Gore-Tex motorcycle jackets available to protect you from abrasion and the worst the weather can throw at you - but which are the 𝘮𝘶𝘴𝘵-𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 jackets?
Read on to see our definitive list of the 8 best Gore-Tex motorcycle jackets you buy, whatever your budget!
What is Gore-Tex?
At its most basic level, Gore-Tex is a highly durable membrane that stops liquid water from penetrating but allows water vapour to pass through.
To go abit deeper, Gore-Tex is made from an extremely thin layer of expanded polytetrafluoroethylene, or ePTFE for short, around 0.01 millimetres thick, that contains billions of microscopic pores, approximately 20,000 times smaller than a droplet of water, but 700 times bigger than a molecule of water vapour.
This membrane is then laminated between a lining and outer textile, often a synthetic material like Nylon or Cordura, to pass on its waterproof and breathable qualities to garments such as jackets, trousers, gloves, and boots.
The lamination process can be applied in different ways to increase various aspects of the garment’s performance. These layered membranes are called: 2-Layer construction, 3-Layer construction, or Z-Liner construction.
A 2L Gore-Tex Pro construction is where the membrane is laminated to the garment's outer layer, not the inside layer. This allows the garment to be waterproof, and durable and can be combined with a fixed insulating lining or mesh for increased comfort.
3L Gore-Tex Pro is where the membrane is laminated to both the outer layer AND the interior lining of the garment. This results in increased durability as the layers are fixed to each other, and less wear and tear over time. Albeit this makes the garment stiffer in comparison, and three-layer Gore-Tex garments tend to be more expensive – but if you can dig abit deeper into your pockets, the added quality and reassurance are well worth it.
Similarly, a Gore-Tex Z-liner membrane is bonded to a lightweight textile, however instead of being fixed between the outer and inner lining, the Z-Liner exists freely between the layers. This makes the garment waterproof, less heavy and more comfortable than laminated constructions, however, if you’re caught in a spot of rain, the exterior layer will get damp and heavy.
The best Gore-Tex motorcycle jackets are versatile for year-round use, with detachable thermal linings, plenty of ventilation, reliable protection, and of course, a good-quality waterproof membrane.
Here are eight of the best Gore-Tex jackets you can get for your money:
1. Richa Cyclone Gore-Tex Jacket
2. Rukka Nivala 2.0 Gore-Tex Jacket
3. Alpinestars Ketchum Gore-Tex Jacket
4. Dainese Carve Master 3 Gore-Tex Jacket
5. REV'IT! Poseidon 2 Gore-Tex Jacket
6. Rukka Comfo-R Gore-Tex Jacket
7. Richa Armada Pro Gore-Tex Jacket
8. Bering Hurricane Gore-Tex Jacket
1. Richa Cyclone Gore-Tex jacket
➤ Cordura 500D shell with 3L Gore-Tex Z-Liner
➤ Removable thermal liner
➤ Two zippered air vents and back
➤ D3O Level 1 shoulder, elbow and back armour included
Striking the perfect balance between affordability and performance is the Ride Magazine Recommended, Richa Cyclone GTX jacket. Designed for all-season versatility, the Richa Cyclone is up to the challenge whether worn for commuting or long-distance touring.
This CE A-rated jacket is constructed from highly durable Cordura and woven with flexible Spandex, with a 3L Gore-Tex Z-liner membrane that sits behind the outer layer to form an impenetrable waterproof and windproof barrier – though as we mentioned earlier, this won’t stop the outer shell from soaking up the water.
On the chest are two zippered air vents that allow a comfortable amount of air in, which works in tandem with the 3D mesh interior to circulate cool air around your body, and through to the exhaust vent at the back.
For warmth, there is a detachable padded lining to retain your body warmth during colder seasons, which can also be removed when it gets warmer. The elbows and shoulders are equipped with CE level 1 D3O armour, and an additional D3O insert at the back gives you comprehensive impact protection.
