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Pearl Izumi Cold Weather Essentials

Pearl Izumi Cold Weather Essentials

With the temperatures dropping, it’s time to get serious with your cycling kit.  Cold weather is all about layering, wind protection and warmth.  Today we are focusing on Pearl Izumi and what they have to offer a cyclist during the cold months.

In August of 2016, Pearl Izumi dropped it’s running line to solely focus on cycling.  Since then they have come out with some outstanding apparel for the winter cyclist.

REVIEW

For the last 2 years I have had the opportunity to test out various Pearl Izumi colder weather offerings and I can honestly say they make a world of difference when riding in the cold.

Rather than go into each one, I am going to highlight my favorites.

Pearl Izumi carries 2 lines of cold weather apparel including what they term Elite and P.R.O.  While both are fantastic lines, if the goal is to be really warm and stylish, you will want the P.R.O. line.  Beyond being warmer, the P.R.O. line is also more professional looking with added flair and details.  Believe me you will look legit while wearing a Pearl Izumi kit.

Many of the Pearl Izumi items I will comment on use something called PI Dry™.

What is PI Dry™?

PI Dry™ technology is a hydrophobic treatment used on knit or woven fabrics that makes the fibers repel water without effecting the breathability or the feel of the fabric. Now you can splash through a puddle and the spray will simply run off.

You can think of it like you would a car that has been waxed.  When water hits the wax it just rolls off or beads.  Pretty cool stuff.

P.R.O. Softshell Arm Warmer

P.R.O. Softshell Arm Warmer

For me arm warmers are an essential part of my cycling kit.  If I can get away with an pair of arm warmers and cycling vest, I much prefer that over a cycling jacket.  For me, the P.R.O. Softshell Arm Warmers are perfect when the temps are between 40 to 60 degrees.  The advantage of wearing arm warmers is as temperatures rise and you start heating up, you can always remove them to cool down.

What makes Pearl Izumi arm warmers rather unique is the wide silicone gripper on the upper arm and the anatomic left and right arm-specific fit.  The fit runs true to size, but if you are on the fence, go up a size.

PRO TIP: Make sure you wear arm warmer on the right arm.  They were designed with an anatomic left and right arm-specific fit.

FEATURES:

  • P.R.O. Softshell fabric on forward facing areas provides optimal wind protection and water resistance
  • Thermal Fleece fabric with water shedding PI Dry™ technology for all-weather performance
  • Anatomic left and right arm-specific fit
  • Plush wide elastic binding with silicone gripper for a stay-up fit
  • BioViz™ reflective elements for low-light visibility
  • Unisex sizing
  • Retail: $55

P.R.O. Barrier WxB Glove

P.R.O. Barrier WxB Glove

The P.R.O. Barrier WxB Glove is my favorite cycling glove at the moment.  From my experience a lot of cycling gloves tend to be too tight and constricting.  These are perfect and still have room to wear glove liners if needed.  They don’t have as much cushioning as a traditional cycling fingerless glove has, but I do enjoy cycling with them.

I will break these bad boys out when the temps are between 35 – 55 degrees.  I found fit to be pretty accurate, so if you typically wear large gloves, larges should work.

PRO TIP: If the temps drop, wearing wool glove liners will help keep your hands warmer.  Another option is to check out Pearl Izumi lobster gloves.

FEATURES:

  • P.R.O. Barrier WxB powered by Outdry® provides optimal water protection by bonding the waterproof, breathable membrane directly to the external layer of the glove
  • AX Suede G-Series Grid WR palm offers superior grip on wet surfaces
  • Light fleece lined interior
  • Anatomic fit maximizes finger dexterity for shifting and braking
  • Hook and loop closure
  • Reflective elements for low–light visibility
  • This is a unisex glove, please use the Men’s size chart.
  • Retail: $100

P.R.O. Thermal Toe Cover

P.R.O. Thermal Toe Cover

Like arm warmers, I am a big fan of shoe covers.  Pearl Izumi’s P.R.O. Thermal Toe Covers are perfect for Spring and Fall and Winters here in Austin.  Shoe covers keep keep your toes warm by blocking wind and adding a layer of warmth.  When cycling, extremities like your toes can get very cold when temperatures drop below 50 degrees.  It can be really annoying to go cycling and cut the ride short because your feet are freezing.

I tend to wear toe covers when the temps are between 40 to 55 degrees and then use full covers or a combination of full covers and toe covers when the temperature dips below 40 degrees.

PRO Tip: When wearing the shoe covers make sure the bottoms of the covers are completely free of your pedal’s cleats.  

FEATURES:

  • P.R.O. Softshell provides optimal wind and water protection
  • Innovative power band secures front of shoe cover under toes
  • Kevlar® bottom with hook and loop closure allows easy on and off
  • Recommended for road shoes with external cleats
  • Reflective elements for low–light visibility
  • Retail: $35

P.R.O. AmFIB WxB Shoe Cover

P.R.O. AmFIB WxB Shoe Cover

When the temperatures go below 40 degrees, it’s time to up the anti and get full coverage shoe covers.  These suckers are designed for cold nasty conditions and help block wind, rain, sleet and snow.  Having a good set of wool socks and combining them with Pearl Izumi’s P.R.O. AmFIB WxB shoe covers really helps keep your feet warmer.  If you find your feet still get cold, you can find various winter cycling shoes and combine them with shoe covers for the ultimate in warmth.

