I've had the opportunity to wear the Pearl Izumi Elite Softshell Jacket for the last couple of months and I can tell you that I've been extremely happy with my purchase. I'm a larger individual in terms of weight (208 lbs) with a squat build of 5 foot 8 inches and a 36 inch waist. The XL size fits comfortably for me on and off the bike. With most bike jackets, the sleeves are cut longer to keep you completely covered when you are on the bike
As a man who has a bit of a paunch, I feel the jacket fits well. It's not air tight or crushing but it is snug - just about right. It does well with the elements and I'd recommend it for a a 40 degree day. One of my favorite things about this jacket is the front pocket that has a small slit for head phones. There is also a zippered back pocket to keep your GU or whatever it is you want back there. I feel like it is a pretty well thought out design thus making this a jacket that you would actually use to go for a walk, a run. Hell, it's even stylish enough to wear at the bar.
In my estimation, I'd say highly recommended.
I wear a M or L in regular clothing, and,usually, a L or XL in bike gear. I ordered a L. It fits okay, definately not loose, and rather snug under the armpits. It is soft, with a fuzzy texture underneath, very similar to a Bell jersey that I have had for a while. Not waterproff, but it should be ok in a very light drizzle. There is not much room under jacket for layering, so I will be wearing a jersey or something small under. NO VENTS other than the front zipper. I can see how it will warm up and may get a little stuffy. Also, the front and rear are the same material. I generally like a little thicker, or wind blocking on the front, and a little thinner material on the back to let the heat dissipate. The yellow is very bright, but it has a lot of black on the rear where cars will approach. There are good reflectors. Would I buy it again? Probably not. I would spend a little more and get a nicer jacket.
I bike commute throughout the winter in NYC. Usually we get a good stretch of 10-20 degree Fahrenheit mornings. This thing is light, tight, and extremely warm. 20 and windy this morning and I was nice and toasty on my ten mile ride to work. It has rubberized material on the inner sleeve cuffs and on the bottom garment hem so the shell doesn't ride up on you, or peel back and expose your wrists to the cold. If you value your cold weather rides, I highly recommend this shell. Note I usually get size M, but I wear an L in this. If you plan to use it as a layering piece, as I do, you may want to get a size up.
I use this jacket everyday for a commuter ride. I never know what I might run in to for weather for the day so unless it is a down pour rain day I take this jacket. If it warms up no problem. It breathes excellent such that I don't over heat but on the other hand if it is a chilly morning when I get off Graveyards no problem. I wouldn't call it an all out rain wear though. If you get caught in it no problem you might feel some dampness coming through but if I know it is going to pour then I pull out the big guns.
This is not a Minnesota winter jacket - particularly in regard to the black inner sleeve material, which is not wind resistant. good to about 20 degreees F with layering, which the snug fit is not particularly conducive to. Nice curved long sleeves which are cut to cover glove cuffs, long tail with a gipper strip on the inside to prevent it from riding up. Very well cut and tailored.
With this jacket I now have the ability to ride on cold/damp weather days (38 to 50 degrees) that I didn't have before. It's not bulky and has great versatility. It's a quality jacket that I can add layers to for the colder temperature days. With this jacket I am able to put in more time on my bike outside.
The jacket is comfortable for temperatures above 45 degrees and below 55 degrees. The jacket is not wind resistant and does not dissipate heat very well so it have limited use in south western PA winter rides. I do like the jacket however.
I've used this jacket in 40-50 degrees with a base layer and it keeps me nice and warm even in windy conditions. The extra long sleeves are nice as they keep my wrists covered when my arms are extended over the drops. The back of the jacket keeps my bum covered and toasty, I highly recommend this jacket!
Have used the jacket with light base layer in temps between 35 and 45 and the temperature control has been perfect. The sleeves are plenty long, which has been a problem with some other brands and the back pocket is just right for a cell phone and other small items.
This jacket has served as my outer layer on lots of muddy rides in the 40-55 degree fahrenheit range as well as some cold dry rides in the mid 20s. I've been impressed by how adaptable the jacket is. It's stretchy enough to stay form-fitting even if I've added additional layers, and it breathes well enough that I don't overheat even on long climbs. It's really been a great do-it-all garment.
The sleeves are long and the back extends lower than a normal jacket, so this jacket does a great job preventing drafty conditions. 45-60 conditions you could wear this and a jersey and be set, but when it gets colder than that I find that it works well in a layering scheme.