Joe Rocket Ballistic Adventure Jacket
A decent jacket in need of refinement
At first, I was really jazzed up about this jacket- it looked great, fit well, and was chock-full of features. Unfortunately, as time went on, the excitement of a new piece of gear faded and the realities came into focus.
All those features? The zip off arms, zip out chest panels, the Velcro adjustments, hydration pouch. I never use them. Starting with the zip off sleeves. Why on Earth would I spend money on an armored jacket, but then zip off half of the protection? Even still, if you're off the motorcycle and hot, just take off the jacket.
The front zip out front panels are a great feature, but the way in which you open them up is convoluted. There are zippers involved as well as awkwardly placed Velcro. To open them up effectively, you have to remove the jacket. With that said, the stitching along the zipper for those vents has unraveled and constantly gets caught in the zipper.
Here is my absolute biggest issue:
The Velcro on this jacket is wildly annoying. The wrists have Velcro to cinch the closure tight, but the layout of the cuff and the amount of Velcro allotted, it makes it very difficult to reach a comfortable adjustment. For example, I wear a watch. I can't loosen the wrist to accommodate the extra bulk without having the Velcro strap flapping in the wind and the zippered vent partly open. My point, no matter the setting, there is a decent amount of unused Velcro. Stick with me here... The two big pockets on the front of the jacket are closed with Velcro and snaps. If you stuff your gloves into one of those pockets, and the flap is left up, it exposes a nice strip of Velcro. That Velcro will stick to the wrist Velcro every time you move your arm. If you are walking around and have the jacket open, the Velcro that seals the storm flaps over the main zipper will stick to your wrist. I can't get over how poorly laid out all this Velcro is!
Complaining aside, the fact of the matter is that this is a decent jacket. It fits well, it hits an under represented price point, has some flexibility, and just looks cool. Being the first iteration of the jacket, I expected it to be rough around the edges. If Joe Rocket refines this model it will be a slick piece of gear.
October 25, 2015
Great Jacket for the price.
I have had this jacket for the last year and i loves it. Great protection and air flow during really hot days. It runs a little small so i recommend one size larger due to all the liners.
October 9, 2015
You Get What You Pay For
I got this jacket for 3 main reasons - looks, price and functionality. When I first got it (in the mail) and tried it on (at home), it looked great and the functionality seemed okay (considering the price point). But after finally using this jacket on a daily basis, I'm pretty disappointed with this jacket and I would suggest people pay a bit more for a better jacket.
My 1st major gripe is with the velcro placement. It either uses way too much of it or is inappropriately located, especially with the multiple liners. The velcro on one liner is constantly latching to velcro from the main jacket or any other velcro it can find. Also, the velcro for the front pockets are annoying. The buttons should be enough. Or better yet, use a zipper. But no freaking velcro.
My 2nd major gripe is with the internal pockets. First of all, it should have a Napoleon pocket that would be accessible regardless of any liner. But the internal pockets are inconsistent (aka a mess) depending on what liner you have installed. The main jacket has only 1 internal large pocket on the left. The waterproof liner provides no internal pockets. The thermal liner has two internal pockets but the big one is located on the right side instead of the left side. It has a stupid small pocket on the left side with a phone icon. Seriously, this makes me think they're out of touch with current times. It will fit an iPhone 5 but not an iPhone 6.
My 3rd major gripe is with the buttons. Like one reviewer mentioned, they sometimes come off. And they come off too easily (IMHO). What's worse though is that they're too hard to put on (so basically, they have the functionality of this in reverse). I blame myself for letting how nice something looks (the buttons) override how badly they function.
My 4th major gripe is with the main jacket opening and the front pockets using velcro and buttons in the same location. This makes them more difficult (more work; confusing) to open and to secure.
My 5th major gripe is with using velcro instead of a button or something non-velcro for the neck area. As well, it would have been nice if it had some mechanism to secure it when in the open position.
My last major gripe is with the chest pockets/airflow mesh area. If you take the zipper down too far, it will open up as if you were going to use it for airflow purposes instead of pocket purposes. Since I'm currently using it more for pocket purposes, I now need to be mindful not to zip all of the way down.
Other small gripes are
Having a built-in hydration pouch but yet no mechanism to secure the hose (to the front of the jacket). Regardless, I would MUCH prefer the ability to open the back to a mesh area. I already have a hydration backpack and other hydration bags that are preferable and give me more flexibility.
The waist adjusters are hard to use and frankly, a joke. I'm of average build (maybe a little above-average) and I could not (truly) tighten up the waist area. This is a case where velcro would have been better and easier (though not as pretty).
It's weird that the zippers on the sleeves do not go all of the way to the end. I'm not sure if that's how it should be or if it was a cost-cutting measure. Either way, I'm not really liking it much.
I could say even more things. I wrote to Joe Rocket about some things I thought would make the jacket better even before I used it. But now I have even more to say after using it. So, while it is a good first version, this jacket could be much, much better with just some design and material changes that I don't believe would increase the price much. So I eagerly await for their 2nd version of this jacket with a modest price increase (say $20-30 more than current price of $270).
May 8, 2015
Great jacket for the price, could be excellent with a few tweaks
This is a really nice jacket. This jacket needs an internal pocket at chest height that is accessible when both liners are not in use. It does have an internal lower pocket and the 2 lower external pockets, but I would prefer to keep my wallet and garage door opener up high where I can feel that they are there. I don't trust external snaps to keep pockets closed when trail riding. This jacket feels sporty in the black configuration, I think I would like this jacket to be a solid gray, like the darker gray accent color used in the black jacket, but that's just me.
I am just learning to ride an enduro bike so I bought this jacket because it had armor and was sub $300. I almost purchased a cheaper unarmored jacket, but am glad I did not. I found myself riding on a trail that had been used by horses when wet and there were deep hoof tracks every few inches making for a very rough ride for a tw200's suspension. All of a sudden I came to an area with deep muddy wheel ruts as well, and I lost control and landed a few feet away (inexperience). Later when I got home I saw that the spots on the jacket that had dried mud were the areas at the shoulder and forearm, exactly where the armor is. If you are an enduro rider, its probably safer to get a jacket with armor, and this one has a lot of bang for the buck!
April 25, 2015
Great commuting jacket.
This was my first jacket. I live in California, and I can truly say this is a four season jacket. Great for cold early morning commutes and warm rides once you remove the liners. It does get annoying with the snaps coming undone but it's totally fine.
The pockets are great I usually just put my wallet and phone in the front pockets and a drink in the back. The chest vents can also be used as a pocket so that's where I keep my garage opener and fastrak device.
If you're planning on pairing it with the ballistic over pants you might have to alter the zippers. Both jacket and pants have different zippers, so I don't even bother to zip them together.
This is a pretty nice jacket but it was kinda odd riding on a gsxr for the jacket seems to built for an upright position.
March 17, 2015
Great jacket for the price!
Picked up this jacket because of the price compared to other similar jackets from other brands, I've used it in temperatures from below freezing to low 80s in the mountains of southern California, keeps me warm in the cold and mostly dry with the rain liner removed (leaks in around the sleeve zippers in heavy rain) and bone dry with the rain liner installed. I can't speak to its durability because its a newly released jacket but if feels like its made of quality materials so I have no worries about it lasting a good long while. The waist and sleeve adjustments are really nice to give you the proper fit, the only issue I have there is the snaps on the sleeve tend to come undone from time to time, no big deal just snap it back and hit the road. As far as fit goes, I'm 6'1" 200lbs and I got a large that fits great.
December 13, 2014