How to add armor to a leather jacket?

If you ride a motorcycle, I’m sure you’ll agree that adding armor is an essential safety measure on the road. Although there are many jackets available that come with built-in armor, adding armor to your leather jacket can be a more cost-effective option. You get to keep your favorite jacket while adding an extra layer of protection.

But where do you begin, and how do you install the armor? If you are wondering how to add armor to a leather jacket for maximum protection while riding.

leather armor tutorial

What are armors in leather jackets?

Armors in leather jackets are protective pads or inserts designed to prevent injuries in case of incidents. They are typically made from hard plastic or foam and placed in strategic areas that are more likely to be impacted by a fall or collision.

You can find them in motorcycle jackets or custom leather jackets built for rider protection. Some jackets come with built-in armor, while others allow the wearer to install it at the shoulders, elbows, and back regions where the most impact may occur. Having armor only makes sense if you’re a rider. Furthermore, the armor can be removable, making it easy to clean and maintain. You can even remove the armor to wear the jacket casually.

How to add armor to a leather jacket

When it comes to protecting yourself while riding a motorcycle, you have several options. You can buy a jacket with built-in armor, purchase ready-made armor, or create custom motorcycle armor for your existing clean jacket. If you choose to go the DIY route, here are the steps to follow:

Choose the type of armor

There are different types of armor available in the market, ranging from foam and hard plastic to Kevlar. Choose the type that fits your needs and budget, and decide which areas you want to protect, such as the back, shoulders, elbows, and chest.

Mark the areas

Use tailor’s chalk to mark the areas on your jacket where you want to add the armor. Be precise to ensure a good fit.

Cut the armor

Use scissors to cut the armor to the size and shape of the marked areas. If necessary, carefully remove any stitches in the areas where you want to place the armor. You can also create armor pockets if your jacket has enough room.

Insert the armor

Slide the armor pieces into the prepared areas and sew them firmly into place. If you created armor pockets, simply slide the armor into place.


Once the armor is securely attached, trim any excess thread or fabric to finish the job.

If the DIY route seems daunting, you can always purchase one of the best leather jackets with built-in armor, or take your existing jacket to a professional tailor or motorcycle gear shop to have the armor installed for you.


Q: How do you put armor on a motorcycle jacket?

It’s really easy. However, before I walk you through the steps, remember that not all jackets are designed to hold armor. Therefore, confirm that your jacket is suitable for armor installation before proceeding. Here are the steps to add motorcycle armor to your jacket:

  • Confirm the armor type and placement: Firstly, identify the kind of armor you have and where it needs to be placed on the jacket. Consult the user manual that came with your purchase to confirm the armor placement for your jacket.
  • Find the pockets and install the armor: The pockets for the armor are usually on the back, shoulders, elbows, or chest. Carefully slide the armor into the correct pocket, ensuring it fits snugly. Once the armor is in place, adjust the jacket to fit well.
  • Ensure it fits: The armor must fit correctly, being snug but not too tight. Ensure that the armor remains in the right spot and doesn’t move around while riding. Some armor may have Velcro straps or other fasteners to help keep it in place. If it meets your requirements, then you’re good to go.

Just remember, not all jackets are designed for armor installation, so always cross-check before making a purchase

Q: Do you need armor in a motorcycle jacket?

The truth is that when riding a motorcycle, you are exposed to accidents and crashes. In case you do end up in a crash, a motorcycle armor jacket can be a real lifesaver. It can prevent you from breaking bones or getting bruises and road rash. The armor is typically made of special materials like foam or hard plastic, which absorb the impact of a fall or accident. Additionally, it can also prevent sharp objects from piercing your skin.

If your jacket doesn’t have armor, you won’t receive the full protection you need. While some protection is better than none, it’s similar to wearing a helmet without strapping it on. To protect yourself, search for leather jacket stores near you and grab an armored jacket.

Q: Do all motorcycle jackets have armor?

Motorcycle jackets keep you safe while riding, but not all of them include armor. Some jackets prioritize fashion over protective gear, but many integrate armor into their design or feature pockets in the shoulders, elbows, and back areas. Knox armor and joe rocket replacement armor are brands you could try. Before making a purchase, confirm the design and specifications to be sure the brand meets your expectations.

Q: Will Armor All Hurt leather?

Armor All has a cleaner made for leather surfaces.  They recommend using this instead of their Multi-Purpose Cleaner on leather. But from my findings, most leather enthusiasts out there say that it’s safe to use any Armor All product cleaner on leather surfaces without causing any harm. So, if you’re feeling adventurous, go ahead and give it a try.

Q: What does Armor All do to leather?

Armor All is a popular producer of cleaning products. I recommend their Leather Protectant product for help with cleaning and conditioning car leather, especially. When applied to the surface, it eliminates all the dirt and grime that accumulates on leather seats over time. This, in turn, saves the leather from drying out and becoming brittle due to exposure to sunlight and other environmental factors.

Q: Can you put Armor All protectant on leather?

Leather requires special care and attention to maintain its freshness. Using just any Armor All protectant, especially on leather, could do more harm than good. If you want to keep your leather shining for years to come, you must use products specifically made for leather. The Armor All Leather Protectant is a suitable option, allowing you to protect the leather without worrying about causing damage or buildup. Just make sure to read the label and follow the instructions carefully.

Final words

Riding on the road can be tough, and you’ll agree with me that adding armor to your leather jacket offers you additional protection. You’ll be safer and less likely to be impacted by a fall or collision. Now that you know how to add armor to a leather jacket, make it a principle to never ride your motorcycle without an armored leather jacket.

Titi Taiwo

Titi Taiwo is a passionate writer who's all about tech and giving expert leather advice. With experience writing for both online and print publications, Titi has collaborated with leading companies such as Pactnuel and Groomlog where she contributed her knowledge and expertise. Titi is always on the hunt for new and innovative ways to inspire and educate her readers. So if you're looking for some fresh tech insights or just want to up your fashion game, Titi's writing is your sure bet.

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