Skyrim Light Armor: Best Light Armors Ranked

Do you know the best light armors in Skyrim? No? Check out our Skyrim light armor guide here and learn the top 13 armors you should have.

Rising to the level of Black Dragon Alduin in Skyrim will require a tremendous amount of preparation and an arsenal of weapons and armor types. Since the game features light and heavy armor sets, our Skyrim light armor guide will entail the top 13 armors we think players should have in their playthrough.

Aside from the obvious advantages of wearing light or heavy armor, the armor rating is the core variable that matters in Skyrim. This armor rating highlights how much of defensive characteristics an armor can provide. Players can reach the armor cap on an armor type by upgrading the set pieces or enchanting them.

Best Skyrim Light Armors Summary
  • The Light Armors in Skyrim are the best choice of armor if you want to save some stamina and deal with sneak attacks.
  • The Dragon Scale Armor is an excellent craftable armor providing great mobility with great defense.
  • The Glass Armor Set is the second-best armor in the game. It is craftable as well as available to be bought from Blacksmiths and Merchants
  • The Stalhrim Light Armor Set is a great armor choice that requires Dragonborn DLC and can be bought as well as crafted.
  • The Guild Master’s Armor Set can be acquired in the questline ‘Under New Management’.
  • The Chitin Armor Set also requires Dragonborn DLC installed. It is craftable and can be bought or looted from Reavers, Slitters, or Teldryn Seldro.
  • The Nightingale Armor Set is the most visually appealing armor in the game. It can be acquired by playing the ‘Trinity Restored’ quest.
  • The Imperial Light Armor Set can be crafted, looted from the bodies of Imperial Legion soldiers, and acquired when Dragonborn leaves the City of Helgen.
  • The Dawnguard Armor Set can be unlocked by completing the ‘A New Order’ quest.
  • The Scaled Armor Set can be acquired by playing the ‘With Friends Like These’ quest or by looting High-Level Bandits. It is also craftable.
  • The Shrouded Armor Set will be unlocked if you join The Dark Brotherhood.
  • The Morag Tong Armor Set is another armor that requires the Dragonborn DLC. It can be looted from the Morag Tong assassins.
  • The Fur Armor is a basic beginner armor that can be acquired by looting Hold Guards or Bandits in the early game.
  • The Hide Armor Set is the base armor in Skyrim and is pretty cheap and easy to acquire in the early game.

Skyrim Light Armors Comparison Table

No.Armor SetBase ArmorWeightBase Value
1Dragonscale Armor Set111263600
2Glass Armor Set387900
3Stalhrim Light Armor Set397925
4Guild Master's Armor Set7617700
5Chitin Armor Set8516780
6Nightingale Armor Set6918-
7Imperial Light Armor Set6515245
8Dawnguard Armor Set6110.5365
9Scaled Armor Set6412665
10Shrouded Armor Set58131480
11Morag Tong Armor Set5310.5212
12Hide Armor Set5513120

Best Skyrim Light Armor

Light armors in Skyrim are arguably the best for dealing with sneak attacks and consuming less stamina. Moreover, they are also a great option to go with while diving into the game for the first time. Skyrim features many armor types, out of which many can be crafted while a few can be acquired or bought through certain means.

Our Skyrim light armor guide entails the top 13 armor that players can get starting from the beginning. We have listed a few weak armors in this as well, but that is because they are easy to acquire very early in the game.

Dragonscale Armor Set

Base Armor Weight Base Value Perk
111 26 3600 Dragon Armor

Dragon scale armor set is by far the best light armor that offers above-average mobility and excellent defense. The armor may drop for some players before hitting the level 50 mark. However, that is only if players acquire the Dragon armor perk pretty early in the game.

Once you reach level 50 in Skyrim, you can start seeing Dragonscale armor pieces dropping from random loot chests located in the game’s open world. The drop chance is not high, but it is not meager as well.

If you intend to craft the Dragonscale armor in Skyrim, you must know it requires iron ingots, leather strips, and dragon scales. Other than that, you must also hit level 100 in Smithing and acquire the Dragon armor perk. So rock the Dragonscale armor and pay little to no attention to enemies’ attacks.

Skyrim Light Armor
Dragonscale Light Armor

Glass Armor Set

Base Armor Weight Base Value Perk
38 7 900 Glass Smithing

We think Glass armor seconds the Dragonscale armor by a small margin and nevertheless is still another great light armor. Unlike the latter, the former can be purchased from Blacksmiths and General Good Merchants as well. Other than that, you can also craft the armor pieces and find them inside random loot chests found in the rich open world of Skyrim.

While playing the game and beating bosses at level 30 or below, the boss’s loot chests have high chances to drop Glass armor. Moreover, the enchanted and unenchanted versions of the Glass armor start to drop in the game once players cross level 36. Thalmor soldiers also have a high chance of dropping the Glass. So, target this enemy type and loot the corpse to get all armor pieces quickly.

When it comes to crafting the Glass armor, players need to hit at least level 70 in Smithing and acquire the Glass Smithing perk.

