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As its name suggests, the Pearson Red Adventure Long Sleeve Cycling jersey is part of the brand's adventure range, described as crossing the road, bikepacking and gravel genres. I'd say it's closer to the jersey-cum-jacket genre that I'm also very fond of, some of which feature in our best winter jackets buyer's guide. Rather than simply jumping on a bandwagon, Pearson has put a lot of thought into the fabric it has used and the layout of the pockets, and it has proved a real hit with me. These features also make the jersey suitable for touring and audax, though you'll still need a micro jacket for more persistent and heavier rain.
Our jacket was red but Pearson also makes it in an attractive two-tone green, which shows off the garment's reinforced areas. Livery and taste aside, the jacket's main fabric comprises the familiar polyester/Coolmax/Lycra mix and features a DWR – Durable Water Repellent – coating.
Look closely at the chest and you'll notice an overlay. This is a Millerain fabric, a waxed cotton that has been produced in the UK since the 1890s, and which is designed to block wind and keep the cold at bay. This fabric also features around the forearms, which is sensible for a garment designed to resist foliage and perhaps the odd tangle with terra firma.
There are four pockets: two rear pockets and two generous breast pockets, one with a concealed zipper – so well disguised I missed it first time around. These have room for a travel zoom compact camera and a wallet, and will also swallow larger smartphones, key pouch and a compact torch-type light. The left is deep and narrow, seemingly designed with mini pumps in mind; the other is a big, wide affair with a button-down closure.
I found this handy for bananas, tubes, spare gloves/liners, cap, micro jacket/gilet and the like – things you want to keep handy but protected from the elements.
The jacket's silicone hem promises to prevent the garment from gathering. And in this respect, it has a cut resembling a jersey rather than a more traditional jacket with a longer tail. Small splashes of retro-reflective detailing might be a little too subtle for some tastes, but you could always park a small LED on the left pocket cuff.
Subtle elastic cuffs continue the jacket's comfortable, weather-cheating narrative. Around the front we have a full-length zipper and garage, with a raised collar promising further protection. It's comprehensive, though what I'd expect from the design brief and price.
Ours was medium and I found Pearson's sizing chart perfectly accurate. It was roomy enough in the shoulders and long enough in the arms to achieve a weather-cheating seal with gloves, and exactly right in the torso. It's a similar story with the collar, though this might be a touch lofty if you have a short neck. The fit is snug, rather than second-skin close, which again is what I'd expect given the genre.
In terms of layering, I thought if it was very cold I'd be able to get away with wearing a thin, long-sleeve jersey and a short-sleeve base layer underneath it. But in practice the mid-layer bunched and gathered uncomfortably, and I found a middleweight long-sleeve baselayer the best choice in temperatures between 4°C and 12°C. On a longer ride with wet, bitterly cold blasts I slipped a micro jacket over the top for extra protection.
Pearson's jacket impressed me, and I feel it meets its design brief handsomely, working both on tarmac and beyond. Worn over a merino or a more sophisticated polyester baselayer, I found it perfectly warm between 3°C and 12°C. I also found that the cotton panels offered additional protection from sharp, blustery November winds, without having any tangible impact upon breathability.
Obviously, baselayer choice and how much you sweat play their parts, but the Adventure wicks very efficiently. Given 25 minutes at a steady 90rpm, that familiar 'misting' creeps in around the chest, pits and lower back but it doesn't linger and though not comparable with Gore-Tex and the like, it was impressive by polyester standards.
When temperatures crept into the low teens, I remained comfortable, although a little more misting became apparent. When the wind chill brings temperatures closer to freezing, I don a laminated gilet, such as Oxford Venture. However, when I've been caught out, I was pleasantly surprised by how effective the laminated chest and forearm panels were at keeping the chill at bay.
The elasticated cuffs and tall collar prevent wind and rain creeping inside, although there is also scope for a Buff or similar neckwear. There were no issues with incremental creep at the back either, regardless of how often I alternated between hoods and drops.
The water resistance is good too. Yes, I'd stuff a micro jacket in one of the pockets but when caught in persistent rain, I've remained largely dry after 60 minutes. The pockets, helped by generous flaps and laminated finish, give tech and other stuff a sporting chance during wet spells.
Staying with the pockets, these really do hold a fair amount without the contents bouncing around, which can be irksome when you're whizzing along unmade roads and bridlepaths. I found it no hardship to access stuff either, though it took a little while before locating the right breast pocket's zipper became intuitive – compounded by an absence feeling in the tip of my index finger, resulting from an accident – so I ran a zip tie through the tag for easier access.
I've done plenty of miles belting along unmade roads – though I haven't yet called Pearson's bluff and ridden headlong through a hawthorn bush. Nonetheless, brambles and other foliage have made no impression on the garment.
Zips are similarly high-quality, and I can't see any issues developing with anything here. Our sample did have a popper fail on the breast pocket, but Pearson assured me they'd replace any faulty garments.
And at least to date, the sort of oily marks you get from mid-ride mechanicals haven't been an issue. That said, the ability to toss the jacket in for a Tour de Samsung at 40 degrees bodes well.
Yes, unlike a lot of cycling kit, and provided you give fabric softener a miss and go with similar colours, you can throw this in with the household wash. It has come out fresh from regular washing without any deterioration of the logos or other detailing.
Direct comparisons are a little tricky, given the Adventure Long Sleeve Jersey is a fairly unusual garment. The 7 Mesh Men's Seton Jersey that Iwein reviewed is another model marketed at gravel audiences.
The Seton is closer to a traditional winter jersey in design, especially when it comes to pockets, and doesn't feature a DWR coating. However, Iwein found it breathed and wicked very efficiently. Otherwise, you'll still need a micro jacket on longer outings, or when rain is threatened. It's also £20 dearer than the Pearson.
