Joe Rocket Phoenix Ion Mesh Jacket – Review
The Joe Rocket Phoenix Ion mesh jacket is a summer motorcycle riding jacket that has the ability to work in the rain, as well as in lower temperatures.
With plenty of large mesh areas across the main body and upper sleeve, the airflow is definitely felt starting at low speeds and only gets better the faster you go. For my daily commuting in the North Texas summer heat and humidity, this easy airflow design is a big advantage over more traditional zipper-based vents used in conventional jacket designs.
Using a short-waisted style with bio-soft CE approved armor in the shoulders and elbows, the Joe Rocket Phoenix Ion also uses a foam pad in the back. The armor is contained in easy-to-zip pockets for quick removal and installation, one on each elbow and one for each shoulder piece, and the foam back protector can easily be changed out for sturdier armor. We recommend upgrading to a CE Level 1 or 2 back protector, such as those from Forcefield Armor.
The overall construction quality and fit of the Joe Rocket Phoenix Ion jacket is quite good. The stitching is precise and tight, the zippers are heavy duty for long-term use, the mesh material’s robustness prevents snagging or tearing easily, and the fit is true to size.
The large size easily fits my six-foot somewhat athletic frame without being overly snug. Personalizing the fit is easy, thanks to Joe Rocket’s Sure Fit adjustment system on the sleeves and waist.
The sleeve’s first quarter section is solid material over the wrist area with zippers to open up for ventilation. The wrist cuffs are adjustable with hook-and-loop straps, and can be completely open with single-snap fasteners.
The collar is closed with a single metal snap that provides a snug fit without pressing hard against your larynx. The collar’s interior material is neoprene that prevents the collar from chaffing and provides some warmth on chilly rides.
A rain liner comes with the jacket, which is made of heavy vinyl material. This liner is attached to the jacket’s interior with zippers, plus one loop that is fastened to the collar. The rain liner’s collar does extend above the jacket’s collar, but is still comfortable.
The liner’s sleeves slide down inside the jacket sleeves and are fastened at the wrist with snap-based loops that secure to sewn-in loops inside the cuff area. To assist in keeping out wind-driven rain, the liner also closes across the front with a vertical hook-and-loop fastener that runs the entire length from top to bottom.
Along with the rain liner, a thermal liner vest can be installed to add some modest insulation against chilly temperatures. However, using the thermal liner requires that the rain liner be installed first and, being a vest design, does not provide any warmth in the arm area. The thermal liner does have large interior pockets on each side to store a phone or wallet and prevent these items from getting wet since the thermal liner is inside the rain liner.
I do have two issues with the design of the Joe Rocket Phoenix Ion mesh jacket’s liners. Although the rain liner is more than adequate to withstand wind-driven rain even at highway speeds, the final installation causes rainwater to funnel down inside the riding pants. The funneling effect creates rather uncomfortable riding conditions and forces the rider to change clothes at his destination.
As for the thermal liner, I do wish it could be mounted independent of the rain liner. This would allow a rider to use the thermal liner on days when the temperature starts out or ends a bit chilly—say around 50 degrees—and allows removing it and storing it in the roomy lower back storage pocket when the temperature is warmer later in the day.
Especially important when the weather is less than perfect, or you’re riding after dark, the Joe Rocket Phoenix Ion mesh riding jacket has reflective emblems, as well as embed Innolite reflective beads in the mesh structure that enhances a rider’s visibility. When the reflective bead material is hit by light, the jacket’s appearance is a soft radiant glow, akin to a conceptual drawing of the ion particle.
The interior of the Phoenix Ion contains a plastic hook and nylon strap that allows attaching a motorcycle key, which comes in handy instead of searching through pockets. Additionally, there are two small vertical pockets located just inside the zipper area. These pockets are closed with hook-and-loop fasteners and are large enough to store items such as driver’s license and credit cards. There is also an eight-inch zipper with two belt loops in the back waist area that allows attaching the jacket to the Phoenix Ion pants’ waist.
Outside, the Phoenix Ion has three zippered pockets and one hook-and-loop and snap pocket in the rear. Two of the pockets are on the sides and are large enough to easily hold keys, a wallet, or a smart phone. The third exterior pocket is on the rider’s left front chest area with its size sufficiently large enough to tuck in a small phone or MP3 player. Additionally, there is a rubberized feed-through that allows the rider to attach a headset to the enclosed phone or player.
Overall, Joe Rocket’s Phoenix Ion jacket is a flexible design for chilly to very warm temperatures, and the rain protection is adequate enough for a rider to arrive without being completely soaked. It may be a mesh jacket, but the Joe Rocket Phoenix Ion jacket is good for three seasons.
Location photography by Sue Warriner
Joe Rocket Phoenix Ion Mesh Jacket Fast Facts
Colors: HiViz Neon, Black, Red, Blue, Silver, White.
Sizes: S-3XL (Silver and Black up to 5XL and Large Tall sizes)
Joe Rocket Phoenix Ion Mesh Jacket Price: From $200 MSRP
Joe Rocket Phoenix Ion Mesh Jacket Gallery