The only problem with April being National Bike Accessories Month at Gear Gals is that I live in Minnesota, which makes it tough to review the Pearl Izumi ELITE Escape tank ($75) without freezing my….er….uh…arms off.
But the Pearl Izumi ELITE Escape is too nice a cycling tank to make it wait until June—so I have been wearing it as a baselayer under a Pearl Izumi ELITE Thermal LTD jersey for riding and as a stand-alone top at the gym.
What I love
- Fantastic fit and cut. The longer torso length makes me look taller and leaner (proof it was likely designed by a woman).
- Comfortable; the integrated shelf is lined with a soft, velvety, suedey (but definitely not velvet or suede) lining. This sucker will never chafe.
- Functional. It doesn’t look so much like a bike jersey that I can’t wear it to the gym.
- iPod fits keenly in the back pocket.
- In-R-Cool fabric certainly helps transfer moisture when using the Escape tank as a baselayer. This translates to being an effective cycling top this summer when it’s much warmer.
- The lone T-strap in the back is kind of different and cool.
- Fit is outstanding. Rather than being fully form-fitting, it’s a little looser in the lower regions to drape nicely over a pair of bike shorts or tights.
- The integrated shelf bra provides enough support on its own for low- to mid-impact activities for “girl sizes” C or smaller.
What I don’t like
- I was going to throw down a benign quibble about shelf bra’s in general only being effective for ta-ta’s of a certain size but decided not to. As women athletes we figured this out years ago. D’uh.
- ^^ Probably should have just answered this category with “not applicable” to make it easier.
I applaud Pearl Izumi on their women’s spring 2016 line. The colors are bold and boss and, with the exception of two jersey’s, void of the ridiculous pink color and flower prints that make me choke on my own barf.
Pink sucks and does not inspire me to purchase. What it does inspire me to do, however, is to keep shopping until I find a brand that gets that the color “purple wine” (e.g. My ELITE Escape tank’s color) is a better representation of who and what a woman cyclist is, and is capable of, than a pink jersey or a one with daisies or butterflies.
Are you sensing that this is a point of contention with me? Many gear companies blather on about how their women’s line is developed by women for women. I hear this at every Outdoor Retailer or Interbike show. “Our new women’s line is developed by women for women!!!”
A line that always inspires a good chuckle.
I don’t think they’re lying, I just think that in a lot of cases the end result looks more like it was designed by Nicky Hilton rather than a woman who can pick a successful line through a rock garden and pin it.
I am one of these women. I want to see more black jerseys with skulls and crossbones. Do you hear me, Big Bike Industry? I want the color pink deleted from the color pallet. I want daisies and butterflies to stay where they belong: in the garden.
Right now I think Pearl Izumi is getting this message loud and clear. Hopefully the others come around.