Best Light Armor In Skyrim

  • Fur armor is the weakest light armor but looks good for immersion.
  • Chitin armor, found in Solstheim, provides 85 armor rating when the full set is acquired.
  • Glass armor is the 3rd best light armor, available around level 36 from loot or stores, or can be crafted at smithing level 70.
  • While light armors don’t provide as much protection as heavy sets, they are ideal for agility-focused builds and have advantages like making less noise.

Light armor in Skyrim provides several advantages over heavy armor – it makes you more agile, less noisy while moving and slows stamina drain.

While light armor may not provide as much protection as heavy sets, it’s ideal for certain character builds and playstyles.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the best light armor you can find, buy, or craft in Skyrim at various levels. Whether you’re just starting out or nearing the endgame, there are excellent light armor options to suit your needs.

skyrim best light armor

What Do You Need To know about Armors In Skyrim?

If you are new to the game, then there is a big chance you don’t have much information about armors. But, one thing we all know is that they are incredibly important to finish the game.

Armors are the protective apparels you can wear in ‘The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.’ There are different types of armors in the game, increasing the character’s damage protection from physical attacks.

Furthermore, armors can also be enchanted to provide additional skills and protection like Magicka, Health, and Stamina.

There are two kinds of armors available in Skyrim; heavy and light armors. These armor types have their own skillset, which the player can receive when he equips it.

The obvious thing about these armors is that they protect you from attacks provide you with various abilities like stealth, power, health, magic, etc.

image of armor rating in skyrim

But, the more important advantage is that of the armor rating, which is an essential variable in the game. The armor ratings provide you with the stats of how much defensive qualities and armor can provide your character.

How Does The Armor Level Cap Work In Skyrim?

Now that you know that armor is used for increasing the armor rating, you must also know that there are different categories of armor that players can wear like helm, gloves, boots, shields, chest, and leg armors. 

Now there are armor caps in Skyrim with a capacity of 567 armors. The maximum armor cap is 567 when the character wears a four-piece. Each piece adds hidden armor points: 25, which is 667.567 of the actual armor without wearing any armor.

This equals 80% damage reduction with enough advantage in alchemy, smiting, and enchanting that even the hide armor makes the armor cap.

Related guides:

Best Light Armor Skyrim

Light armor is perfect for turning the advantages of each piece of equipment and turn them into advantages.

So, if you are wearing any equipment from this category, you will become more agile, your armor will become less noisy while walking, and your stamina will drain slowly compared to other equipment.

And since light armor weighs nothing, you can keep more stuff in the inventory while having the best light armor in Skyrim.

However, the sad part is that there are very few light armor options compared to heavy armor because the defense bonus of this armor is lower than heavy armor.

And because of less defense bonus, you can get hurt more easily. That is why it is not ideal for big and crucial battles. But, still, they make for the perfect armor outside of combat.

Talking about light armor brings us to the question of which is the best light armor, Skyrim.  So, let’s look at some of the Skyrim best light armor sets.

#1- Deathbrand Armor

This armor appears in various ‘Ancient Chests’ while you are completing the ‘Deathbrand’ quest. Your character needs to look for this armor before you complete the quest, or you might never get it. The armor is available as a set in four different locations inside the four ancient chests of the cave or coast. 

The Deathbrand armor

A great quality of this armor set is that you will get water breathing ability when you equip it (the helmet). Deathbrand gives you a 78.5 base armor with 11269g base value and has 13lbs weight.

It gives your character the strength of 100 armors, with the stamina of 15 cuirasses and 10+ capacity for carrying. But the armor set is not enchantable. The armor has the best use when equipped with all its equipment.

#2- Ancient Falmer Armor

One of the unique armor sets on the game, Falmer, is acquired when you loot the corpse of Arch-Curate Vyrthur. The deceased will appear in the questline of ‘Touching the Sky”. 

The Ancient Falmer Armor

However, since there is no shield and helmet in this armor set, the bonuses can stay low compared to other armors. But it is still a great choice for wearing out of combat.

This armor gives you a 60 base armor with 1280g base value and weights 11lbs. you can upgrade the armor with the help of Chaurus Chitin and the Advanced Armors.

#3- Dragonscale Armor

This light armor unlocks when you complete certain requirements for it. Those requirements include reaching level 50 and opening various containers and chests.

