SA1NT's Guide to Motorcycle Vest Types
SA1NT's Guide to Motorcycle Vest Types
How cool is a good vest? Whether it's a puffer vest, suit vest or gym vests, there's something undeniably stylish about rocking one. But for our money, there's nothing better than a classic motorcycle vest.
A motorcycle vest is so much more than a piece of clothing. Hell, it's a statement. Riding vests are a timeless symbol of counterculture that will always be associated with long rides and good times. Not to mention the fact that a riding vest can literally save your skin when things go random on the road.
So riding vests are great, but where are you supposed to start? With so many styles to choose from, it can seem impossible to find a vest that suits your style and keeps you safe, so we've put together this guide to help riders navigate their way to the perfect vest.
At Sa1nt we pride ourselves on arming the risk takers of the world, no matter what their style is, so sit back and let us show you how the best motorcycle vests can be found.
Understanding Motorcycle Vests: A Comprehensive Overview
Finding the right vest can be a game changer for motorcyclists. Yes they look cool, especially when you stick a patch on the back, but there's so much more to vests than looks.
The right vest should fit both your riding style and your personal style. Things like the material it's made of will determine how comfortable, breathable and protective it will be. Like any good piece of riding gear, it should work for you, and not the other way around, so go for something that suits your riding habits.
One of the awesome things about motorcycle vest coats is how versatile they can be. In cold weather you can wear some warm layers underneath one, and in hot weather just wear your vest over a t-shirt. Keep this in mind as you think about the riding conditions that you're most likely to encounter on a daily basis.
Different Types of Motorcycle Vests for Every Rider's Style and Safety:
The best starting point is choosing a material for your motorcycle vest. The fabric a vest is made of will determine its comfort level, weight, strength and overall durability. For example, a leather vest is going to feel a hell of a lot different than a denim vest.
Like every piece of riding gear, the best vest will be in tune with your own personal style, protect you when things go random and fits your everyday riding needs.
Leather Motorcycle Vests: Classic Style and Durability
We'll start with a classic - the leather vest. This is what probably comes to mind when most people picture a biker vest in their heads. It's a timeless and rugged look that makes you feel like you're ready to take on the world.
Aside from the edgy look, leather is a pretty damn tough material. There's a reason it was adopted by bikers in the first place. Leather clothing is known for having high endurance and good abrasion resistance, not to mention it provides a good shield against wind and cold weather.
Leather can be surprisingly comfortable, but it does take some time to break in. Some riders love the feel of leather, while others can't stand it. It's a great material but some people find it heavy and cumbersome. If you're leather-curious but you've never tried it on before, the best thing you can do is go to a store and test it out in person.
Textile Motorcycle Vests: Versatility and Comfort
Textile vests have become hugely popular in recent years, and for good reason. Known for their versatility and comfort, some biker vests look exactly like a piece of casual wear while still giving riders that crucial crash protection.
Textile vests are made from synthetic fabrics like nylon or polyester, so they're much lighter and more breathable than something like leather. They often come with multiple pockets for storage and might even have features like water-resistance or extra ventilation.
So if you love the feel of a casual sleeveless jacket, this might be the perfect addition to your wardrobe. The only downside is that textile vests tend to offer the least amount of protection compared to leather and denim.
Denim Vest: Casual and Stylish
Denim vests have also seen a huge rise in popularity. Technically it's also a form of textile, but denim is so iconic that it belongs in a category all by itself.
Denim is a casual yet stylish look that works in just about any setting. It's not quite formal wear, but it sits on that perfect level of fashion for a night on the town. Denim vests are worn by bikers because they're comfortable and stylish, but they're not as hard on the wallet as leather.
A sleeveless garment made of leather can offer great protection when things go random on the road. Sa1nt's denim vests, for example, are made from Dyneema so they're five times stronger than regular 12 oz denim.
So if you're looking for something that's casual yet stylish, with plenty of impact, burst and abrasion resistance, denim is a solid choice to ride with.
