The Reax Apex Pro Mesh Jacket is a COMOTO in-house design, based on the REAX Jackson Leather jacket but with a lighter weight chassis and a differing mix and placement of materials for strength, durability, protection, and cooling. Its clean lines, excellent colorway layout and subtle but effective reflective highlights present a classy functional look that delivers. Properly sized (they fit small) and with an (optional) approved back protector installed, the Apex Pro Mesh is a premium protective piece of riding gear for multi-season use.
Design & Innovcation
Build Quality & Materials
Fit & Comfort
Value for Money
Reader Rating0 Votes
Great layout of quality materials; study design
Strategically placed SAS-TEC CE Level 2 shoulder and elbow armor
We’d like to thank the RevZilla team for providing this REAX Apex Pro jacket at no-cost for the purpose of this review.
With the exit of spring and the arrival of summer, we are still experiencing widely varying climatic swings although it hasn’t put a big damper on moto-enthusiasts as we move forward into another riding season.
But the global COVID-19 Pandemic is impacting all of us to varying degrees and getting out for social-distancing self-isolating rides is viable while appreciating all the issues and in not ignoring local restrictions; just don’t become a burden on precious first responder resources…
In cleaning up the table of late winter into spring product reviews (well, almost), it is time to get on with a seemingly ever-growing slate of reviews to focus on; all requiring riding time of course…
The opportunity to review some new for 2020 Reax brand gear came along just as the snow melted away and it didn’t take long for Cameron to get things coordinated with multiple products provided to multiple wBW reviewers including yours truly.
My contribution effort focuses on the REAX Apex Pro Mesh Jacket in both the XL and 2XL sizing and, the REAX Traveler Waterproof Pants, part of the offerings from RevZilla and other members of the COMOTO family.
And yes, you read the above paragraph right – both the XL and 2XL sizes were reviewed for this submission, with the XL edition loaned out to a fellow Beemer rider; our objective (and subjective) observations and comments are blended for this review.
RevZilla is an energetic and growing player in the powersports industry focusing on all things moto-related. In 2016 it became a subsidiary of the newly formed COMOTO Holdings LLC., which includes Cycle Gear and as of 31 January 2020, J&P Cycles.
In wanting to leverage a decade of customer interaction and literally hundreds of RevZilla product reviews, a new product development team was formed as an in-house activity under COMOTO.
The goals of this effort are to design, build, and offer motorcycle gear that does what it is designed to do, without all the hype typically associated with exclusive brand products.
From this ongoing in-house activity comes the REAX brand with offerings featuring a balance of function, protection, and looks.
REAX Apex Pro Mesh Jacket Breakdown
First impressions are great. In first lifting the REAX Apex Pro Mesh in White/Black/Red from its carefully packed box and hanging it up, the jacket feels solid and is slightly heavy. Visually it is well cut and well-finished – an attractive garment overall.
With the plastic garment cover removed, a closer look serves to further reinforce the descriptors used above and it does indeed appear to be a serious piece of warm weather protective gear.
If a classification regarding the REAX Apex Pro Mesh is needed, it would/could be put into the medium to heavy build category. The jacket is obviously designed to provide more than just a covering for the torso along with ventilating airflow, something most lightweight mesh jackets are good for but often at the cost of other essential requirements – like protection.
Back pouch for (optional) CE level back protector – sold separately
Rear storage pouch for included waterproof (WP) liner
Zippered cuffs with neoprene section for stretch and tapered fit
Zippered hand pockets with key clip
Moisture-wicking stretch mesh lining
Large upper left front inner waterproof device pocket with watertight zipper
Reinforced back (belting) section for protection and lower back support
Interior belt/jean loops
Interior 8-inch jacket to pants connector zipper
Subtle reflective highlights for multi-angle recognition in low-light/poor conditions
Design & Build Quality
The REAX Apex Pro Mesh jacket is a well-designed garment that looks and feels like a good one or two season riding jacket, which it is, but with a purpose – to keep the user cool while protected.
The REAX Apex Pro Mesh is built up of proven materials, with the 600D black outer shell main sections combined with large front side, upper arm, and centre back white panels for colour and contrast. Red tapered accents highlight the transition from solid to mesh sections on the front and back.
Airflow (mesh) sections are found on the left and right front chest, along the inner sleeves and down the back on the left and right sides of the centre white panel.
