A Gore-Tex motorcycle jacket is a solid option if you want to stay dry, warm and protected from the elements.
Sure, they cost more than the average waterproof motorcycle jacket but that’s because they’re arguably made with better materials.
Gore, makers of Gore-Tex don’t let anyone use their fabric; the way it’s bonded to other materials (This is what’s known as a laminate motorcycle jacket) and the materials it can be used with are strictly controlled. So you know that if you’re buying a Gore-Tex jacket, your money’s not just going to pay for a brand name, you’re getting a bit of kit that’s been thought about, tested and build to a higher standard.
There’s no such thing as a cheap Gore-Tex jacket, prices start from around £300. Whether your budget is strict or unlimited, we’ve picked some great options.
CE Approval for Motorcycle Jackets
There are a couple of standards that your motorcycle clothing can be tested to. Either EN17092 or EN13595.
It’s important to understand that you don’t have to wear kit that is tested to this standard. You can ride in a T-shirt for example and that doesn’t have CE approval.
However if you buy motorcycle clothing from a retailer it is classed as PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and therefore requires CE approval.
For motorcycle jackets (and trousers, jeans and leather suits) the standard is the same. Either EN13595 (this is the old standard) and the levels are Level 1 or 2. Or it’s tested to the new standard EN17092. The new standard has ratings from AAA (the best) to C. Any ‘A’ rating means it has been tested to an impact and abrasion standard. If it is B-rated it provides the same level of abrasion protection as an A rated garment but without impact protection and anything C rated designates it has been designed to hold impact protection. The minimum you want is an A rated garment.
Made with a lightweight advanced fabric, this jacket is abrasion resistant with a Gore-Tex waterproof and breathable fixed lining. The Ketchum is suitable for all weathers thanks to the removable thermal liner, and strategic ventilation zips. Added protection includes CE level 1 Nucleon Flex Plus shoulder and elbow armour, a pocket for an optional back protector and GP Lite external shoulder cups for impact protection. Waist, upper and lower arm adjustments provide a personalised fit for most riders.
Made from highly durable 500D DuPont Cordura, the outer shell is hard wearing yet flexible. With a waterproof Gore-Tex Z-liner membrane, you’ll stay dry. With 4 external and 1 internal pocket, there’s plenty of room for your items when out and about. Including EN 1621-1 CE approved Held cloverleaf SAS-TEC shoulder and elbow protectors. You can also zip this into Held trousers.
The Vertical Gore-Tex has a waterproof and breathable laminated Gore-Tec membrane to keep you dry. There’s also a removable thermal liner, meaning it can be used throughout the year, regardless of the conditions. Stay protected with its Seeflex level 2 CE shoulder and elbow protection and space for an optional Seesoft CE level 2 back and chest protectors. Highly durable thanks to its Teflon coated 400D polyamide outer layer; this jacket is abrasion-resistant while remaining flexible enough for comfort on long-distance journeys.
The Rukka Nivala is a waterproof aramid and Cordura Gore-Tex jacket complete with Armacor strengthening on the shoulders and elbows, Rukka D30 Air elbow, shoulder, back and chest protectors for the ultimate protection. Finished with a Gore-Tex Pro 3-layer stretch laminate and detachable elastic Gore-Tex collar, this jacket keeps you dry and protected whatever the temperature. As well as its safety and water-resistant features, the jacket includes a separate warm jacket with 90/10 down/feather filling. A true investment that comes with a 6 year warranty upon registration.
Ladies Gore-Tex Motorcycle Jacket
There aren’t LOADS of women’s Gore-Tex motorcycle jackets (we counted 38) but there are some really good options out there. They tend to be female versions of the higher-spec higher-priced men’s Gore-Tex jackets but that’s no bad thing. After all, if you want to stay waterproof, you need a quality item.
Most Gore-Tex motorcycle jackets come with matching trousers, so if you find a jacket you like, just search for its name and you’ll probably find the matching trousers. Failing that, if you buy a pair of trousers from the same brand, they’ll have connecting zips that work together.
The Comforina includes a fixed Gore-Tex membrane and removable thermal liner which keeps you dry and warm over long road trips and cold weather commutes alike. Constructed from stretch Cordura 500 which is highly abrasion resistant and reinforcement on the shoulders and elbows, you also get protectors included with the option to add a back protector. With a fitted design that suits a lady’s form, there are adjustable sleeve and cuff tabs, a Velcro waist and full-length underarm vents for added comfort. As a bonus, you can register your jacket for a 6-year warranty.
Gore-Tex Motorcycle Jacket FAQs
What is a laminated motorcycle jacket?
There are different ways you can keep a rider dry. One of those ways is called lamination. This is where the outer jacket material is bonded to an inner waterproof membrane. An example of that is Gore-Tex, which is very good at keeping water out but allowing moisture to escape from inside the jacket. That way, you stay warm and dry but you won’t sweat inside. If you have ever used a plastic rain coat, you’ll know it’s effective at keeping water out but after a while you sweat and get clammy.
Laminated motorcycle jackets are at the top-end of motorcycle clothing. That’s because the materials used and the process involved in constructing that jacket coat more and are more complicated.
Can I wash a Gore-Tex motorcycle jacket?
Yes you can, although we recommend you hand-wash any motorcycle clothing. It might not get every last bit of dirt out, but in our experience, a washing machine will batter your jacket and cause poppers to pop off, stitching to tighten up and any reflective patches or rubberised logos or details might get prematurely worn.
Handwash with biological washing powder in a tube with hand-hot water and you’ll prolong the life of your jacket.
Is Gore-Tex better than a waterproof jacket?
This depends on the materials used and the way the jacket is constructed. Some clothing manufacturers, like Dainese or Alpinestars have their own versions of Gore-Tex and the results are similar. Some jackets don’t use this clever membrane and instead use a regular textile (often Nylon) outer with a waterproof coating applied. Another method is to add a waterproof removable lining in the inside of the jacket. Once the outer has been penetrated, this lining will keep most of the water out. The downside to this is that the jacket itself gets saturated and heavy and takes longer to dry out.
Are there similar membranes to Gore-Tex?
Yes, there are loads of alternatives in the motorcycle world. For instance Dainese has D-Dry and Alpinestars has Drystar. Manufacturers use their own versions of Gore-Tex because it’s cheaper (they don’t need to pay a licensing fee) and they can use it with other materials how they choose to. Gore-Tex has to be used with other materials in a way specified by Gore-Tex (so that the quality of a Gore-Tex product is maintained), which can increase the overall cost of a product. However Gore-Tex is used by manufacturers who also produce their own waterproof membranes as it’s such a popular and recognisable brand name.