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Product Review: Joe Rocket Ladies Radar Hybrid Jacket

A warm-weather riding jacket that fits a woman's curves

By Tricia Szulewski
1/15/2013

It may be winter in most parts of the country, but now's the time to start shopping for your spring and summer riding jacket. We've discovered a fashionable, protective jacket that's part leather and part textile. We may have a cruiser in the photo, but the Radar Hybrid by Joe Rocket is styled to work for women who ride sportbikes and cruisers. The Hybrid combines 1.2mm top-grain cowhide leather with polyester mesh and flex panels in the shoulders and elbows to create a lightweight, comfortable warm-weather jacket for a reasonable $300.
  
Although the same jacket is available for men, the women’s Radar is patterned specifically for the female body, and the design—particularly in the chest and waist—works well for my curvy body. I'm wearing a XL and felt it was true to size. I really like that I can "customize" the fit using several features built into the jacket shown below in the photos.    
         
The XL Radar Hybrid flatters Tricia’s curvy shape without flattening her chest like most men’s jackets do.
The XL Radar Hybrid flatters Tricia’s curvy shape without flattening her chest like most men’s jackets do.

Two leather straps in the back can be cinched tighter to taper the jacket’s waistline.
Two leather straps in the back can be cinched tighter to taper the jacket’s waistline.

Zippered gussets on the hips allow you to let out some material without exposing any skin.
Zippered gussets on the hips allow you to let out some material without exposing any skin.

Zippered sleeve gussets work the same way, allowing you to fit gloves under the sleeve.
Zippered sleeve gussets work the same way, allowing you to fit gloves under the sleeve.

Velcro tabs allow for a tight fit around the wrists, which is good for those who wear gloves with gussets that go over the jacket’s sleeves.
Velcro tabs allow for a tight fit around the wrists, which is good for those who wear gloves with gussets that go over the jacket’s sleeves.

The collar closes with a single snap, which doesn’t allow for a snug or adjustable fit around the neck. That’s just as well, however, since the edge of the leather collar isn’t finished with a soft material.
The collar closes with a single snap, which doesn’t allow for a snug or adjustable fit around the neck. That’s just as well, however, since the edge of the leather collar isn’t finished with a soft material.

Articulated expansion gussets (stretch panels) are sewn into the jacket between leather stress points at the elbows and shoulders. The shoulder stretch panels run from the upper back near the neck to below the armpit, which provides excellent give when leaning forward. The stretch panels above the elbows also relieve pressure when the arms are bent in a riding position.
Articulated expansion gussets (stretch panels) are sewn into the jacket between leather stress points at the elbows and shoulders. The shoulder stretch panels run from the upper back near the neck to below the armpit, which provides excellent give when leaning forward. The stretch panels above the elbows also relieve pressure when the arms are bent in a riding position.

Except for the shoulder flex panels, the back of the jacket is all leather. Vented inserts in the back add a splash of color to the non-black versions and prevent the jacket from billowing in the wind. A strip of reflective piping follows the vertical seams that combine the back panel of leather with the sides.
Except for the shoulder flex panels, the back of the jacket is all leather. Vented inserts in the back add a splash of color to the non-black versions and prevent the jacket from billowing in the wind. A strip of reflective piping follows the vertical seams that combine the back panel of leather with the sides.

The Radar is available in black, white, or this purple color. If you choose purple, most of the color will be on the jacket's mesh sleeves and belly area. The curved design on the black leather chest panels is accented with hot-pink piping (black piping is used on the white and black versions of the jacket). On the purple Radar, pink is also visible on the sleeves and exterior pocket zippers.
The Radar is available in black, white, or this purple color. If you choose purple, most of the color will be on the jacket's mesh sleeves and belly area. The curved design on the black leather chest panels is accented with hot-pink piping (black piping is used on the white and black versions of the jacket). On the purple Radar, pink is also visible on the sleeves and exterior pocket zippers.


A zippered pant connector can be used with riding pants. If you don't have zippered riding pants, handy snap loop tabs can secure the jacket to a belt to prevent the jacket from riding up.
A zippered pant connector can be used with riding pants. If you don't have zippered riding pants, handy snap loop tabs can secure the jacket to a belt to prevent the jacket from riding up.

The Radar includes a breathable, windproof (not waterproof) liner that helps on all but the hottest days. The liner can be zipped out and worn independently as a windbreaker, as it has its own zippered closure.
The Radar includes a breathable, windproof (not waterproof) liner that helps on all but the hottest days. The liner can be zipped out and worn independently as a windbreaker, as it has its own zippered closure.

The inner liner is made of soft polyester mesh. Removable, CE-approved armor in the shoulders and elbows sits in pockets sewn into the mesh. The shoulder armor is stiffer than the pliable elbow pads but doesn't make you look boxy. Also included is a removable back pad, which can be replaced with a CE-approved spine protector.
The inner liner is made of soft polyester mesh. Removable, CE-approved armor in the shoulders and elbows sits in pockets sewn into the mesh. The shoulder armor is stiffer than the pliable elbow pads but doesn't make you look boxy. Also included is a removable back pad, which can be replaced with a CE-approved spine protector.

Tricia says she'd wear the liner on its own only in a pinch, as its short sleeves, wide collar, and lack of pockets make it impractical as a standalone jacket.
Tricia says she'd wear the liner on its own only in a pinch, as its short sleeves, wide collar, and lack of pockets make it impractical as a standalone jacket.

The Radar is equipped with zippered exterior hand warmer pockets and one interior pocket.
The Radar is equipped with zippered exterior hand warmer pockets and one interior pocket.

The single zippered interior pocket is large enough to hold a wallet and cell phone and can be accessed even with the liner zipped up.
The single zippered interior pocket is large enough to hold a wallet and cell phone and can be accessed even with the liner zipped up.

 
The Ladies Radar Hybrid jacket can’t do it all—it won’t keep you warm in cooler weather or dry in wet weather. But if you’re in the market for a comfortable, warm-weather jacket that will offer more protection than 100 percent mesh jackets, the Radar is an excellent choice. It’s available in black in sizes XS–XXXL and in purple/black (shown) and white/gunmetal in sizes XS–XL. Learn more at JoeRocket.com
   
About the Author:
Learn more about Tricia Szulewski on the WRN Contributors page. Then click on the banner below to learn more about RoadBike, the magazine for which Tricia works fulltime.

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