Amongst the other features of the jacket are Velcro and zippered closures on the upper and lower arm and waist giving you a customized fit, a 360° connecting zip to any Richa trouser to form a one-piece suit and prevent the jacket from riding up, two external pouches on the front and three interior pockets for convenient storage.
Priced at a reasonable £499.99, the Richa Cyclone is an affordable Gore-Tex jacket with great four-season usage and comfort amenities for everyday riding.
2. Rukka Nivala 2.0 Jacket
➤ Armacor shell with Gore-Tex Pro 3L lamination
➤ Separate Rukka Down-X 2.0 Thermal Jacket
➤ Zipped air vents at shoulders, arms, sides and back
➤ D3O XTR Air Level 2 elbow, shoulder and back armour included
Rukka are one of the go-to motorcycle brands for urban touring, thanks in part to their longstanding relationship with Gore, but also due to their highly technical designs that never falter to abrasion or weather over thousands of miles of riding.
Their flagship Gore-Tex jacket, the Rukka Nivala 2.0, represents the epitome of this, featuring an Armacor main construction, consisting of high-tech Cordura stretch and Kevlar for a highly abrasion and tear-resistant outer shell, and laminated to a 3L Gore-Tex Pro waterproof membrane for complete weather resistance.
The main waterproof YKK zip is covered with a storm flap, and the Gore-Tex extends to the removable storm collar and cuffs to prevent water from entering through the neck or cuffs. For ventilation, the jacket has multiple zippered vents on the front at the shoulders, sides of the torso and sleeves to let cool air in, with a rear vent at the back to release built-up humid air.
Inside, the Nivala 2.0 features Rukka’s Down-X 2.0 thermal jacket: an extremely warm mid-layer with 110g duck-down filling (90 down/10 feature) for impressive heat retention. On top of this, the matt finish of the jacket and its two hand warmer pockets make it perfect to wear separately as a standalone puffer jacket!
For protection, the jacket is equipped with Rukka’s specially designed D3O XTR Air level 2 armour at the elbows, shoulders and back. The Nivala also includes a D3O CPF Air chest protector for comprehensive protection
The jacket also features two water-resistant hand pockets, a large water-resistant ‘map pocket’ on the back, and two more pockets inside, as well as a 360-degree connection zip to a pair of Rukka trousers, and soft neoprene on the collar for a comfortable finish.
Now, there are a couple of drawbacks to this jacket to consider; firstly, the £1249.99 price tag is likely to scare away riders with a more modest budget. Though we would argue that the upgrade from a Gore-Tex Z-liner to the 3-layer Gore-Tex Pro laminate is well worth it and the jacket’s 6-year warranty should dispel any worries about its long-term use, it will be steep for some riders.
The second drawback is its abrasion rating – you would expect a jacket of this price to naturally perform well during abrasion testing, however, the Nivala 2.0 only achieves a single A CE rating. This mainly comes down to the Cordura stretch x Kevlar shell, which despite being exceedingly comfortable and durable, faces a tough time through the abrasion tests. The benefit of having this Armacor shell is the jacket is exceedingly more comfortable and flexible than other Gore-Tex jackets on the market which are more rigid. Besides, in our history of selling Rukka, we’ve never seen a jacket or trouser worn through and the addition of the CE level 2 armour – so take that with what you will.
Otherwise, when it comes to the very best in comfort, protection and weather versatility, Gore-Tex jackets don’t get much better than the Nivala 2.0.
3. Alpinestars Ketchum Gore-Tex Jacket
➤ Advanced polyester shell with fixed Gore-Tex Z-liner
➤ Removable thermal jacket
➤ Zipped air vents at chest and sides and back
➤ CE level 1 Nucleon Flex Plus shoulder and elbow armour included
For the adventure tourers out there, the Alpinestars Ketchum is a superb four-season Gore-Tex jacket for you.
Packed with everything you need to cover hundreds of continental miles, protected from the elements, and abrasion, and is comfortable to boot.
