Pearl Izumi Summit Shell Short and Jersey Review


Review by Nic Hall | Photos by Drew Rohde

Pearl Izumi has been re-defining understated mountain bike clothing over the past few seasons. They continue to incorporate technical features in all of their pieces, but you could still wear them post-ride without issues. This season we got to try out their Summit series kit including the Summit Short-Sleeve Jersey and Shell Short. We’ve been putting the Pearl Izumi kit to work in the Summer heat and came away impressed by their temperature management.


The Summit Short-Sleeve Jersey is made from 100% recycled polyester with micro perforations that are reminiscent of a sports jersey. The technical features like forward rolled seams to decrease chafing; a bike-specific cut with dropped hem to ensure coverage in the saddle, and laser perforated side panels set this jersey apart from your standard soccer tee, though. The jersey is available in gray, green, and black or a retro vibe geometric camo from small to XXL, with a retail price of $60.

The Summit Shell Short is similarly made from recycled polyester, which is very thin to promote quick wicking of sweat and is DWR coated to resist puddle splashes. Laser perforations have been incorporated up the thighs to increase ventilation, and two zippered side pockets are angled back to allow a phone or multitool to not obstruct pedaling. The waist closure is a simple adjustable buckle that is zipperless to decrease weight and increase all day comfort. With a 12.5” inseam, the shorts are cut to fall just above the knee. They are available in gray, blue, and black with a size range from 28” to 44”, as well as a Women-specific offering, with a retail price of $100.

Pearl Izumi Summit Shell Short and Jersey Review


After pedaling this kit around in the wet all spring, I was finally able to get it out in the sun for the past few weeks to see how it really handled the sweat on spirited climbs. All the incorporated airflow makes for a very well-ventilated kit that you don’t have to mess with opening and closing vents, but can lead to a notably chilly ride if temps are much less than about 50 degrees F. Both the shorts and jersey dry remarkably quickly from either rain or a long day of pedaling, and the shorts shed some light drizzle and puddle splashing well enough to stop you worrying if things are a little warm and wet.

The fit on the jersey is a standard relaxed fit. We were sent a large jersey, and at 5’11” and 175lbs it fit on the baggy side. I could have definitely sized it down for a more fitted look but appreciated the casual vibe in this case. The shorts were a 32” and fit me well with a bit of waist adjustment, of which there is plenty. The shorts do fall right above the knee and never interfered with my knee pads, keeping things comfortable and free of restriction on longer days in the saddle.

Despite their thin construction, I have been impressed with the durability of the Pearl Izumi Summit kit so far. I have taken a few low-side crashes on the shorts and the shoulder of the jersey, and they have held up without issue. Overall, their fit and finish are also very good, with no hanging threads or issues with the laser cut outs, and with price tags that are becoming the norm, it’s easy to recommend the Summit kit to riders looking for a lightweight getup for Summer shredding.

Pearl Izumi Summit Shell Short and Jersey Review

The Wolf’s Last Word

The Pearl Izumi Summit short and jersey are a solid choice for everyday rides. They can pull duty from warmer wet days to full on sun in the summer. The fit is relaxed but comfortable and they hold up well. The colorways are subdued and can match nearly anything else you regularly ride with. We have been stoked so far on the Pearl Izumi design team and the Summit series does not disappoint.

Shorts: $100
Jersey: $60


Disclosure: Our team selects all of the products we review and do so with honesty and objectivity in mind. Some of the products we receive come directly from Competitive Cyclist, who also value our readers and have offered them a 15% discount (exclusions apply) on their first purchase by using LOAMWOLF15. Through this program we may also receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks for your support, TLW.

We Dig

Lightweight but durable
Colors will match anything in your gear drawer
Very breathable

We Don’t

Cold wind


Want to win some free schwag? Leave a comment and vote up the most thoughtful comments and each month we’ll pick a winner. The person with the smartest and most helpful replies will earn some sweet new gear. Join the Pack and get the latest news and read the latest reviews on the top mountain and electric mountain bikes.