When I first started riding, I didn’t have any gear whatsoever, except the helmet. Now that I think about it, I have no idea how I did those 300km rides without any protection, feels like I rode naked at that time. But then I understood the importance of riding gear and slowly embraced it. Now I own a riding jacket, a bionic protection jacket, elbow guards, knee guards, riding pants and protective gloves.
But when I first thought of going for gear, there was one big question on my mind, should I just buy elbow guards? Is a riding jacket really required? The same question comes up for knee guards vs riding pant situation, but we’ll keep that for another time. Let’s discuss the Elbow guards vs Riding jacket conundrum through this post.
Elbow guards vs Riding jacket: Which is more comfortable?
This might be a bone of contention among some bikers, but riding jackets are generally far more comfortable as compared to elbow guards. A good quality jacket feels like part of the body. Even the best elbow guards will move a little here and there as you flex your arms, causing discomfort.
Which one is more practical?
You take one riding jacket, you can wear it in sun, rain or cold. It will do it all for you. But if you go for a pair of elbow guards, chances are you will need to supplement them with a rain coat or a thermal wear as the seasons change. Of course a riding jacket will never be very comfortable during extreme summers, but the modern mesh jackets are doing a good job there as well.
This one is rather easy, even the best pair of elbow guards can’t provide the same level of protection as an average riding jacket. I guess this is the reason why you don’t see MotoGP riders wearing T-shirts and scraping their elbow guards on turns. Riding jackets are made specifically for this field, they are made of thick, abrasion resistant materials along with numerous protective guards at various places.
You generally get elbow, shoulder and back protectors as default with any riding jacket, and you can add chest protection if you like. These guards are generally removable, and can be swapped for high quality CE approved armor or normal foam pads. So as far as protection goes, this Elbow guards vs Riding jacket battle is rather one sided.
Which one looks better?
Any guy wearing a riding jacket looks like a badass, no questions asked. It gives that feeling of being a serious biker, who also cares for his body parts. Elbow guards give the impression that you are at best an amateur motorcyclist. So if you want to impress the girls, put on that jacket now.
Elbow guards vs Riding jacket: Verdict
Some of you might feel this is a rather stupid question to ask, of course riding jacket is better in every way than elbow guards. But you will be surprised to find how many people compromise in the end, they tell themselves that they don’t have to “waste” 6,000 bucks on a jacket when they can get a pair of elbow guards for 500. Riding jackets help you be seen at night, with their reflective strips, they keep you safe no matter where the impact comes from and they are totally worth the investment. Read over reviews of the DSG Triton and DSG Nero jackets for more info!
RiderZone recommends a cheap riding jacket over costly elbow guards anytime.
Image source: http://alpinestars.com/