Strategically placed sections of stretch material between the solid, mesh and leather sections provide great flexibility and excellent overall comfort. The main stretch sections run from the collar at the front and back down the sides to the bottom of the jacket, the full length of the arm on the underside and, smaller stretch inserts are found at flex points.
Stylish soft, durable, and functional Monaco leather pads are used on the outer arm/shoulders, with longer sections found on the outer sleeves extending from above the elbow down to the cuff. A small shaped section is used at the top of the back and the large horizontal lower back section or support belt is also Monaco leather.
Long narrow Superfabric inserts with a lightly padded backing are stitched into centre cutouts of the outer arm leather sections to provide enhanced impact and abrasion resistance.
Subtle thin strips of matte black reflective material are used around the colored panels on the upper arms for front and back definition with another small horizontal section found on the bottom of the leather section at the back or nape, of the neck.
The top collar is low and wide with a bit of a rolled top formed of the soft lining material. The various material sections are evenly stitched at the cuffs but there is no wrapping layer or finish that can minimize rough spots or chafing, something that can be important when there is no next to skin layering.
Zippers are smooth running YKK pieces with small silicone or material pull tabs for ease of use. A small hook-n-loop tab just under the top front of the collar secures the main zipper pull.
Reflecting a clean styling approach there are no arm adjusters other than the short cuff zippers, with other sizing adjustment provided by the small stretch insert at the wrist and the inner arm sections. Hem or waist adjustment is done with simple layover straps with hook-n-loop sections on the straps and the wraparound ends of the leather back belt section.
The inner lining is lightweight stretch mesh with great air flow and elasticity;; it makes getting in and out of the jacket a simple thing, although it can generate some static electricity depending on humidity levels – something to consider if carrying storage media…
PPE components consist of SAS-TEC CE/EN (European Conformity/European Norm) shoulder and elbow protectors installed in easily accessed elastic-top pouches that form part of the inner stretch ventilated lining.
A PPE back protector pouch is stitched into the lining, also with elastic edging, but it only holds what can be considered a light foam ‘placeholder’ pad. A small tab identifies this pouch as ready for SAS-TEC ‘body protection systems’, but this, unfortunately, is an optional component.
Layout, assembly, and finishing is excellent. Insert panels are well cut and evenly laid out with most panels double stitched or single stitched for overlaid sections. No loose threads or unfinished ends were found on either the XL or 2XL jacket. Pocket areas and zippers are especially well done.
Logo markings are kept to a minimum and they are discrete. The leather back or nape section bears a raised logo, the support belt section has raised stylized REAX lettering on it and a small vertical ‘REAX’ logo is found just below the right outer pocket.
For the record, the product material listing label identifies: the garment is made in Pakistan; the outer shell is 75% polyester, 15% nylon and 10% cowhide; the fill and lining is 100% polyester; and, the removable liner is 100% polyester.
Overall Rating: Excellent. Cut, fit and finish reveals attention to detail. This is a stylish classy looking jacket.
Size, Fit, & Comfort
This review of the Reax Apex Pro Mesh Jacket provides another opportunity regarding mesh-based products (jackets and pants) that, at least for me, always seems to be a mixed experience.
Issues With Fit
– at 187.9cm or 74in (6ft 2in) tall (with some over-the-years shrinkage of course), a 34in inseam and longish torso, my build is usually best fitted with an XL to 2XL size garment for the torso. The issue however is my long arms – finding or getting an XL or 2XL sized garment with sleeve length to address the issue is infrequent, but not impossible.
Based on the Revzilla sizing chart a bit of a gamble was taken with an XL sized jacket requested and subsequently delivered north of the border in a couple of days – great service indeed. But the gamble didn’t pay off this time…the XL was a snug fit and the sleeves short.
Rockstar Support from RevZilla
in identifying the issue to Anthony, the Revzilla rep, he quickly had a 2XL sent off and (also) received in two days. The 2XL is far better although still a bit snug and the sleeves are longer but still somewhat short. Overall, the garment is fully functional. At the time, the now listed 3XL wasn’t available…c’est la vie.
XL Jacket Sizing – for comparison and sizing purposes the wearer of the XL jacket typically fits a (large) cut medium or large sized outer garment, but the XL in the Apex Pro Mesh is a very good fit on him although the sleeves are a tad long – not an issue. And adding a light mid-layer or the waterproof liner is more than doable.
