As a rider, I’m pretty sure you have preferences for your biking gear—which helmet, which pair of gloves, and the color scheme, all in all, everything. But a common question arises among the community quite often.
Which is a better-suited jacket for a rider? The debate of leather vs textile motorcycle jackets has been going on for quite a while now. I believe it should depend on the rider.
However, there are some basic features of each, i.e., a leather jacket and a textile jacket that sets each apart from the other. These traits are important to know before you make a purchase.
That is why I’m going the explain the differences to you so that you can make a decision for yourself.
Leather vs Textile Motorcycle Jacket
As promised, I will provide you with the minutest details that involve this topic. So, what kind of materials make leather and textile jackets?
Leather jackets are indefinitely made of leather, but depending on which animal they came from, some factors may change.
Typically, they come from cowhide, horsehide, goatskin, sheepskin, etc.; among these, cowhide is the best and the most commonly used leather type. There are synthetically made leather jackets available, too, that don’t use an animal’s skin.
Textile jackets are made of different blends and textures of fabrics. The one advantage from this point is, if you choose to wear a textile jacket over a leather one, you are not a part of animal cruelty which is a huge matter of concern nowadays.
Which One Gives Better Protection?
This point goes to the leather jacket. When it comes to protecting the rider against the strong wind, there is no denying that a leather jacket will not let the wind penetrate the jacket.
If your leather is thick enough, it will even offer you impact protection, not the same case with textile jackets.
Check your leather jacket’s thickness beforehand, though. If you want proper protection, then the jacket should at least be 1.2mm thick.
Don’t get me wrong; it’s not like the textile jacket won’t offer you any safety; it will, but it’s no comparison to the leather one. And a leather jacket is the clear winner in this round.
Which Is More Durable?
Textile jackets don’t usually last for a long time. Because of their frail built, and obviously, a biker is not going to be very sensitive with it. Textile jackets can maybe survive one minor accident, and in the next one, you’ll have to wave it goodbye.
But a leather jacket is like your true best friend. It’s durable and can last a very long time. Sure, you will scuff and scratch it from time to time, but the best part is that it’s reparable; also, it won’t completely ruin your jacket. In the case of textile, I’m not sure how good the patchwork will look.
Leather is an investment. Yes, it costs more money, but if you care for your leather and maintain it properly, it will serve you for a long time. I will leave the investment return calculation to you.
Which Is More Expensive?
Without a doubt, leather is infinitely more expensive. If you are in the market for a cheap jacket that will serve you the purpose good enough, then sure, go ahead and get a textile jacket. There are so many variants of a textile jacket, so you have quite a few options as well.
But leather jackets have fewer options in comparison to textile ones, and they cost you even more.
Keep in mind; you don’t always have to choose the cheaper alternative to win a deal, sometimes you have to invest in a good product. In this case, the textile jackets may cost less, but the leather ones are a really good investment.
If you have a tight budget, I suggest you go for a textile jacket. Let me repeat, they are not bad but might just not be as good as the leather ones.
Which One Needs the Most Care?
You will have to treat the leather with the utmost care, as they require a lot of attention if you want your leather jacket to look great over the span of years. But a textile jacket is your low-maintenance companion.
Yes, the textile jacket gets dirty very easily as they have more capacity to hold on to dirt. But the good thing is you can wash them quite frequently without ruining them.
Some jackets are even machine washable. But can you imagine throwing your leather jacket into the washing machine? Nope, that will be the end of it.
In order to make your leather jacket last for a long time, you need to clean and condition them. Which needs specific products, and trust me, some of these products are quite expensive. But you don’t need to do this step for a leather jacket quite often, so that’s a plus.
Textile jackets fade in color as time goes by. The more you wash them, the more it fades. It’s a good thing that they are cheap.
Aesthetics and Style
Let’s face it; when you wear a leather jacket, you will automatically feel as if you are the protagonist of the story; you will be the main character in your head.
A leather jacket looks phenomenal on most, no matter who you are. Their fit is also usually quite great.
But a textile jacket is ‘meh’ compared to a leather one when it comes to styling. No one is going to consider you a fashion icon in a textile jacket, but if you pull it off correctly, it might just work for you.
Which is More Comfortable?
As a leather jacket usually fits snug, it tends to be more comfortable. But it can be a bit stiff in some people’s opinions, so you might want to take that into consideration. Leather is softer than the textile material, so that’s another score for the leather jacket.
While textiles can be a bit bulky, they may weigh less. But a leather jacket will weigh quite a lot more than a textile jacket. So, it’s fifty-fifty in comfort criteria.
Are you still wondering, leather vs textile motorcycle jacket, which one should I buy? In my opinion, both! If you have the budget for it, why not? It will not be a waste, as you will get to enjoy the variety and pros of each jacket.
But if you have to make a call, it’s safe to assume a leather jacket is the better option here; however, it’s a close call. So, I guess I will leave that decision up to you.