PRO TIP: To add extra warmth, use toe covers underneath the shoe covers and use wool socks.  Also make sure your shoes are adjusted to how you want to ride with them prior to putting on the covers.  Once the covers are on, it will be hard to adjust your shoes fit since you will not be able to access the BOA dials or laces.

P.R.O. AmFIB WxB Shoe Cover FEATURES:

  • P.R.O. Barrier WxB powered by Outdry® provides optimal water protection by bonding the waterproof, breathable membrane directly to the interior of the shell fabric
  • 100g Primaloft® Gold insulation provides optimal warmth without bulk
  • Updated two-stage hook and loop closure provides both sleek fit and easy on and off
  • Anatomic paneling for a performance fit
  • Kevlar® road bottom spreads open for easy on and off while providing superior durability
  • Recommended for road shoes with external cleats
  • Reflective elements for low-light visibility
  • Retail: $100

Shell: 100% polyester; Insulation: 100% polyester; Bottom: 59% nylon 25% Kevlar® aramid 16% polyurethane; Made in Vietnam

P.R.O. Softshell Leg Warmer

P.R.O. Softshell Leg Warmer

I have sort of a love hate relationship with leg warmers.  Sometimes they work and sometimes they are more work than they are worth.  The biggest problem with leg warmers is they will often slide down and not stay put.  You’re then left in this sort of tug of war, where they slide down and you pull them back up and it continues throughout the ride.  The P.R.O. Softshell Leg Warmers are probably the best I have used thus far and usually stay in place.

PRO TIP: This may or may not seem obvious, but one thing I have learned over the years is you want to put them on under your shorts and not over your shorts.  This helps because your shorts usually have some type of silicone grip that will help grip the Leg Warmers and the leg warmers also have silicone grip.  If you were to wear the leg warmers over your shorts, they will be more prone to slide down.

FEATURES:

  • P.R.O. Softshell fabric on forward facing areas provides optimal wind protection and water resistance
  • Thermal Fleece fabric with water-shedding PI Dry™ technology for all-weather performance
  • Anatomic front-to-back construction eliminates bunching through the full range of motion
  • Plush wide elastic binding with silicone gripper for a stay-up fit
  • Zippered ankle for easy off and on
  • BioViz™ reflective elements for low-light visibility
  • Unisex sizing

What is PI Dry™? PI Dry™ technology is a hydrophobic treatment used on knit or woven fabrics that makes the fibers repel water without effecting the breathability or the feel of the fabric. Now you can splash through a puddle and the spray will simply run off.

Barrier: 41% polyester 41% nylon 13% elastane, 5% polyurethane; Thermal: 56% nylon 30% polyester 14% LYCRA® elastane; Made in Vietnam

Men’s P.R.O. Escape Thermal Bib Short

Men's P.R.O. Escape Thermal Bib Short

As a cyclist if you haven’t worn bib shorts, you’re missing out.  Bib shorts simply are my favorite item to wear when cycling and when you have good bib shorts, they feel like your not wearing anything.  Usually when the weather starts turning cold people opt for cycling tights, but if you live in a hilly section of town you can over cook yourself wearing tights on the climbs.  If I can get away with it temperature wise, I always opt for bib shorts vs the longer tights.

The Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Escape Thermal Bib Shorts add fleece to keep you warm, which is fantastic on during cooler rides.  I typically wear these when the temps are between 45 – 60 degrees.  If it is colder, I can always add leg warmers and if it warms up I can remove them.

PRO TIP: Buy them.  Enough said.

FEATURES:

  • Thermal Fleece fabric with water-shedding PI Dry™ technology for all-weather performance
  • P.R.O. Transfer Fabric on bib upper for superior comfort
  • Raw edge construction on leg opening and bib upper for comfort
  • P.R.O. Escape 1:1™ Chamois with floating top sheet design delivers unmatched comfort
  • BioViz™ reflective elements for low-light visibility
  • 9.5″ inseam [size medium]
  • Retail: $175

Body: 56% nylon 30% polyester 14% LYCRA®; Fabric Weight: 261 g/m2; Upper: 46% nylon 38% polyester 16% LYCRA®; Technology: PI Dry™; Made in China

Bottom Line

Bottom line you will not be disappointed with Pearl Izumi’s cold weather gear.

Check out Pearl Izumi (http://www.pearlizumi.com/) for all the latest cycling apparel and shoes.

About The Author

Tom Crandall

Tom has been writing about photography, cycling, running and fitness since 1988, covering everything from the product reviews to the latest in fitness trends. Tom is the Editor-in-chief of GearMashers.com, 10KstepsDaily.com, EndTheTrendNow.com, AntiqueOutings.com, MiniatureReview.blogspot.com and a few other publications, he began racing in college while getting an Information Resource Management degree at George Mason University. Based in the photography and cycling-crazed city of Austin, Texas, with his wife Kathleen and pug Olaf, Tom enjoys running, walking or riding most every day.

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