Another thing you have to achieve is to gather the ‘Dragon Armor’ perk, which will also unlock as you proceed with the game.

The Dragonscale Armor

Apart from this, you can also earn some of its pieces with the loot you collect and craft it with the smiting level 100 and the Dragon Armor perk.

This armor gives you a 111 base armor, has a 3600g base value, and weighs 26lbs. However, Dragonscale Armor’s uniqueness and the shield bring it closer to heavy armor.

#4- Stalhrim Light Armor Set

You have to be a level 35 player and own the Dragonborn DLC to farm this armor. Stalhrim light armor can appear in-world items and chests during random loots. Some bosses in random combats can also use it.

The Stalhrim Light Armor Set

In contrast to finding it in loots and chests, you can craft the armor at smiting level 80 and with the ebony perk.

But, if you do craft it, you will require steel ingots, leather strips, and quicksilver ingots. Furthermore, you can also buy it from NPC Blador Iron-sharper in Skaal village. 

The armor can give you a 39 base armor, ha 925g base value and 71lbs weight. It allows you to create both light and heavy armor sets. Once you equip the whole armor, you can get a rating of 108.

#5- Guild Master’s Armor/Blackguard’s Armor

To get this armor, you need to finish many small quests of the Thieves Guild. The first quest is to return the Guild to its former glory, which means that you will have to complete the quests of Delvin and Ver.

The Guild Master's Blackguard's Armor

After completing these quests, you will get the Guild Master’s armor as a reward during the ‘New Management’ quests from NPC Tonilia. 

Because this armor has many positive qualities like pickpocketing, carrying capacity, lock picking, low price, etc., you should try and get this armor as soon as you can.

The Guild Master’s armor will give you a 76 base armor with a 700g base value and weighs only 17lbs. You can upgrade this armor with just leather. 

#6- Elven Gilded Armor

This armor is similar to the elven armors of Skyrim but has a better armor rating. Also, according to patch 1.9, once the player is wearing the armor, it will count towards the matching set perk, which is achieved at level 70 in the skill tree of light armor. 

The Elven Gilded Armor

You can find the Elven Gilded armor throughout the valleys of Skyrim once you reach level 23, and its variants will start appearing at level 28.

Look for the armor at blacksmiths, goods merchant, loots, chests, Thalmor patrol guards. 

#7- Glass Armor

There can be a common misconception that glass is fragile, but it is one of the best light armor in Skyrim. You can consider it the third-best armor of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. You will start finding it around the valley once near level 36.  

The Glass Armor

Most parts of the glass armor are also available at the store’s inventory so that you can buy those as well. But, if you want to craft it, you will have to have level 70 smithing and glass smithing perk.

The ingredients for crafting this armor are refined malachite and moonstone, leather, and leather strips. Once you equip the whole armor, it will up your base from 100 to 103. 

#8- Thieves Guild Armor

The thieves guild armor is made from leather and is super lightweight. It is ideal for agility. It offers you great defense compared to the Elven armor and is available early in the game, just after two non-combat quests. But, the drawback of this armor is that it can’t be disenchanted. It can be upgraded with leather.

Thieves Guild Armor

It can provide you with the abilities of lock picking, carrying capacities, pickpocketing when the armor is worn. The armor’s pieces can only be found in the Ragged Flagon. The base armor is 65 with a base value of 3190g. It weighs 11lbs. 

#9- Leather Armor

You can consider the lightness of this armor by its name. The Leather Armor is made of just leather strips and leather at the blacksmith’s forge.

The Leather Armor

The armor has pauldrons, decorative buckles, and knee-length skirts. You can upgrade the armor with more leather and metal to improve the skills provided by the armor.  Leather armor has 52 base and 235g base value. It weighs 12lbs. 

#10- Dawnguard Armor

This armor is incomplete when you first get it and requires additional content to complete it. You can get it from Dawnguard DLC.

But, you can also obtain the pieces of your armor set from any Dawnguard member who is the vampire hunter. For example, you might find some components from Gunmar and buy them from him when you have resources. 

The Dawnguard Armor

But, the best option to get it is via completing the quest “A New Order’ or finding it around the Fort of Dawnguard. Dawnguard armor set gives you a 61 base armor with 365g base value and weighs 10.51 lbs. it is an average tier armor of Skyrim.

