Every winter cyclist needs a jacket. Most of us prefer something warm and flexible, with a comfortable cut for layering- but not too bulky. Protection from wind and precipitation is crucial. Last we want details like a longer sleeve, soft material inside the collar, and a zipper that won’t touch the skin or grab facial hair. Easy to use pockets are good. A big roomy one in the back, and maybe a slash pocket on the front for quick access to small items. Got all that? Well, it shouldn’t cost as much as your racing wheelset too. Dollar for dollar, the Pearl Izumi Softshell Jacket will match up against any product out there that meets these requirements. As a bonus, Pearl also throws in a few extras as always.
The essence of the Elite Softshell Jacket is the 3 material system that creates the body of the jacket. Wind and water protection is layered between the knit exterior and the insulation. This protects the technical function of the material and provides the structure- or the softshell. The insulation comes from Elite Thermal fleece, a warm, dense polyester which incorporates S. Cafe, which increases moisture and odor management capability, as well as promoting fast drying action. Insulation, protection, moisture management. Checking off the requirements.
The contoured, long sleeve hem covers onto the wrist, while the zipper has a full length internal draft flap and top zipper garage. The cut of the jacket is semi-form fit, so you have room to layer and increase the temperature range. Rear length gives you adequate coverage and the roomy rear pocket, and you do get the front slash pocket on the left chest. Not only does the collar feel soft on the skin, it also tapers back to front so you don’t get all bunched up at the throat. Reflective highlights give you 360 degree exposure. There you have it. A terrific jacket, at a great price, from a name you can trust, Pearl Izumi.