Pearl Izumi Women's Pro jersey review

The Pro jersey from Pearl Izumi is designed to may you feel like the real deal - does its performance match up?

Cycling Weekly Verdict

A pro level piece of kit constructed from quick drying fabric which allows you to work hard. Pocket space is ample and the compartments held pumps and tubes in place. The mesh panels at the side prevent the fit from hitting the optimum.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Quick drying

  • +

    Soft fabric

  • +

    Secure pockets stay put

  • +

    Smooth collar line

Reasons to avoid
  • -


  • -

    Side panels quite stiff

  • -

  • -

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As you'd expect from the name, Pearl Izumi's 'Pro' jersey has been constructed to appeal to performance seeking riders.

The defining feature is the use of the brand's 'In-R-Cool' fabric. This has breathability and quick drying at its core, it also feels beautifully soft against the skin with a definite air of premium woven in.

The material in the front and back panels sits close to the skin and when first zipping this jersey up it certainly felt like an aero piece of kit. The neckline is bonded and Pearl describes the collar as 'barely there' - an accurate choice of wording for the low profile creation which certainly adds to the pro appeal.

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The jet black (in this case) fabric boasts 50+ UPF rating so you know you're assured of protection when the really sunny months arrive. The overall construction is also beautifully light, with a size small coming in at 139g.

At the side panels, Pearl Izumi has used 'Direct-Vent' open mesh material. This provides additional breathability - and even when working hard, I felt cool in this piece of kit - both indoors and out.

However, the mesh strips are made from quite a sturdy fabric. I found that when on the bike, the fabric at the front puckered so that it didn't sit quite flat unless pulled down. I'd put this down to the side panels being overly stiff. As much as these strips may add to the cooling overall effect, they disrupted the flow of an otherwise excellently fitting garment.

At the rear, Pearl Izumi has sewn in a sturdy elasticated band with silicone dashes to keep the waist in place, whilst the front features a bonded hem which sat comfortably without digging in.

The sleeve cuffs also feature bonded hems. Personally, I'm not always a huge fan of these, but mostly because - across the board - they're too tight for my arms. For many other cyclists, they're a bonus and I can see that they do offer a nice tidy finish - so I remain open minded as to their wider appeal.

A reflective panel sits on each bicep and this is a good nod to safety. It's also worth noting that this jersey is available in teal and blue for those who would rather steer away from the black I had on test.

This jersey offers plenty of pocket space - with a total of five compartments at the rear - the traditional three plus two extra spaces on top. The central pocket also has a zipped space, so arguably that's six pockets.

The close fit of the jersey and quality construction of the pockets meant that kit placed within them stayed put. Pockets that jump around when full are a huge bugbear of mine, so this was particularly pleasing - as was the addition of some high viz detailing along the rear.

At £139.99, Pearl Izumi is pitching at the upper end of the market. It provides a tidy collar, quality bonded hems (even if they're not my preference) and excellent quick drying fabric - bringing it in line with competitors, even if the fit wasn't quite spot on for me.

Sizes range from Small to X-Large, of which I opted for the small and found the sizing true to expectation.

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Michelle Arthurs-Brennan

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper, where highlights included interviewing a very irate Freddie Star (and an even more irate theatre owner), as well as 'the one about the stolen chickens'.

Previous to joining the Cycling Weekly team, Michelle was Editor at Total Women's Cycling. She joined CW as an 'SEO Analyst', but couldn't keep her nose out of journalism and in the spreadsheets, eventually taking on the role of Tech Editor before her latest appointment as Digital Editor. 

Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.

Michelle is on maternity leave from July 8 2022, until April 2023.