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While it’s often been on the cutting edge of the hi-vis movement, Pearl Izumi has sometimes been guilty of leaving aesthetic simplicity behind. Fortunately, the P.R.O. Escape Thermal jersey does a great job of blending a fashion-forward look with touches of bright color, and that’s why we’ve been wearing this top often on shoulder season rides.
It’s made from Pearl’s P.R.O. Thermal + fabric, a 95 percent polyester material that is soft to the touch and warm. We wore this under a light wind jacket in high 40-degree temperatures and were toasty once we got past those first few pedal strokes out of the driveway.
Once the temperature started climbing, we did start to overheat, and the only major venting comes from the full-length front zip. That’s a simple design, and it just works. This jersey’s beauty comes from its simplicity, and we’re glad to see Pearl stick to that.
Pearl integrates reflective hits throughout, but they’re not aesthetically overwhelming. That’s exactly how hi-vis should work.
The back pockets are made from P.R.O. softshell material that’s intended to keep wheel splash off your back. We didn’t ride with it in any wet conditions, but it was nice to know this jersey was designed with mixed weather in mind. The benefit here is twofold: No splash reaching your lower back where you’re likely to get chilled quickly, and no splash reaching your smartphone, tucked into one of these pockets.
If you want to wear a ton of layers underneath, the Escape Thermal probably isn’t for you: The fit is snug but not tight, enough for a thin base layer and jersey. We wore it with just a base layer, and that seemed to be an ideal combination.
This is a great mid-layer for shoulder-season rides, and Pearl has hit the mark on aesthetics as well.