System of Dress - A Layering Guide For Riding In Any Conditions

October 17, 2022

The PEARL iZUMi System of Dres is a definitive layering strategy to help you enjoy more great days on the bike. Maintaining the optimum body temperature is an art and a science that we’re committed to perfecting so you can stay comfortable in any conditions. The key is to combine the right layers to balance protection with breathability. And even though it might sound complicated, it’s as easy as 1,3,2—choosing your baselayer, then outer layer, and finally midlayer.

Layering Guide for Cycling

The Foundation: Choosing a Baselayer

One of the comfort secrets for cool weather riding is keeping the layer next to your skin dry, so start by choosing your baselayer first. Reach for a synthetic baselayer for cool, dry conditions, or if you’re planning a higher intensity outing. Turn to a merino piece when humidity is high and/or temps are quite cold. If your outer layer(s) allow, a long sleeve base is extra cozy on truly arctic days.

Layering Guide for Cycling

Protection: Choosing an Outer Layer

This layer is all about combating the elements—cold, wet, wind or a combination of the three. If it’s only moderately cool out, wind protection may be all you need and packing a light wind shell with water resistance (for those pop-up showers) should do the trick. In downright cold conditions, we recommend an AmFIB jacket with amped up insulation. When riding in steady rain choose a fully waterproof WxB shell.

Layering Guide for Cycling

Extra Insulation: Choosing a Midlayer

There’s no hard-and-fast rule for the midlayer. This is the step in the layering process where you will make the ultimate call on what you need to stay comfortable, and that has a lot to do with your effort level and whether you run warm or cold. However, in most cold weather riding situations, If it’s just cool out, pair a long sleeve with a vest for perfect core insulation and less bulk. If the temps feel extra variable—as can often happen in Fall and Spring—a short sleeve jersey paired with removable arm warmers may be the best option.

Layering Guide for Cycling

Here’s a quick guide on how to match our technical fabrics with the conditions outside:

  • Cool → Transfer Jersey
  • Seasonably Cold → Thermal Jersey
  • Variable Cold Conditions → Polartec® Alpha Direct®
  • Deep Cold → AmFIB Softshell
  • Wind → Barrier
  • Rain → WxB

Our cold weather performance wear and layering strategy have been tested in the worst conditions so that we can be sure we’re giving you the best protection. We’re confident that our System of Dress will help you extend the season and enjoy more great days on the bike.

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