Armoured Motorcycle Vests: Safety and Protection
If you're all about the safest possible option, look no farther than an armoured vest. While it's not exactly the most stylish choice, there's nothing that can give you better impact protection.
Armoured vests have protective padding and armour inserts in key impact zones like the back, shoulders and chest. When your luck runs out on the road these are the most vulnerable parts of your upper body, and there's no such thing as too much protection.
Keep in mind that armoured vests typically aren't made to be worn casually. They look like a piece of armour, so it will seem like you're ready to go to a war when you wear one. Riders usually wear armoured vests over a piece of regular clothing or under a riding jacket.
Vintage Motorcycle Vests: Nostalgia and Authenticity
For riders who value a sense of nostalgia and authenticity in their gear, a vintage motorcycle vest could be the perfect choice. Vintage vests pay homage to the awesome history of motorcycling by evoking past eras of riding. They will usually incorporate classic designs like distressed leather or a retro insignia, to evoke a timeless and authentic look.
A vintage motorcycle vest can be many things. It could be an old piece of clothing you find in your dad's garage, or a retro-inspired vest that still has all the perks of modern technology. There's nothing wrong with something that's vintage-inspired if you'd prefer not to wear clothing that's decades old.
For our money, we recommend buying a vest that's got a retro look but provides modern day protection. Protective gear has come a long way over the years, so you can have the best of both world with a classic look and modern-day protection. Check out this mandarin collar vest as a great example.
Custom Motorcycle Vests: Personalization and Uniqueness
If you're the type of person who loves to stand out from the crowd, a custom motorcycle vest is the perfect way to stamp your mark on the world. The beauty of customisation is that you can do anything you want. Whether it's leather or denim, black or brown, the choice is yours!
A personalised riding vest can have any feature that you want, so it will be tailored to whatever your riding style is. The only downsides are the cost, and the amount of time the whole process takes. But if you're willing to spend the time and money, having a piece of clothing that's entirely unique could be pretty special.
Choosing the Right Motorcycle Vest for Your Ride: Expert Tips
Once you've got a decent idea about the types of vests available, you've still got some choices to make. For example, what are your riding habits like? Are you a high-octane rider who needs to prioritise safety, or is your riding style more relaxed?
Think about your normal riding routine and which vest is going to be the most practical. Any piece of riding gear should work for you, and not the other way around, so don't kid yourself into thinking that you'll grow into something that just doesn't work.
With all that in mind, let's run down what you should be looking for in a motorcycle vest.
Consider Your Riding Style and Purpose
What kind of rider are you? Are you more into casual riding, touring or something like sports bikes? Each of these riding styles means looking for specific features in a vest. Narrowing down your riding style is an excellent place to start, because it also means narrowing down your vest options.
For example, an adventure/sport bike rider might prefer an armoured vest for the extra protection. A casual rider, on the other hand, would prefer a textile/denim vest for the added comfort. You can even find utility vests that have extra pockets if you feel like you need them for long rides.
Focus on Material and Comfort
You're going to be spending a shitload of time wearing your gear, so make sure it's comfortable. Nothing can sour a ride like bulky, uncomfortable clothes that make for an annoying distraction. If you're interested in a vest, ask yourself if it will still feel comfortable after wearing it for two hours, especially if you'll most likely be wearing it off the bike as well.
What are the weather conditions like where your ride, what time of year will you be doing most of your riding? If it rains a lot, will the vest still be comfortable when you layer it over some other clothing? Maybe it's really hot where you ride, and you'll need to consider how breathable a vest is.
Some vests are made with features like removable liners for cold weather, while others can have water-resistant properties to keep you dry in a light shower. What's important is that you prioritise practicality in any case, because these features are only worthwhile if you'll actually use them.
