When the weather is hot and the road is calling, throwing on a riding jacket might feel like the last thing you want to do. But now, with the advent of mesh riding jackets, theres no reason not to. Take it from me—I just returned from two months in Scottsdale, Ariz., where I wore the Joe Rocket Cleo 2.2 mesh jacket on multiple 90-degree-plus days. Not only was I comfortable, I felt like I was wearing my own personal air conditioner!
While I’m not here to educate non-jacket-wearing riders about the value of wearing a jacket on a motorcycle, it’s hard not to include that mantra in this review. After all, on hot days, wearing a mesh jacket is actually cooler than not wearing a jacket at all. I’ll explain more about that later.
The Cleo 2.2 offers a good deal of adjustability, especially for a jacket in its price range. In addition to the three straps across the back, the sleeve cinch, and the wrist closure, theres a zipper on either side of the waist. I like how the Cleo fits to my shape, accentuating my curves instead of making me look like a square sack. Kudos to Joe Rocket for taking the time to get the lines for the female body shape correct, not to mention allowing the jacket to fit a variety of sizes.
It’s worth noting that the Cleo 2.2 is not a 100-percent mesh jacket. For it to be “protective,” the jacket must incorporate some impact-resistant fabric—material that wont tear or shred when it scrapes across pavement. Those panels, seen in black in the photos, are located on areas of the body that typically take the hit, such as elbows and shoulders. Joe Rocket put a lot thought into the design and function of this jacket, incorporating serious protection with a classy sense of style.
Now onto the cooling features of the Cleo 2.2. When riding a motorcycle with your skin exposed—that is, without a jacket—your body moisture evaporates quickly. Before you know it, you’re overheated and drowsy because your body is experiencing dehydration, not to mention all the other ill effects of extreme sun exposure. A mesh jacket helps your body retain moisture longer, and when you have moisture in your skin, it helps keep your body temperature level and cool.
If you type “women’s mesh motorcycle jacket” into Google, you’ll find that the Joe Rocket Cleo 2.2 is priced on the higher end of mesh jackets available for women. However, remember that this is not a pure mesh jacket. Those costing less likely do not have the Cleos impact-resistant textile panels, waterproof liner, or pre-installed armor—items I place a high value on and that make the Cleo worth the extra $20 to $40. When you go up from the Cleo in price, you start to get into the textile jackets that come with more sophisticated features, such as zipper pulls, vents, more pockets, and more adjustability.
In addition to the red/black color Im wearing, the Joe Rocket Cleo 2.2 comes in blue/white (left), pink/purple (center),black (right),and white/black (not pictured).
For all that this jacket offers, it’s a bargain starting at $179.99 (Diva sizes are priced at $194.99). The well-constructed Joe Rocket Cleo 2.2will get you through the hottest of summer days while giving you the confidence that comes with wearing a protective jacket.