Customer Reviews: Pearl Izumi Men's Elite Softshell Jacket,True Blue/White,Medium
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Color: True Blue/White|Size: Medium|Change
Price:$69.97 - $175.00
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on December 20, 2010
Although not rated as a "winter jacket", with additional layering I found it quit acceptable. With a layer of: a short sleeve base layer shirt, a PI Transfer Zip Neck Long Sleeve Base layer, and some bibs I road just a bit below my preferred comfortable level (meaning I was cooler than I like, but not cold) in 18 degree weather, 50 min ride. FIT- is great, has a nice conformed fit but not body hugging, sleeves are nice and long. The Real Red color is nice for winter because it stands out against the snowy back ground and I wanted a reason to break the ninja dress code; The Real Red does not match up to other reds very well (if you even care about color coordination, some ppl do), looks great with black of course. Seems to vent well, with execpetion of pockets (read on). Dislikes, only one! The front pocket is a nice place for a phone, however, moisture from perspiration gets in both the front and back pockets, I suggest bagging your phone prior to riding.
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on November 10, 2011
I just returned from my first ride with this jacket on an overcast and gusty, 44 degree ride. The windchill was simply cold. Under the jacket I wore a long-sleeve thermal base layer.

The cut of this jacket is athletic, which means that if you have any extra bulk on you or bulk in odd places, it probably won't fit quite right. However, if you can where fitted garments, the Elite Softshell will do you right. I'm 5'11" and weigh in at 155lbs. Not sure about arm length, but the sleeves are plenty long. I found the medium to be a nearly perfect fit. Snug at the waist, tapered up the torso and just loose enough in the arms to be comfortable. Absolutely no issues wearing a base layer. In fact, I could easily have worn something thicker.

Contrary to other opinions, I'd say if you generally wear a medium, buy the medium.

On the ride, my torso stayed warm the entire ride. It's far more breathable than my shell, but I still managed to sweat up a storm. I found that the only part of my body that was consistently chilly was my arms - not due to wind. The jacket is wind-proof. However, the material is thin enough that despite the micro fleece liner, you can feel the chill. You won't be cold, just chilly (not a bad thing).

Will it be comfortable under 30 / 20 degrees? I'll let you know. Overall, I loved riding in the Elite Softshell.

Highly recommended: Excellent build quality, looks great and is much cheaper than most other brands.
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on February 9, 2014
This jacket came in today just as the weather dropped into the lows 50s with some light drizzle. Having checked the Pearl Izumi website for sizing I ordered a medium jacket for my 5"11, 160lb frame, which turned out to have a nice fit. It's form fitting enough to look good and keep from billowing in the wind but not so tight as to be embarrassing.

I took the jacket out for a 25 mile ride (with a wool t-shirt underneath) and found that it makes a lot of good compromises that make it incredibly versatile. While I felt chilly for 20 or so minutes I warmed up and it felt perfect on the flats. After heading north I went into a climb for about 5 miles and definitely felt the heat and sweat build up, but after unzipping it down the middle and taking off my long-fingered gloves I was able to vent all the heat. Heading back I hit a nice 25mph for a few miles downhill and was glad that I could quickly zip it back up and let it absorb the increased chill.

Aesthetically I find that the blue/black look and fit is subtle enough that I could use this jacket in a variety of situations--such as hiking with my friends, without calling too much attention to myself.

Overall I'm very pleased with this jacket and plan on using it this summer for a tour down the Pacific Coast.
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on November 23, 2011
I like Pearl Izumi products, even though they run a little small for their sizes. This Jacket is soft inside, has extra long arms and bottom back so everything is covered when you are stretched out over the bike. I have a 44" chest, so the large is a little snug. Therefore, I use this as a base layer if I'm biking in weather that's below 50 deg F. Check the sizing chart. If you are borderline, choose the larger size.
The zippered breast pocket is handy so you can hear your phone ring, or store tissues for cold weather runny nose (you can't hobo blow in a line of riders). The arms have reflective strips, which is a help in the dim and dark days of winter. The full length zipper is a must for me. I get overheated on long climbs, and zipping down helps cool my core.
The material wicks moisture and dries quickly -- if the jacket is not used as an underlayer. I chose black with red trim rather than the screaming red with black trim. Either way -- good jacket for bike enthuthiasts.
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on November 30, 2013
I'm 5-11, 165 and a medium fits well - snug but not tight. It's quite light and feels no different than my lined winter jersey (which I use for rides above 40 to 60. I've worn it in dry conditions varying from 32 - 38 degrees with either light or moderate base layer(s) and been just right on temperature. As far as wind, a little does enter through the upper arms but a decent long sleeve base layer will prevent any from reaching your skin. I can't comment on the water resistance yet as it's been a dry fall.

