Bruno Valeri


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Product Review

Joe Rocket: Blaster 3.0 motorcycle leather jacket product review

We've all been through it. Riding in warmer weather often means choosing a reasonable trade-off between increased protection and hot-weather comfort. Until now, these two requirements have been at the opposite ends of the scale.

Though I'm comfortable wearing light mesh jackets for city riding that typically involves lower speeds, I look for more substantial protection when sport riding and touring.

In order to be effective for me, a leather motorcycle jacket would have to be versatile enough to deal with the wider temperature swings that I often encounter.

The new Joe Rocket Blaster 3.0 leather riding jacket seems to fit the bill with its 1.2-1.4mm leather construction. But what is unique about the Blaster 3.0 is that it offers zip-off textile panels that reveal protective mesh up the inner sleeve and down the side of the jacket. In theory, this would allow the Blaster 3.0 jacket to provide the riding protection generally offered by the heavier grade of leather while allowing the cooling benefits of mesh panels.



  • 1.2 to 1.4 mm cowhide leather
  • Zip-off panels revealing Free-air™ mesh inner sleeve and jacket sides
  • C.E. rated shoulder and elbow protectors
  • Removable dual density foam back protector pad, replaceable with optional C.E. rated protector
  • Low racer-type collar allowing for increased cooling
  • Sure Fit™ adjustable waistband
  • Removable insulated vest liner
  • Elasticized leather panels behind elbow
  • Zip wrist closures inlcuding velcro tabs for fine tuning
  • Elastic/snap sleeve adjusters
  • 360 plus 8" zipper for pant attachment
  • 1 yr warranty
  • colors: black, red, blue, gun metal grey

What I found:

The Joe Rocket Blaster 3.0 jacket felt good to me from the get-go. It didn’t initially feel stiff and it required no break-in period. Part of this is due to the quality of leather used. It not only offers a decent thickness appropriate for sport riding but it also has a nice feel to it for this price point.

Another reason why the Blaster 3.0 jacket feels comfortable is due to the zip-off nylon fabric panels that line the inner sleeves and side of jacket. Though there is no mention anywhere, the panels seem to be made of a material similar to the Rock Textm fabric that is used in the Joe Rocket line of textile jackets. In addition, there are leather elasticized panels on the back of the elbows. Together, they allow surprisingly fluid arm movement that increases the jacket’s overall comfort level. There is none of the arm stiffness that is sometimes found in jackets with full leather arms.

Each zip-off panel runs up the sleeve on the inside of the arm and down the side of the jacket. Removing the panels reveals the protective mesh. To remove a panel, simply lift your arm in the air and begin unzipping from the waist, continuing all the way to the wrist. There are two zippers per panel. With very little practice, you can remove the panels in seconds while wearing the jacket.

A typical scenario for me is to begin a cool riding day with the panels in. As the day warms up, a quick stop allows me to unzip the panels, tuck them away, and continue riding with a vented jacket. When temps get cooler, I simply zip in the 2 panels. For additional warmth, you can add the removable insulated vest liner.

In addition, there is a functional nylon wind-flap under the main jacket zipper that helps seal out wind in cooler conditions. For warmer temps, it can be folded back to allow air through the zipper. I also find the Sure Fit™ adjustable waistband to be very effective. It allows to quickly and easily adjust the waistband to a wide range of snugness by simply pulling on two leather tabs that secure to velcro. This also allows a looser waist adjustment that might be preferable off the bike or to compensate for additional clothing layers in cooler weather. As a whole, these features allow the Blaster 3.0 jacket to provide a level of riding comfort over a wide temperature range.

How it works:

A lot of our body heat is generated in our under-arm area – just notice where it is that we seem to sweat a lot. When in riding position, the inside of the arms are fully exposed to the oncoming wind, allowing it to carry away body heat from the full length of the arm and side torso area.

Additional features:

There are some nice comfort touches such as the inner waistband, including the padded kidney area, that is covered with soft perfed leather on the inside. This is also the case with the borders going up the sides of the zipper on the inside. The jacket lining is a highly breathable perfed spandex-like material that stretches width-wise, allowing for maximum comfort. These added touches increase comfort during hot weather riding.

The C.E. rated protectors in shoulders and elbows are body moulded for better stability. The dual density back pad offers basic spine protection and is easily replaceable with an optional C.E. rated protector. Whether the zip-out panels are in or out, the elbows remain well enveloped in protective leather.


The Joe Rocket Blaster 3.0 motorcycle leather jacket combines the protection normally found in good riding jackets along with the versatility of Variable Flowtm venting. With it’s zip-off panels, it gives up very little protection in return for a sizeable volume of venting.

Though it will not be as effective in hot and extremely humid areas when used for slow speed commuting, I find it quite effective as a hot weather touring jacket where humidity levels are more moderate or for areas with hot dry heat.

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