A rainy day in winter is inevitable and a good quality waterproof is going to make or break the ride. As a no-frills, no-fuss, easy-on-the-budget waterproof jacket, the Pearl Izumi Women’s Attack WXB stacks up well against other jackets in our guide to the best winter cycling jackets. Form fitting, and made from recycled polyester that still manages to display impressive waterproof capabilities, it is a marmite jacket – you’ll either love its minimalism, or hate the distinct lack of features.
I tested this jacket in some of the worst rain I have experienced this winter. I’m not a rider who relishes the rain, like most, and it’s a testament to this jacket that I was able to keep on riding. All too often waterproof jackets tend to be weaker on either breathability, windproofing or waterproofing. Not the case with the Women’s Attack WXB Jacket, which offered itself as an impressive all-rounder.
Design and Aesthetics
Pearl Izumi has created a really flattering cut on this jacket, or at least a cut that fits my body type – a longer torso with a small waist but slightly bigger chest. They call this cut ‘form fit’, which isn’t as tightly ‘second skin’ as a race cut, but still offers a pleasant tailored cut. I liked the shape of it, finding that it gave me a proportionally curvaceous shape: rare in most cycling apparel that is considered ‘form fitting’ which often puts my waist just under my chest to give me the look of a half-used sack of potatoes.
I also really liked Pearl Izumi’s sizing. Rather than just adding an additional 5 cm to every measurement as they sized up as many cycling brands tend to do in women’s clothing (case in point, the Rapha Explore Down Jacket), Pearl Izumi has considered that body shape look differently in each woman, and have varying measurements across bust/waist/hip at each size. This means that they offer a jacket that ranges from XS all the way up to XXXL, catering to a 116 cm waist, one of the broadest range of size offerings I have seen in winter jackets.
I went for the small, and while it looked great on, I did find the jacket challenging to layer under. The arm holes are very small and fabric seemed to pull over my chest slightly which prevented too many bulky items underneath. I managed to work out a simple system though: a cropped bra, merino wool baselayer, looser…