How to Shop for a Motorcycle Jacket


I'm doing another Q&A via YouTube Live!

On Monday, all you have to do is click on this link to join:


(and if you missed my last two, you can watch those videos as well) 

We're going to talk about how to choose a great motorcycle jacket, something to *actually* ride in, and yes, potentially crash in. As motorcyclists, we must think about the consequences if we choose to wear something that isn't going to provide adequate protection. 

Since I am GearChic, I will be talking mostly about women's specific gear but of course, everything I mention is available for men and then ten more options on top of that. Since women have a much harder time finding gear, I'm going to give you ideas for different options depending on your riding lifestyle and budget. 

Please bring questions, or add them in a comment here so I can address them live! 


Summer Jackets for Tall Women Riders

revit airwave womens summer motorcycle jacket Longtime reader Fiona needs help finding an outfit for an incredible adventure! Lucky Girl. Check out her story and gear story:

Height and Weight: 5'11", 155 lbs

Chest, Waist, Hip Measurements: 36, 30, 39 (over clothing), 32" inseam (need about 33-34" when I get on the bike)


Hi Joann,

I've read your blog since probably the beginning of my riding career way back in 2007. Thanks for being such a great resource for all these years.

I am getting ready to buy some new mesh gear for a sweet 6-week adventure on my KLR, around the Southwest and on to the East Coast. My problem has always been finding women's gear that is long enough for me, as I'm tall with broad shoulders and a 32" inseam. For years I've dealt with my Fieldsheer gear being a couple of inches too short in the sleeves and pant legs, because if I went up in size to get enough length, the whole kit would be falling off my body.

I want my new gear to fit well, and I'm looking for a light-colored jacket and pant set (but will take any color if something actually fits!). I love the look of the Rev'it Airwave jacket and pants that you've reviewed, but will they be long enough for me? Are there other mesh or textile jackets and pants that us tall girls should consider?

I live in a very remote area of the US, where few retailers even ship, so there's no chance of trying anything on before I order. Although it seems there are manufacturers that make "tall" sizes, I don't see any way to order these online -- do I have to contact the manufacturer directly, or can I place a special order with the retailer?

I'm hoping to minimize the amount of back-and-forth and $ wasted on return shipping as I try to get the best fit. I appreciate any recommendations you can offer; thank you!



I think the Revit Airwave jacket in size 38 (above) is a great option for you, I would mostly be concerned with sleeve length, not so much body length. The nice thing about this jacket is the longer torso and arm length.

revit airwave womens summer motorcycle jacket

As far as pants, Airwaves do run a bit long but aren't offered in long sizes. The standard inseam might be too short for you.


If you're open to a multiseason pant, I would actually recommend the Revit Sand Pants in 38 Tall (available in silver). These pants are the newest version of the old Ventura which I found to breathe very very well in hot weather.  There are two liners, one waterproof and one thermal; each is removable to really adapt to changing temperatures. The fit on these is tailored, slimmish through the legs but definitely not skinny. There's a vent on each thigh for a little airflow as well.



The armor in these are substantial, CE and EN Rated Tryonic Seesoft. If you have a curvy hip, then order a size 40 Tall instead. If you have fairly straight hips, you will be fine in 38. If you like a tailored, tapered fit, then I would go with these or the Airwaves.

You most definitely do not have to contact the manufacturers to order the tall size in these! They're available at Revzilla. :)

Another option is the Olympia Airglide for a generous, curvy fit through the butt/hips/thighs. These run 3-4 inches long, and are too long for most of us shorties. You will have plenty of inseam on these for sure. They also fit true to women's size (US 6, 8, etc). I would recommend a size 6 since they're curvy and forgiving through the thighs. If you think you need extra room in the thighs/butt/hips then order these instead of the Rev'it above. The legs are also a bit roomier, so if you prefer a more relaxed fit you will love these.


Olympia Airglide 3 Women's Motorcycle OverPants




More Shopping Tips when searching for Motorcycle Gear

Klim Altitude Jacket, Size 4  

With all the buzz from the new Klim Altitude Dual Sport suit for ladies, I thought you might find these tips useful while looking at motorcycle gear. Especially if you're a woman... but certainly useful for men too.

Aside from my Shopping Rules, these are just a few other tidbits that I share often with customers and thought you might find interesting as well!

Choosing a Brand


Generally speaking, you will want to go with an American company if you have more of a curvy body type. Or if you have shorter arms/legs, broader shoulders / torso, shorter arms or legs, that the American brands will cater to the average American woman, whom is typically a size 12/14.   And for the most part, American brands will offer the most generous fitments with more room in these areas because well, that's where most American women need it.

