Pearl Izumi PRO barrier lite vest review

Pearl Izumi PRO barrier lite vest review

New performance-focused vest from the cycling apparel giant Pearl Izumi

Words and photos - James Raison


Pearl Izumi is a strange brand to review. Like clockwork they churn out good value kit made of great fabrics. Their fits tend to be way too baggy for me and designs uninspiring though. 

Thankfully the PRO Barrier Lite vest has turned that all around. 

On offer here is a DWR ripstop nylon fabric that will keep the wind at bay and resist precipitation as well. The rest of the buffet is pretty standard - full zip, reflective trim, and a single pocket that the vest can be stuffed into.

 Its pocket is generous enough for phones, wallets, or anything else you want to shove into it.

Its pocket is generous enough for phones, wallets, or anything else you want to shove into it.

Thankfully this gilet lives up to its “form fit” designation, hugging firmly to my torso and arms. Now, my previous Pearl Izumi Elite gilet was semi-form fit which was cut substantially bigger and felt a little like riding in a parachute trying to slow me down. Like a dragster. None of that here, this thing does a cracking job clinging to you with minimal flapping, even when descending. There is some rippling at high speed on the shoulders but that’s just gilets.

Its weather proofing is decent as well. It easily fought off the mist and light rain that I used it in and is a great item to put on before a long cold descent.

The little stuff-away pocket on the back is a really nice touch. It’s a useful pocket when you’re wearing it, and great for storage when you’re not. No more hastily stuffed gilets sticking out of your jersey pocket once it’s crammed inside itself.

 Back pocket essentials

Back pocket essentials

Wrapping up

That’s really all there is to it. Gilets are accelerating in cost every year so it’s nice to see such a well-performing product at this pricepoint. The materials will keep you warm and dry, the fit is spot-on for those who like it firm, and the pocket is nice to stash it away. It’s rock solid.

Buy: Check out the Pearl Izumi range on the Cycle Closet website.

Disclosure statement: This gilet was given to us to review by Cycle Closet.