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Packable, breathable protection from the elements.

What's more packable than a rain jacket, and more protective than a windbreaker? The Pearl Izumi Elite Barrier Jacket, that's what. The anatomic, yet relaxed cut keeps it comfortable throughout the range of cycling positions, and it'll cut the wind and rain without turning into a sauna. Best of all, it packs down small enough that there's no reason to leave it at home.

The Elite Barrier jacket is built of a breathable, yet weather-resistant polyester blend in order to protect you from the elements without making you suffer from any heat buildup. It transports moisture through the fabric to keep you dry, while simultaneously blocking harsh gusts of wind and rain. Additionally, the vented panels at the chest and back give the temperature regulation an added boost.

When trying on the Elite jacket, you'll notice Izumi's 'Semi-Form Fit,' which basically means that the upper-torso and arms employ a relaxed, yet anatomic cut. As you get to the bottom of the sleeves and torso, the cut relaxes, and becomes similar to your favorite long sleeve t-shirt. The tall collar fights off gusts of wind, while the full-length zipper makes quick layering changes a snap. There's reflective accents to increase your visibility to motorists in low-light conditions, and since you need a spot to keep your ride essentials, there's also a pocket at the back that keeps everything accessible.

The Elite Barrier Jacket is available in five sizes from Small to XX-Large and in the colors Black, Screaming Yellow, True Red, Electric Blue, and Petrol Blue/cherry tomato.

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Here's what others have to say...

4 5

Quality, look nice & true to size

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Im 5-6, 150 lbs. the medium size fit nicely. (True to size). At first it kinda weird cause the zipper is offset to the right size at the top( by design). But after that i love it. I only did few long ride w it ( 24 miles each)and it feel little warm and moister does build up, but not too much. I believe it a decent, lightweight jacket. I always pack it in my backpack for any long ride.

What is the center back length of a medium?

4 5

Better than I expected

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: True to size

This is a really good jacket for the price. If you aren't wanting to break the bank but want good a good rain jacket/extra layer consider this one. Anyway, here are my thoughts:

Fit is good but not a true race cut. Not that it claims to be a race cut but it is somewhere between relaxed and race. Fits well in the torso but is a bit baggy in the arms. Additionally, the sleeves are too long on me...but I would rather have too long than not long enough.

The pocket. It isn't great but I expected it to be a lot worse based on reviews. It is harder than it should be to operate and the velcro is finicky but whatever. It isn't too big of a deal but it does require a little patience. It also doubles as a convenient way to pack up your jacket.

Jacket packs up nicely, it is super light, and easy to carry in a jersey pocket. Used it in the rain a few times already and it does its job quite well in keeping you dry. If you can pick it up on sale, I highly recommend it.

3 5

Typical PI quality, weird rear pocket

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

I needed a provisional rain/wind shell. This is exactly what you would expect in PI quality. The fit is spot on. If you're a large (as I am) in other PI gear, you are a large here as well. (5'11", 190, 35" waist, fit is snug, but not ill-fitting. I don't like flappy clothes on a bike) The color is great (tealish blue).

I hate, that's H-A-T-E the rear pocket. the Velcro catches on the mesh in the pocket and makes it weird to close, disconcerting to open and generally more of a hassle than it should be. A zipper would have been easier, seriously. It's secure once shut, but it is not a great design. I really don't get what they were thinking on it.

Silly that one design issue can drag down a jacket 2 stars, but everything else is what you would expect from PI. If the pocket is not a big deal for you, then add a star. For me it hurt the usability.

3 5

Great jacket, dumb back pocket design.

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I love everything about this jacket except the back pocket. It is VERY difficult to reach in and grab your stuff while you are riding. I almost crashed when I was trying to get my Shot Blok out. The zipper is beautifully sewn on but really useless. I would much preferred a basic three pocket design, or maybe with an additional side zipper pocket for my phone.

5 5

Excellent softshell on and off the bike

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size

I've had this jacket for several years. Its an excellent piece to wear when you are riding in cold conditions, even with light precipitation. It breathes well out of the back vents, even with a pack on. I have also been using it on the skin track, or any other aerobic activity in cold weather. Durability is outstanding...I've been known to hit the deck. Its very form fitting, so if in doubt, go up a size.