Skyrim Light Armor
Glass Light Armor

Stalhrim Light Armor Set

Base Armor Weight Base Value Perk
39 7 925 Ebony Smithing

Stalhrim armor is not part of the Skyrim base game. Therefore, players must acquire the Dragonborn DLC first to access this armor set. Visually, it comprises shiny white material on most body parts along with the shield. Stalhrim armor is also a great addition when it comes to tanking damage and, at the same time, wear a shiny Skyrim light armor.

In order to acquire Stalhrim armor pieces, players must visit Solstheim after reaching level 35 or above. Once there, Baldor Iron-Shaper sells the unenchanted variant of the armor in the Skaal Village. He also sometimes sells the enchanted Stalhrim light armor. Other than him, players can purchase the armor pieces in Raven Rock from Glover Mallory. If you are short on currency, you can always find Stalhrim light armor pieces located in the loot chests as well.

If players want to go down the road of crafting this shiny armor, they must acquire Ebony Smithing perk and reach at least level 80 in Smithing.

Skyrim Light Armor
Stalhrim Light Armor

Guild Master’s Armor Set

Base Armor Weight Base Value Perk
76 17 700 None

Guild Master’s armor is a slightly better version of Thieves Guild armor in terms of visuals and defensive attributes. Players who want to wear an all-black leather look-a-like armor in the game will find this light armor to their liking.

One of the easiest ways, other than crafting the armor, is to acquire it by speaking with Tonilia while embarking on “Under New Management” questline. The other unpopular way to obtain Guild Master’s armor pieces is by pickpocketing them from the members of the Thieves Guild. The only downside between the former and the latter method is that you can always improve the armor rating if you get Guild Master’s armor set from Tonilia.

Skyrim Light Armor
Guild Master’s Light Armor

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Chitin Armor Set

Base Armor Weight Base Value Perk
85 16 780 Elven Smithing

Like Stalhrim armor set, Chitin armor is also not part of the base game. Therefore, to acquire this light armor, players first need Dragonborn DLC installed in the system. Visually, Chitin armor has a bronze color touch and offers an excellent armor rating without compromising mobility.

To acquire the Chitin armor set, players can loot it off from Reavers, Slitters, and the mercenary infamously known as Teldryn Sero. Of course, if you can afford the armor, players can always buy the set pieces in Raven Rock from Glover Mallory.

When it comes to crafting the Chitin armor, players need at least level 30 in Smithing along with the Elven Smithing perk. Other than that, three key components: Iron Ingot, Chitin Plate, and Netch Leather are also required to craft the Chitin armor set pieces.

Skyrim Light Armor
Chitin Light Armor

Nightingale Armor Set

Base Armor Weight Perk
69 18 None

Nightingale armor, by far, is the best-looking light armor in the game. It shines in the vanity department and performs equally better in providing decent defense against enemies’ attacks. From head to toe, no light armor in the game comes close to how Nightingale armor’s visual appeal and the striking image it reflects. The armor set, being part of the base game, is probably another best part about the Nightingale armor set.

One of the easiest ways to acquire the complete armor set is to play “Trinity Restored” quest in Skyrim. Karliah, an ex-Thieves Guild member and a dunmer thief, gives complete armor set to the protagonist during the said quest.

Skyrim Light Armor
Nightingale Light Armor

Imperial Light Armor Set

Base Armor Weight Base Value Perk
65 15 245 None

This light armor set visually looks close to how Roman soldier dress. The padding on the shoulders, wrist plating, and exposed arm muscles area is a nod to Roman soldiers’ sense of dressing. In any case, the Imperial light armor offers a decent defense against heavy and light enemy attacks.

After joining the Imperial Legion, players can get the Imperial Light armor set. There are three ways you can get this Skyrim light armor. The first one is by crafting this armor; if you have the Steel Smithing skill unlocked, you can craft this armor. The second one is simple; you can get it by looting the dead bodies of Imperial Legion soldiers. The third and last one is probably the easiest; you will get this armor the moment the Dragonborn leaves the city of Helgen. This armor set also has 68 attribute points.

Skyrim Light Armor
Imperial Light Armor

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Dawnguard Armor Set

Base Armor Weight Base Value Perk
61 10.5 365 Advanced Armor

Dawnguard armor set is not the best light armor, but it certainly is not the worst as well. It stands on the middle ground between Imperial light armor and the Scaled armor set. On the contrary, acquiring this item in Skyrim is relatively easy. Players can get it from multiple sources after installing the Dawnguard DLC on their system.

Additionally, the Dawnguard armor set comes in three unique variations, each comprising of a different color combination and armor styling. The dark brown and faded Crimson Dawnguard armor variation comes without long sleeves and no pauldrons. The former also has a hip flash attached to the chain belt. The grey color variant of the armor set does come with one pauldron and long sleeves.

The quickest method to acquire the complete Dawnguard armor set is to play “A New Order” quest. Gunmar, a master in Smithing, gives the protagonist a complete set after quest completion. Other than that, players can always buy the complete Dawnguard armor set from Gunmar at any time during their playthrough. However, if you are short on currency, you can always find the armor pieces near Fort Dawnguard.