2XL Jacket Sizing – another fellow rider who (always) wears a Large try on the 2XL – it is a perfect fit on him – torso, shoulders, and sleeves. I usually wear an XL or 2XL garment but the 2XL Apex Pro Mesh is snug on the torso, good for the shoulders, but snug (and short) regarding arm facilitation on me.
When needed, a light mid-layer or the liner can be utilized, but the torso snugs up even more. Thankfully, the combination of materials, including generous use and strategic placement of the flex panels maintains good stretch, flex, and overall comfort.
The XL and 2XL jackets are sized small, by one size (give or take), based on our usual jacket fitment and individual upper body measurements. If in-between or in doubt going up one size is probably prudent unless a pre-purchase fitment opportunity is allowed…something not readily available in the ongoing COVID-19 environment.
And regarding sleeve length, the overall best fit for me is in the 96.5 to 99.1cm (38 to 39in) range that would seem be provided by the 3XL model. Comparatively, the sizing chart identifies a 91-94cm (36-37in) arm for the XL while the 2XL is cut for a 94-96.5cm (37-38in) arm length, which is admittedly closer.
The collar is cut low as is typical for lighter-weight or mesh-based jackets, where some protection is sacrificed for improved air flow and cooling. The brushed finish rolled top looks good but for me it can be an irritating surface from rubbing.
Overall Rating: Good to Very Good. This assessment should be (much) higher, but jacket sizing takes a hit based on identified sizing vis-à-vis actual fitment. The sizing chart should be viewed as a guide, not an absolute – the disclaimer regarding sizing information is relevant…
Air Flow & Heat Management
The REAX Apex Pro Mesh jacket is not as warm as a non-mesh jacket and not as cool as a full-mesh jacket; and as such, it covers a lot of ground regarding temperature and riding conditions.
If looking for a lightweight mostly or all-mesh-based jacket, then the Apex Pro Mesh isn’t likely to be the garment solution sought, which is unfortunate as it has features and performance that balances things out regarding the ‘hot’ and the ‘cold’ factors, making for a very versatile garment.
The three main mesh areas aren’t all-encompassing by any means, but they are strategically placed and quite effective overall. The top to bottom front panels allow lots of air to flow in with deflection and distribution provided by the inner liner and of course, the rider – it isn’t a pressure feed, but the movement of circulating air and cooling is evident.
Mesh on the front and back inner sleeve runs from the upper arm to below the elbow area providing both intake and exhaust channeling for air flow pass-through and circulating air over and around the arms, underarms, sides, and back areas.
Finally, the long vertical mesh panels on either side of the centre coloured panel act as large exhaust areas for air passing in, around and over the rider and cooling surfaces for air being wicked away from the rider.
Where others will view this somewhat limited use of mesh surfacing as an impediment, I view it as a sound air flow and ‘heat management’ strategy. Garments that provide too much air flow and too much exhausting or wicking can be detrimental to rider health and safety, especially in hot, (dry) climates…experience is a good teacher.
In combination with base and mid-layers, the Apex Pro Mesh handles a wide range of temperatures and riding conditions. In transitioning from early to late spring weather, with riding temperatures of 0C to 27C (32F to 80.6F) from early morning to early afternoon, the jacket was a comfortable garment to use day in, day out.
We haven’t (yet) reached the 30 to 36C (86 to 96.8F) temps (and higher) along with heat and humidity indexes, so its hard right now to state just how effective the jacket will continue to be in these conditions…an update will be done, perhaps later this summer…
As demonstrated over the last two months or so, even with some wide temperature and weather swings the Apex Mesh Pro jacket provides other advantages in functioning (with layering) as a versatile two or three season garment.
Overall Rating: Very Good. the REAX Apex Pro Mesh jacket doesn’t flow air to the same extent as a lighter weight virtually all-mesh garment does, nor did I expect it to. But what it does demonstrate in spades is its ability to cope with a wide range of temperatures, within the same ride, with the proper layering. Versatility and flexibility.
Many mesh-based garments don’t (can’t) provide a lot of protection except where specific armored inserts are provided, or impact materials are used, but if the shell itself is light for strength and tear/abrasion resistance, the combination is not optimal…
The REAX Apex Pro Mesh doesn’t fail in this regard – it has substance and strength, thanks to the 600D materials and related material layering that provides inherent protection for the user – an intended design and function approach.
