Pearl Izumi Clothing: Quick Review

Pearl Izumi Clothing: Quick Review – by Grannygear

Note: Grannygear received the Pearl Izumi clothing at no cost from Pearl Izumi for test and review. Grannygear was not paid nor bribed for this review and we always strive to give our honest thoughts and views throughout.

Grannygear wearing the Pearl Izumi kit on test
Grannygear searching for gravel in SoCal wearing the Pearl Izumi clothing.

Anytime the marketing folks smell the scent of new blood in the cycling pond, they get right to maximizing the opportunity. So with the interest in gravel/adventure riding, naturally there are products aimed at making that as good as it can be. 

Some of the clothing and accessory items are a bit silly like gravel helmets or gravel shoes and socks, but some of the ‘gravel’ clothing has been welcome. For instance, we are being offered jerseys that fit just a bit looser than a pure road item, yet are not a floppy mess. They often come with more pockets, etc. That is nice.

Bibs too, get the function upgrade, with pockets and such added in.

And that is what we have here; a set of jersey and bibs from Pearl Izumi out of the Expedition line of clothing. Let us see what they provided for us to review. 

From the Pearl Izumi website:

Image and text from the Pearl Izumi website.

Expedition Bib Shorts: $130.00

Made for the rider who aims to go astray, the Expedition Bib Short is tuned for all-terrain adventures. Cut from a high-stretch Transfer fabric with moisture-wicking and compressive properties, these bibs offer a sleek fit for everyday performance. Super lightweight straps are laser cut so you’ll never feel them, and leg openings lined with silicone-printed grippers keep the shorts comfortably in place. When you hit the rough stuff, you’ll be glad to have our new Levitate™ Plus multi-density chamois under you. It features an innovative highly resilient suspension core to damp road chatter, significantly improving ride comfort. Whether you’re putting in big miles or simply prefer to ride in a t-shirt, the three-pocket design can replace, or supplement, storage of a traditional jersey. When the pavement ends and adventure begins, reach for the Expedition Bibs.


  • Pedal to Zero: Going by bike 20.49mi offsets the climate impact of this garment
  • Compressive Transfer fabric made with recycled content
  • Thigh cargo pockets provide additional storage options
  • Centered rear pocket at the base of the straps fits a shell jacket or nutrition
  • New multi-density Levitate™ Plus Chamois pad delivers unmatched comfort
  • Laser cut bib straps provide superior next to skin comfort
  • Silicone print holds cuffs in place and provides a smooth transition from the short to skin
  • BioViz® reflective elements for low light visibility
  • Made with recycled materials
  • 10.5” inseam
Stock image of the Pearl Izumi Expedition Jersey

Expedition Jersey: $100.00

Searching for a top that fits your back road ambitions? Look no further than the new Expedition Jersey. This jersey is designed to comfortably carry a day’s worth of necessities in three bellowed rear pockets and two side pockets. The lightweight Transfer fabric wicks moisture quickly and BioViz® reflective elements improve low-light visibility. Pair it with our Expedition Bibs or Expedition Shorts for a kit that can truly go the distance.

  • Pedal to Zero™: Going by bike 16mi / 25km offsets the climate impact of this garment
  • Three bellowed rear pockets and two side stash pockets hold essentials
  • Full-length zipper
  • Medium length sleeves
  • BioViz® reflective elements improve low-light visibility
  • Form fit
  • Shipped rolled to reduce plastic packaging, wash to remove wrinkling

I am wearing a size Medium bibs and a Large jersey in this review and that worked out well. I also could have gone to a LG bib and Med Jersey, depending on how I want the fit to be. For reference, I am 6’2” 175lbs.

I have ridden this set of garments over quite a lot of rides, many of them over 6 hours in length and in hot and difficult conditions and I think I am ready to speak about them with enough experience.

Image of Grannygear modeling the Pearl Izumi Expedition Bib Shorts

First, The Good:

  • At first the chamois in the bibs seemed not up to par, as these are not a high priced bib, not in today’s market. However, they never failed me or got me squirmy, even on the longer rides. So that worked out fine. This is the Levitate Plus version of the new chamois series from Pearl Izumi, so it is the middle of the range of chamois, sitting between the Levitate Pro above it and the Levitate below it.
  • The straps on the bibs are momma bear. Just right! Not too tight and easy on the body.Sometimes that can be a point of annoyance.
  • I never used the hidden back pocket on the bibs, but I did use the leg pockets for odds and ends, mostly keeping snack bars warm on cold rides. Handy!
  • The jersey has a looser fit as you can see, so if you like it tight then size down based on my images. But for gravel days, where speeds are slower, that fit was very welcome.
  • The little side pockets on the jersey are handy as well, but there is a caveat (see Less than Good).
  • The fabric of the jersey was nice on my skin although I typically used a base under it.
  • I liked the color as well. Very easy in the eyes for days spent mostly away from road traffic.
Grannygear wearing the full Expedition kit from Pearl Izumi

The Less Than Good:

  • Well, not much. The small pockets on the sides of the jersey were not terribly useful. The unzipped one was very loose and I would only put something in there that could go missing without ruining my ride. The zipped one is good, of course, so, much more secure.
  • If I were on the road with traffic, I would have liked a brighter color option, but ‘earth tones’ like this are in vogue and are nice for off-road ventures.
Grannygear riding through a low water crossing on a dirt road.

At The Finish: Although $100.00 for the jersey and $130.00 for the bibs is not cheap, it is well within the lower pricing range of a quality garment for cycling as it is common to have $250.00 bibs and $150.00 jerseys these days. So the price seems to be in the ballpark.

After a lot of rides since the spring and lots of wash cycles, etc, they both are holding up well! And I expect that I will continue to enjoy using them for many rides to come.


Author: Guitar Ted

Guitar Ted hails from Iowa. Home of over 70,000 miles of gravel and back roads. An inaugural member of the Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame and Co-creator of Trans Iowa in late 2004- Guitar Ted has been at the forefront of the growth of gravel events and riding since then. Creator of Gravel Grinder News in 2008, he produced the premier calendar of gravel and back road events. GT joined forces with Riding Gravel in late 2014.

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