The Alpinestars jacket’s main construction is made from advanced durable polyester with outstanding abrasion resistance. The jacket features a touring fit, which means that the rear of the jacket is longer than the front so that when you are seated in a riding position, your back isn’t exposed. Behind this rugged outer layer is a fixed high-performance Gore-Tex liner which sits behind the outer layer of the jacket to keep you bone dry and protected from the wind and rain.
Sticking with the outside of the jacket, the Ketchum features zippered air vents on the chest and under the arms to allow airflow inside and through to the back vent. On the shoulders are two thermoplastic GP Lite shoulder cups that give a sporty look, there are stretch panels around the armpit to improve manoeuvrability, and the arm and waist adjustments allow for a more custom fit. One nifty little feature we like is the magnetic zip for the main closure, which makes it super easy to close the jacket when you’re in a rush and covered by the storm flap.
Inside is a removable thermal jacket for wear during winter. The jacket holds Alpinestars Nucleon Flex Plus CE level 1 shoulder and elbow protection, with a pocket to accommodate a back insert if required, as well as reflective detailing, and several pockets inside and out.
Priced at £499.99, the Ketchum offers great value as a Gore-Tex jacket with excellent performance in all weather conditions.
4. Dainese Carve Master 3 Gore-Tex Jacket
➤ 3D Mugello fabric shell with fixed Gore-Tex Z-Liner
➤ Removable thermal padded liner
➤ Zipped air vents at sleeves, chest and back
➤ CE level 2 shoulder and elbow armour included
One of Alpinestars’ biggest rivals in the market is Dainese, who also offer a vast collection of superb touring gear. But rather than focusing on their top-of-the-range GTX jacket, we’ve opted for their best-selling mid-range jacket, the Carve Master 3.
As the name implies, this jacket is the third iteration of their best-selling Carve Master jacket with a few tweaks and improvements over its design and protection from previous generations, but overall, it's still a great all-around Gore-Tex jacket.
The jacket is made using Dainese’s Mugello textile, which is a soft and lightweight technical fabric with high resistance to abrasion and tearing, with 3D-Stone inserts at the shoulders and elbows for additional reinforcements at critical areas of the garment. Behind this outer layer sits the waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex Z-liner membrane for immense weather protection. Inside you will find a removable thermal lining to keep you warm, as well as a padded collar at the neck for increased comfort.
You will notice several vents on the front of the jacket to allow cool air in at the arms, chest and sides of the jacket, with a rear exhaust out the back. The main zip closure is covered by a waterproof seal with snap studs to close, there is subtle hi-vis detailing throughout, as well as the iconic Speed Demon logo on the back.
As for protection, the jacket is armed with CE level 2 Pro-Armour inserts at the elbows and shoulders, but there are additional pockets on the back and chest inserts, so you have plenty of options for bolstering the jacket's protective qualities.
There are also several adjustable tabs and straps to give you a more comfortable fit, including the cuffs, bicep and sides, as well as 4 external pockets, including two waterproof pockets on the front, and a large cargo pocket on the back.
The Carve Master 3 costs £545.95, so it hits a nice, sweet spot for a mid-range waterproof jacket, with plenty of waterproofing and comfort to see you through all months of the year.
5. REV’IT! Poseidon 2 Gore-Tex Jacket
➤ 400D High-tenacity nylon with both 2L and 3L Gore-Tex Pro laminate
➤ Removable thermal liner
➤ VCS Aquadefence chest, sleeves and back
➤ Seeflex Level 2 elbow and shoulder armour included
The ancient Greek god Poseidon has been described as the protector of seafarers, so it’s great to see his expertise applied to protecting motorcyclists from the wind and rain too!
The REV’IT Poseidon 2 is a 4-season Gore-Tex jacket, specialized for tackling all manner of weather and long-distance touring, and one of the leading touring jackets in their range.
