If you do an image search for cycling, you’ll likely see super fit and attractive people riding with shorts and short sleeve jerseys with beautiful sunny backgrounds. Unfortunately, as a cyclist you’ll often have to contend with less than ideal weather days even if you consider yourself a ‘fair weather’ cyclist. For those less picturesque days, you’ll need versatile and comfortable clothes to stay warm. A well designed long sleeve jersey is something that can keep you warm on colder days and with breathability also prevents you from overheating. The PEARL iZUMi PRO Merino Thermal Cycling Jersey is designed to have all the properties of an ideal long sleeve jersey with the thermal properties of Merino wool.
As with many PEARL iZUMi products, it’s worth unpacking the long item names to understand what features it has. The long sleeve jersey is part of the “PRO” product line which incorporated professional level features and details. The “Merino Wool” portion of the title is due to the 60/40 blend of responsibly sourced wool and nylon that provides the magical thermal properties. Finally, the “Thermal Jersey” portion refers to the fact that the jersey is a midweight thermal jersey for cool and damp conditions. PEARL iZUMi also offers a Women’s version of this jersey although the women’s version features a shorter neck.
|Likes||+ Thermal and Odor resistance properties of wool |
+ Soft and Comfortable fit
+ 4 back pockets
+ Sleek modern design
|Dislikes||– Premium price |
– Back isn’t long enough
– Lack of warmth details in the product description.
|Where to Buy (US)||PEARL iZUMi|
The PEARL iZUMi PRO Merino Wool Thermal Jersey is one of those essential items we’d recommend for any cyclist’s closet. With a modern sleek design and merino wool blend, the thermal jersey is our go-to for cooler days as a mid-weight layer or outer shell.
As with the PRO AmFIB shell, the jersey arrived neatly folded in a 100% recycled plastic bag and a minimal cardboard box. It’s great to see a company that is aware of the environmental impact of product packaging.
It’s clear that PEARL iZUMi did their homework when they designed the PRO Merino Thermal Jersey. In terms of functionality the jersey features a number of thoughtful and careful details. On the front of the jersey is a full length Vislon zipper for easy ventilation. It would’ve been nice to have a double zipper like the PRO Amfib Shell. There are BioViz reflective elements for low light conditions on both the front zipper as well as subtle elements on the jersey pockets. The four pockets also provide plenty of storage space, and we particularly like the split center pocket with a zipper for tucking away money and credit cards or ID.
Aesthetically, the jersey has a clean and timeless design with solid color design. Unlike some jerseys that have logos plastered on them to make you look like a sponsored rider, the PRO Merino Thermal Jersey utilizes a minimalist approach. On the front of the jersey are hand stitched accent lines across the chest and a subtle embroidered PEARL iZUMi logo. The Teal color which we reviewed is very flattering. It also comes in a Phantom (Dark Grey) color.
At the time of this review, the clothing tag lists the jersey as a ‘Standard fit” but the product description on the website lists it as “form fitting.” We found the medium sized jersey on a 160lb 6’ 1” male to be more of a form fit as it stretches over your contours. However, don’t confuse that with the form fitting style ‘race’ jerseys that are more akin to skin suits in terms of fit. Even layered over multiple layers, we found the jersey to be very comfortable. Due to the well designed panels of the jersey, there is also no annoying bunching even in aggressive drop bar positions. As with any clothing item, we would recommend you try it on before buying to ensure a good fit.
The PRO Merino Wool Thermal Jersey boasts a 60/40 merino/nylon wool blend to provide excellent thermal management. If you haven’t had a merino wool baselayer or jersey before, this may sound like hype but merino wool has magical warming and cooling properties. On colder days, the jersey does a great job to insulate and retain body heat. Once you’ve gotten your blood flowing, or the weather has warmed up the same jersey wicks away sweat and moisture from your body to keep you cool.
We would describe the jersey as mid-weight, as it provides a good balance of warmth and breathability. This is a jersey you could easily use as a layer for colder days, or as an outer layer for warmer days. The double layered neck and cuffs keeps the cold and wind from penetrating the jersey. These thermal properties made this our go-to jersey for rides that started cooler (around 40 degrees Fahrenheit) but ended in warmer temperatures (mid 60s). It’d be helpful if PEARL iZUMi was descriptive about the fabric weights and temperature range.
Overall the PRO Merino Wool Thermal Jersey is a great buy, although at this price point we expect a higher merino wool content. PEARL iZUMi has done their homework with both the design and construction of the jersey. The jersey is soft and comfortable to wear, without any awkwardly placed seams or bunching. Design wise the jersey also has a modern and timeless design, with simple horizontal accent lines on the chest and clean color choices. For a typical rider, it’s enough to own one or two of all the basics (bibshorts, baselayer, jersey) so it’s important to buy versatile and high quality clothing and the PEARL iZUMi PRO Merino Wool Thermal Jersey is one of those items.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by PEARL iZUMi. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.