The armor will introduce you to a new element of the game, an element that will fight the rise of Volkihar vampires. 

#11- Ancient Shrouded Armor

Once you are done with the dark brotherhood quest, ‘locate the assassin of old,’ you can upgrade the armor to its fullest, with a smithing ability of more than 100 and having Arcane Blacksmith perk.

The Ancient Shrouded Armor

This armor in its full form will provide you with amazing bonuses like muffled movements, poison resistance, increased bow, and sneak attack damage.

Even if you can’t use the armor for huge combats, you can still save your skin with it countless times. The ancient shrouded armor gives you 72 base armor with a 2346g base value. It weighs around 7.5lbs.

#12- Chitin Armor Set

This armor looks very much like the Morag Tong armor but is different from it. It is more reddish and is included in the Dragonborn DLC.

This armor is found in various locations of Solstheim, but you can also craft it if you have the Elven Smithing perk unlocked and have the smithing level 30 or above it. 

The Chitin Armor Set

If you are crafting it, you will need Netch leather, iron ingot, and Chitin plates. Once you acquire the full set of Chitin armor, you will achieve an 85 armor rating, which is the closest thing to low heavy armor. It is undoubtedly one of the best light armors in Skyrim. 

This armor is not part of the base game and requires the installation of Dragonborn DLC. But, once you equip it, you will receive great mobility. 

#13- Hide Armor Set

This is the most basic and one of the armors available early on in the game. The hide armor set is easy to find and loot in Skyrim, but it can also be crafted irrespective of any smithing level you are at. It just requires leather and leather strips for crafting. 

The Hide Armor Set

Once you wear it with complete equipment (especially the shield), it will provide you with an armor rating of 55. The Hide armor is better than the Morag Tong Assassin’s armor and is also available in the base game (it doesn’t require Dragonborn DLC). 

The entire armor is made of leather, and that is why it doesn’t offer a good defense against more brutal enemies. However, it is also not as expensive compared to other armors. You can get the complete armor by killing Arvel the Swift in the “Golden Claw” quest. 

#14- Scaled Armor set

 For this armor, you don’t need the Dragonborn DLC. Instead, you can find it in the game base. The armor will provide you with decent defense and protect you from pretty aggressive enemy attacks.

It comes with shoulder pads, armor on wrists and exposed arms, a fancy belt, and animal fur decorations. A torso skirt and long boots are also a part of this armor. 

The scaled armor set

The easiest and the quickest way to obtain this Scaled armor is by playing “with friends like these” in the dark brotherhood quest.

During the quest, you will find that Fultheim the Fearless (one of the three hostages) owns three pieces of this armor. So, you must loot him and attain those pieces. 

Another way to obtain the armor is to loot and kill high-level bandits, which you can usually do once you cross level 20 in the game. Crafting is also an option for the Scaled Armor set, but you will need at least 50 levels of experience in Smithing and Advanced armor perk to do that.

#15 – Nightingale Armor

This is one of the best-looking armor in Skyrim. It is a vanity department’s shinny piece and provides decent defense against enemies.

The visual appeal of the Nightingale armor is better than any other armor. In addition, it is available in the base game, which is a plus point. 

The Nightingale Armor

The quickest way to achieve this armor is by completing the “trinity restored” quest. You will get this armor during the quest by Karliah, a drunmer thief and an ex-thieves guild member. You can upgrade the armor with Void Salts. 

Once fully equipped, you will get +20 stamina, resist frost, muffle boots, 15% lock picking ability, and damage control gloves. But the armor isn’t enchantable. 

#16 – Imperial Light Armor Set

This armor looks very much like the dress of Roman soldiers. The pad on the shoulders, exposed arms, wrist padding, and arm muscle area is the mark of Roman soldiers.

This armor also offers decent defense against light and heavy animal attacks. Once you join the Imperial Legion, you can get hold of this armor set. But there are three other ways to get it.

The Imperial Light Armor Set

The first is by crafting it. You will need steel smithing skills unlocked for crafting it. The second is by looting the dead bodies of the dead Imperial Legion soldiers.

Finally, the third is by leaving the city of Helgen (the easiest way). The armor provides 68 attribute points.

