I can honestly say I’ve never considered a wax motorcycle jacket until recently.
I’m not sure why. I think I felt I wasn’t the target market. And there always seemed to be more practical (and cheaper!) options available anyway.
After all, you can get motorcycle jackets in all shapes, colours, and styles these days – all warm, comfortable, ventilated, and waterproof.
So why spend all that money on a wax motorcycle jacket that makes you look and feel like a country gentleman or noblewoman?
I’ll tell you why.
Because looking stylish is preferable to looking like you’ve just arrived from the Paris-Dakar when you get to the end of your 30-minute commute. Whatever we wear these days, we get to work looking like we’re about to embark on a round-the-world adventure or an afternoon around Donnington.
But perhaps feeling like a debonair country gentleman or a cultured, sophisticated gentlewoman is no bad thing anyway!
A wax motorcycle jacket is perfect for those who want something timeless and practical.
It’s for those who want to be warm, comfortable, and dry without looking like they’ve just been rolled down the adventure aisle in their local BMW dealership.
And as I get older (I’ve just turned 40), I’m beginning to value the understated over the conspicuous.
So with that in mind, here are my top 10 wax motorcycle jackets (5 for men, 5 for women) – perfect for commuting, touring, meeting mates in the pub, or just looking classically badass.
Merlin Yoxall 2 Wax Motorcycle Jacket
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I’ve been a fan of Merlin products for a few years now. One reason is that their kit is good quality and reasonably priced. But another is that this British brand is 100% employee-owned. It’s a company of bikers who design kit for other bikers. I trust what they do.
On top of that, Merlin is in partnership with Halley Stevensons of Dundee – who have been specialists in wax cotton since 1864. So when you put it together, the maths make sense.
The first thing you notice about this silk wax textile jacket is how good it looks. In typical Merlin form, it’s understated, well-designed, and does its job quietly and effectively.
It has a Reissa Active waterproof and breathable membrane that stops you from getting wet on the outside whilst keeping you cool on the inside. There’s also a 150g removable thermal for additional insulation in cold weather.
For protection, the Merlin Yoxall features D30 LP1 shoulder and elbow armour as standard. There’s an additional pocket on the rear for back armour if you wish.
Merlin have also kept an eye on ventilation. As well as the Reissa membrane, the jacket is ventilated through panels on the front and rear.
As you’d expect with this type of jacket, there are plenty of pockets, including four patch pockets with stud closures, an inside pocket, additional stash pockets, and hand warmer pockets.
On the whole, it’s a stylish wax jacket that looks just as good off the bike as on it. The finish is high, there are loads of pockets for your stuff, and it leaves plenty of room for additional winter layers in the colder months.
Belstaff Ladies Bradshaw Wax Motorcycle Jacket
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For that classic biker look, you can’t go wrong with this somewhat sexy number by Belstaff.
Thanks to its clever accordion-style stretch panels, the Bradshaw is a figure-hugging motorcycle jacket featuring a six-ounce wax cotton construction. 6oz is perfect for three-season riding – thick enough to keep you warm but not so thick that you’ll overheat in the summer.
When the weather takes a turn, the Bradshaw has a seam-sealed Miprorex waterproof and windproof membrane.
To finish off the look, it has an asymmetrical Brando-style zip to give it that classic look.
There is removable CE-approved protection at the elbows and shoulders and a pocket on the rear for additional back protection. There are also reinforcement panels on the shoulders.
To keep you comfortable and snug, a corduroy neck collar keeps you cosy whilst the jacket benefits from a quilted cotton lining – designed in a classic check.
Other nice features include metal underarm vents and rubber-covered snaps to prevent scratching your paintwork!
Oxford Hardy Wax Motorcycle Jacket
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Readers of this website will know that I’m a fan of Oxford. Much like Merlin, they’re a British brand that focuses on producing quality products at reasonable prices. And this classically styled wax motorcycle jacket is no different.
I really like how this jacket looks. It has that denim jacket look, with chest pockets, a studded collar, and diamond stitches on the upper chest and shoulders. It also comes in a range of colours – which is nice.
The Hardy is made from a micro-mesh construction which is breathable. There’s also dual ventilation to promote airflow and keep your temperature in the warmer months.
You’ll find a removable quilted liner for the winter months – adding to the jacket’s versatility.
CE-approved protection can be found at the elbows and shoulders, as well as a pocket for optional back protection.
It’s quite a snug fit – but that’s more about the style. You may need to go up a size to accommodate additional layers in winter.
That said, it’s a great-looking retro-casual jacket that performs excellently in three seasons. For winter riding, other options may suit you better.
Merlin Ladies Harriet Wax Motorcycle Jacket
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As mentioned in our short review of the Merlin Yoxall, Merlin enjoys a running partnership with Halley Stevensons. And the Merlin Harriet is another beneficiary of the Scottish-made polycotton construction.
It’s slightly longer at the hem in terms of fitting, which gives it that classic 60s/70s vibe. It definitely has that Belstaff look about it – just at half the price!
With a slightly thicker 8oz wax cotton construction, it’s a more weighted jacket – which isn’t necessarily bad. Yes, it’s heavier than the Belstaff Bradshaw (above.) But whilst more substantial, it isn’t overly so. And besides, the extra weight works wonders in the colder months.