This CE AA-rated jacket is laminated with a 2L Gore-Tex membrane behind the outer layer, delivering a high level of waterproofing and breathability. On top of that, Gore-Tex extends to the storm collar, and the shoulders and forearms of the jacket are covered by 3 layers of Gore-Tex for increased waterproofing and durability.
The main body itself is made from 400D high tenacity nylon, which is inherently abrasion, tear and cut resistant, but for additional protection, REV’IT have strapped Superfabric at the shoulders and elbows for supreme strength during slide scenarios.
The Poseidon 2 is fitted with a detachable thermal lining for essential warmth during winter, and during warmer months, the jacket features a patented VCS air ventilation system with Aquadefence to direct cool air directly to your upper body, and close to seal out the rain.
The jacket is equipped with REV’IT’s CE level 2 Seeflex limb and elbow armour for maximum impact protection, with pockets for chest and back insert if required (sold separately).
Among the other features of the jacket is a long connection zipper to combine with your trousers, reflective detailing throughout to ensure visibility at all angles of the garment, and a number of pockets including two zippered front pockets, a back stash pocket and interior pockets provide ample storage.
This high-performance touring jacket is perfect for all manner of weather, all year round, with a bunch of protection.
6. Rukka Comfo-R Gore-Tex Jacket
➤ 500D Cordura Stretch with fixed Gore-Tex Z-Liner
➤ Removable thermal liner
➤ Zipped chest and back vents
➤ D3O Air XTR level 2 elbow, shoulder armour, and level 1 back insert included
One of the latest Gore-Tex jackets on this list, and one that offers some of the best value for money, is the Rukka Comfo-R, which was released in early 2022 for £649.99.
As we mentioned earlier, Rukka are one of the leaders in Gore-Tex motorcycle apparel, but what makes this jacket particularly interesting is that unlike the rest of their range, the Comfo-R isn’t laminated and is instead fitted with a dropdown Gore-Tex Z-liner. While this means that the jacket does get abit wet in the rain while you stay bone-dry inside the Gore-Tex lining, this increases the overall comfort of the jacket tenfold, as GTX laminate jackets tend to be stiffer to accommodate the additional weather resistance.
The jacket itself is Class A certified and made from 500 denier Cordura Stretch with reinforcements at the shoulders and elbows for additional protection in a pinch. There is hi-vis detailing throughout, with two waterproof exterior pockets, a storm collar, and width adjustments on the upper and lower arms for improved fit. The jacket is elongated at the back for a touring fit, allowing
As for ventilation, the jacket doesn’t feature a ton of options for cooling down during hot rides, but there are two long zippered openings at the sides to allow cool air in, and a back vent to exhaust the humid air out. It’s not the coolest jacket out there, but it should see you through most weather, and the lack of ventilation on the front actually gives it a very minimalistic look!
Inside, the Comfo-R features two more water-resistant pockets and a removable thermal lining that ensures you’re comfortable throughout the winter months. During the summer, this liner can be removed, and there is a handy fixed mesh lining inside to wick moisture away and encourage air circulation from the aforementioned vents.
The jacket is fitted with Rukka’s proprietary D3O Air XTR level 2 armour at the elbows and shoulders, as well as a level 1 back insert. These protectors are designed to cover a larger surface of your elbows and shoulders in the event of an accident, so they do an outstanding job of absorbing impact energy, and on top of that, are perforated to keep you cool.
Overall, the Rukka Comfo-R is an incredible Gore-Tex jacket. Elongated touring length rear for greater riding position coverage.
7. Richa Armada Pro Gore-Tex Jacket
➤ Armacor with 3L Gore-Tex Pro laminate
➤ Fixed Coolmax interior liner
➤ ACS vents at chest, sides, arms and back, plus 3D mesh chest and magnet closure
➤ D3O CE level 2 elbow, shoulder and back armour included
At the top end of Richa’s Gore-Tex range is their flagship jacket, the Armada Pro GTX. This top-tier jacket is designed to meet the highest demands of touring on two wheels, from four-season weather resistance, protection at high speeds, and durability for years of wear.
