Project 24.2 Review: Pearl Izumi’s Transfer Short- and Long-Sleeve baselayers

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Part of Pearl Izumi’s top-tier P.R.O. series of clothing, the Transfer Short Sleeve and Long Sleeve baselayers are the company’s current state of the baselayer art.  Built of the company’s midweight Transfer fabric, the baselayers feature Cocona’s Minerale™ technology.  Minerale™ is claimed to provide “optimal moisture transfer, dry time, and odor absorbance” derived, no joke, from volcanic minerals.  That’s some pretty heady stuff.  Magic fabric and a close-to-body fit should make the Transfer baselayers sublime in use- are they?

In a few wearings the Transfer Short Sleeve baselayer became a favorite of mine- under a long-sleeve jersey for rides from 40-50 degrees, mated with a short sleeve jersey and arm warmers for variable days, and on its own for hikes.  The flat seams and raglan sleeves don’t make themselves known under a pack and moisture transfer is good- though like most materials the Minerale™ fabric can feel a bit clammy if a big bag or waterproof jacket mean that moisture doesn’t have anywhere to go.  The dense knit does a better job than looser fabrics at keeping wind at bay too- which should make the Transfer Long Sleeve Baselayer a spring favorite.

Unfortunately, the Short Sleeve’s close fit got distorted a bit during the sleeves’ extension, resulting in one of the odder long sleeve baselayers that I’ve ridden.  The body fits similarly to the Short Sleeve- a good thing.  The sleeves, however, are oddly puffy- something that’s especially noticeable when worn under a close-fitting jersey.  Though the fabric had me really wanting to pull the long sleeve Pearl Izumi on for 50-degree road rides or mountain biking in the 40s, the sleeves are just too goofy.  Worn alone or over other layers, the Long Sleeve makes for a decent hiking or baggy mountain biking piece (black is also available)- but for that the zip-neck version would be better still.

At $55 and $60 and occupying Pearl Izumi’s top tier, the Transfer baselayers should leave nothing to be desired.  The Short Sleeve works very well and has been in constant use since its arrival last November.  The Transfer Minerale™ fabric seems like it would be very well suited to a long sleeve, but the Long Sleeve Baselayer’s cut needs more work before it can live up to its potential.

marc

www.pearlizumi.com

Comments

joby - 04/10/12 - 9:48am

Been using the short sleeve for about a year and find it to be excellent. I would highly it recommend for cool days when considering a vest/arm warmer combo versus a jacket. It keeps you warm without letting you get hot as it warms up and the wicking properties are as advertised.

Topmounter - 04/10/12 - 12:08pm

I have one of their short-sleeve base-layers and it’s the last one in my drawer to get used. All my other base layers fit like a second skin, but my Pearl just doesn’t layer well.

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