The Pearl Izumi Elite jersey is a very cool option for the summer weather.
Why cool? Well, for a start you get mesh panels along the sides of the body and underneath the arms to provide lots of ventilation. You also get a full-length YKK front zip so you can let plenty more air in there. The puller stays wherever you position it without creeping down.
The other big point is that the polyester used for the rest of the jersey is very lightweight, letting lots of air through, and it features Icefil technology. Icefil? Right, fibres in the fabric are given a xylitol (they put it in chewing gum, fact fans) finish and when you sweat, 'the fibres react, converting the sweat into a refrigerant' according to the manufacturer.
Okay, that has all the hallmarks of a gimmick designed to fool the gullible, but we have to say that this is a very cool feeling jersey. Of course, most jerseys feel cooler when you get them damp with sweat, but this one particularly so. It's a marginal difference, but it all counts. The flip side is that if you wear this jersey on a cool day and sweat on a climb, you get chilly on the following descent.
The Icefil treatment will gradually diminish in the wash but the manufacturer reckons it's still around 70% effective 25 washes down the line.
The Elite jersey has the usual three pockets in the lower back, the tops of the two side ones being angled slightly for easier access. You get another zipped pocket with a waterproof backing, so store your phone in there and it wont get soaked with sweat.
The hem is elasticated around the back and a silicone printing around the inside helps it stay in place against your shorts.
The only real downside I found was that the smooth body fabric – not the side panels – tends to get clingy if you sweat so much that you soak it. Fabrics with more of a texture to them generally don't suffer so much in the same way.
If you're not into this colour scheme, black/white, blue/white, red/white and white/grey options are also available.
A very cool, lightweight jersey for hot summer weather.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Pearl izumi ELITE Jersey
Size tested: M
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Here's the word from Pearl Izumi:
- Pearl Izumi's best selling summer jersey is inspired from the PRO range with a more relaxed fit
- The all new, boldly styled ELITE Jersey combines In-R-Cool technology with race - inspired graphics in a full featured jersey that will perform to the highest expectations of cyclists of all types and shapes
- The ELITE Transfer In-R-Cool fabric powered by Ice-Fil provides superior skin cooling whilst the Direct-Vent panels and Full Length zipper provide superior ventilation
- Sublimated graphics on selected panels
- Elasticized gripper on back to keep hem in place
- Three back pockets plus zippered sweat-proof security pocket
- Reflective elements for low-light visibility
- Form Fit
- Weather forecast: Warm and sunny
- Temperature rating: 20 degrees
- Fabrics: Body and Sleeves 100% polyester/ UPF 50 (Technology: Ice-Fil, Weight: 100 g/m2), Mesh 84% polyester 16% elastane
I'd agree that it's a jersey for use around the 20°C mark and above.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's designed to keep you cool and it will do that.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Maybe.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 41 Height: 190cm Weight: 75kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a youthful 45-year-old Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.