Pearl Izumi has gone through a bit of a transformation over the past few years. First off, they are leading the industry in minimizing packaging and sustainability, and they are honing in on their core competencies. Their product line is now much more focused. And, through the years, their PRO Bib Shorts have continued. This year, they have added a PRO Mesh Jersey, which has been the perfect pairing as temperatures have risen.
Pearl Izumi PRO Bib Shorts Features:
- Luxurious Italian PRO Transfer fabric provides balanced compression for ultimate comfort
- PRO Escape 1:1® Chamois with floating top sheet design delivers unmatched comfort
- Seven panel design minimizes seams and maximizes body contouring fit
- Laser cut leg openings with silicone leg grippers for a seamless transition to skin
- Laser cut bib straps provide superior next to skin comfort and a low profile feel
- BioViz® reflective elements for low-light visibility
- 10.5” inseam
- MSRP: $200
Pearl Izumi PRO Mesh Jersey Features:
- PRO Transfer In-R-Cool® mesh jersey main body for maximum breathability and quick drying
- PRO Aero fabric in key leading-edge areas reduces aerodynamic drag
- Patented anatomic Speed Sleeve construction optimizes fit in the cycling position
- Longer to-the-elbow sleeves reduce drag around upper arms
- Compressive feel for on-the-bike performance
- Clean raw-edge mesh arm and leg openings for seamless transition to skin
- Low neckline for hot weather comfort
- MSRP: $135
Look PRO, feel PRO
Impressive. That’s definitely what the 2019 Pearl Izumi PRO Bib Shorts and PRO Mesh Jersey are. Looking them over, they are hard to miss. They look great and have all the right features you’d expect for a summer-weight, top-shelf kit. With a few variations and colors, there’s bound to be a combination that suits your style.
At 5’11” and 170 lbs., I’d like to think I’m about average. But, that “average” size tends to put me into either medium or large kits — depending on the cut. I thought that this kit, being in their PRO line, would have more of a Euro cut to it. But, after getting the large, I had to swap it for a medium top/bottom. That change allowed me to feel just how this kit should fit. It’s snug, but not sausage-tight. There’s no excess material anywhere and it offers enough compression to keep the muscles happy. The fit really has been spot-on for my body shape.
Bibs tend to make or break a kit and the comfort of Pearl Izumi’s latest PRO Bib Shorts are incredible. The materials used feel luxe and ultra-comfortable against my skin. This is particularly noticeable with the laser-cut straps that immediately disappear. Compression is excellent as my muscles feel properly supported for maximum output.
The chamois here is definitely good, but not quite as good as the one fitted with the Assos Equipe RS S9 bib shorts. On the road, it’s great, but the buzz of long gravel rides shows that it could be a touch better. I’ve been able to ride chaff-free without chamois cream.
PRO Mesh Jersey is a Breeze
The PRO Mesh Jersey is quite nice and follows the trend of low-profile collars we’ve seen as of late. I appreciate these designs — especially on hot, summer rides. Hot days in the saddle are just what the Mesh Jersey was made for and it doesn’t disappoint. Breathability is superb. And, should you need to dump more heat, the zipper works like a charm with one hand (always a bonus). I’m digging the wide-toothed zipper trend and the PRO Mesh Jersey adds a semi-locking zipper with the ability to unlock it and simply open the jersey with a tug.
Often, lightweight “climber’s jerseys” like this one lack structure for carrying items in the jersey pockets, but this one carries your stuff well and are easily-reached. The pleated pockets can carry way more than you’d expect from a lightweight jersey, so feel free to load up for a long day. The zipper is easy to pull up/down with one hand (always a bonus).
The sleeve-length is modern and long for a comfortable fit. Pearl Izumi touts their Speed Sleeve construction, which smoothes out airflow over the arms and shoulders. Everything stays in place with subtly-grippy silicone in the right amounts and the right locations. Keep in mind that the PRO Mesh Jersey is optimized for on-bike performance and fit. Extended periods off the bike will feel uncomfortable in the shoulders.
Note: I’m 5’11” and 170 lbs. The size large top/bottom was too roomy, but the medium top/bottom was absolutely perfect.
- Bibs are oh-so-comfortable
- Soft, yet durable fabrics throughout
- Breathability galore
- Subtle grippy elements work awesome
- Added reflectivity
- Pleated pockets allow you to carry more stuff
- Less expensive than other comparable options
- Love the subtle stripes
- Flatlock seams on bibs would put them on another level
- Chamois isn’t quite as good on long gravel stints
The Bottom Line: Pearl Izumi PRO Bib shorts and Mesh Jersey
With laser-cut performance, the latest Pearl Izumi PRO Bib Shorts have nailed the comfort factor. They offer good compression and the materials feel luxe. With the PRO Mesh Jersey, you get a breezy climber’s jersey with ventilation in droves. The long sleeves feature Speed Sleeve construction to sit flat for optimal airflow in the saddle.