Pearl Izumi Optik Jacket £55.99
Pearl Izumi’s Optik jacket is a super lightweight windshell that weighs less than a satsuma and squashes up really nearly as small as one, making it an ideal emergency jacket or one for warmer days.
The jacket gets its name from the Optik fabric used in the construction, and the extremely thin and lightweight material lends an extreme portability to the jacket. It’s ever-so-slightly crinkly, but is soft and once on you won’t notice it’s there.
A variant of the Optik fabric, WxB, is used on the side panels and in the sleeves: it’s slightly stretchier and helps with the fit. Talking of which, the medium fitted just about spot on, being slightly looser around the torso.
You don’t normally get many features on such a lightweight jacket – they would go against its USP – but Pearl Izumi have still managed to squeeze a few in. There’s no rear pockets, this is after all more of an emergency jacket, but they’ve thoughtfully added a concealed pocket on the inside – big enough for keys, money or a multi-tool. The main zip has an internal section of material to further its wind-resistancy, and the bottom has a velcro’d tab on the inside.
Elsewhere, there’s the usual dropped tail, on the long side here providing loads of lower back/bum coverage and a collar that’s higher at the back. The elasticated cuffs, while fitting well, don’t really prevent cold air flowing up the arms enough – but then any other cuff design would only add to the weight and detract from the simplicity of the jacket. You can always wear your gloves over the cuffs to remedy this.
It’s available in four colours, but the Pearl tested looks stylish and is good for visibility on dull days, with reflective logos front and rear boosting visibility.