Joe Rocket Meta-X Leather Jacket Review
When the heat begins, most riders naturally migrate from leather to textile to reflect the rising temperatures. While there are plenty of outstanding textile jackets available, and I wear them quite often, there is still nothing that offers the protection of cowhide—there’s a reason race suits are still leather.
The downside for summertime motorcycling is that leather jackets are typically heavy, lack venting, and only offer cooling if they are perforated. So, riders are left with the annual dilemma—protection vs. comfort.
Visit the Ultimate MotorCycling Apparel Page
Joe Rocket’s new Meta-X hybrid jacket successfully addresses both concerns. Using top grain cowhide in the traditional impact zones, and impressively breathable textile in the airflow areas, the Meta-X positions itself as a terrific choice for summer sport riding.
With leather as something of a top shield, running from the wrists through the shoulders, the Meta-X has a great feel when you put it on. The parts you want protected have either 1.1 or 1.3mm top grain leather there, depending on the likelihood of impact. Leather down the sides helps hold it all together, and the level of comfort is outstanding.
Stretch panels on the arm areas, as well as accordion panels on the back and elbows, mean the jacket attaches itself to you gently, and strategic parts move naturally with your body. A pair of three-position metal button waist adjusters further allow personalization of fit of the Meta-X. This gives you the comfort and mobility of a well-made textile jacket, along with the security of leather protection you demand when strafing canyons.
At speed, the Meta-X’s large chest panel flows a noticeable amount of air, keeping you cool when the temperatures reach into the 90s. A corresponding textile back panel is the secret to keeping the breeze moving effectively across you body.
During city riding, the generous airflow is immediately appreciated. For additional air cooling at lower speeds, zippers at the wrists can be adjusted to let more air into the sleeves. A hook-and-loop tab still keeps the wrist cuff comfortably intact when the zipper is up.
In addition to the leather protection, the shoulders and elbows have CE-approved armor, as you would expect. Also typical is the non- CE foam backpad that can easily be removed and replaced with a suitable protective device. I slipped in a CE Level 2 backpad from 3DO with no loss of comfort.
Cargo carrying options on the Meta X are predictably minimal, though adequate. There are two hand pockets with high-quality YKK zippers with nice leather pulls, and there is a single YKK-zippered interior chest pocket.
Not simply a hot-weather jacket, the Joe Rocket Meta-X comes with a removable quilted vest. Zippered in and secured with two button/ loop combos, the vest kept me quite comfortable down into the 60s. If it is colder than that, I’ll just wear a full leather jacket.
I have worn and tested hundreds of jackets, and most of them are great. Every once in a while, I test one that I just love. Living in Southern California where riding in extreme heat is a fact of life, the Joe Rocket Meta-X hybrid jacket has instantly made itself one of my all-time favorites.
Joe Rocket Meta-X Hyrbrid Jacket Fast Facts
- Sizes: 40-52
- Color: Black with White Inlays
- Price: $349.99 – $365.99 MSRP
- Website: Joe Rocket