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Pearl Izumi Pro AmFIB jacket review

27 Feb 2020
Verdict:

A well finished Gabba-style jacket that’s not boil-in-the-bag and keeps out the rain well

Cyclist Rating: 
For 
Enough airflow to stop sweat build-up • Good waterproofing
Against 
Not that warm • Zipped middle pocket limits carrying capacity

At £200, the price of the Pearl Izumi Pro AmFIB jacket is on a par with wet weather racing jackets like the Castelli Gabba. How well does it justify its elevated price tag? Like the Gabba, the Pearl Izumi Pro AmFIB jacket is designed for harder riding in cool, wet conditions.

I’ve tested jackets of this type that get quite damp inside once you warm up. But the PI jacket is very breathable, so I came back with my baselayer still comfortably dry, however drizzly and mild the weather.

That’s because there’s more airflow through the Pearl Izumi Pro AmFIB jacket than many of its rivals. Plus there’s no flocking of the inside face of the jacket, so there’s less insulation. This means you need to be careful to choose a baselayer that will keep you warm enough for the conditions, and I found that I needed one a notch thicker than with slightly heavier jackets of this type.

Pearl Izumi’s softshell fabric is also a bit more water resistant than many, so that it is less prone to wet out and water beads off the surface well. As is usual in this type of jacket, there’s no seam sealing. That helps with ventilation, but does mean that rain will seep in during a downpour.

It’s worth noting that Castelli has taped the shoulder seams in the latest version of its equivalent Perfetto jacket, to add more rain protection.

Buy now from Cyclestore for £169.99

The PI Pro AmFib jacket is very well finished. Many of the seams, like those at the cuffs and hem are bonded, rather than being sewn. The cuffs also have a lightweight inner cuff. This helps keep out draughts, although I didn’t find that it fitted very closely around my wrist and neither the inner nor the outer cuff is adjustable.

The front zip is waterproof and backed with a storm flap, while the high collar keeps the wind at bay.

At the back, there are two open pockets, while the central pocket is zipped and waterproof. It’s an arrangement that makes sense in a wet weather top, where the middle pocket is directly in the line of fire of spray from the rear wheel.

Buy now from Cyclestore for £169.99

But if, like me, you load up your pockets rather than using a saddle bag, it does limit what you can carry in the central pocket; I wasn’t comfortable using it for much more than an inner tube.

There’s plenty of space in the two outer pockets to carry the usual ride gubbins however. I also found that my lower back, against the waterproof fabric of the middle pocket, was the only place that got sweaty.

Pearl Izumi Pro AmFIB jacket’s fit is good: there’s plenty of stretch and enough room to feel comfortable. You can layer up with a heavier baselayer without feeling constrained. The tail is dropped sufficiently to avoid gapping with lower half garments.

So for damp weather rides in typical UK mid-single digit temperatures, the Pearl Izumi Pro AmFIB jacket is a good option. I particularly like that it stays sweat-free, despite fending off the inevitable showers.

Price: 
£199.99

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