The perfect do-it-all jacket is an elusive beast. It fits well, flows plenty of air in tropical weather and yet buttons up tightly with an insulating layer for cooler temperatures, has pockets for our stuff and waterproofing to keep us dry. Bonus points if it manages to look good in the process. I may have found a do-it-all contender in the women’s Joe Rocket Atomic 5.0 jacket, which also comes in a men’s version.
The Joe Rocket Atomic 5.0 is made of waterproof treaded Rock Tex and Hitena, with a removable full-sleeve insulating liner. Although I didn’t have a chance to test the jacket in the rain, I noted that the inner liner has an offset zipper inside the main shell zipper, with a flap that looks like it’s meant to eliminate wind and water from seeping in.
The CE-approved armor at the shoulders and elbows is accessible externally via zippered pockets, making it easy to remove for cleaning. The back protector is just a foam pad, but the pocket is large enough to accept optional Joe Rocket CE-approved armor.
The Joe Rocket Atomic 5.0 flows air quite well, thanks to its large zippered chest vents. When opened, the center flaps of each vent snap together, holding them wide open to scoop air into the jacket. In tandem with two upper arm vents and two back exhaust vents, this jacket stays comfortable even in Bangkok hottest days. All of the vent zippers are waterproof, so you’ll also stay dry should you get caught in a sudden downpour.
Pockets may be the women’s Atomic 5.0’s weak link, with two tiny hip pockets that are barely big enough to hold credit cards/cash/a tin of mints, these pockets are handwarmer-sized on the men’s jacket, and one larger internal chest pocket that is big enough for a modern smartphone.
There is also a large zippered pocket at the lower back, which might be handy for maps or a rain layer. An 8-inch zipper and two belt loops let you attach the jacket to pants or jeans.
Joe Rocket women’s jackets tend to fit long torsos and narrow hips, which fortunately describes me. Even so, my size small, which fit perfectly everywhere else, was barely wide enough to zip around my hips. While the Joe Rocket Atomic 5.0 includes waist adjusters, the jacket is so long that they end up being hip adjusters, and even with the expansion panels it was a tight fit. The upside is that once on, the jacket is quite flattering.
The Joe Rocket Atomic 5.0 is available in women’s sizes XS-2 Diva and men’s S-5XL, in five colors.