Two weeks on tour in Italy and 8,000 miles away from home, one hopes to have made the right gear choices. Big temperature variations and the occasional rain shower are best addressed with a bit of layering. Rather than taking a rainsuit, I chose to wear Joe Rocket’s Alter Ego 3.0 multi-layer all-weather system. Two layers in the jacket, one of a water-and-windproof textile with a removable fleece liner and one of lightweight breathable mesh, promised optimal variations for day-long rides. On cool mornings, I rode with the mesh jacket on under the windproof jacket (sans liner, stowed in a saddlebag just in case) with black cotton leggings on under the waterproof textile pants (again, sans stowed liner). When the temps warmed up by midday, I switched to just the mesh jacket and opened the mesh air vents on the pants. We had moderate rain one afternoon, so the waterproof jacket and pants were put to the test. Not a drop of rain invaded either, and the outfit dried off rapidly when the sun came out.
The Alter Ego 3.0 comes in both women’s and men’s sizes. Like most women, I want to balance utilitarian function with comfort and good looks. I’d give the Alter Ego set reasonably high marks on each count. I’m only 5-feet, 3-inches tall and 125 pounds, so weight and bulk matter. I sat for eight-hour riding days quite comfortably, and walked many stylish cobbled streets and rugged hilltop ruins without the nagging feeling of wearing a man’s cut-down-to-size gear. The jackets and pants are cut for a woman’s figure, with enough adjustable straps to tailor the look and comfort to one’s own body type, and the EC-approved armor in the jacket’s shoulders and elbows and pant knees is not bulky. Being on the short side, I was thankful that the pants can be shortened with a few easy snaps. Though I usually opt for a fairly plain unadorned look, I also became rather attached to the feminine graphics on the women’s Alter Ego and reflective pinstriping.
Overall, the Joe Rocket Alter Ego 3.0 is a good riding gear combination that should hold up to many more excursions, including cooler weather situations when the pants and jacket liners will come in handy. Joe Rocket’s website has instructive videos and sizing charts to help anyone interested in the Alter Ego 3.0 outfit. The jacket comes in several colors and women’s sizes XS-2D, and men’s sizes S-3XL and Tall M-2XL. The women’s jacket is priced from $249.99-$264.99 (men’s add $10) and the women’s and men’s (black only) pants from $199.99-$214.99.
For more information: Call (208) 932-0303 or visit joerocket.com
(This Gearlab review was published in the March 2015 issue of Rider magazine.)