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The Pearl Izumi Interval jersey is a lightweight, breathable, and comfortable warm weather jersey. Although there is no getting round the high price, the performance goes a long way to justifying it.
The first thing you notice about this jersey is just how lightweight it is – not only coming in at a smidge over 100g, but also the material itself which is thin and perforated, so feels almost weightless when you're wearing it. What this normally means is that it's see-through, but that's not the case with this jersey, so you don't feel exposed.
It is therefore no surprise that this is a great jersey for hot weather. I used it up to around 26°C and would have been happy to wear it into higher temperatures because the breathability is excellent. When riding you can feel the breeze coming through the material really effectively, and your bodyheat isn't trapped at all. Wicking is great too: any sweat you do generate is quickly moved away from the body to the outer material where it dries.
The fit is close and aero, with a fair amount of stretch within the material allowing it to contour easily to the body regardless of size or shape. There is no excess material flapping about to sap any watts. The elongated sleeves without thick hems assist with this aero performance.
My favourite ride in this jersey included a deserted central London in 26 degree heat – partly because it was the most surreal ride of my life, and also because it gave me the best chance in my lifetime to get some Strava KOMs on Embankment. This meant that for a large portion of it I was going one hundred per cent, yet this jersey kept me cool and comfortable throughout.
On the back of the jersey Pearl Izumi has included three large open pockets with a reflective logo on the middle one. These were large enough to fit everything I needed for a multi-hour ride. The only slight downside is that, like many lightweight jerseys, there isn't a zip pocket for your valuables.
It does have a silicone gripper that keeps everything nicely in place and stops it riding up – something that can be quite difficult in a material that is so lightweight.
At the front of the jersey is a full length YKK zipper that feels robust and reliable. This allows you to increase airflow if required, although to be honest there was only one time that I felt I needed to, which was during some hill intervals in high heat.
One small element I really like that shows the attention to detail is the material covering the zip. On some lightweight jerseys this overlap gets caught in the zip, but Pearl Izumi has folded it over to make it thicker in this area and not have too much overhang, so it stays out of the way of the zip well.
With an RRP of £124.99 it's not a cheap jersey, but the performance on offer goes a long way to justifying it. The closest comparison I have reviewed recently is the Castelli Aero Race 6.0 Jersey, which is £15 less; it offers similar breathability and wicking, but with material that is more see-through. The Le Col Pro Air Jersey comes in at a similar weight, with only 1g in it, and is £5 cheaper, but again is basically see-through.
Overall I was really impressed with the Interval jersey. It is lightweight, breathable, wicks very well and doesn't have the kind of see-through look that some lightweight jerseys do. There is no getting around the price and the lack of a zip pocket, but I think the benefits more than outweigh these small elements.
Excellent hot weather jersey with very effective breathability – but expensive
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Pearl Izumi Interval SS jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
A high performance lightweight jersey for hot weather riding.
Pearl Izumi says, "This premium cycling jersey is made with silky Italian knit fabric. With its striking lines and close-to-the-body fit, this premium-level jersey makes a nice upgrade to any wardrobe. We use lightweight Transfer fabric for excellent breathability on hot days and include a rear gripper to keep the jersey in place as you reach for snacks on long rides."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Pearl Izumi lists:
Lightweight and silky Italian knit ELITE Transfer fabric with In-R-Cool powered by coldblack® to keep you comfortably cool
Three rear bellowed pockets with bonded edge openings for easy gear in-and-out
Silicone print rear gripper to hold jersey in-place in aggressive riding position
BioViz® reflective elements for low-light visibility
Well made with particular care taken over small elements like making sure the thin fabric doesn't catch in the zip.
Performed really well throughout the review, with great breathability and wicking.
It has a high quality zip so that's unlikely to break any time soon, but given that it's a lightweight jersey, if you come off don't expect it to stand up to much.
A race fit with aero and elongated sleeves to make sure you aren't losing any unnecessary watts anywhere.
The medium fitted me as I would expect.
Not quite the lightest jersey in the world, but only about 7g off...
Its breathability and wicking mean this remains comfortable even in hot conditions.
It's not cheap, but it's about where I would expect it to be for a jersey with this level of performance.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Easy, chucked it in with everything else on a regular 30 degree wash.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well, kept me cool and comfortable in the unseasonably hot temperatures that we've had over the past few weeks.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It's a small thing, but demonstrates the thought that's gone into the jersey: the way the zip doesn't catch at all on the fabric despite its thin construction.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The closest comparison I have recently reviewed was the Castelli Aero Race 6.0 Jersey which is £15 cheaper, with similar breathability and wicking, but with material that is more see-through. The Le Col Pro Air Jersey comes in at a similar weight with only 1g in it; it is £5 cheaper, but again is basically see-through.
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 overall score
An excellent warm/hot weather jersey that provides very effective breathability even when pushing hard in hot weather. That it can perform this well without being see-through like its rivals justifies a score of 9, even though it is expensive.
About the tester
I usually ride: CAAD13 My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
George spends his days helping companies deal with their cycling commuting challenges with his company Cycling for Work. He has been writing for Road.cc since 2014.
When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.