The MAAP Force Pro Winter LS jersey is designed to be used as a mid layer or outer layer. It's £10 dearer than the Pearson and follows the traditional jersey narrative when it comes to styling and pockets. But in common with the Pearson, it boasts a DWR coating and Jamie reckoned it was a good bet in temperatures between 4°C and 8°C when you pair it with a long-sleeved base layer.
If you want a road-focused jacket that's a little more aero but with similar performance against the elements, you may find the £130 dhb Aeron Rain Defence Polartec Jacket a solid bet. Thanks to decent warmth, water resistance and pocket configuration, it remains a firm favourite of mine.
Though I'm not sure the perfect garment exists, the Pearson Adventure Long Sleeve Jersey is a very well-considered product for mixed terrain riding, touring and a wide variety of weather conditions. While £150 is quite an investment, and you will still need a micro jacket when the heavens open and a laminated gilet when temperatures really plummet, this jacket is laden with practical detailing and is one that will get a lot of use, which will help it pay for itself many times over.
Rugged, practical and stylish jersey-cum-jacket for general off-season riding
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Pearson Red Adventure Long Sleeve Cycling jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the jacket is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Pearson says: "A rugged red jacket taking its cues from the intrepid George Mallory, who, in the 1920s attempted to climb Mount Everest in little more than country wear. The jacket created in Mallory's honour is, like the man himself, a wonderful blend of old-fashioned virtues and elite performance. Windproof and water-resistant, the jacket delivers both abrasion resistance and sustainable credentials (the main fabric is made from 65% recycled polyester, 25% recycled Coolmax and 10% recycled Lycra).
To improve durability (and style), we've overlaid the chest with fabric from British Millerain, the historic UK company who, as far back as the 19th century, pioneered the use of waxed cotton. The front of the jacket features two large pockets; one zipped for easy access, another with a popper closure. The jacket also has tough, reinforced arm sections and an extra chest panel to increase warmth.
Designed for long days in the saddle, the rear of the jacket carries reflective artwork to keep you safe and seen on (or off) road. The jacket is finished with a vintage-style Pearson-Millerain logo on the chest and a woven Pearson rose on the right arm."
My feelings are that it's a well-designed, innovative jersey cum jacket with retro vibes and modern performance. One that caters for various genres of riding, from gravel to touring and general off-season training.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
Main Fabric: 65% Recycled Polyester, 25%
25% Recycled COOLMAX®
Millerain fabric (made in the UK) 100% Cotton
Machine wash gentle 40 degrees
Wash with similar colours
Do not bleach
The fabric seems very rugged and should last. Our sample's breast pocket lost a press stud/popper relatively early on but I have every confidence this would be addressed under warranty.
Great cut and fit, has ample pockets and offers decent standards of water and wind resistance.
Thankfully I've not put ours to the 'hawthorn hedge test' but it's worn well, washed without issue and has become my go-to jersey recently for very mucky miles.
Will resist light to moderate showery rain for an hour. Pack a micro jacket/gilet on longer rides, or if conditions look changeable.
Wicks rider-generated heat better than I was expecting. There's that familiar misting around the chest, back and pits after 20 minutes of concerted effort but this doesn't linger once the fibres kick in.
Just right for the brief. Snug, without feeling like a second skin, so you can wear a long-sleeve winter-weight baselayer beneath it without bunching or discomfort.
The medium was bang on for me and Pearson's sizing chart is very accurate.
I was never conscious of its 485g weight.
Very temperate in conditions between 4-14°C. Wicks and dries very efficiently and does a decent job of resisting rain and chill.
Not cheap but very well-thought-out and likely to see a lot of use.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Surprisingly, it's designed to be washed at 40 degrees, which I found really convenient. There have been no signs of bobbling, fraying, or similar deterioration over the test period and regular off-road ventures. I had suspected the fabric might trap faint, oily patina after a roadside mechanical. Maybe I've just been lucky but even after run of punctures this hasn't been an issue.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, the Pearson Red Adventure Long Sleeve Cycling Jersey has performed extremely competently both on and off-road. I was slightly disappointed by one of our sample's poppers but it's just one of those things. Pockets are well designed and will swallow a decent amount of kit reliably. I found the concealed breast pocket zipper a little tricky, especially mid-ride, so added a cable tie, which sorted matters. No issues with bounce, let alone ejection. Protection from wind and rain is also reliable. No issues should you get caught in a wintry spell and it wicks efficiently, given a break in the cloud. But for showers longer than an hour (or through monsoon rains) you'll still want a micro jacket.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Weather protection, design crosses several genres, classic styling, modern performance.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
Nothing, although a longer zipper tag would make the concealed breast pocket easier to access. I addressed this by adding a cable-tie.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The 7 Mesh Men's Seton Jersey is another model marketed at gravel audiences. It's closer in design to a traditional winter jersey, especially when it comes to pockets, and doesn't feature a DWR coating. However, Iwein found it breathed and wicked very efficiently.
Otherwise, you'll still need a micro jacket on longer outings, or when rain is threatened. It's also £20 dearer than the Pearson. The MAAP Force Pro Winter LS jersey is designed to be used as a mid layer or outer layer. This is £10 more expensive than the Pearson, and follows the traditional jersey narrative when it comes to styling and pockets. In common with the Pearson, it boasts a DWR coating and Jamie reckoned it was a good bet in temperatures between 4°C and 8°C when paired with a long-sleeved baselayer.
If you want something a little more aero and distinctly road but with similar performance against the elements you may find the £130 dhb Aeron Rain Defence Polartec Jacket effective. Thanks to decent warmth, water resistance and pocket configuration, it remains a firm favourite of mine.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? Yes
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Hardwearing, well-designed jersey-cum-jacket that offers good protection from the elements.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)