Pearl Izumi Barrier LT Hoody ReviewMay 14, 2016
- Terrific wind and water resistance
- Back venting boosts breathability
- Stylish design; athletic fit
- Well-designed hood stays in place
- Fit a little snug through the chest
- Sleeves ride up in high wind
- Rear pocket could use some tweaks
At the lowest price point and second lightest weight of all jackets included in this test, the featherlight Pearl Izumi Barrier LT Hoody offers terrific bang for its buck. It matches pro-level wind- and water-resistance with high breathability, perfect for faster runs in questionable weather. To maximize its usefulness, the rear stow pocket could use some design tweaks.
This jacket, with its well-designed, close-fitting hood, will vacuum-seal you from any wind you encounter. The fabric, albeit a bit reminiscent of a garbage bag in appearance and texture, does a wonderful job beading up water and drying out quickly. Other than a couple seams at the back of the hood that proved more vulnerable to leaking, it fends off light rain with flying colors.
As a company that’s long specialized in making apparel for highly aerobic pursuits like cycling and running, Pearl Izumi knows what it’s doing when it comes to making a breathable piece of outerwear. Well-designed vents along the upper back let heat escape without compromising the jacket’s weather resistance.
A number of nice design touches round out this hoodie, including the cinching drawcord hem, which is very helpful is sealing out wind and water in particularly breezy storms. The no-frills hood stays pleasantly put when running. The ultra-thin fabric may be a bit susceptible to snagging on brushy, overgrown trails. An open stash pocket at the center rear is a nice touch; however, we’d prefer a more secure (zippered) option for stowing things in. Its mesh backing is also not ideal, as it lets any lower-back sweat migrate into the pocket.
This jacket has a trendy, flattering cut to it. It fits true to size. However, especially for ladies with larger chests, it runs a bit tight across the chest, which can feel restrictive in terms of full upper-body range of motion. Lacking thumbholes to keep them in place, the sleeves may ride up some in windier conditions, too.
This was the second lightest jacket we tested in this round, and it will scrunch down into next to nothing at the bottom of your hydration pack. It also takes no more than a few seconds to stuff it into its own rear mesh pocket.