For waterproofing, you’ll find a Reissa Active waterproof and windproof membrane. And for warmth and ventilation, there is a removable Outlast climate-control lining, a fixed cotton lining, and front/rear ventilation panels.
CE protection comes from excellent (and light) D30 armour, which is present at the elbows and shoulders. And as with the jackets above, it also has provisions for optional back protection.
If you’re touring, you’ll find plenty of pockets for storage, including three patch pockets with press stud closures, hand warmer pockets, and additional stash pockets on the inside.
Held Bailey Wax Motorcycle Jacket
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As with the Oxford Hardy, I particularly like the colour and styling of this Bailey jacket from Held – perfect with jeans and has a vintage-casual vibe.
The Bailey features waxed cotton construction and a polyester inner lining. However, it doesn’t have any waterproofing or windproofing – which is a downside.
However, the Baily does feature Held’s clever Clip-In technology. This means you can buy any number of thermal layers, windproof layers, or waterproof layers from their Clip-In range and add them to the jacket as you wish.
For protection, you’ll find CE armour at the shoulders and elbows – with provisions for chest and back armour if you want to buy it.
Ventilation is adept, thanks to the zipped-mesh panel on the front – making it great for summer riding. I also like the magnets on the zip covers, collar and waistband.
Without a doubt, this jacket is expensive – especially when you consider you may need to buy additional items from the Clip-In range and extra protection. But it looks good and is perfect for spring, early summer, and autumnal riding.
Oxford Heritage Wax Motorcycle Jacket (Women’s)
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The Heritage lives up to its name, with classic styling married with functionality and practicality.
Construction is via waxed cotton and polyester, which is water-repellant and is combined with a micro-mesh breathable liner and a removable quilted (thermal) liner.
You’ll find CE-approved armour at the shoulders and elbows, with provisions for additional back protection. For touring, you’ll be glad of the four-pocket design, the two interior pockets, and a dedicated phone pocket.
In terms of fitting, the belt goes a long way to personalising the fit – although there are no accordion-stretch panels which could make fitting an issue. That said, snap-secured cuffs and collar are a dream, as is the soft, padded collar.
Richa Scrambler 2 Wax Motorcycle Jacket
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As you can see, I’m sticking with the brands that offer great products at great prices in this post! We’ve had Merlin and Oxford, so now it’s time for Richa – which I’m also a fan of.
For the price, the Scrambler is a cool-looking retro-style wax motorcycle jacket that is also waterproof. It’s constructed from British Millerain waxed cotton and features a fixed waterproof and breathable membrane on the inner.
You’ll also find a removable thermal cotton liner for extra comfort and insulation.
Protection comes from CE-certified shoulder and elbow protection and a pocket on the rear to accommodate additional back protection.
Other nice features include quilted check panels and antiquated brass-finished studs.
Overall, the Scrambler 2 is a worthy alternative to a leather jacket, offering waterproofing and insulation for the colder months. For summer, removing the liner gives you ventilation and airflow.
Held Ladies Bailey Wax Motorcycle Jacket
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If you like the look of the Held Bailey (above) but fancy it in a more female-friendly cut, you’ll love the lady’s version here.
As with the men’s version, the Bailey Ladies features a waxed cotton construction and a polyester mesh lining. It doesn’t come with any water/windproofing as standard – although it does have provisions for the Held Clip-In range, which allows you to add windproofing/waterproofing separately.
CE protection comes as standard at the elbows and shoulders. But there are also pockets on the chest and back should you wish to add further protection.
You’ll find four external pockets, two internal ones for your touring gear, and a waterproof phone pocket. The Bailey also has fitment adjusters at the arms and hips to personalise the fit.
RST IOM TT Wax Motorcycle Jacket
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If you’re after something a touch more substantial that looks just as good off the bike as on it, the IOM TT by RST is a notable place to look. It comes packed with features, too, making it excellent value for money.
The jacket is made from an abrasion-resistant HD wax cotton construction, features a fixed mesh lining, and a removable quilted liner for the colder months.
As with all the jackets on this list, the IOM TT comes with CE-approved protection at the shoulders and elbows, with provisions for additional back armour should you want it.
On the outside, you’ll find two large stash pockets at the hem and two smaller pockets at the chest. The belt is a nice feature, as is the attention to detail on the antiquated brass zips and IOM TT embossed logos.
It’s a big coat at a price that offers great value. If you’re riding in winter, you might need another layer underneath. But all-in-all, a great option in this style at a price that works.
Oxford Ladies Holwell 1.0 Wax Motorcycle Jacket
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If you want to step away from the traditional waxed-looking jackets and go for something more leather inspired, try this wet-waxed cotton jacket by Oxford.
This classic-looking wax motorcycle jacket looks vintage on the outside. But underneath the traditional frame is modern technology.
With tremendous attention to detail, Oxford have styled their Holwell in line with the history of British Millerain. It isn’t cheap. But when you consider the pockets are pleated (so they lie flat when not in use), the collar and belt are cut in three dimensions, and the labour-intensive triple stitching, you can see why!
The result is a classic-looking jacket that offers excellent protection whilst maintaining the standards of days gone by.
As expected, it uses British Mellerain wet-waxed cotton and features a waterproof and breathable membrane. And we love the quilted stitching on the shoulders.
The rolled neoprene and corduroy on the collar and cuffs add comfort. Other nice features include Oxford’s heritage press studs and the two-buttoned breast pocket.
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