Merlin Hixon Jacket Review: Stylish & Protective? Our Expert Analysis

The new Merlin Hicks leather jacket has been creating quite a buzz in the motorcycle community. With its stylish design and reasonable price tag, riders are eager to know if this jacket delivers on quality and protection.

We decided to take an in-depth look at the Hicks to determine if it’s a solid investment for your riding wardrobe.

But, the main question I will answer in this review will be: Is this the best leather motorcycle jacket for you? Let’s find out!

Merlin Hixon Leather Jacket


Key Takeaways

  • Durable leather
  • Affordable price
  • Removable impact armor
  • Good value for money.

An Overview of the Merlin Hicks Leather Jacket

The Hicks has a tall 1.5-inch collar with a single snap closure, and heavyweight YKK zipper pulls. Quilted panels on the shoulders and sleeves provide texture and style.

It comes equipped with CE-rated armor on the elbows and shoulders. A removable thermal vest liner allows you to stretch this leather jacket into early spring and late fall weather.

Breaking Down the Key Features and Benefits

To help you determine if the Merlin Hicks is worthwhile, we analyzed the critical features that impact comfort, protection, and value.

The Leather: Soft Yet Durable

  • The new buck leather is softly finished for a flexible feel
  • Thickness is 1.0-1.1mm, which provides abrasion resistance
  • Not as heavy-duty as race-grade leathers, but durable for street riding
  • Has a nice supple hand that conforms to the body

Protection: CE-Rated Armor

  • CE-level 1 armor in shoulders and elbows enhances impact protection
  • Can be removed to customize fit
  • Non-CE foam back pad acts as a liner but has minimal protection
  • Consider upgrading to CE-rated back armor for maximum coverage

Weather Protection: Thermal Vest Liner

  • 100g removable thermal vest provides warmth for cooler weather
  • Allows flexibility to stretch into fall and early spring
  • Interior mesh liner promotes airflow during warmer temps
  • It is not ideal for winter cold but extends the seasonality

Style and Comfort: Retro Design Meets Function

  • Quilted shoulder panels add texture and style
  • Bold contrast stripes on sleeves are retro-inspired
  • Tall collar with snap closure to block wind
  • Heavy YKK zip pulls are easy to grasp with gloves
  • The smooth satin interior lining is comfortable against the skin
  • Adjustable waist velcro for customized fit

Value: Budget-Friendly Price Under $400

  • High-quality leather jacket under $400 is uncommon
  • Provides core safety and weather features
  • Lacks premium details like leather collar lining
  • Excellent value compared to jackets costing $600+

How Does the Merlin Hicks Compare?

To provide additional context, we compared the key features and value of the Hicks to similar leather jackets from Alpinestars and Rev’It.

FeatureMerlin HicksAlpinestars Oscar BrassRev’It Ignition 3
Leather TypeNew Buck LeatherCow LeatherCow Leather
ArmorCE-Rated Shoulders & ElbowsCE-Rated Shoulders & ElbowsCE-Rated Shoulders, Elbows & Back
Weather ProtectionRemovable Thermal VestNo InsulationRemovable Thermal Liner

While the Alpinestars and Rev’It offer more premium details and features, the Merlin Hicks holds up impressively, given its sub-$400 price point. Riders looking for a budget-friendly leather staple would be wise to consider the Hicks.

Our Verdict: A Worthwhile Investment for the Price

After closely evaluating the materials, construction, protection, and overall execution of the Merlin Hicks leather jacket, we rate it as an excellent value for riders.

The Good

  • Budget-friendly sub-$400 price point
  • Quality new buck leather
  • CE-rated armor in shoulders & elbows
  • Removable thermal liner
  • Retro styling looks sharp

The Bad

  • Non-CE rated back pad
  • No stretch panels for maximum mobility
  • Leather collar lining would be a premium touch

Overall, the Hicks hits all the key staples of a trusty leather motorcycle jacket without breaking the bank.
While it lacks top-shelf premium details, the combination of safety features, quality materials, and reasonable pricing make this a fantastic entry-level option.

Riders looking for a solid leather riding jacket would be wise to have the Merlin Hicks on their shortlist.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Merlin Hicks Leather Jacket

What type of weather is the Hicks best suited for?

With the removable thermal liner, the Hicks can adapt to fall, spring, and summer weather but likely won’t cut it in the dead of winter. Riders in cooler climates may need additional layers once temps drop below freezing.

How does the sizing run on the Hicks jacket?

The Hicks leather jacket runs true to size based on Merlin’s sizing charts. It has an athletic fit with little room to size up or down. Refer to the size chart and measure your best-fitting jacket to ensure you get the right size.

Does the Hicks have adequate mobility for sportbike riding?

The pre-curved sleeves and athletic cut of the Hicks provide decent freedom of movement. However, the lack of stretch panels or gussets may limit mobility compared to performance-oriented leather jackets.

Is the CE armor in the Hicks removable?

Yes, if desired, the CE-rated shoulder and elbow armor can be removed from the Hicks jacket. The back foam pad is also removable. This allows you to customize protection and comfort.

Can aftermarket back armor be installed in the Hicks?

Definitely, while the Hicks comes with a basic foam back pad, it has a pocket to accommodate most CE-rated back protectors on the market from brands like Forcefield or Knox for upgraded protection.


Finding a high-quality leather motorcycle jacket for under $400 is a rarity. While the Merlin Hicks may not have top-shelf premium components and materials, it delivers on the core essentials of abrasion resistance, impact protection, and weather adaptability.

For riders wanting a sharp-looking leather staple without breaking the bank, the Hicks checks all the right boxes as a fantastic entry-level option.

Just be ready to layer up when the mercury really drops. Considering the price, features, and quality, the Merlin Hicks leather jacket earns our stamp of approval.

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