Conversely, if you are very petite (almost underweight) or very lean/long in the arms, legs and torso then you must go with the European brands. Italians, Germans and Dutch brands dominate the industry with more options if you fall into any of these categories.

These guidelines also apply equally to the men out there too. Long and lean, go Euro. Shorter and more athletic/broad, go American.

Remember, these are general guidelines and certainly exceptions apply to brands such as Rev'it, which actually offer the widest variety of fitments in their collection. 

Sizing your Motorcycle Boots


gaerne_black_rose_womens  sidi_apex_lei_womens

Know your European shoe size. It's pretty much right 99.9% of the time. Go look in your closet right now, find 3 pairs of shoes and see what the European size is. Then see what they say the US size is. I'm betting that the US definitions are all over the place. I've found that you can pretty much associate your casual, European shoe size with any motorcycle boot and you will have a very accurate size to start with. But much like clothing, you will then have to figure out the various fitments between the brands. (And that's where a company like Revzilla comes in to help you sort things out).

Proper Fit

When you step into any motorcycle apparel store, or a dealer that stocks gear, their salespeople should be able to steer you to a particular brand that will fit you first, and then your budget, style preferences, etc. If they have no idea how one jacket fits, vs. another, you will probably end up with something that's too big/long/wide/etc. Or worse, something that won't do it's job quite right if you go down. Fit has a direct connection to safety, and that's in the form of your body armor as far as how it's supposed to sit up against your body: snug, so it won't move and slip sideways off of your body! It also has a direct connection to staying warm, and insulating you from the cold. Any extra space or gaps increases the likelihood that you will be cold because now there's cold air swirling around in that bubble on your chest instead of keeping a nice snug seal against your body.

And that's why I'm here, and why companies like Revzilla exist to help you figure this stuff out. It's not easy (especially the first time), it's a major pain in the ass and can be one of the most frustrating things you've ever gone through in your life.

As I come up with more tidbits, I'll try to update this post. That's it for now, stay tuned for a special Gear Q n' A on Moterrific so we can address some of your specific questions when it comes to gear!

Plus Size Jacket and Pants

My friend Chris needed some help finding gear. She met me at Scuderia the other day and we got her dressed! She's a ~US 10 on top and ~US 14 on bottom and has a 31" inseam.  Her immediate needs were a pair of boots and riding pants.  She's making the transition from a cruiser to a dual sport bike (woo hoo!), with an upright riding position. But she also likes to borrow her man's sportbike and wanted something that would be comfortable on that bike too.

Chris is a real woman with real curves and she needed real gear. She wanted protection in the knees and hips, no mesh/ventilation (since she's commuting on the freeway) and enough room in the hips and her inseam. Although we couldn't get her into the Ventura pants like I wanted, we did get the unisex Horizon Pants, XXL Standard (see photo gallery) on her and they fit perfectly.

What Fit?

The Horizon in XXL (standard length) were perfect (see photo gallery). As you can see, they fit her real curves nicely. The inseam is just right, the armor fell at the knees in the right place (although they are adjustable). They also come in standard, short and long.  They don't have full length zippers, so they're supposed to be worn as pants. You could wear them as overpants without the thermal liner. You'd just have to take off your boots every time you needed to change in and out of them. Chris is wearing them over jeans in these photos.

  REV'IT Motorcycle Pants REV'IT Motorcycle Pants

Unfortunately the Ladies Tornado 46 was a little too tight (without the thermal liner, over jeans), so we tried the men's 48 (over jeans, without the thermal liner). The rise (bottom of the crotch to top of the waistband) was way too short so she couldn't even get them on comfortably.

We also figured out that the Horizon and Axis had the best female fit, meaning a slightly higher rise in the waist, room in the hips and thighs but a nice tapered fit at the knee.  The problem with the Axis was that the legs didn't taper enough at the knees and just weren't as protective and fully featured as the Horizons.

The Jackets

Although she didn't leave with one of them, here are two jackets that she tried on.  Unfortunately I didn't have other colors in her size so you can see the difference between the two. She's wearing size 42 in both which translate to a 14-16 or L/XL.  They're very similar, but slightly different in terms of price point and features.

The one one the left is the Ventura. Read my review here. The one on the right is the Indigo (also available in hi viz). The Indigo doesn't have some of the features of the Ventura, and it's also a little bit longer in the torso and falls below the hips.

Both of these would be great options for commuting, touring or everyday riding.

  REV'IT Indigo Ladies Motorcycle Jacket