Re: Joe Rocket Reactor Jacket
I bought one semi-recently. I've used it several times during an unusually hot stretch of weather that we had a few weeks ago (90+ temps).
I waited a year or so before buying into the JR poly-steel mesh concept. Read plenty of reviews, newsgroup rantings, etc and came to the conclusion that this material does quite well in more accidents than it looks like it should.
The Reactor/Santa Fe with Leather sealed the deal for me. The leather should offer a little better protection and gives the jacket a bit more structure than the Phoenix I tried on last year.
The Leather is quite thin, however and I have recently read of some folks who have had it rip during a getoff. This does not surprise me; the material is really about as thin as glove leather and is perfed to boot.
In all of the crash pictures I have seen for the Phoenix, etc the jackets generally tend to rip at least a little bit, typically where the armor is... ...so the jacket is probably a throwaway after a crash, leather or no. I expect a little damage in a getoff when wearing the Reactor but it is a viable alternative to just a T-shirt or heat exhaustion in traffic so in some cases it makes sense for me to use it.
The fit & finish on my jacket is great and the thing does flow air like nothing else I have experienced. All in all I think it is worth the money spent.
There has been an explosion of similar models from all of JR's competitors this year... ..this makes sense since the Phoenix was probably the hottest seller last summer. I am going to be watching the crash reviews of these as well.... ..I wonder if their material is similar/as safe as JR Poly mesh. I guess time will tell.