Featuring a high-tech Armacor outer shell made up of Cordura and Kevlar, the Armada Pro offers superior protection against abrasion and tearing and is bonded with a Gore-Tex 3L laminate Pro membrane for the very best protection from the wind and rain, and a removable storm collar to tuck into your helmet. On top of this, the jacket is layered with SuperFabric plates at the shoulders and elbows for additional protection at critical impact areas of the jacket without increasing its overall weight
Outside the jacket, you will find five exterior pockets: two waterproof pockets on the front, another two further up, and a large map pocket on the back, as well as a storm flap to cover the central front zip, an adjustable sleeve cuff and waistline to customize your fit, and both a short and 360-degree connection zip to a pair of Richa trousers, like the Armada Pro trousers.
Regarding airflow, the Armada Pro takes advantage of Richa’s Airtech Control ventilation system, dubbed ACS, which features zippered vents at the chest, sides and arms of the jacket to let cool air in through to the exhaust at the back. One particular feature we want to highlight is the 3D mesh chest panels are covered by flaps which can be locked into place using magnet closures, letting more airflow in through the front of the jacket.
Inside the Armada Pro, you will find four additional pockets, as well as a Coolmax interior lining to wick away moisture and improve the jacket’s interior airflow, and pockets that hold the jacket’s D3O level 2 shoulder, elbow and back protector inserts.
What’s missing here is a thermal lining, which Richa have decided to sell separately from the Armada Pro in order to make it cheaper. The jacket is designed to accommodate the Richa Houdini puffer jacket, which is made from 400T Tafetta with Primaloft padding and a smart cuff system, and even has pockets itself to accommodate D3O armour itself, so it can be worn independently from the Armada Pro. While it does cost £139.99, the Houdini is a great jacket for casual wear too, but otherwise, you can wear an additional layer underneath your Armada Pro when it gets cold.
The Richa Armada Pro costs £999.99, which considering its overall performance, is a steal for a 3-layer Gore-Tex jacket. While the absence of a dedicated thermal lining does mean you have to layer up during the winter or invest in the additional Primaloft jacket, it can’t detract the other innovative features and protection of this jacket, and truly is one of the best out there.
8. Bering Hurricane GTX jacket
➤ Powertech shell with 2L Gore-Tex Pro laminate
➤ Shelltech Extreme removable thermal liner
➤ Pulse Air System at chest, sides, arms and back
➤ Omega CE level 1 elbow and shoulder armour included
Featuring a two-layer Gore-Tex laminate construction and a robust Powertech main body, the jacket is incredibly resistant to water and wind while feeling amazingly comfortable over long distances. The adjustable Omega CE elbow and shoulder protectors provide the bulk of the jacket’s protection, though there is a pocket for an optional back protector, albeit sold separately.
The jacket uses a Pulse Air ventilation system which can be opened to allow cool air directly to the body and circulate to the rear exhaust. There is an adjustable popper at the collar to better fit around our neck, the cuffs and arms can be adjusted, and uniquely, the Fitex waist adjustment strap can be tightened and moved up and down to better sit around your waist.
Inside the jacket is a Shelltech Extreme thermal liner with Primaloft technology to keep you warm through the coldest months of the year, and a fixed mesh lining to improve the flow of air from the Pulse Air System.
In terms of storage, the jacket features four exterior pockets as well as a wallet pocket and a large one at the back, and two additional pockets inside. The Hurricane has reflective elements throughout to improve night visibility, and the YKK zip is covered by a Velcro storm flap.
The Bering Hurricane GTX jacket is an awesome waterproof touring jacket. It isn’t technically a 4-season jacket, but it does have the design capabilities to handle bad weather, and you can't argue with the price!
AND THAT'S ALL FOLKS!
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This article was written by Jonah Son.