Review - Pearl Izumi WxB Rain Jacket, Cut For Cycling

I wrote about this Pearl Izumi jacket last year.

Having ridden and run in it for a few winter months I now feel I can add to my original thoughts.

Oh, and since I'm part of the Pearl Izumi Champion team you need to know that I paid full price for this piece of kit, which I bought online from a regular retailer.  In no way do I feel obliged to say nice things about it.

The Elite WxB is a damn good training jacket suitable for all weather, but not for everyone.

Here's why.

Cut: It sits tight to the body, so it's great to ride in.  If I'm in gloves, I have to stop and unzip it to get into my back pockets for a bar or gel.  That's brilliant because there's no flapping or gaping.  It doesn't billow out like a sail to slow you down.

Conversely, it would not be great for city commuting if you want to wear regular clothes underneath.  It's far too tight for that.  At least on my body.

Packable: It folds down small-ish and light-ish (210g).  Rolled it would fill a jersey pocket.  So that's a great size for training and 'just in case' but rather too large for racing.

For a race I want something absolutely tiny which weighs nothing.  So it's probably not for racing, unless the weather is truly awful.

Breathability: WxB is a coated fabric so it's not as breathable as GoreTex.  There are no pit zips or other means of ventilation, but at no time did I feel sweaty.  I was doing easy training, not going hard, but who does when it's lashing down.  So again, it's not a race jacket, but we've already agreed that.

Zip: I'm still trying to decide whether I like the small nylon front zip, which looks quite fragile.  Still, it's light and keeps water out.  The beard guard at the top works even though I don't have a beard, in that it doesn't snag my neck.

Cuffs: I thought these simple part-elasticated cuffs looked way too basic, but in use they've proved highly effective.  My initial assessment was wrong.

Neck: The neckline is comfortable, high enough to rest under my chin and keep out water that's running off my face and helmet without trying to strangle me.  A few other jackets are too tight or high and I have to leave them sightly open which allows water to creep in.  That's not the case here.

Neck and zip
Visible: There are reflective panels on the backside and arms, and the whole thing is pretty noticeable.  "Yellow and screaming green" is the official, accurate name of the colour way.  You might not like this, but I do.

Longevity: In an effort to preserve the water repellant coating I've deliberately not put the jacket through detergent in a washing machine.  When the back has been sprayed with road-grit I've just hosed and sponged it down.  From a distance it looks fine, but the wear (no tears yet) is starting to show after a couple of winter months.

Time will tell how well it lasts.

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