What is the Difference Between Textile and Mesh Motorcycle Jacket?

What is the Difference Between Textile and Mesh Motorcycle Jacket?

Posted by Team Motorcycle on Jun 4th 2024

Congratulations, you just passed your motorcycle license test and you are now in the market looking for some safety gear. A jacket is something every motorcyclist must own and with so many styles available on the market it can be most challenging to make a decision.

Should you go with a textile jacket or a mesh one? What exactly is the difference between textile and mesh motorcycle jacket, and which is better for your needs? Don't sweat it, we'll break it down for you in this quick guide.

In this article we will explain the difference between textile and mesh motorcycle jacket, the pros and cons of each, and deduce whether you will require a textile motorcycle jacket or a mesh motorcycle jacket depending on the type of riding you will be using it for. With the info here, you'll ride off confident you made the best choice to keep you comfortable and protected on the road.

Textile vs Mesh Motorcycle Jackets: What’s the Difference?

Textile and mesh motorcycle jackets are two popular and affordable options for motorcycle riders. But what exactly are the differences between them? Let’s break them down.


Mesh motorcycle jackets are made of a porous, woven fabric with lots of tiny holes that allow for maximum airflow. This makes mesh jackets ideal for riding in hot summer weather since they’re highly breathable and help keep you cool. Textile jackets are less breathable, though some have perforated panels or vents to improve airflow.


Textile jackets typically offer more protection than mesh jackets. They’re usually made of a thicker, denser material like nylon or polyester that provides better abrasion resistance in a crash. Some textile jackets also have added armor pads for impact protection. Mesh jackets provide minimal protection on their own, though some have pockets for optional armor inserts.

Weather Resistance

Textile jackets are generally better suited for variable weather conditions. Many are water-resistant or waterproof and provide some insulation for riding in cooler temperatures. Mesh jackets offer almost no weather resistance or insulation. At best, they may have a removable rain liner, but they won’t keep you warm in cold weather.


Mesh jackets typically have a sporty, casual look suited for dual-sport or adventure riding. Textile jackets come in a range of styles from casual to sport-touring to cruiser. So you have more options to choose a jacket that matches your bike and personal riding style.

In the end, you need to weigh the pros and cons of your particular needs and riding conditions. A mesh motorcycle jacket is a great choice for hot summer riding, while a textile jacket is more versatile for variable weather. Or you can choose a jacket with a combination of mesh and textile panels to get the best of both worlds.

Types of Textile Motorcycle Jackets and Features

When it comes to selecting textile motorcycle jackets, you have a few features to choose from. They are very lightweight and suitable for summer or high-temperature activities such as motorcycling. They come with a polyester mesh to enable the best air movement to get inside the shoe. The flip side is that they do not provide much shelter from the weather, rainfall, or the sun.

For versatility, a jacket with a removable thermal liner is a great choice. You can ride with the liner in cooler weather, and remove it when the temperature rises. Many textile jackets also come with a waterproof membrane, like Gore-Tex, that keeps you dry without overheating.

For instance, if you are a rider who travels frequently under different weather conditions, a jacket with a waterproof membrane as well as a detachable liner would be the most useful. You’ll stay comfortable in any condition.

Abrasion Resistance

Always look for a jacket made of durable, abrasion-resistant fabrics like polyester or nylon. These materials can withstand the friction from a slide better than regular fabrics. Many textile jackets also have abrasion-resistant panels in high-impact areas.

Padding and Armor

For impact protection, choose a jacket with CE-rated armor on the shoulders, elbows, and back. The armor absorbs energy from an impact, reducing injury. Some jackets also have foam padding over the spine and kidneys.


On warm days, vents and mesh panels help keep you cool while riding. Look for vents on the chest, back, and sleeves that you can open and close. Mesh panels, especially on the sides and back of the jacket, provide airflow.

With the range of textile jackets available, you can find one suited to any kind of riding. Focus on protection, comfort, and the features that are most important to you.

Vance Mens Textile Motorcycle Jacket Motorbike

The Vance Men's Textile Motorcycle Jacket offers year-round comfort and protection with its durable build and weather-regulating design. CE-approved armor in the elbows and shoulders ensures reliable impact protection, and the removable armor lets you customize your safety. This versatile jacket combines comfort, style, and superior safety, exceeding industry standards for your peace of mind on every ride.

Jafrum Reflective Skull Textile Motorcycle Jacket

The Jafrum Reflective Skull Textile Motorcycle Jacket blends safety and style with reflective piping and skull stitching. It has a mandarin collar, wrist closures, and adjustable hip gussets for a tailored fit. Ventilation comes from chest vents and hip pockets. It includes a removable quilted liner, a fixed mesh liner, and several pockets for essentials. Extra shoulder material provides a comfortable ride.

RST S-1 CE Men's Motorcycle Textile Jacket

The RST S-1 CE Men's Motorcycle Textile Jacket, made from durable Maxtex material, features a fixed mesh lining, waterproof Sinaqua liner, and removable thermal lining. It offers great airflow with exhaust and intake vents, multiple storage pockets, and a neoprene sports collar.

The jacket provides an improved fit with waist and sleeve adjusters, reflective details, and motion panels, as well as a 360 connection zip and level 1 shoulder protection, rated AA for safety.

Benefits of Mesh Motorcycle Jackets for Warm Weather

Mesh motorcycle jackets offer several advantages for warm-weather riding.

Maximum Breathability

There is one main advantage of the mesh motorcycle jacket and that is the ability of the jacket to have breathability. This gives it a very light and open construction with a mesh-like texture that has small pores to provide the airflow necessary to keep the rider cool during the ride.

