The most sought after style around the Pearl Izumi office, the P.R.O. Aero Jacket is a highly technical wind jacket with full stretch to eliminate noisy wind flapping. It’s as packable as our Barrier Lite Jacket with unsurpassed water resistance and breath-ability.
- P.R.O. Softshell Lite fabric provides optimal wind and water protection
- Fabric – 100% 100 g /m2 polyester
- Direct-Vent panels provide superior ventilation
- Contoured, shaped sleeve hem adds warmth
- Full length internal draft flap with zipper garage seals in warmth
- 360 degree reflectivity
- Collar tapers from front to back for on bike ergonomics
- Form Fit
- Measured size medium
- Weight – 161 g (5.7 oz)
- Pit to Pit – 48 cm (18.9 in)
- Center Back – 75 cm (29.5 in)
- Sleeve length – 95 cm (37.4 in)
- Retail – $125
The Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Aero Jacket is an interesting piece. It is a superlight softshell that blocks wind and sheds water. The jacket can even pack up and fit in your back pocket leaving no reason to leave it at home.
I was really impressed when I first checked out the Aero Jacket. It is made out of Pearl Izumi’s softshell lite fabric that is 100% polyester fabric. The fabric is really thin, only 100 g/m2. It is wind and water resistant. I am not sure if they have achieved this by a really tight knit or if there is a coating on the fabric. The jacket has a full zip in the front with an internal draft flap. The design of the jacket is a really simple and straight forward one. There are no pockets on this jacket to keep it as light and packable as possible. There are several reflective elements on the jacket to give it 360 degree reflectivity. The Aero Jacket is designed for on the bike ergonomics but can also be used when running. The collar tapers from the front to the back and there are contoured sleeve hems for added warmth. Under the arms there are direct-vent panels to provide superior ventilation. At the bottom hem of the jacket there is an elastic hem to keep it from flapping in the wind.
The Aero Jacket is a form fitting jacket. It is made to be tight so that the fabric does not flap in the wind while on the bike. I am generally a medium and that is what I tested out on this jacket. Putting the jacket on you can definitely tell there is a stretch to the fabric. It is tight but comfortably so. I was easily able to put it on over a jersey felt like there is just enough room through the whole jacket. Since this jacket was designed for bike wear the sleeve length is nice and long which I appreciate. There is also a drop tail hem on the back which gives it excellent length in the back. While in the bike position the hem did a descent job at keeping the back down but would creep up over time. When running this was more of an issue.
I have been actually disappointed with the performance of the Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Aero Jacket. I was really hoping this would be the great wind shell I was looking for but alas it is not. The jacket does do a good job repelling wind and water. The drawback I had was that it did not breathe enough for me. I am not sure if there is a coating on the inside of the jacket but it sure feels like it. While riding with a short sleeve jersey underneath I would overwhelm the jacket on low to medium intensity rides even with the temperature in the 40’s. I used it on my morning commute a couple times as well and arrived at work soaked with sweat on the inside. I also tested the jacket on some runs and one in particular was windy, snowing, and around 30 degrees and I once again was soaked with sweat under the jacket. While it may be that I just tend to be on the warmer side, I definitely was less likely to pull out this jacket unless it was cold and I was not planning on exerting much energy. The performance and fabric of this jacket reminded me of The North Face Krakatoa Hoody.
I will give the Pearl Izumi Aero Jacket and average rating. I imagine that there are plenty of people that do not run as warm as I do so this may be a great addition to their kit. It is lightweight, packs small, and has impressive weather repellency. For me though it also just did not breathe as well as I need. The fit is spot on and the arm and hem length are nice and long. I wish the jacket would stay down in the back a little better. My only other complaint would be on the color schemes. I am a blue guy so some options in blue would have been nice but that is just my preference. At $125 it is a bit on the expensive side but it could be a great jacket for some. As always, your mileage may vary.
- Packs down small
- Weather resistant
- Stretchy material
- Back hem tends to ride up over time
- Did not breath well enough for me