Pearl Izumi Pro Escape Thermal jersey – review

Classic appearance and styling blended with clever technical design features to keep you warm on chilly days

The Pearl Izumi Pro Escape Thermal Jersey stands out for its retro looks and tailored fit. But don’t let the appearance deceive you – this is a warm, technical jersey with many clever design touches.

As first impressions go, the Pro Escape didn’t fill me confidence – the wool-like acrylic/polyester mix fabric felt cheap to touch and its packaging does it no favours.

Out on the bike, however, you’re able to appreciate the synthetics’ thermal properties – the jersey is much warmer than its thickness would suggest. Plus, after a couple of wash cycles, the material beds in for a much better feel.

While out of the packet, the Pearl Izumi Pro Escape Thermal Jersey can feel cheap, the performance qualities are undoubted when out on the bike
  • Specification

  • Price: £99.99
  • Sizes: S-XL
  • Size tested: M
  • Colours: Burgundy; grey
  • WebsitePearl Izumi
  • UK distributor: Madison

Pearl Izumi specify a temperature range of 5-15 degrees, which in my experience is spot on. Paired with a long-sleeved base layer I found it comfortable at the bottom of that scale, though any lower would have me reaching for a gilet.

Pearl Izumi have taken storage very seriously with four pockets on the back and another on the side.

The rear four feature reflective detailing lining the top of a dark soft shell panel to keep road spray out of mind and out of sight.

This works really well for those of us without mudguards, hiding the unsightly ‘rear stripe’ at the café stop and preventing moisture soaking in. There’s a wide silicone band hidden underneath to prevent the rear riding up, too.

Visibility is another area in which the Pro Escape Thermal jersey combines style with functionality. Subtle reflective details feature on the chest, sleeves and side panels.

The front features a full-length Vislon reflective zip to match the rear pockets too. It’s not overly shouty, but is hopefully enough to catch the bleary-eyed driver’s eye on a Sunday morning, epitomising the ‘style not at expense of function’ philosophy running through the garment.

Given the level of detailing elsewhere, the sleeve cuffs are a disappointment, however.

They’re lacking elastication – so tucking them into a pair of winter gloves can end up as a short frustrating exercise or a long draughty one. Not ideal on either front.

Pearl Izumi have included four rear pockets and one on the side. There’s also a generous amount of reflective detailing

The Pro Escape returns to form at the collar, though. With a generous soft quality lining, little zip intrusion and just the right fit to ward off cold winter draughts, it’s a nice place to be when there’s a chill in the air. 

Small through to extra large sizes are available. I suited a medium and am fairly light.

Without the XXL option available on other Pearl Izumi jerseys larger riders may struggle for a comfortable fit.


The Pro Escape Thermal jersey is a great option for riders who appreciate style without compromising functionality.

Retro woollen jersey looks combined with synthetic features is a great formula for a warm winter jersey, but there’s always the knowledge the appearance is a little fake.

Out of the packet the material feels a little cheap – whether this is important to you is a personal decision.

Regardless of the material, it’s a clever, tailored design that performs well out on the road suiting a large range of riders.


  • Classic look, with a good cut and stylish reflective detailing
  • Warm
  • Clever pocket design


  • Wool-look material has slightly cheap feel
  • Cuffs could be more snug


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