1. Fresh from Joe Rocket is the latest Phoenix Ion mesh jacket. Benefitting from more than a decade of evolution, it’s the best Phoenix jacket yet. The Ion features cooling FreeAir mesh fabric on the torso, back and arms, with reinforced Dynax panels on the shoulders, ribs, elbows and back. CE-approved armor at the shoulders and elbows is externally accessible, and inside is a removable spine pad, plus a pocket for an optional CE spine protector. The Phoenix also features two hand pockets, a large padded lower back storage pocket, a clip for keys, a smartphone breast pocket with a built-in earphone port, and an inside micro-liner eyeglass pocket. It also includes a zip-out full-sleeve waterproof liner, plus a zip-out insulated vest liner. Innolite ultra-reflective material on the shoulders increases rider visibility at night, along with strategically placed reflective stripes and logos. A 6-point Sure Fit adjustment system provides adjustment at the waist and sleeves for added comfort. The Phoenix is available in six different colors including HiViz Neon. Sizes S-5XL, plus tall sizes. Price: Starting at $199.99.
2. The summer-weight Mesh Tex jacket from Firstgear was designed and built to be both protective and comfortable to wear in hot weather thanks to a polyester mesh body shell that moves plenty of air. The jacket uses removable CE-approved armor in the shoulders and elbows, plus an EVA dense-foam back pad. Inside there’s a large patch pocket on the right, a phone pocket on the left, and also a left-side zipper pocket with a red slider for easy visibility. The jacket has a water-resistant, full sleeve, zip-out liner that features the same pockets as the jacket shell. The back of the jacket features reflective piping for nighttime rider visibility, and the waist has hook-and-loop adjustment straps. Sizes S-4XL, plus tall sizes. Available in five colors including silver. Price: $179.95.
3. Alpinestars’ Viper Air Textile jacket is a sharp-looking, street-styled summer jacket. Built using a 600 denier poly-fabric outer shell, it uses mesh-on-mesh, water-resistant panels on the front and rear to provide lots of airflow. Left and right side patch pockets in the inner mesh are duplicated in the removable windproof and waterproof vest lining. Unlike some summer jackets it is just a vest, and while the Alpinestars jacket uses mesh panels only on the front and rear of the jacket, it’s also one of the lightest jackets here, a plus in hot summer riding. The sleeves feature 8-inch-long vents for further airflow. The Viper Air Textile features pre-curved sleeves, removable CE-certified Bio-Armor shoulder and elbow protection, plus PE comfort padding in the chest and back. A red-slider zippered wallet pocket is on the inside left, along with two external zippered hand pockets. Reflective detailing on the front, arms and rear aid rider visibility. There’s also a neoprene comfort edge on the collar and cuffs, plus hook-and-loop waist adjusters. Available in six colors including black/white. Sizes S-4XL. Price: $199.95.
4. New from Klim is the Induction jacket, a fully ventilated mesh jacket that combines 840 denier cordura with Klim’s proprietary military-spec derived Karbonite Mesh Technology. Said to be up to 750 percent stronger than the polyesters used by some other brands, it also features a UV-resistant treatment. The Induction jacket features a breathable, moisture-wicking internal mesh comfort liner. There’s also a separate waterproof liner with its own waterproof zipper. Unlike other liners, it’s connected to the inside of the jacket by snaps in the arms and one at the neck only, with no zippered connection to the inside front of the jacket. 3M Scotchlite reflective material on the upper and lower arms, and upper back, aid nighttime visibility, while adjustable D3O EVO armor at the elbows, D3O EVO shoulder pads, and a D3O Level 1 back pad provide rider protection. There are zippered inner chest pockets, two hand pockets, an external chest pocket and a hidden passport pocket in the back. A fleece-lined soft collar aids comfort. Available in three colors including silver. Sizes S-3XL. Price: Starting at $399.99.
5. New to the U.S. market, IXS Motorcycle Fashion debuted at the 2014 AIMExpo show in Orlando, Florida. Owned by Hostettler AG, a large Swiss-based, 100-year-old family-owned company, the IXS brand is well known and highly regarded in Europe. We had the chance to try out a light summer riding jacket from their Sunny Season Wear line. Called the Zephyros, it’s made of 500 denier Airguard fabric with 3D mesh inserts to provide optimal ventilation in the chest, inner arm and back. The jacket features pre-curved sleeves, removable elbow and shoulder armor, a Level 2 TechnoFoam back pad, two outside hand pockets, an inner cellphone pocket and a zippered inside pocket. Reflective striping aids rider visibility, and its European heritage means that this jacket has the zipper pull on the left instead of the right. Their sizes run small, so we suggest ordering one size larger than what you normally would, as the size Large jacket we received was the equivalent of a Medium from other companies. Sizes S-4XL. Available in five colors including gray/black/red. Price: $199.
6. The Textile Mesh jacket from Brooks Leather is an affordable, all mesh summer riding jacket. Features include a zip-out, waterproof thermal liner with a patch pocket and a cellphone pocket, plus removable CE armor in the shoulders, elbows and back, and reflective piping for visibility. It has an adjustable waist and elastic side body stretch panels, plus elastic arm panels. A patch pocket and cellphone pocket are also sewn into the interior mesh. There’s also an inside breast pocket, two hand pockets and an outside chest pocket with an earphone port. Two sets of snaps on each sleeve help ensure a perfect fit. Available in four colors including black. Sizes S-3XL. Price: $119.95.