Joe Rocket Alter Ego 4.1 Jacket | Gear Review

The outer shell of the Joe Rocket Alter Ego 4.1 jacket.
The outer shell of the Joe Rocket Alter Ego 4.1 jacket.

Since weather can be unpredictable, it helps to have riding gear that adapts to different conditions. Now in its fourth generation, Joe Rocket’s Alter Ego 4.1 Jacket does just that. Its windproof, water-resistant outer shell is made of abrasion-resistant Rock Tex 660 fabric with ballistic Hitena panels and features the Variable Flow ventilation system with waterproof zippers.

Inside is a mesh jacket made of heavy-duty Free Air polyamide with Rock Tex 660 on the outer arms and shoulders, CE-approved elbow and shoulder armor and a high-density foam back pad. A third layer is a quilted thermal vest that zips into the mesh jacket.

With its sport cut, the Alter Ego 4.1’s bottom hem sits just below my belt, and the back of the jacket is cut longer to provide coverage in a leaned-forward riding position. The outer shell and mesh jacket have heavy-duty, large-toothed main zippers, and a storm flap with buttons covers the outer shell’s zipper.

Due to our perennially dry weather, I wasn’t able to test the waterproofness of the outer shell. Its fine-tooth waterproof vent zippers, however, became difficult to open and close after riding off-road in dusty conditions. Also, even with the chest and back vents open, on hot days the outer shell traps heat and perspiration inside the jacket.

Inner mesh jacket.
Inner mesh jacket.

When the mercury rises, the smart thing to do is remove the shell and enjoy the immediate relief of the high-flow mesh. On the other hand, when it gets cold, the thin thermal vest adds limited warmth; I left it at home and used a full-sleeved fleece liner as needed.

The outer shell has two external handwarmer pockets and one internal pocket, and the mesh jacket also has two external pockets and two internal pockets, a small one and a deep one that can hold a spare face shield. There are also fitment adjusters, soft-lined collars and reflective accents on both the outer shell and the mesh jacket.

Overall the Alter Ego 4.1 Jacket is a versatile piece of gear that fits me well and has a solid set of features for a reasonable price ($249.95). My only complaint is that it’s possible to choose a bright, eye-catching color for the outer shell but the mesh jacket comes in black only.

Available in men’s sizes S-2XL in Red/Black, Hi-Viz Neon/Black and Gun Metal/Black and in men’s sizes S-3XL and Tall M-2XL in Black/Black. 

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