Prioritize Safety Features
Protection is the whole point of wearing motorcycle gear, so make sure you're riding with clothes that will actually keep you safe. Any riding vest you shop for should have the safety features listed somewhere, so check them out thoroughly before deciding whether a vest is worthwhile.
A common misconception is that riders have to choose between safety and style. Thankfully that's no longer the case. At Sa1nt we've endeavoured to create moto apparel that looks good but still packs a punch on the road.
Our motorcycle vests are made with Dyneema fibres that are seven times stronger than steel, but still have that classic moto look that we know riders love. We've made it our mission to keep the risk takers of the world armoured up without cramping their style.
Pay Attention to Fit and Sizing
Like any piece of riding gear, your vest will need to fit well. You're going to spend countless hours wearing it, and the last thing you need is buyers remorse when you realise that it's too tight or too loose.
A riding vest fits a bit differently than a sweater vest or gym vest. You want it to feel quite snug, but not overly tight to the point where you feel suffocated. You should still have a good range of motion, and never feel like the vest is restricting your movement or distracting you.
Motorcycle clothing is worn tight so that it protects you in a crash. If it's too loose and moves around, moto gear can't protect you as well as if it were fitted tight.
Style and Design That Represents You
We've talked about features, materials and safety, but we all know that style is just as important. If you're going to ride a motorcycle, you might as well lean into the cool aesthetic that's synonymous with biking.
A riding vest, like any piece of gear, should be a small extension of yourself. There are plenty of style and colour options for vests, so there's bound to be something that suits your personal sense of style. Whether you're a fan of the classic, minimalist look, or you want a vest absolutely covered with patches, there's no wrong choice.
Think about when you're off the bike as well. Is there a decent chance you'll be wearing your vest once you park the bike and hit the streets? If there is, you might want to consider something that looks cool but is still lowkey enough to wear anywhere. Or maybe you want to wear something that displays your biker energy loud and proud!
Elevate Your Ride with SA1NT Motorcycle Vests
Motorcycle vests are an awesome but criminally underrated piece of riding gear. They're a unique piece of fashion that symbolises youth, rebellion and freedom. If you've come this far, you can tell that despite what you might have thought, there are plenty of options out there for the aspiring vest-rider.
Hopefully this guide has helped narrow down the best riding vest for yourself. Just remember to get something that's protective, comfortable and matches your riding needs. Don't forget to check out Sa1nt's own collection of vests in this motorcycle jackets and vests collection page.
What are the different types of vest material?
So what are the different types of vest material for motorcycle vests? There are three main types to choose from:
Leather: Leather vests are a classic look that you've probably seen on tv a million times. Leather not only gives you that timeless and rugged look, but it's a pretty tough material. Leather moto gear is known having a high endurance and packing plenty of abrasion resistance.
One of the main issues with leather is comfort. Some people find it too heavy and uncomfortable. It's not a material for everyone, so we recommend trying it out first before investing in a leather jacket. They can get a bit expensive.
Textile: Textile vests have become extremely popular in recent years. They're made from a synthetic fabric like nylon or Dyneema, and they more closely resemble your everyday sleeveless vest. Riders love them because they blend in so well with everyday clothes.
Textile vests can be made of denim or other materials like suede. They're often lighter and more breathable than leather, which make them great for hot rides.
Armour: Armoured vests offer solid protection, but don't expect to look good wearing one. These things resemble proper battle armour. They cover your sensitive areas like your shoulders, back and chest, but they're usually worn under another jacket.
What are the different types of vests?
So what are the different types of vests for motorcyclists? Here are the three main types that you will find:
High-Neck Vests: This style goes all the way up to your neck, as the name suggests. This gives your upper body some extra protection, but it also keeps your neck warm on those windy days.
V-Neck-Vests: These vests wear just like V-neck t-shirts, which makes them great for riding on hot days. This style is particularly popular with women.
Utility Vests: Utility vests prioritise function over comfort. They're usually filled with heaps of extra pockets, which can be a handy option if you want to keep things within arms reach.