Motorcycle vests are among the most sought after clothing items for riders, especially those made of leather. These clothes offer protection from the elements and provide comfort on and off the road. Unlike jackets, vests don’t have sleeves, which mean there is no added weight and are a good place to put your patches.
A rider-style vest can also be used in making a fashion statement – even if you’re not motorcycle rider.. There are lots of shapes and styles to choose from, making it a great piece to pair with other clothing items.
If you are planning to buy one, you need to understand the different types of materials, various styles, quality and sizing. You need to make sure that everything fits your needs and preferences. Well, to make your shopping much easier, we’ve done the research for you. Here are the important things that you should know:
Check the Materials
As there are lots of materials used in making a motorcycle vest, you need to find out what type of fabric suits you best. Narrow down your choices by considering these:
If you want a comfortable, lightweight type of vest yet with the toughness of hard leather, this textile will suit you. It is a type of leather made from the underside of the animal skin creating a napped/soft finish. However, due to its texture and with more open pores than other type of leather, this fabric can easily get dirty and can absorb liquid.
Choose denim vests if you are looking for comfort and style without burning your pocket. This type of material is less expensive compared to leather and suede. It is made of sturdy cotton twills using a weaving technique in which the weft passes two or more warp threads creating the familiar diagonal ribbing of the fabric. Denim vests are easy to wear, offer that rugged style, and provide sufficient protection from the elements. Some vests have Kevlar inserts to provide a bit of extra protection.
Thick leather can be made from various types of animal hides, but the ones most commonly used in making motorcycle vest are cowhide and buffalo skin. You should pick cowhide if you want that old genuine leather look, comfort and flexibility. However, if you want to get a vest with a strong fabric that doesn’t stretch easily with rugged and rustic look, you should opt for buffalo leather. And lastly, if you are budget-conscious and you want a genuine leather feel without the high price, you can settle on a split-leather motorcycle vest which is made from lower quality grade of leather.
Know How to Take Care of It
Once a motorcycle vests is customized with patches, it needs regular care to make it last for a long time. Take note that different types of fabric require different level of care and maintenance.
If you are the type of person who doesn’t want to worry much or take too much time caring for your motorcycle clothing, you should opt for a denim vest. This type of fabric is easy to maintain. All you have to do is wash it, together with your regular laundry, at least once a month or more often if you use it frequently. Furthermore, keeping it is easy. It can be folded or kept in a hanger without any worries.
Unlike denim, a vest made from pure leather or suede requires more care to maintain its condition. Leather should be protected from moisture and stains – even though some types are pigmented to have a finish much like a sealant. Initially, before using your new leather vest for the first time, you should apply a protectant and a stain treatment. If it happens to be exposed to direct moisture, like liquid spills or riding during rain, you should wipe it with dry cloth as soon as possible to avoid moisture from seeping in. If stains or moisture are difficult to remove, you can bring your vest to a professional leather cleaner, or better yet have it regularly cleaned by one. Also, avoid folding your leather vest as it can stretch or alter its shape. Proper keeping requires a hanger and a cool dry storage.
Pick the Ideal Style
Take note that you should also look into style in picking the right motorcycle vest. The three basic styles to choose from are as follows:
- High-Neck Vests
If you want to be well protected and be warm during your rides, you should opt for a high-neck vest. This style covers your whole torso up to half of your neck or even higher depending on its neckline. It will provide you with a comfortable feel without the weight on your hands – unlike jackets.
- V-Neck Vests
This type of vest is ideal for riding during hotter days. If you are located in an area with a drier weather, it suits you best. It is more open and can provide you with a cooler feeling especially when you are on the move. This style of vest is also ideal for women.
- Utility Vests
When you want to prioritize functionality over comfort in choosing a motorcycle vest, you should go for one that is designed for utility. These vests are usually made with lots of pockets which enable you to easily bring with you lots of things during your ride.
Buying a motorcycle vest is just the same as buying other types of clothing. You need to make sure that what you’ll choose suits you best. It should perfectly fit your style and your personality. Well, now that we have shared the important tips to you, all you have to do is go buy one.
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