Joe Rocket Atomic Jacket | Review

Warmer Rides

Last fall I was coming out of the Square Deal Riders Raceway in Port Crane, NY after the Aaron Creamer Memorial flat track races. The races finished just a hair before the midnight curfew, so it was late, damp, and the temperature had dipped down into the low 50s-pretty much what you’d expect for upstate New York in late September.

The rider next to me was gearing up for the ride home, and he had taken layering to heart. He peeled off his saturated sweatshirt, put a turtleneck on over his t-shirt, put his sweatshirt back on over the turtleneck, and then pulled a hoodie on over that! Finally, he grabbed an old jeans jacket out of his saddlebag and, once he buttoned that up, he was ready to go. Nothing was windproof, so he ended up with temporary warmth, all the while looking like a 5-ply Michelin Man.

The following day was our traditional "S3" ride where we mix three seasons of motorcycles and our winter passion together for the "Start of Snowmobile Season." Mark and Trina fired up their new Kawasaki Vulcan Voyager (which they purchased after being inspired by the article in Ultimate MotorCycling Magazine). Dan and Melissa brought their trusty BMW R 1150 RT, Don and Brenda rode their Harley-Davidson Softail Custom, and Kat and I took a Heritage Softail.

We began the day cutting our way through a 48-degree fog so thick it was like rain. But after a short time, Mark had us routed up to the hilltops and we broke out into a warm morning sun that dried everything by the time we got to breakfast. We shed a few layers after breakfast and headed north into the Adirondack Park, winding through the spectacular scenery until we arrived in Ohio (NY) at the Snow Bash.

Snow Bash is known as the place to watch incredibly quick snowmobiles accelerate to over 100 mph (in the length of your yard!), but we go for the swap meet, flea market and manufacturers’ displays. Closeouts are everywhere, and there is always a great selection of non-current snowmobile gear at bargain prices. This year one of the vendors at the swap meet also had a black Joe Rocket Atomic 3.0 textile motorcycle jacket hanging on the rack. The design was subtle, but all the features I look for were there.

The Joe Rocket Atomic 3.0 is made of heavy-duty 630 Hitena nylon, with CE-rated protection in the shoulders and elbows, and a CE spine protector can replace the standard removable spine pad. Ventilation is controlled by what Joe Rocket called "Cross Linked Variable Flow," but basically it’s a system of zippers and vents that can be manipulated to keep you comfortable during wide swings in temperature. Belt loops can attach to Joe Rocket pants and a reflective stripe helps make you more visible at night or, as we were, in the fog.

I thought back to the night before, watching the other rider adding layer-after-layer, and remembering how it felt to be so overstuffed that it is difficult to move. I also remember still ending up chilled to the bone when I arrived home because the wind had cut right through all my non-windproof layers. If the other rider from last night had a Joe Rocket Atomic 3.0 jacket, all he would have needed was maybe a sweatshirt below it and he would have been warm, well protected and agile for his ride home.

Shortly the Joe Rocket Atomic 3.0 Jacket will be phased out for the new Atomic 4.0 Jacket.

The new Atomic 4.0 represents Joe Rocket’s continued focus on ride friendly details. Featuring a resistant RockTex 600 outer shell, externally adjustable CE Rated shoulder & elbow armor and removable spine protector for safety.

The Atomic 4.0 also boasts an excellent ability to adjust to your environment with proven Variable Flow/Cross-Linked ventilation system while remaining 100% waterproof and includes a removable full sleeve liner for those colder rides.

For maximum fit, a multi-point SureFit adjustment system plus 8" jacket to pants zipper attachment ensures that your armor stays in place when you need it most. Last but not least is a final touch of reflective striping.

Sizes: Small thru 3X-Large (Small thru 5XLarge in Black/Black only)
Colors: Black/Black, Black/Blue, Black/Grey, Black/Red

MSRP: $149.99