Spring riding conditions can be fickle. Heck, summer riding conditions in Utah can also be fickle. It’s always nice to have a wind and water-resistant jersey to throw into the mix for cool or variable conditions. Enter the Pearl Izumi Pursuit Wind Jersey for just that purpose.

Pearl Izumi PRO Pursuit Wind Jersey Features:

  • Softshell Lite fabric on front and sleeves
  • Offers wind/water protection
  • PRO Transfer fabric on back and sides
  • Vislon zipper
  • Three back pockets
  • Form fit
  • MSRP: $130
Pearl Izumi PRO Pursuit Wind Jersey REview

The PRO Pursuit Wind Jersey helps keep your core warm without added bulk.

A lightweight wind/rain-blocking jersey

Jerseys are available in all sorts of materials, but rare are the jerseys that offer built-in weather protection. Most of them feature fleece backing or are made of wind-blocking fleece fabrics that can add warmth. That’s a good thing when you want it, but the PRO Pursuit Wind Jersey doesn’t go that route. Instead, it’s built using a thin, stretch fabric that both blocks the wind and keeps you dry without adding bulk.

I’ve worn the Pro Pursuit Wind Jersey with/without arm warmers and with/without a base layer underneath. As far as arm warmers go, something like the Sportful Fiandre NoRain arm warmers are a great match and I’ve used a few summer-weight base layers and would completely recommend going that route here.

Pearl Izumi PRO Pursuit Wind Jersey Review

The front and shoulders are build with Softshell Lite fabric.

Pearl Izumi PRO Pursuit Wind Jersey

The back is built using PRO Transfer fabric for added breathability.

For starters, let’s talk about fit. Depending on the brand, my 5’11” 170 lb. body fits best in either medium or large tops/bottoms. Pearl Izumi has a little more generous fit overall, so medium was the trick. The jersey fits perfectly-snug without turning me into a sausage. The Softshell Lite fabric doesn’t offer a ton of stretch, but just enough so as not to restrict natural movement.

It didn’t take more than one ride to realize that while you can use this jersey without a base layer, it tends to become a little swampy inside without one. Clearly, Softshell Lite fabric is much more wind/water protective than breathable. There’s always a tradeoff and, as mentioned, my solution is to wear a base layer — problem solved. Perhaps a slightly-brushed liner would be a nice addition for future versions.

Pearl Izumi PRO Pursuit Wind Jersey Review

Not shown: The 20 mph headwind I was riding into (thank goodness for this jersey).

It does feature three standard jersey pockets, but be prepared because they are a little narrow. I’m not loaded up for bear this time of year, so I didn’t run into any issues of not being able to carry the usual items (phone, tube, pump, CO2 and a couple of gels).

Pearl Izumi PRO Pursuit Wind Jersey

The rear pockets are a little narrow.

I’m a zipper pull guy and Pearl Izumi has done well here. This one is easily-grabbed and features a locking mechanism to keep the zipper in place where you put it. The collar height is just right and offers a touch of added protection on chilly descents. When temperatures or efforts increase, the zipper is going to help you dump moisture. And, the PRO Transfer fabric on the back/sides will also dissipate moisture better than the Softshell Lite fabric.

The cut of the Pearl Izumi PRO Pursuit Wind Jersey is just right and, for the most part it stays put in the saddle. On occasion it does creep up on me in the shoulders, but every jersey I’ve worn does that, unless it’s painted-on.

The Good

  • Built-in lightweight weather protection
  • A good option for cool days
  • Collar height/diameter adds warmth
  • Zipper pulls easily up/down (large-gauge zipper FTW)

The Bad

  • Can get swampy (definitely wear a base layer)
  • It’s stretchy, but could be a touch stretchier
  • Pockets are on the small side

The Bottom Line: Pearl Izumi PRO Pursuit Wind Jersey

The Pearl Izumi PRO Pursuit Wind Jersey has a lot to offer for shoulder-season riding. With built-in weather protection, you can eliminate the need for a vest. I’d advise wearing a light base layer underneath to aid comfort and breathability.

Buy Now: Available at PearlIzumi.com

About Author

A Seattle native, Jason developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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