Gear Review: Joe Rocket Ladies Majestic Jacket and Cleo Elite Pant

Cool motorcycle gear for hot climates

By Marjorie Kleiman, photos by Tricia Szulewski

No More Overheating

Although I complain about cold winters the reality is that like many Northerners, I don’t do well in extreme heat. Exposure to the elements that motorcyclists experience can spell disaster without taking steps to beat the heat, including wearing the proper riding gear. Hyperthermia (when your body overheats) is no joke, and I have enough experience with that to avoid it at all costs.

joe rocket ladies mesh gear review marjorie kleiman
Wearing a light colored mesh jacket and pants in hot weather like this Joe Rocket Majestic jacket and Cleo Elite pants will keep the sun off your skin and allow the air to evaporate the sweat on your skin.

June 2022 was one of the hottest on record, and the month of my first cross-country ride. The inaugural AMCA Chix on 66 ride saw 40 of us women riding from cross country from Chicago all the way to Santa Monica. Segments of our route had us skirting the edges of the Chihuahuan Desert in New Mexico, and during the latter part of the ride we went right through the Mojave Desert.

Joe Rocket Mesh Gear

For the past two decades my older Joe Rocket mesh jacket has kept me safe during summers. It’s still in great shape, but it’s black, the color that absorbs the most heat. Since this jacket has held up remarkably well for so many years, I figured another Joe Rocket jacket in a lighter color would be perfect for the forecasted 100-plus degree temperatures.

Searching the brand’s website for the latest mesh women's gear, I chose the Majestic jacket. I also wanted leg and hip protection on this 3,500-mile journey. But I didn’t want to suffer through the heat while wearing my somewhat heavy over pants. The over pants offer only a few zippered vents for cooling, so I ordered Joe Rocket's Cleo Elite Pant. (Incidentally, Joe Rocket carries a matching Cleo Elite jacket for the same price as the Majestic jacket.)

Joe Rocket Cleo Elite Majestic mesh gear
The Joe Rocket Ladies’ Majestic Jacket and Cleo Elite Pant are technically not a matched set, but the mix of textures and black accents look good together. The Cleo Elite pant is $159.99 and is also available in black.
Joe Rocket Majestic jacket colors
The Majestic jacket retails for $219.99 and is offered in black, red/black, pink/black, and the silver/black I chose.

The sizing chart on is impressive. It lists every style of jacket and pants available and the corresponding fitment for each. I can’t say I’ve ever seen this extensive a sizing chart before. Generally, manufacturers list only categories such as “women’s jackets” or “women’s jeans.” After using the sizing chart as a guide, both the jacket and pants I ordered fit well.

Keep the Air Flowing

The abrasion-resistant “Free Air” mesh used for the exterior Majestic jacket is said to provide maximum air flow on hot days. I found this claim to be quite accurate, as long as the rider and her motorcycle are in motion. In fact, wearing a mesh jacket is cooler than riding with bare arms; mesh helps prevent dehydration by not allowing your body’s moisture from evaporating too quickly. And even while stationary, the jacket is still noticeably cooler than the textile jacket I usually wear in more temperate weather.

Riding Armor

Impact protection in the Majestic jacket elbows and shoulders is lightweight CE-rated armor which meets the tough European Standard EN 1621-1:2012. Both are ventilated in a honeycomb design which allows air flow for cooling. The elbow armor is adjustable and can be repositioned for a more personalized fit. The CE-rated full back pad armor is also lightweight and ventilated.

Joe Rocket gear review
The ventilation holes in the Majestic Jacket's spine pad work well even in high temperatures, allowing air to flow through both the pad and the back of the jacket.

Customizing the Fit

The jacket sleeves and waist are adjustable to customize the fit, as are the hook-and-loop cuff fasteners. YKK zippers are deployed throughout, including the lower side panel expansions that can be unzipped to allow the jacket to expand across the hips while riding. And four zippered pockets offer plenty of stowage options—two external glove pockets and two inside breast pockets, the latter of which are large enough to fit my not-very-svelte mobile phone.

