|Posted on Sunday, March 28, 2010 - 10:45 pm: ||
After 5 seasons, it was time to replace my Joe Rocket Alter Ego Jacket, but this time I wanted something in a 3/4 length and made of nylon rather than polyester. I wanted an Olympia and drove 150 miles to the only Olympia dealer in the state to try one on. Very nice jackets, but they just didn't fit me. Then I saw a Joe Rocket Ballistic 7.0 for only $130, and it fit me great. It is made of Hitena, which is their brand of nylon. So it fits the bill of what I was looking for almost perfectly. My only issue is that the zipper is not a two way zipper, but I only paid $130, so I can have a tailor change the zipper easily enough for a few extra bucks, I can also add a decent back protector, and a heated vest, all for FAR less than the Olympia jacket alone.
However, when I got the jacket home, I pulled out the armor. The shoulder and elbow pads are supposed to be C.E. rated, and I cannot see any C.E. markings on the pads. The back protector is not and I don't expect it to be at this price, so I am putting a Knox C.E. back protector in. The Knox protector is articulated, and should also be more comfortable. Anyway, I am straying.
The shoulder and elbow armor that was supplied with the jacket was not what I thought the Joe Rocket armor should like like. The tag on the jacket does indeed indicate "C.E. Protector, EN 1621-1, Turtle", but the stuff supplied with the jacket did not have a C.E. rating on it, nor any markings from Joe Rocket. It had "flames" molded into it, and appeared very generic. Here is a picture of the armor that was in my jacket, followed by a couple of photos of the authentic "turtle" armor:
So I sent an email explaining my concern along with photos of the armor to Joe Rocket customer service. They replied to me within a few hours and verified via my photos that the armor that was supplied with the jacket was indeed correct. They said that for a short time they had to change armor vendors, and that the armor was C.E. rated even though it was not marked as such. Here is where most companies drop you, but Joe Rocket went one step further. Danielle, their customer service rep, then offers to send me the "Turtle" armor that I am more accustomed to FREE of charge.
Now I know that there are a lot of folks that don't take Joe Rocket gear seriously, and I was beginning to buy that line too, but their equipment has protected me in one get-off already, and Joe Rocket's savvy customer service rep has just scored major points with me.
So to recap:
Their gear fits me right, I can get it at a good price, I have crash-tested the gear, and their customer service is outstanding. I guess Joe Rocket will be my go-to supplier for the foreseeable future.