Pearl Izumi P.R.O. softshell jacket  £159.99


Super warm, protective winter jacket, best suited to only the coldest conditions


by Lara Dunn   April 12, 2011  

Pearl Izumi softshell jacket

The P.R.O Softshell is intended to be a jacket for cold weather cycling use. As a softshell, it fits somewhere between being a totally weatherproof garment and a more breathable wind resistant one, but in this particular case, it's more towards the fully protective end of the spectrum.

Features and fabrics are all about heat retention. There's a high snug collar with an elastic drawcord, the toggle of which is covered in fabric- a nice touch eliminating the likelihood of hair getting caught. Cuffs are zipped, making it easier to work around gloves, and there's a spacious two-way zipped rear pocket divided into three to stash bits and pieces. The fabrics used are insulating as well as windproof, with a soft fleecy backing to them to trap warm air. In use, it didn't wick moisture as well as I would have hoped, and was really rather warm. Even on cold days, with just a thin base layer underneath I was prone to overheating during periods of exertion, leaving me damp and easily chilled from time to time. There's little in the way of ventilation options too, with just the front zip and pushing up the sleeves. Pit zips might have been useful to aid temperature regulation. This particular softshell fabric also gives a high level of protection against rain, although I'd still choose a full waterproof jacket if it was raining persistently as I left home.

The cut and fit are well suited to most builds and will especially appeal to taller women, whose longer torso and limbs are easily catered for by this design. Even in an aero position the jacket covered my lumbar area well, without migrating. Curvier women might find the chest area a little constricting.

It's an attractive jacket, with streamlined sporty good looks and a flattering fit. The contrasting colour motifs are nice, and the reflectivity is subtle but effective.

At this price, I'd want the jacket to be more wearable for a variety of conditions though.


Super warm, protective winter jacket, best suited to only the coldest conditions. test report

Make and model: Pearl Izumi P.R.O. softshell jacket

Size tested: S

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?

For cold weather cycling use.

Definitely strictly for colder weather.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

P.R.O Softshell fabric with wind and water protection.

Shaped tail.

Zipped cuffs.

Elastic drawcord at neck.

Reflective accents.

Available in sizes S-XL (S= approx UK8-10)

Rate the product for quality of construction:

Well made and nicely finished, with good fabrics and components.

Rate the product for performance:

Very warm, but sometimes too warm, with little capacity for ventilation. Fabric also does not wick moisture as well as expected.

Rate the product for durability:

Fabrics and components should last well but odours might end up being a problem with excess perspiration combined with synthetic fabrics and a gentle wash required.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:

Not a bad weight for a warm jacket.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:

Excellent comfort levels provided it's cold enough.

Rate the product for value:

Looking expensive for a jacket that's not wearable across more of the seasons.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Performed well in truly cold conditions.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Shape, looks, warmth, covered neck tag.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Lack of ventilation options, warmth, lack of versatility.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, when it was cold enough.

Would you consider buying the product? Possibly. But only if it was in the sales.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe.

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

A warm jacket with some great features, but over the top for most of the year in the UK and therefore on the expensive side.

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 37  Height: 1.65m  Weight: 67kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb,