Had a chance to stop into the big Comp. Acc. store in Springfield, OH yesterday to compare some mesh jackets. I currently use a black Xelement that came with a vest and a full sleeved waterproof liner, and I wear this from about 55 degrees and up. While it is black, the reflective piping is out standing on this lower cost jacket. I just want to get something that is not black, being the same issue as on the other thread re: mesh pants. Here are some observations of what I saw and what I have been searching for on-line.
-the Joe Rocket Phoenix Ion appeared very well made re: buttons, zippers, engineering, etc, and comes with full waterproof liner and a vest, armor. Colors are hi-viz yellow and silver, and has mostly black on the shoulders, but this is the Innolite material that looks like white reflective tape in the dark when hit by headlights. Costs around $180.
-the Joe Rocket Phoenix 5.0 mesh comes in like 9 color combos with mostly black on the shoulders and parts of the sleeves except for the silver choice. Does have armor and a price of around $153.
-Tour Master Draft Air has a hi viz yellow, but most of the front and back are black. Has everything you would expect and costs around $145.
-Rush Mesh has a hi viz yellow, but the shoulders and outside parts of the sleeves are black. Has everything you would expect and costs around $180.
-Firstgear Mesh Tex jacket has everything except back armor, and appears to be well made. Except for some small areas this is all either a dayglo yellow or a silver with some reflective piping. It was either this one or the Tour Master that the snap at the end of the sleeve was only connected to part of the garment material, and had already been pulled out. Price is again around $180.
-the Xelement Invasion Men's Mesh was not at the store, but I am familiar with there stuff and got the details from the LeatherUp web site. It has vest ans WP liner, and sleeve tightening snaps and sleeve end snaps to compliment the sleeve zippers, comes in hi viz green, and costs around $80.
Besides the ones listed, there are a number of big name brand jackets for $220 to $330. There are also a couple of cheaper ones, like the Fly Flux Air Mesh sold by a couple of the big online stores for around $90. The hi viz and silver will be a lot harder to keep clean than the black we all wear.
If I'm going to spend $180, I would probably go with the Joe Rocket to get the material that lights up that is on the shoulder. But for 44% of that cost, I will probably go with the Xelement, and if I feel skittish at night, can always throw on my reflective vest over this.
Happy breeze on the knees and happy fathers day all.
2009 Versys (Mine's Green)