Pearl Izumi Elite Barrier Convert jacket review
This jacket is cut to flatter, with white side panels that accentuate the waist and a fit that adds chest to male figures and curves to straighter-lined females. The wave design on the reflective draft excluder (and wave logo on the back and arm) add a funky edge to its sensible nature, but beyond that the Convert offers little for the money.
At least the zip-off arms are ingenious, with the whole back and arm piece easy to remove. The rear attachment is one tiny piece of velcro, providing ample venting without detracting from the full coverage on your front. The arms zip back on fairly easily, and there’s a sensible overlap between the arm piece and shoulder of the gilet.
The thin Pertex-style shell keeps out light wind and showers, but gets saturated in a deluge and sticks uncomfortably to a damp base layer. The pockets are zipped, but thanks to their insubstantial mesh heavy things like multi-tools bounce around. The central back pocket has a side entry zip, which is easy to use but also easy to lose things from.
Despite being part of PI’s ‘Elite’ range, the flimsy pockets and insubstantial fabric make this a poor choice for a ride of any serious length.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.