Joe Rocket Majestic jacket waist gussett
Unzipping the gusseted lower side waist panel expansions prevent the jacket from riding up while seated on the bike.
Joe Rocket Majestic jacket pocket
Zippered hand warmer exterior pockets are shallow but big enough to store small items like keys and lip balm.
Joe Rocket Majestic jacket interior pocket
I can just about squeeze my mobile phone into the exterior jacket pockets, but the phone fits much more easily in the roomier interior pockets. There is one on each side.

Wet Weather Protection, Too

The removable waterproof jacket liner is similar to the 100% polyester liners found in other Joe Rocket mesh jackets. And like most other mesh jacket liners, when it’s not in use, it folds or rolls tightly for easy saddlebag storage.

Joe Rocket Majestic jacket liner
I always make sure to toss the waterproof jacket liner into my saddlebag every time I wear the jacket. The liner takes up hardly any space and has saved me from getting soaked several times already.
Joe Rocket Majestic jacket cuff
The jacket liner’s cuff can be anchored to the jacket sleeve interior by way of snaps and a fabric loop, preventing the liner from riding up inside the jacket sleeve.

Joe Rocket Cleo Elite Mesh Pants

Wearing any type of over pants, even those made of mesh, in 100-plus degree temperatures is concerning. Conducting my own testing during the hottest days of the ride, I firmly conclude that wearing the Cleo Elite pants do not make me any warmer than just wearing jeans. Moreover, I gain the added protection that jeans just don’t offer.

Joe Rocket mesh gear majestic jacket cleo elite pants
The waist adjuster on the Majestic jacket offers riders a good fit around the middle. Also shown here are the various materials comprising the Cleo Elite Pants, such as the DYNAX seat and hip reinforcements. Both the jacket and pants are manufactured using Joe Rocket’s proprietary Free Air mesh.

Materials and Contruction

Several different high-tech materials comprise the construction of the Cleo Elite Pant, starting with the same abrasion-resistant Free Air mesh utilized for the jacket. The pants feature Innolite reflective knee panels and DYNAX seat and hip reinforcements, both of which are abrasion-resistant. High-density hip padding and CE-rated knee protectors offer impact protection.

Joe Rocket majestic jacket cleo elite pants
Height-adjustable knee armor provides a welcome custom fit. As a 5-foot-4-inch rider, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worn over pants where the knee protectors are located below my knees.
Joe Rocket Cleo Elite pant side waist
The adjustable waist band and stretch panels provide a customized, comfortable fit no matter how many cookies I’ve consumed. Also shown are the zippered side pockets which are deep enough to fit a mobile phone or standard-sized wallet.
Joe Rocket cleo elite pant zipper
The leg zippers go almost all the way up the inseam, allowing the rider to both don and remove the pants quickly and easily, even when wearing bulky boots.
Joe Rocket Cleo Elite pant zipper connection
The Cleo Elite pants come with an 8-inch zipper to attach to a Joe Rocket jacket. If you wear a different brand jacket, you can sew the other end of the zipper to it. This prevents the jacket from riding up. Also note the pant’s adjustable waist strap that helps ensure a good fit.
Joe Rocket Cleo Elite pant
For added visibility, reflective piping is located over the knees and there are reflective graphics on the lower side legs.

So Hot It Burns

Melt-resistant material is included on the inside of both lower legs. However, I did manage to melt the mesh above the right-leg panels from my Harley’s exhaust pipe. All sizes of the Cleo Elite have a 33-inch inseam, which means the heat panel isn’t high enough in my case. Watch for future Joe Rocket women's pants to have longer heat-resistant panels which will solve this issue.

Joe Rocket Cleo Elite pant
The exhaust on my 1982 FXRS burned a hole through the mesh on my lower right pants leg. Unfortunately, the heat panel wasn’t high enough on the pant leg to prevent the damage. However, future versions of Joe Rocket pants have extended the heat panel 2.5 inches higher, which should solve this type of problem.

For More Info

The Ladies’ Majestic Jacket starts at $219.99 MSRP and is available in sizes from XSmall to 2Diva. The Ladies’ Cleo Elite Pant starts at $159.99 MSRP and is offered in sizes XSmall to 1Diva. 

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