Reviewed by Laurel-Lea Shannon
Have you ever noticed how much stronger the wind feels in the spring? It’s not your imagination. Nor is it due to an early season lack of fitness. Due to the cooler temperatures, spring wind actually has more resistance than you’ll experience cycling on a warm summer day—a little known but interesting fact.
So it’s an important time to have a reliable wind-and water-resistant cycling jacket. This new one from Pearl Izumi is surprisingly warm considering how lightweight it is. That’s due to PI’s three-layered-barrier fabric system which has excellent wind barrier properties. But if you get too warm, no worries, the sleeves zip off, swiftly converting the jacket into a vest.
The semi-form fit is roomy enough to accommodate a couple of layers underneath. But keep in mind that with Pearl Izumi products I size up. So although I find the size medium comfortable it may be a little larger than the semi-form fit the designer had in mind.
The jacket doesn’t state a temperature rating but with some careful layering it could be worn as low as 5° C (41° F). I wore it at 7° C (44° F) with a long-sleeved jersey underneath and was plenty warm. On slightly warmer days, starting off wearing the jacket over a long-sleeved jersey or arm warmers, I zipped off the sleeves within 30 minutes.
With some wind-and water-resistant jackets, that warmth might lead to a soggy wet film inside the jacket but the Select Barrier’s fabric is also breathable. That makes it a good choice for spring and fall riding when temperatures sometimes change quickly from warm to cold, and inclement weather can blow in fast.
The jacket comes in two colours: screaming yellow and black. I felt secure cycling in the screaming yellow—easily seen by motorists who gave me a wide berth as they passed by.
One large zippered pocket at the back will easily hold the sleeves if you take them off, plus snacks, your phone, and an extra layer that you may want to pack in case of changes in the weather. Although not advertised as packable the jacket folds up into a fairly small bundle. Weighing in at 88 grams/m2, it’s a light and versatile travel companion.
Available in sizes XS–XXL.
Pearl iZUMi Select Barrier Convertible Jacket