It performs well down to 20 with a warm base layer or two. Below that, it's just too light - you'd need to go with a heavier jacket. ***Update - I just rode at 20 degrees with two long sleeve base layers (1 cotton, 1 poly) and felt fine - amazing! Update #2 - wore yesterday in light rain, 48 degrees - stayed totally dry.

The finish and pockets are good - it's a quality item. I would definitely buy again.
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on February 15, 2014
An effort trying to keep this short and sweet with such a great product. When I shook it out of the packaging it felt like scuba suit material. I was worried about that, as I didn't want to sweat in a bag. But how they used some scuba like material and made it into proper biking gear, was very high tech. Good armpit vents to keep you from sweating, nice flexible material down the inside of the arms so it breathes again and stretches to fit snug, not binding; chest pocket is a must, which this has, on all bike shirts and jackets, as we all now carry cellphones; great extra arm length that cuffs my gloves without having to wrestle with them to fit over or under them.

It would be a five star product if; it had pockets down below as well as having the chest pocket. Can never have enough. The tail could have been a bit longer and the back of neck a bit higher, to keep out the cold. Also the armpit vents could have been a bit smaller, as you can feel initially the chill of headwinds a bit much.

That said, I am 6 feet tall, 210, footballer sized, and the X-large fit great, snug but in a good way. I usually ride three to seven days a week if I can. I wore this product in the coldest weather, purposely, minus 8 celsius. Felt like I never left the indoors. I had on a no name long sleeved undershirt and a compression long sleeve underneath, wore a balaclava and gloves over my biking gloves, that's it.

I'd recommend it to anyone out in the windy cold, and best with some Pearl Izumi bib tights. Fits like a good suit.
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on June 17, 2013
Living in Chicago gives you plenty of chilly rides. I wanted a thermal windproof shell that didn't poof and flap with the wind. This jacket was the ticket. It's form fitting, windproof, breathable, and warm enough so I can ride in the 20's. The master stroke is the outer breast pocket which makes it convenient to store keys or a gym pass. I'll also add that It looks cool! I look faster than I really am!
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on January 19, 2012
I ordered my regular size (medium) of this jacket. And technically it fits... but it's extremely tight. At first, I thought this was a really bad thing, but I'm thinking now it might just be how this jacket is supposed to fit. It makes sense to be more aerodynamic. (and to make less contact with warmth-stealing wind) I just accepted the tightness and started wearing thermal layers underneath. It's next to impossible to get a hoodie or anything thick under this thing.

The material is rather thin... and when the temp dips below 32F, you really can't just use it alone to help keep you warm. It does a good job of shielding you from wind, but if the surrounding air is too cold you'll definitely need to have a thick base layer underneath. Just don't overdo it, or you'll be drenched in sweat when you arrive at your destination.

Also, as others have said, it bothers me a little how short the front of this jacket is. It comes down to my belt, and my t-shirts always stick out the bottom. (I tuck them in) The shortness doesn't really affect the warmth though, because you'll be covered just fine once you're bending over on your bike.

My winter gear consists of these things: this jacket, Terra Plana Helix base layers (top and bottom), tube socks to tuck base layer into, skull cap, ski goggles (the best thing ever for keeping cold air out of your eyes), a Buff headwear piece wrapped into a balaclava, and some nice thick gloves. (and of course jeans, t-shirt, and a helmet)
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on November 9, 2013
When the temperatures head south of freezing this softshell jacket comes into its own. It doubles as a windbreaker and it really keeps me toasty warm. Used as part of a layering approach this well fitting jacket is my go to. It has excellent neck protection and does not 'flap' in the wind, rather it fits snugly. Zippered pockets in the back and front provide lots of carrying space, the one on the front is especially handy as the bike can be easily controlled while retrieving food or a nose wipe, whereas reaching into a side pocket can easily throw off the balance. Of course worn by itself with a tee shirt can be a tad chilly, but with a couple of layers this does very well indeed and makes for miles of smiles.
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on December 10, 2013
I used this jacket to mountain bike ride on the coldest day of the Los Angeles. It was in the high 40's. I layered with a t shirt and a long sleeve compression shirt. It was perfect. I'm 5'11" and 185 lbs and a large fit true. Unzipped it vents well and zipped it stays warm. I'm not sure I would want to use the jacket in freezing weather. The wind protection was good but not perfect.

The finish and quality were outstanding. The zipped pocket on the back was a nice size. The sleeves and back were long so I was completely covered.
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