Crossover jackets add the option of versatility into your cycling wardrobe. While I have a bounty of pure cycling jackets, I wouldn’t choose to wear one unless I was… well… riding my bike. In an effort to appeal to road, mountain and gravel cyclists who want some versatility in a cold-weather jacket, Pearl Izumi presents the Elevate Insulated AmFIB Jacket.
Pearl Izumi Elevate Insulated AmFIB Jacket Features:
- Lightweight AmFIB softshell main body softshell fabric
- Chest and upper-arms feature 100g Primaloft Gold insulation
- DWR treatment for water resistance
- Optimized for on-bike performance
- Bi-directional zippers for easy access
- Front hand pockets
- Two interior stash pockets
- MSRP: $200
Delivers on cold trail or gravel days
Pearl Izumi has a wide variety of cold-weather cycling jackets, with some more road-focused and others definitely mountain bike-focused. The new Elevate Insulated AmFIB Jacket ends up as a good crossover piece that can honestly be used for all disciplines. Pearl Izumi is using Primaloft’s premier synthetic insulation on the chest and upper arms, which is something you don’t typically find in cycling jackets. Let’s talk through how it has performed.
Slipping the jacket on, you know it’s a cycling jacket first (of course). The cut is tailored for an on-bike fit with excellent sleeve lengths and a slightly-dropped backside for added coverage. Back panels and lower arms feature Pearl Izumi’s softshell material, which stretches and breathes quite well. Those panels are also fleece-backed for added coziness, breathability and warmth. I appreciate that the fleece isn’t super grabby with base layers, so you won’t find your sleeves getting pulled up to your armpits every time you put it on. Hallelujah!
Collar height and diameter are an important part of the comfort and warmth story. This one is designed to allow a little extra space for a tall collared jersey underneath without becoming bulky. And, the height is just right so as not to interfere with head movements on the bike or dig into the underside of my chin.
I’ve been wearing the Pearl Izumi Elevate Insulated AmFIB Jacket primarily for gravel riding this fall. Cold weather hasn’t stopped me from enjoying the gravels and the Elevate has been a good choice for those rides. The jacket is warm, no question, but I didn’t find myself getting overheated. I usually wore a long-sleeve jersey with a sleeveless base layer underneath. That combination has allowed me to comfortably ride in the mid-30’s. With even more layering, this jacket could be worn in even colder temperatures (but 35-45 degrees is the sweet spot).
I’ve loved the double-zippers for easy access to rear jersey pockets. In my opinion, all cycling jackets should feature them. Zipper pulls are easily-used with gloves on as well.
The sleeve cuffs are cut wide enough to cover mid-weight gloves. I’ve been using them with the Pearl Izumi AmFIB Lite Gloves (review coming), and the longer glove design interfaces quite nicely here. It seals well and keeps wrists covered without any airflow at speed. As mentioned, the generous sleeve length is long enough to cover gloves with shorter or thinner cuffs.
With muted styling, this one doesn’t stand out on the road. Again, it’s intended to be used for dirt, but undoubtedly, it will be used for all disciplines of the sport. Brighter colors might be nice, but since this jacket can also double as a lifestyle piece, it’s likely that the muted colors were a calculated choice. As far as around-town duty goes, it works well and is pretty comfortable, but it does have a cycling-optimized fit, so it’s not ideal (but not terrible). I think the biggest complaint is the rear placement of the front pockets. They are set far back (about mid-jacket), which makes access a little awkward.
- Good mix of insulation and softshell fabrics
- Great on-bike fit
- Breathes well
- Can be layered up or layered down for cold temps
- Good DWR sheds water
- Stretches with every on-bike movement
- Good collar height/diameter
- Hand pockets are set back too far for comfortable use
- A single rear zippered pocket would be nice
The Bottom Line: Pearl Izumi Elevate Insulated AmFIB Jacket
The Elevate Insulated AmFIB Jacket can be that single jacket to wear on dirt, gravel, road and around town. While it’s not ideal off the bike, it has enough style and comfort to not be out of place. Elsewhere, the Primaloft Gold insulation and softshell fabric makes for a cozy experience while still breathing admirably well.
Buy Now: Available at PearlIzumi.com