There’s nothing I appreciate more than quality and products that are well thought out, no matter what they are for.
So, when a new Joe Rocket Crossfire Jacket showed up in the mailroom, I knew I had a review on my hands. I love to get new stuff that I can really scrutinize.
I tend to be kind of picky and look at everything from the packaging and presentation all the way to the last stitch of a product. Call me old school, I just feel that all these things are a direct reflection of a company and their commitment to quality.
The first thing that jumped out at me was a bright yellow sticker across the seal of the box that said “NO KNIFE.” You think this would be common sense, but what if you weren’t paying attention, thought it was something else, or what if someone else opened it? The normal thing to do would be to cut the tape. The sticker was a can’t-miss reminder that apparel is inside.
Even better, they used the kind of tape that wouldn’t let go if you dropped it from an airplane, but the kind you can also tear open with your hands, so there’s no need for any type of sharp object.
Inside, the jacket was packaged in a plastic bag with a cardboard backer and desiccant packs to remove any moisture. And it came on a hanger – a good sturdy one with the Joe Rocket logo.
Tethered to one of the zipper pulls was warranty information, some quick notes about utilizing the features of the jacket, and general PPE (personal protective equipment) information. Also, a nice touch was a small bag with components to repair the snaps on the collar or ventilation cross links, should they ever wear out.
All of the external zippers including the pockets, ventilation system and sleeves are “laser-cut and bonded,” as one of the hang tags calls out. Compared to regular zippers, these are coated with a type of plastic-rubber material and when zipped up they create a tight weatherproof seal. There’s no effect to their operation – they are smooth as silk.
An extra zippered flap just on the inside front and an overlapping snap-in-place collar look like they’ll have no problem keeping out the last wisps of any elements that try to sneak through.
The liner is held in by a zipper, with a button near each arm pit and two buttons at the end of each sleeve to hold them in place. The sleeve-end button straps are different colors, one black and one white – a nice feature to keep you from getting them twisted.
With the liner removed, you can see the washing instructions on a sewn-in easily legible tag. I personally like this because it’s so easy to lose the hang tags that come on the jacket, and I always heed washing instructions.
The thin perforated mesh that makes the ventilation system effective is also exposed with the liner out, and I followed all the seams and went around all the edges, peaking under zippers and hidden areas. I know that material like this can be hard to work with sometimes but in the case of this jacket, I couldn’t find a single missed stitch. There’s also a hanging loop at the inside rear of the collar and an extra pocket in the inside that would hold the average smart phone and more.
The functional features are those that one might come to expect on a riding jacket: waterproof outer shell, insulated liner, rear zipper for pants, ventilation system, fit adjustment system, reflective trim, CE approved armor in the shoulders, elbows and spine (all with Velcro closure access I might add) and lower back padding.
Everything about the appearance including the material, logos and construction had the look and feel of quality. The stitching was dead-on precise giving the jacket an ultra-clean look.
All in all, in my opinion, this is a well-made jacket with well thought out features. What all this translates to when you’re out on a ride is a jacket that keeps you warm and dry, but only as warm as you like. Open the air vents and get optimum air flow through the jacket. If it’s still too warm, the liner comes out with ease and you can still have the air vents open or closed, ultimately giving you four levels of temperature comfort.
The Sure-Fit 6-point adjustment system makes it fit the way you like, and the reflective trim and CE approved armor keeps you safe. What else can we say? Enjoy the ride!
Link: Joe Rocket