In addition, the lightly padded Monaco Leather inserts along with the Superfabric layering at the elbows add additional strong coverage and good protection.
The Apex Pro Mesh has very good protective armor inserts at the shoulder and elbows and provision for an (optional) protective back insert as well. SAS-TEC CE-rated components are used for the shoulder and elbow inserts.
The shoulder inserts are SC-1/01 (EN 1621-1:2012, S Type A, Level 2 marked) while the elbow inserts are SC-1/02 (EN 1621-1:2012, Level 2 marked). These 3D-Protector pieces are recommended for textile jacket use and are deemed as optimal for breathable textile clothing.
While the shoulder and elbow areas are well-covered, the same cannot be said for the back. In unpacking and hanging the jacket, there seemed to be something in the back-protector pouch and I hoped it might be one of the optional SAS-TEC pieces but, it wasn’t.
The unmarked thin shaped foam piece residing in the back-protector pouch of both the XL and the 2XL jackets are thin foam placeholders – a bit of cushioning but devoid of much, if any protective functionality and totally not in keeping with the other provided insert solutions…
This review would have been a great opportunity to try the SAS-TEC Back Protectors identified as optional pieces for the Reax Apex Pro Mesh Jacket. These SAS-TEC Back Protectors are available from RevZilla, with pricing from 44.99 (SC-1/11 and SC-1/12) to 49.99 for the (SC-1/16 sized insert).
In searching for a needed back protector, it is good to know the size of the jacket and to have measured or find out the basic shape and dimensions of the back pouch. The light foam inserts in the XL and 2XL jackets are identical, measuring (overall) 46.5cm x 28cm or 18.3 x 11.0in (height/depth x width).
A back protector is or should be classed as an essential piece of PPE and accordingly it needs to be certified for this use and fit properly. So before first use, the D3O back protector insert from my XL KLIM Induction Mesh provided a perfect fit for the REAX Apex Pro Mesh jacket. The piece from the KLIM 2XL Latitude jackets fit perfectly as well.
The Rev’IT! SeeSoft Type RV – Size 06 (49-52cm) from the Offtrack Adventure Jacket slides nicely into the Reax back protector pouch but is about 5.5cm (2in) longer than can be accommodated. The BMW back protector pieces were all too long and too wide for the REAX back pouch.
Reflectivity in low light/night time is critical as well and the Apex Pro Mesh tackles this with “subtle reflective highlights” and, they are indeed subtle – black retro-reflective strips stitched around the lower perimeter of the (White) insert panels on the upper arm areas and a small horizontal length at the back of the upper back insert.
Subtle is a good descriptor for the reflective inserts – they don’t detract from the garment’s styling or look and are quite effective when lit up. But the inserts are not optimally placed for (rider) ‘shape definition’ and as usual, there isn’t enough of the material. Using this material for all the colorway edging – front, back and side, would be extremely effective…
Overall Rating: Very Good. Great combination of 600D material, leather and Superfabric inserts, along with shoulder and elbow armor for critical joint coverage. The ‘Excellent’ rating is missed due to an essential part of the PPE package – an approved back protector. The Apex Pro Mesh is touted and priced as a premium and (somewhat) exclusive piece; make it so.
Pockets & Storage
The Reax Apex Pro Mesh jacket provides a great mix of pockets and stash pouches – features not always found on other lightweight/mesh garments whether due to design, styling and look objectives or cost factors. The Apex Pro Mesh scores well in this category.
The usual and useful vertical left and right front side pockets are zippered, with the zippers running top to bottom for open/closed functionality rather than the typical bottom up approach.
Especially appreciated is the large deep stitched-in waterproof device pocket and sealing zipper on the upper inside left chest area. It has proven to be a completely waterproof stash – verified through water hose pressure testing and from the naturally generated wet stuff at speed.
Stretch mesh liner pouches are found on the inside left and right front of the jacket – good for light compressible things, like your face mask, bandana, scarf, gloves, etc. Best of all is the inside zippered pouch that extends almost the full width of the leather back or support belt section on the outside of the jacket.
