Pearl Izumi Kit
Performance T and Boardwalk Short
Words by Nic Hall | Photos by Hames Ellerbe
Traditionally Pearl Izumi’s MTB kit hasn’t exactly been something I’d be caught wearing off the bike, but in the last few years that’s changed. Pearl has been reworking their MTB line to a more subdued look and if you haven’t heard yet, we dig it. My current kit usually consists of a pair of shorts and T-shirt, so I was pretty stoked when a new kit from Peal Izumi showed up that didn’t contain any large logos or flashy colors.
I took their new Performance T and Boardwalk Short up to Pemberton for a few days of riding and lake swims. These pieces transitioned from bike to beers super easily while keeping stink to a minimum.
The performance T is a 100% polyester fabric called Transfer Dry that claims to wick moisture while staying cool. The shirt reminds me of a simple sports jersey with a few key tech features. The back of the shirt is a lighter weight fabric than the rest of the shirt and breaks up the look. It also has a slight drop in the back that helps it sit naturally in riding position. An omni-reflective strip on the sleeve offers a bit of added visibility.
The Boardwalk short, also made of Transfer Dry, is more like a daily wear boardshort than a technical piece of riding kit. Non-zippered pockets and no liner make the short versatile, but the slim fit and flat pockets keep it at home on the bike. Again, a reflective strip is applied on the back of the shorts. The waistband has a silicone strip that keeps the shorts at waist level without synch straps. The back pocket has a zipper for your essentials.
After putting in a solid day of climbing in 80-degree weather and descending some of the gnarliest lines Pemberton has to offer, I was more than happy with the performance of the kit. Both pieces kept me dry while climbing and quickly shed water after a dip in the lake.
I did manage to put a small snag in the shorts when they caught on a frayed cable end, but the snag didn’t spread and the shorts still looked good after I clipped the string. The fit was comfortable and the shorts stayed on my waist well. I also liked that the pockets held my cell phone and other small items securely.
Pearl Izumi’s Boardwalk short sports a 13.25-inch inseam, with just the right length to fall to put the short right at the knee. My test kit came in a size 32, which is what I usually wear. They’re a tad on the large side, but this may be due to the design of the relaxed fit. The minimal logo placement reflective strips blend well with the color and keep the shorts looking stealth, which is a definite plus in my book.
The Performance T-shirt dries quickly on the back panel and at no point on the climbs did I out-sweat the material. Stitching, comfort, fit and material are all top quality and make the top one of my favorites. Combine that with subtle branding and you’ve got a killer jersey.