#17 – Forsworn Armor

This is a truly unique armor, ideal for the wilds of Skyrim. Forsworn armor is very easy to obtain, but it is not good for big and aggressive fights. Furthermore, you are advised against challenging the Forsworn camps at low levels because of the Briarhearts. 

The Forsworn Armor

Once you wear this armor, you will look like a part of nature because of the visual representation of the armor. You will look like a druid because of Forsworn armor.

This armor more or less has the same specifications as other Skyrim best light armor sets with having only a difference in its appearance. 

The only way to get your hands on this armor is by killing some of the Forsworn tribe members and completing your armor quickly by looting them. This set will provide you with 52 base armor, 190g base value, and it has 12lbs weight. 

#18 – Fur Armor Set

Like the hide armor set, the fur armor is also very easy to acquire. You must have understood the nature of the armor by its name; it is made of leather and furs. 

It has a better ranking than the hide armor set, but players can’t buy this light armor, nor can they craft it. The only way to get it is by looting the Hold Guards early in the game. 

The Fur Armor Set

In terms of immersion, the fur armor is one of the best looking light armor of Skyrim. But, it is also the weakest one in the game because of its material. 

However, you can slightly improve it with upgrades. It doesn’t provide much protection, but it sure does look good on you. (It will save you from minimal attacks only)

Final Verdict:

These were the absolute best light armors you can find, buy or craft in Skyrim at different levels. Even though these armors are not at the level of the heavy armors, or not enough for fighting Alduin at the end. But, they are still ideal for small combats and for roaming around the villages and valleys. 

Light armors will protect you from attacks that might hurt you severely if you haven’t equipped them. 

From my experience and as a big fan of all the Elder Scrolls books, I think Skyrim’s best light armor set is the Dragonscale Armor set. Because it is super lightweight, provides great protection from attacks, and is ideal for stealth mode. 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Why Wear Light Armor in Skyrim?

It is a good idea to wear light armor in Skyrim because they protects you in your daily endeavors. Like an attack from a guard.

Even though these armors don’t protect you during big fights, they are still great for non-combat situations and small aggressive encounters. Apart from this, they are lightweight, slow you down less, and allow you to be quitter while walking.

How to Make the Best Armor in Skyrim?

Once you reach level 100 of enchanting and have an enchanter’s elixir, you will have 28% of your smithing enchantment.

Then you can visit any blacksmith’s forge and wear all the enchanted armor you have. Drink your elixir, and then craft your armors and other weapons. 

How to enchant the best armor in Skyrim?

Skyrim’s enchanting ability will allow you to give magical powers to your armor and weapons. You need a soul gem to enchant your armor and know about the enchantment. 

Once you have a soul gem with a soul in it, you can go to the Arcane Enchanter and bring up the menu by activating the enchanter and selecting the item you want to give magical properties to.  

Then, pick the soul gem you want to use (if you have multiple). The size of the gem will determine how much strength your enchantment will give to your armor. And if you can’t enchant the armor, that means your gem is too weak, and you need a stronger one. 

Finally, once you have selected all the options, you can start the enchantment. You can also select two enchantments if you have the extra enchant perk. 

Is glass armor the best light armor in Skyrim?

Glass armor is one of the best light armor in Skyrim, but it is not the only best one out there. It can be purchased, crafted, found in loot.

It is a great armor, after Dragonscale Armor, Stalhrim Armor, and Deathbrand Armor. 
This armor is a must-have light armor in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. 

Should I use light or heavy armor, Skyrim?

You should use both kinds of armors (light and heavy) in Skyrim because they both provide different qualities and skills to your character and protect them from different things.

For example, you can have stealth, mobility, and quietness with light armor. But, with heavy armor, you can have more strength and better protection. That is why both these armors are important. 

Survival is your only goal, and so you should use whatever you have to, to protect yourself from dying. Try to get all the possible armors, whether they are light or heavy.

Furqan Shahid
Furqan Shahid

Reader, writer, and gamer. I started my gaming journey with NES and back then, it was the greatest thing that I had ever put my hands on. For me, it was the best thing in the world. However, as I progressed into the world of gaming, it soon dawned on me how this rabbit hole is a never-ending one and soon gaming turned from my passion to my profession. I have been gaming for 24 years and have extensive knowledge about not just platforms, but building computers as well.