Two hundred and sixty bucks is a pretty typical price for a decent textile riding jacket, wouldn’t you say? What if that could buy you two? Joe Rocket’s Power Trip line says it has redefined cheap with its Gauge Mesh and Pivot jackets, and we’re inclined to agree. Starting at $129.99 each, you could own both an armored mesh jacket for hot weather and a water-resistant shell with a full-sleeve insulated liner for less than three bills. Both fit well and seem well made, and come in any color you want as long as it’s black. There isn’t any badging to speak of either, perfect for a rider who doesn’t care to be a company’s billboard.
Both the Gauge Mesh and Pivot jackets have CE-approved armor in the elbows and shoulders, and optional CE-approved spine protectors are available for $80-$90 to replace the standard spine armor. Three chevrons of dense foam padding protect the side rib areas. A generous amount of reflective piping runs down the arms and across the back of both jackets, and four belt loops are provided for attaching it to pants in addition to an 8-inch zipper on the Gauge. Three-position straps snug the armor down on your elbows, and there are hook-and-loop straps for adjusting the waist. We particularly liked the zippered, snap-closure cuffs and low-profile mandarin-style collars on both jackets—they fit snugly but don’t interfere with gloves or movement.
The Gauge has FreeAir mesh in the torso, back and arms for maximum airflow, with sturdy RockTex fabric reinforcing the shoulders, elbows and forearms. Its mesh construction flows a ton of air and fits trimly. If the sunshine turns to liquid, you can zip in the standard waterproof liner, wear it on the outside or by itself off the bike. The Gauge only has two handwarmer pockets in front, the price you pay for all of that airflow in hot weather.
For cooler temps, the Pivot jacket uses a water-resistant RockTex 600 shell with a dual storm flap and zippers and comes with a removable full-sleeve insulated liner. We haven’t enjoyed any rain in California for some time, but the Pivot did pretty well in the shower test, leaking only slightly through the vent and pocket zippers. Though it’s short-waisted like the Gauge, with the liner in, the Pivot is warm enough for cooler days and short rides on cold nights, and when it warms the zippered vents in the biceps and down both sides of the back flow some air, though the jacket still gets a bit clammy in hot weather (time for the Gauge Mesh!). It adds a zippered wallet pocket in the storm flap, and one with a hook-and-loop closure in the insulated liner, so the Pivot is better suited to touring and changeable weather.
Both the Gauge and Pivot jackets come in Small (38-40) to 3XL (54-56) sizes and cost $129.99-$139.99. They offer great value and versatility for less than a night out on the town.
For more information: See your dealer or visit power-trip.com