PEARL iZUMi PRO Thermal jersey review
Impressive warmth for minimal bulk, but at a price
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Despite initial scepticism regarding the thin Thermal+ material the Pro Thermal is actually a very impressive jersey. Capable of keeping you warm in cooler conditions without the overheating that can be associated with thicker long sleeve jerseys. It also works very well under a jacket thanks to the low bulk construction. The pockets and other features such as the stiffened collar are also well thought out and make the jersey a pleasure to wear. The price however is a little steep and this prevents it from getting perfect marks.
Thin material has little protection against wind
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The Pearl Izumi Pro Thermal jersey is part of a new range of cycle wear designed to bring optimum performance and functionality with minimum bulk. With this remit the Pro Thermal is aimed as being an outer jersey for milder spring and autumn days but also perfect as a low bulk mid-layer under a wind or waterproof jacket for more extreme days.
It uses a polyester based Thermal+ fabric that has a brushed wool-like appearance on the outer face and a soft, comfortable feel against the skin. It is also incredibly thin making it easy to slip on your standard jacket over the top without causing any restrictions in movement.
To reduce bulk further Pearl Izumi has minimised sewn seams and utilises a bonding process to seal the jersey at the neck, wrists and front hem. the collar is also stiffened and quite tall to keep the neck warm on cooler days. What I also like about this stiffened collar is it makes undoing the zip one-handed a breeze.
The Pro Thermal has a lot of well thought out features that sets it apart from other options on the market too, making it a challenge for one of the best long sleeve cycling jerseys (opens in new tab) on offer.
There are no less than six pockets across the lower back including a zippered valuables pocket and two slashed pockets for quick access to food and spares. With no elastication to keep the sleeves in place the Pro Thermal has simple but effective thumb loops to prevent them rising when riding, if you so wish to use them.
Subtle reflective accents are spread across the lower back as well as the front logo and top third of the zipper for enhanced nighttime visibility. Finally the lower back hem has a really effective gripper strip to help keep the jersey in place when loaded and riding.
Buy now: Get the Pearl Izumi Pro Thermal jersey at Freewheel for £149.99 (opens in new tab)
The fit is snug without being restrictive with plenty of length in the sleeves even for my ape like arm span. Length wise is almost perfect too, with the rear pockets sitting at just the right level for easy access. I was a little concerned by the weight (or lack of) the fabric in terms of affording any form of weather protection but the Pro Thermal proved to be almost perfect for riding in temperatures between 10-20 degrees.
At the lower end I started out a ride a little chilly but the fabric traps heat and does a good job of keeping you warm after a few minutes warm up. The thin and open nature of the fabric also allows it to be worn in warmer conditions without overheating too much. In cooler temperatures or breezier conditions you might need to look elsewhere or wear a long sleeve base layer underneath in order to get the level of protection you require.
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James Bracey's career has seen him move from geography teacher, to MBR writer, to Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and video presenter. He possesses an in-depth knowledge of bicycle mechanics, as well as bike fit and coaching qualifications. Bracey enjoys all manner of cycling, from road to gravel and mountain biking.
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