This storage pouch is tailor-made for the rolled waterproof liner and/or perhaps the REAX Traveler Waterproof Pants (ongoing wBW companion review) or whatever…just be sure that the jacket is usable once this luggage space is in use…
Overall rating:Excellent. In addition to the two vertical side pockets there is a waterproof pocket on the upper left inside, two stretch liner pouches on the left and right front and a very useful zippered storage pocket on the inside lower back (back-pad section).
The waterproof ‘liner’ is a chameleon piece in that it is used internally as the waterproof layer between the outer jacket and the rider or, as a separate waterproof outer shell that can be quickly pulled out of somewhere (like the back pouch of the jacket) and added as the outside layer in seconds.
When fitted into the jacket the unfinished side sits against the outer shell and is secured in place with a top neck loop snap, two long liner to shell side zippers and lower sleeve loop snaps. When installed, the liner’s next to wearer finished side makes using the jacket easy.
To prepare the liner for external use, undo the snaps and zippers, pull the piece out, reversing the sleeves as you go and eh voila…an outer garment with a smooth finished shell look with spiffy Reax logos and high viz markings; this is a neat useful feature.
Like other waterproof liners formed of a solid or coated material, the polyester liner doesn’t ‘breath’ much – heat (and moisture) builds quickly. This can be good when protection from the cold and wet is needed but less good when these traits are not needed; forewarned is forearmed.
Totally packable – the liner, despite a bit of heft, is easily packed down to fit into one of the front stretch mesh pockets on the inside front of the jacket, rolled to fit into the back inner zippered pouch or other easy to access spots, like the Kriega 10L drybag/tank harness combination used on the motorcycles.
Overall Rating: Excellent. A simple basic coated polyester liner with the ability to be used internally or externally. The liner is touted as being sized for over the jacket use…but this is a bit optimistic – it’s a tight combination when the liner is installed on the outside; a more generous cut would be better.
Both the XL and 2XL jackets are holding up well to regular use in wet and dry, cold, and hot conditions. Any dirt marks found so far have been easily removed with a clean cloth and warm water.
In getting caught out in some spring rain, the 2XL got quite soaked, as did the rider who had not taken the waterproof liner (d’oh!), but the jacket dried out in a couple of hours, although the leather inserts took a little bit longer, but there was no excess moisture to squeeze out of anything.
Having said this, long term durability remains to be determined, although from its design and hefty construct, the garment should have a long natural life…all I need to do is lose some upper body weight; this jacket is a keeper.
Overall Rating:Very good, so far. The long term is to be determined.
The consensus among five different riders, of varying body builds, but all within the Large to XL to 2XL fitment range, is that the REAX Apex Pro Mesh is (about) one size small regarding the Size Chart vis-à-vis physical fitment.
The Medium to Large garment wearers found the XL to be a good fit in virtually all areas with room for a warming underlayer and/or the waterproof liner underneath, something that can allow the jacket to be used all day.
On the other side, the XL and 2XL torsos found the 2XL to be snug to tight fitting, although for the most part, the arms and shoulder areas were good to fair although the sleeves were short on two of us.
Assessing ventilation performance is an ongoing activity; but so far, it is proving to be more than up to the challenges. This is based on the current temperature swings where the jacket can accommodate both the cooler and the warmer temperatures, with or without some layering.
But going forward the Apex Pro Mesh is likely to get pushed a little harder in hotter more humid conditions…time will indeed tell the tale here.
Compared to many other mesh jackets, the REAX Apex Pro Mesh has a good protection suite regarding impact and abrasion resistance, but it would be (much) better if a SAS-TEC or other approved back protector piece were included with the jacket to go along with the shoulder and elbow pieces.
In having gone through a fair number of so-called and actual mesh-based riding jackets over the years, some has passed, some have failed; the REAX Apex Pro Mesh gets a pass, not with honors, but close. Although the 2XL is a little snug, it is used regularly…but I’m still going to get a 3XL that should provide a near perfect fit.
The Bottom Line: the REAX Apex Pro Mesh Jacket is identified and priced as a premium product among a long list of peer-based products. And for the most part, it delivers the goods, with listed sizing and what is seen as a ‘missing in action’ back protector being the only detractions. This is a very stylish sturdy ventilating jacket with the ability to handle multi-season use and worthy of being short-listed.
Great layout of quality materials
Very well-made garment
Flex-n-stretch panels are great
Strategically placed SAS-TEC CE Level 2 should and elbow armor