This is the first in a list of long overdue reviews for y’all. As it’s been cold out lately I figured I’d start with finally posting my thoughts on the Pearl Izumi Select Thermal jersey.
Packing the best warmth-to-value in the line, the SELECT Thermal Jersey is great worn alone for the chilly days or as the core thermal piece in a layering system.
•SELECT heavy weight Thermal Fleece sets the benchmark in warmth and moisture transfer
•Full length zipper for venting
•Contoured, shaped sleeve hem adds warmth
•Three back pockets with hidden sweat-proof pocket
•Reflective elements for low-light visibility
Body: 100% polyester
Weight: 266 g/m2
Build Quality & Features
Build quality is what you’d expect of Pearl Izumi and on par with other Taiwanese made bike kit. Seams (that are there) are of decent finish, but on my jersey the far left pocket doesn’t appear to have ever been stitched closed on the bottom. Fortunately I never use those pockets as otherwise I would have lost whatever I put in it!
Features are how I think they should be for a jersey – minimal. Drop hem, full zip with zipper ‘garage’ to keep the pull from flapping around, three rear pockets (four if you count the hidden ‘waterproof’ pocket just inside the far right rear pocket) for holding energy bars, steak or EPO, and reflective detailing on the front/rear logos and pocket trim.
I typically wear a L or XL (depending on how hipster the fit of a particular item is and my desired length), and the large fits exactly as I’d want, with enough stretch to accomodate my winter beer gut. Length, usually the bane of my clothing existence, is perfect – sleeves end right where they should, the front ends right at the waist and the drop hem is perfectly sized to keep my coin slot hidden when in a riding position. Unlike most cycling apparel the PI Select Thermal Jersey fits true to size, if not a touch big. If you typically wear a large and like bit more relaxed fit, order a large, not a XXXL as you’d need with some of the companies that build their apparel for the more diminutive. If you want the more uber-eurotard fit (note: I can’t do that lest I look like 10 lbs of potatoes in a 5 lb sack) you could consider going down a size, with the caveat that you’ll lose some length – which is usually the primary driver behind my size decisions.
I’ve been satisfied with the performance of the Select Thermal jersey thus far. My core typically heats up fast when riding, and I’ve worn this as my only layer on rides in the high-30s (caveat: most of my rides start with a considerable uphill effort). Breathes well, and when you sweat it does a good job at moving that sweat off your skin and to the outer garment, and dries quickly. The jersey is NOT windproof (nor does it claim to be) so you’ll likely want to layer up with a wind layer for windy days or long downhills right after climbing.
This is my first take on a cycling clothing review, any questions/comments/suggestions for the next one is appreciated. Also, if you can’t find the Pearl Izumi Select Thermal jersey at your local shop you can pick them up online at Huck ‘n Roll or Real Cyclist.
EDIT: I originally posted this as the ‘Elite’ jersey (thinking of my jacket, no jersey…). Apologize if you found this review via search for the Elite level jersey!