Joe Rocket Atomic 5.0 Jacket Review | For Sport and Touring, Rain and Shine

With waterproofing for riding in inclement weather, yet a nice lightweight feel with extensive venting for summer, plus a full-sleeve liner for cooler temperatures, the Joe Rocket Atomic 5.0 motorcycle jacket works in all sorts of conditions. Additionally, the styling and function makes it appropriate for anything from touring to sport riding.

Predictably it works quite well as a sport bike jacket, though the waterproof function of the Rock Tex outer shell is generally wasted—I don’t go sport riding in the rain. Still, the light feel of the jacket, along with stretch panels on the back behind your shoulders, makes it easy to move around on the bike.

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Joe Rocket Atomic 5.0 Jacket Review

Contouring the fit is a simple job. There are three widely spaced buttons on the forearms, so changing the position makes a real difference. The same goes for the Atomic 5.0’s two side belts at the waist—there’s a broad range of adjustment, and the hook-and-loop adjusters mean that you can get it just right without much effort, even with your gloves on.

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If your ride is on an unpredictable day, don’t worry. I just put the jacket on in the colder mornings with the liner in, and go out for my ride. As it warms up, I unzip the chest zipper in the liner, open the long exterior chest vents and bicep vents, along with the generous exhaust vents. The liner is still there, but lots of air is flowing through the jacket.

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Joe Rocket Atomic 5.0 Jacket Review

The liner installs and removes easily, with the main portion zipped in and a single color-coded button loop for each wrist. Conveniently, Joe Rocket includes a nice-sized pocket on the lower back of the jacket. However, if you want to stuff your liner into it, you’ll have to vigilantly roll it as tightly and carefully as a sleeping bag to get it to fit—it’s not easy, and it would have been nice if Joe Rocket had made the pocket a couple of inches taller.

On warmer days, leave the liner at home. With everything closed up, the jacket does a good job of keeping the ambient air out. As temperatures rise, unzip all the vents and the Joe Rocket Atomic 5.0 jacket is the closest thing you’re going to get to a mesh jacket without going that route.

If I get caught in an unexpected mountain thunderstorm at some point, the built-in waterproofing keeps me dry (if I close the vents, of course). In addition to the waterproof treatment of the shell, the wrists are neoprene to keep out the water, as well as interfacing comfortably with my skin. A hook-and-loop cinch system allows you to make them as tight as you like on your wrists.

Storage consists of the expected pair of waterproof hand pockets, plus a Napoleon pocket inside the jacket. Unusually, you get an additional 6” x 6” pocket with the liner installed—it closes with a one-inch hook-and-loop strip.

Protection is pro forma—CE-rated protection for your elbows and shoulders, with just a non-CE pad for your back.

Joe Rocket sells back protectors that you wear on your body—the Speedmaster 2.0—but I prefer a back protector integrated into the jacket. An Alpinestars Nucleon KR-2i CE Level 2 soft back protector fits in the Atomic 5.0’s protector pocket nicely and is worth a $60 investment.

If you want to attach the Atomic 5.0 to your pants, Joe Rocket offers two options—a short zipper, plus two button loops to attach to your belt.

Fit is just right, with the arms the right length for sport bike riding, as well as upright touring. I also tested it on an Indian Chieftain Elite—it was functional and stylish on the upscale urban tourer. The Joe Rocket Atomic 5.0 jacket is a functional piece of apparel for a wide variety of uses and situations.

Joe Rocket Atomic 5.0 Jacket Fast Facts:

  • Sizes: S-3XL; 4XL-5X and Tall sizes, Black/Black only
  • Colors: Black/Red, Black/Blue, Black/Grey, Black/Hi-Viz, Black/Orange, Black/Black
  • Joe Rocket Atomic 5.0 Jacket Price: $170 MSRP

Joe Rocket Atomic 5.0 Jacket Review | Photo Gallery