Pearl Izumi Elite Thermal Lite arm warmers - review - Road Cycling UK

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Pearl Izumi Elite Thermal Lite arm warmers – review

Lightweight arm warmers ideal for cool to mild (and dry) conditions

The Pearl Izumi Elite Thermal Lite arm warmers offer a good level of warmth for their low weight and, as a result, are ideal for cool to mild (and dry) weather.

The first thing you’ll notice about the arm warmers is the insanely bright colour. It is, quite literally, blinding, but does team up with a number of other items in the Pearl Izumi range, if you want to match your kit. That aside, visibility is a clear bonus here, but Pearl Izumi also offer the arm warmers in a range of four other colours, including all black.

The warmers have a seamless, knitted construction and are made from a mix of 79 per cent nylon, 18 per cent olefin and three per cent spandex, so they have a softer feel than typical lycra warmers, and feel good next to the skin.

The Pearl Izumi Elite Thermal Lite arm warmers are, as the name suggests, lighter than many arm warmers
  • Specification

  • Price: £14.99
  • Sizes: XS-XL
  • Size tested: M
  • Website: Pearl Izumi
  • UK distributor: Madison

The fabric offers enough compression that the warmers stay in place without any trouble, and they’re a good length, too – extending down to the wrist and, if you’re wearing them gloves, and up to the top of the arm, without bunching on the inside of the elbow. There’s also a gripper at the top of each arm which, once again, does its job well without being too loose or tight, though that may naturally depending on your particular arm size.

As the name suggests, these are lighter than a typical ‘thermal’ arm warmer, which may also have a fleecy Roubaix lining or similar. That makes these Pearl Izumi arm warmers a good option for cool spring and summer mornings or evenings, or when it’s a bit breezy, because you won’t necessarily need to whip them off as soon as the temperature warms up.

However, in the wet the material soaks through quickly, with almost zero delay to water ingress – no beading or such, they just get wet. The fabric will still hold some warmth for a while but for long damp periods, they don’t offer as much wet weather protection as a Roubaix fabric or similar.

Conversely, the thinner material and light weight makes the warmers great for stashing in a pocket until needed. I found them good under tree covered lanes as evenings turned dark, adding some welcome visibility and warmth.

The fabric balances compression and stretch, ensuring a comfortable and secure fit

The warmers are left and right arm specific but I have to confess to not feeling a huge difference and there didn’t appear to be a massive difference when I examined the cut – if any at all. It’s mostly down to where the graphics sit on the arm.


As an option for dry and cool to mild conditions, the Pearl Izumi Elite Thermal Lite arm warmers are really good. They’re perhaps not as versatile as Roubaix-lined warmers, particularly given the limited performance in the wet, but they work well for their intended purpose and come in a wide range of colourways.


  • Good weight for spring or summer mornings
  • Excellent fit
  • Wide range of colours


  • Not as versatile as other arm warmers


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