I like riding and running in a fluorescent jacket. I do not appreciate looking like a sack of spuds.
When I lived in the city and rode to work, a practical, large pull-over-everything commuter fluorescent jacket was perfect.
But riding for fun is different. I want a waterproof jacket which breaths, keeps out water, fits snugly, packs small and looks good.
In this Pearl Izumi I think I've found it. It's the Peal Izumi Elite WxB Waterproof Jacket in Screaming green which cost me £135.
The two-colour fluorescent panels of yellow and green looks good. (Well, I think so).
It is cut to fit when on the bike, which also works for running. That means it'll be a bit tight across the shoulders for everyday wear, but perfect when running and riding.
There are some reflective panels and pretty much nothing else. (cont)
That's a good thing. There's no attempt to add needless bells and whistles to hit a price point. I'm all for lightweight.
At this stage I've only used it in cold, dry weather. Yeah, I know, not the best conditions in which to test a breathable waterproof. It has been so cold I've barely worked up a sweat. So let me tell you what I've found so far.
The fabric is Pearl Izumi's own WxB so it feels quite different to my other top end jackets which are GoreTex and fairly old.
It doesn't have the thick Goretex feeling of being 'bombproof' and that's a pleasant change. It feels light and it rolls up small - to about the size of an orange, or given the colours, large lemon.
Note to Pearl Izumi - a mesh stuff sack would be nice.
I've considered some of the newer, ultra-light GoreTex jackets that pack exceptionally small. I rejected them because, like the first Model-T Fords, they only seem to come in black.
I understand why some cyclists feel they shouldn't have to wear fluorescent kit. However, I don't share their view. I like wearing these bright colours, particularly on the roads around our highland home.
In low winter sun, drivers coming from a brightly lit section of road to an area of sudden deep shadow can find their vision compromised and that's dangerous on our narrow single-track roads. With a whacking big slab of screaming green I leap out of the shadow. Plus, as I say, I like the colours.