I have the Rocket that is one notch above the Phoenix..has perf leather on top of sleeves and shoulders. Pretty good review. Reflects my experiences very well. Solid product at a good price.
A good point is made above...while the Rocket jackets are fine, there is suddenly a lot of competition out there for ventilated textile garb. Last year the Rocket Phoenix was a no brainer purchace. Now one ought to get out to the local shops and try out the other ones.
year, and must say, I like it for the hot weather during this summer.
After getting home, I noticed that Fieldsheer jacket (total mesh) has CE pads, but comes with a liner and rain cover, but only for ones
sold in England.
I would have liked to have gotten this jacket here in the States, rather then try and get it shipped from England. Funny thing was the price was about the same for the jacket with out the addition's here in the states versus the
I've got one, I crashed in it, and it held up well.
I didn't slide any though. my ground contact was all impact. I went down, hit my elbow on the ground, and didn't really even notice. my knee, which was unarmored, also hit the ground, and was bruised for a week and a half. There was essentially no damage to the jacket.
Crash details: I was on an '80 KZ1000 with kinda old, cold Metzlers, riding up the street at a bout 30 when a car blew the stop sign in front of me, I grabbed too much front brake and lowsided. Ok, come to think of it, maybe there was sliding. I wasn't paying much attention to the ground contact I was making, I was more concerned with the contact I was still moving towards with the car. Fortunately, they got out of the way in time. (And kept going, btw. Grr.)
One neat thing I discovered about the Phoenix jacket (which, while it helps, still sucks to wear in the Mojave in June) is that you can use it like a giant swamp cooler. I'd stop every 50 miles or so, and hose myself down, then get back on the bike and ride on, in nearly air conditioned comfort. Obviously this trick only works really well in a desert that encourages evaporative cooling--less effective in, say, Louisiana.
The R1-forum.com message board has a couple threads on the protective qualities of mesh jackets, from the perspective of some guys that have found out this information from experience. Needless to say I will never buy one.
On the other hand, both of those guys were going pretty fast- an 80mph stand-up wheelie into a median and a guy who claimed to be doing 50mph when he t-boned a car, but the damage to his bike tells me he was going much faster than that. I'm not surprised a bit that they came away with some injuries. A normal textile jacket wouldn't have fared much better.
Besides, those jackets beat the hell out of t-shirts, which is what those guys would have been wearing if they didn't have mesh jackets.
The swamp cooler effect is what JR is trying to do with it's Sahara vest. It is made of special material, which is supposed to retain more water and do it in a controlled evaporative release so it doesn't dry off so quickly as if you would with normal garments (soaked t-shirts). The vest worked pretty good in the humid FL summer, but I found it works best if you refrigerate it after the prescribed soaking in water, which takes some forethought before any ride. Or you can just soak it in water that's been refrigerated, but you still have to remember to keep water stocked in the fridge. It's still a slight shocker when you put a moist, cold vest on over your t-shirt (the jacket goes over the vest). Can anybody say Tango Uniform? :-D
I did a stall, drop and roll wearing a first gen. JR ballistic series jacket and pants a few years back, and didn't feel a thing from impact so the pads are good, I've read on other sites that the abrasion resistance is about average for a textile suit and price wise JR stuff is had to beat.
good article,though a little late for us not living in the warmer climes.My leather does just fine when cooler than75.however,I have decided my Christmas present to myself will be a mesh jacket(i guess the dirt tracker Im building will be my birthday present). A comparo of various jackets would be much appreciated.I am interested in a mesh jacket with some armor.effectiveness in hot/humid weather is paramount.Any inputs appreciated
And it sounds like you had another kid... Congratulations!
I purchased a mesh jacket when we were having record heat a few months ago here in So Cal. I have to say, these jackets are nice... untill the weather gets really hot.
Riding through the coastal mountain ranges in 80 degree weather is fine in a mesh jacket. Riding through the desert valleys in near 100 degree weather is a pain. When the hot air start whipping over your skin, you feel like your being cooked...
You ever notice how firemen's suits don't have vents? The idea is to keep the heat out.
When the weather gets hot, these vented jackets are nice. When the weather gets really hot, I reach for the cordura again.
I've got a month's use on a red Phoenix 2.0, and it's great- I normally wear an older HJC leather, but it's MISERABLE at any temp over 75. I don't think I'd wear the Phoenix on a road trip, but for the 10 mile round trip to work, it rules. It was low seventies here in SW Michigan today, and I was actually feeling a bit cool on my bare arms, under the jacket.
I got a First Gear mesh jacket last year and I love the thing, I live in Arizona, so it gets lots of use, here in the desert you can wet your t-shirt and get very nice evaporative cooling effect, also got a zipper installed that is compatible with my leather pants so that I can zipper them to each other for better protection. The people who run Arizona Track Days let you wear them on the track as long as they zipper to each other (leather pants) and you don't go in the expert class, so I guess they think alot of them as well. I have not crash tested the thing, and don't plan on doing so anytime soon, so I don't know how well it would hold in that situation.
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