On a hot summer day, a mesh jacket can make the difference between a comfortable ride and an unbearable one. The panels of mesh are strategically placed in areas where ventilation is most needed, like under the arms, to maximize airflow.


A mesh motorcycle jacket is relatively thin, easy to bend, as well as very comfortable to wear. The fabric of the mesh is breathable and does not cause heating of the skin when worn for a long period. Mesh jackets are also quite stretchable and can flexibly slide along your body movements while riding. They are not as rigid or dense as a leather jacket and they don’t have the stiff, heavy feeling of a leather jacket.


While mesh motorcycle jackets are breathable and lightweight, they still provide protection. Most mesh jackets have armor inserts at the elbows, shoulders, and back to protect from impacts. Some also have abrasion-resistant panels in strategic areas.

The mesh fabric itself is also durable and resistant to tears. A mesh jacket may provide less protection than leather, but it does strike a good balance between safety and breathability for hot weather riding.


Mesh motorcycle jackets come in a variety of styles to suit different riders. If you prefer a simple, minimal look, a solid color jacket with few logos can work well. For those wanting a flashier style, jackets with bright colors, patterns, and lots of logos are available.

No matter your personal style, there are many options to choose from. Mesh jackets can have a sporty, urban, or adventure styling.

Best mesh motorcycle jacket options available at Team Motorcycle are:

Joe Rocket Velocity Mens Mesh Motorcycle Jacket

The Joe Rocket Velocity Men's Mesh Motorcycle Jacket provides summer comfort with a breathable FreeAir™ mesh shell and a removable waterproof liner. It includes contoured armor at the shoulders and elbows, a removable spine pad, high-density rib padding, and a 6-point SureFit™ adjustment system.

The jacket also features two outside pockets, one inside pocket, an extended back, belt loops for pant attachment, and a reflective stripe for visibility.

Vance Velocity 3-Season Mesh Motorcycle Jacket

The Vance Velocity 3-Season Mesh Motorcycle Jacket has durable 600 denier textile fabric with mesh panels for ventilation. It comes with a removable thermal liner, is water-resistant, and has C.E.-rated protectors in the shoulders and elbows, plus a removable back protector pad.

The jacket offers two outer pockets, an audio device pocket, zippered sleeve adjusters, and an adjustable waistband for a custom fit. Reflective elements on the front and back enhance visibility, and hook and loop adjustments on the arms ensure a secure fit.

Vance Womens High Visibility Mesh Motorcycle Riding Jacket

The Vance Women's High Visibility Mesh Motorcycle Riding Jacket provides breathability with its mesh shell and features a removable thermal liner for changing weather. It includes C.E. rated shoulder and elbow protectors, a removable back protector pad, and an optional C.E. protector pocket for added safety.

Pockets are waist level two front pockets, a chest pocket, a hidden pocket for concealed carry, an internal zip pocket, and a pocket specifically for the devices. Stretchable zippered sleeve holders, changeable hook and loop waistband, and button down dual snap arm cuffs guarantee a right fit and reflective piping for visibility.

Mesh motorcycle jackets are perfect when the weather is hot because they are as comfortable as they are protective and are available in many styles. On a hot and humid summer day, a mesh jacket could make the difference between suffering through a ride or enjoying the open road.

Comparison of Protection Levels: Textile vs Mesh

When it comes to protection, textile and mesh jackets differ greatly. Textile jackets are constructed from tightly woven, abrasion-resistant fabrics like nylon or polyester and generally offer much more protection than mesh.

Abrasion Resistance

In the case of a crash or slide, textile jackets provide a thick barrier between your body and the road. The dense, tightly woven fabrics are difficult to tear and can withstand high amounts of abrasion before failing.

Mesh jackets, on the other hand, are made of loosely woven, permeable fabrics that offer very little abrasion resistance. The holes and tears in the mesh will easily let through road rash in a slide.

Impact Protection

Best textile motorcycle jackets also come equipped with impact-absorbing armor for the shoulders, elbows, and back. Most of them even have chest plates. This added protection helps absorb the force of impacts in a crash.

Mesh jackets typically only provide minimal foam padding, if any at all. They do not offer the same level of impact protection as strong textile jackets with CE-rated armor.

Weather Resistance

Textile jackets are also usually waterproof or water-resistant and provide more protection from the elements. The tight weave prevents wind and water from penetrating the jacket. Mesh, on the other hand, is very breathable but not waterproof. In heavy rain, you’ll quickly get soaked wearing a mesh jacket.

While mesh jackets are great for hot summer riding, they lack the durability and protection of a rugged textile jacket. If you want a jacket that will hold up better in a crash and protect you from impacts, a textile jacket is a much safer choice. The trade-off is less breathability, but your safety is worth it.

Textile jackets beat out mesh jackets in abrasion resistance, impact protection, and weather resistance. Mesh may be more comfortable in hot weather but does not provide adequate protection for the road. For the safest riding, choose a high-quality textile jacket over mesh whenever possible.

Now you know the main difference between textile and mesh motorcycle jacket. Both have their pros and cons, and it really comes down to your specific needs and preferences. Always consider factors like weather conditions, the types of riding you do, and your budget.

Just put on some jackets and see if they really fit and give the correct feel. But one must not overlook the armor as well as the safety ratings. Whichever style you end up choosing, make sure you feel good wearing it so you actually will wear it each time you ride.

The major difference between textile and mesh motorcycle jackets is in their build. Textile motorcycle jackets are heavier and more expensive but mesh provides more breathability.