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Pearl Izumi Transfer Sleeveless Baselayer



A very comfortable baselayer that also delivers on performance, especially when the temperature is very hot

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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'Infused with crushed volcanic rock.' That's the blurb behind the fabric used on the front panels of the Pearl Izumi Transfer Sleeveless Baselayer. With claimed properties of excellent moisture absorption, great wicking and odour elimination, it covers everything an underlayer needs to provide. And do you know what? It delivers.

The Transfer baselayer feels great in your hands even before you put it on, and you just know it is going to sit softly against the skin with no part itching or scratching as you ride.

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The fit is close – 'form fit' as Pearl Izumi calls it – which I found perfectly comfortable no matter how long I was wearing it. Things like the arm holes are dropped quite a bit below the armpit, which means there is no irritation here from seams if you move your arms about a lot, and the shoulder straps are wide enough to offer a nice base between skin and bib short straps.

With such a close cut the Transfer touches your skin everywhere it should, which really aids getting the sweat away from your body and out into the atmosphere.

Pearl Izumi Transfer short sleeve base layer 2017 - back.jpg

So that volcanic rock, or activated charcoal, used in the front panels... The fabric is called Minerale and Pearl Izumi uses it across its entire range. In the marketing video Pearl Izumi explains that, 'The volcanic rock is seamlessly infused with the fibres. The yarns are extruded yielding a broad, porous structure with a surface area that is eight times larger than any other performance fabric.

"This is why garments made with Minerale dries up to 50% faster than fabrics made with more traditional polyester.'

Claims that we can obviously not confirm or deny, but I will say this for the Transfer: when we had those few weeks of 30°C temperatures, this baselayer kept me feeling much more comfortable than the other basic mesh designed baselayers I was wearing. I still got hot and sweaty, but when I stopped for a mid-ride photo opportunity or café refuel I didn't get that clammy feeling or felt like I was wearing a wet piece of apparel. Whether it's 50 per cent more efficient, though, I don't know.

Another claimed benefit of activated charcoal is that it gets rid of nasty whiffs from bacteria. Again the Transfer scored very highly here.

Round at the rear the Transfer uses a mesh material which is much lighter than the rest and really helps with removing body heat in addition to the main fabric of the baselayer.

> Buyer's Guide: 14 of the best cycling baselayers

Priced at £29.99, the Pearl Izumi offers very decent value for money considering the all-round quality and performance of the kit. It is well made with what looks to be very close attention to detail, plus the sizing comes up pretty much spot on to what the sizing charts show.

Another one to consider is the Lusso Race baselayer, which for me had a much more snug fit, though the Transfer has the edge when it comes to performance.

The Altura Dry Mesh also scored highly, but here the Pearl Izumi just nips it on price, with the Altura costing £34.99.

On the whole, the Transfer is comfortable, well made and performs better than most, so I'd say the £29.99 asking price is well justified.


A very comfortable baselayer that also delivers on performance, especially when the temperature is very hot test report

Make and model: Pearl Izumi Transfer Sleeveless Baselayer

Size tested: Medium

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?

Craft says: "This cycling specific summer weight baselayer is designed to keep you cool and comfortable even on hot days. P.R.O. Transfer fabric facilitates the evaporative process by rapidly moving moisture away from your skin to outer layers, while activated charcoal in the front panel fabric further speeds dry time and cooling. In back, mesh panels maximize ventilation. Wear this baselayer under a short sleeve jersey during the heat of summer, and then add it to your cool weather layering system in spring or autumn."

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

Craft lists these features:

Cycling specific, close to body, anatomic fit

Transfer Dry fabric provides optimal moisture transfer for quick dry performance

Activated charcoal integrated into the yarns used in front panels to speed dry time even more

Soft merrow seams for next to body comfort

Front Panel: MineraleTM knit- 70% MineraleTM 27% polyester 3% elastane; Weight 120 g/m2; Back Panel: Polyester lite mesh 88% polyester 12% elastane; Weight 108 g/m2;

Rate the product for quality of construction:
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Rate the product for value:

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Washing was no problem as it cleaned up each time and always smelt fresh.

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

Close fitting and impressive fabric means that it worked exactly like a baselayer should.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Moisture wicking is impressive.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing really.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

It does everything a baselayer should, and it does it exceptionally well.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 38  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: Kinesis Aithein

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed

As part of the tech team here at F-At Digital, senior product reviewer Stu spends the majority of his time writing in-depth reviews for, and ebiketips using the knowledge gained from testing over 1,500 pieces of kit (plus 100's of bikes) since starting out as a freelancer back in 2009. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 170,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him, he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. With a background in design and engineering, he has an obsession with how things are developed and manufactured, has a borderline fetish for handbuilt metal frames and finds a rim braked road bike very aesthetically pleasing!

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handlebarcam | 6 years ago
1 like

Bruce Willis has let himself go.

Spacer replied to handlebarcam | 6 years ago
handlebarcam wrote:

Bruce Willis has let himself go.

If you keep doing your joke at the bottom of enough stories, someone will eventually laugh. Definitely.

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