The armor comes with only two enchanted pieces: a helmet and a shield. Accumulating steel ingot materials and acquiring the Advanced Armor perk will be two mandatory requirements to upgrade the armor pieces.

Skyrim Light Armor
Dawnguard Light Armor

Scaled Armor Set

Base Armor Weight Base Value Perk
64 12 665 Advanced Armors

Scaled armor is a base game light armor set, and you do not need DLCs to find and wear it. This armor offers a decent defense against enemy attacks. Visually, it comes with shoulder paddings and exposes arms with armor on the wrists. The fancy belt is decorated with animal fur, and the torso is a skirt coupled with long boots.

One of the quickest ways to obtain most pieces of the Scaled armor set is to play the “With Friends Like These” Dark Brotherhood quest. Fultheim the Fearless, one of the three hostages, has three armor pieces on him. So make sure you loot the body and retrieve the armor pieces. Another easy way to get Scaled armor pieces is to kill and loot higher-level Bandits, which usually spawn in Skyrim after you cross level 20 in the game.

Crafting is also another method to obtain the Scaled armor pieces. However, players will need to be at least at Smithing level 50 and acquire the Advanced armor perk to craft this armor set.

Skyrim Light Armor
Scaled Light Armor

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Shrouded Armor Set

Base Armor Weight Base Value
  • 58
  • 72 (alt. version)
  • 13
  • 7.5 (alt. version)
  • 1480
  • 1555 (alt. version)

Shrouded armor is a dark, completely body-covered kind of light armor and can be mostly seen on assassins in the game. All the armor set pieces come in enchanted versions only, and there is no un-enchanted version of the Shrouded armor set. It offers excellent mobility and decent defense characteristics.

One of the easiest and probably the less time-consuming ways to obtain the Shrouded armor set is to join the Dark Brotherhood. Players will receive the full armor set after reaching the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary for the first time. Astrid, the leader of the Dark Brotherhood, is the one who rewards the Dragonborn with the complete armor set.

If you are not into joining the Dark Brotherhood, you can always kill and loot Astrid during the quest “With Friends Like These.” Moreover, the Shrouded armor set comes with and without the face mask with slight variations in the overall armor design based on a female or male lead character in Skyrim.

Skyrim Light Armor
Shrouded Light Armor

Morag Tong Armor Set

Base Armor Weight Base Value Perk
53 10.5 212 Advanced Armor

Morag tong armor is a slightly toned-down version of Chitin armor in terms of aesthetic appeal and defensive characteristics. This light armor is also a part of Dragonborn DLC and can be acquired after installing the add-on content on the system.

The Morag Tong assassins wear the full armor set. So killing and looting their corpse will yield armor set pieces. However, inside the sleeping quarters in Ashfallow Citadel, players can acquire the complete armor set.

Players cannot craft this armor; however, they can upgrade and improve the overall base armor rating through Smithing. Although, players will need to acquire leather and the Advanced armor perk to upgrade the armor pieces.

Skyrim Light Armor
Morag Tong Light Armor

Fur armor

Like the Hide armor set, the Fur armor is also another Skyrim light armor that is pretty easy to acquire very early in the game. In terms of armor rating, the Fur armor ranks a tad bit better than the Hide armor.

Players cannot buy this light armor from merchants nor can craft it. The only way to acquire armor set pieces is by looting Hold Guards or Bandits in the early game.  

Skyrim Light Armor
Fur Light Armor

Hide Armor Set

Base Armor Weight Base Value Perk
55 13 120 None

Hide armor is a base game light armor that is pretty common in the game and drops every now and then from chests and enemy loot in the early game. Visually, the entire armor is made of leather and probably is the main reason it does not offer decent defense against enemy attacks. Moreover, it also costs relatively less as well.

Players can obtain all set pieces of the Hide armor set by looting chests, and enemies’ corpses at the beginning of the game. As a started armor, you can also buy it from Blacksmiths and Good Merchants – better to have some defense than nothing at all. Arvel the Swift wears the complete set, and players can obtain full Hide armor set by killing him during the “The Golden Claw” quest.

Skyrim Light Armor
Hide Light Armor

Since the armor is found very early in the game and does not cost much while buying from the merchants, the same is the case for crafting it. There is no Smithing level required nor a perk acquisition to craft the complete Hide armor set. All you will need is a few leather and leather and leather strips.

That is pretty much everything you need to know about Skyrim light armor. So share your experience with us in the comments section below and tell us which one out of the 13 light armors we mentioned above is your favorite.

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Irfan Ansari is a Senior Editor and Guides Writer on eXputer. He has seven years of Video Game Journalism experience and has been gaming for more than 22 years. Over his editorial career, he has gained experience at multiple sites, including TheGamer and VeryAli Gaming. Irfan has also earned a degree in Writing and Editing from the University of Michigan. Learn some more about Irfan's gaming journey on his Steam, PSN, and Xbox profiles.

Experience: 7+ Years || Worked for TheGamer and VeryAli Gaming

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