Pearl Izumi Versa Short, P.R.O Versa and Elite Versa Jersey

Pro Reviews

Reviewed by Brian Mullin aka Gram and MTBR.com Pastajet
http://www.gramslightbikes.com/

Mountain biking is sort of an odd sport when it comes to apparel. Looser and more comfortable clothing is paramount, and getting the high tech materials that have come from the technological advancements in road racing is an excellent benefit. Consider it the trickle down effect! There are 2 camps of mountain bikers, ones that dress a bit more like roadies, and those that wouldn’t be caught dead wearing Lycra.

When it comes to jerseys, the silly 3 rear pockets (i.e. the roadie pockets) are redundant IMHO, but a small pocket or two that is accessible while wearing a hydration pack is a basic requirement. Wearing a hydration pack causes abrasion and wearing issues, especially along the shoulders. In addition, the pack creates a large perspiration area under the pack itself, so materials are required to wick extremely efficiently.

For most of my 2 decades of riding, I have always worn Lycra shorts. I found them to be comfortable, with lots of padding for the rough conditions that are encountered while mountain biking, and they are simply nice on a long epic ride. Unfortunately, the Lycra short’s can snag on a saddle nose at inopportune moments, and they are sort of funky feeling and looking when not riding. And to be honest, they are geekdom butt ugly when walking around when not in a riding environment. Friends don’t let friends sit around at a restaurant wearing them! I thought it was about time I finally tried out a pair of mountain bike specific shorts! Ok, I guess I must admit I dress more like an X-Country racer wannabe than a true All Mountain rider!

ELITE Versa Short

Bottomline
I love these shorts, plain and simple. They are extremely comfortable, and are made of an excellent stretching fabric that doesn’t bind, no matter what you are doing on the bike. They stretch this way and that, and allow any sort of contortion that you can maneuver them through. The short’s slide easily along on the saddle like they are made of silk, and are tacky enough to adhere when needed. And for someone coming from Lycra shorts, I loved having pockets! It has 2 deep upper pockets, and 2 lower zippered ones, which are very useful and are in just they right spots. The waist has a very innovative adjustment system that worked extremely well, and allows for a good sizing contraction or expansion from their default size.

They have a padded chamois liner, that hangs/floats from the shorts using a small loop and hook system. I never noticed them drooping nor binding on me, so the system works quite well. I do wish they had a tad more padding, but I am used to more seemingly padded Lycra shorts. Then again, they don’t bunch up on you. Do you have a load in your pants? The chamois liner is fairly light and airy, so it ventilates and wicks extremely well. The shorts can also be worn over normal Lycra shorts and bibs, sans liner.

The Elite Versa shorts are an extremely sweet pair of shorts, made of an excellent stretching fabric, with just enough well placed and useful pocket. They have a great padded chamois liner, then floats and ventilates well. I have not worn my normal Lycra shorts since I got these!

Strengths
-Uber comfortable
-Can be seen in public in them
-Lots of great pockets
-Excellent stretchy material
-Liner hangs extremely well
-Very breathable

Weaknesses
-Needs a tad more padding

Overall Rating: 4.5 Flamin’ Chili Peppers

ELITE Versa Short Specs

Equipped with multiple pockets, a hidden adjustable waist and technical fabrics, the men’s ELITE Versa short is our “go anywhere, do anything” short.

Colors: Black and Brown

•Durable ELITE Stretch shell fabric
•Detachable/removable floating liner with Versa 3D Chamois provides 12mm of seamless, breathable, and antimicrobial cushioning and protection
•Two thigh pockets and two front pockets for convenient storage
•Snap-front closure with zippered fly
•Velcro back waist adjustment
•10-1/2 inseam
•Content: Main: 96% nylon/4% spandex, Liner: 80% polester/20% Lycra®

MSRP: $85.00

P.R.O. Versa 1/2 Zip Jersey

Bottomline
This is one of my favorite jerseys, and is the one I always reach for when I go for a ride. It is very comfortable, and transfer moisture extremely well. Like a lot of jerseys, it needs a 3/4 zip to ventilate better, especially on warm days. I like to zip jerseys down to my belly button level when required, so I missed having that feature. I have checked a lot of jersey, and it seems that most manufacturer’s just aren’t adding the feature? The rear zippered pockets were very hard to access, and I felt like a finger contortionist trying to get something into or out of them. I hardly ever felt like I was wearing a biking jersey when I had this on, The P.R.O. Versa is an excellent jersey, that stretches in all the right spots, and is made of great materials that are soft and very breathable, and wick sweat like crazy. Uber baby!

Strengths
-Comfortable
-Excellent moisture transfer

Weaknesses
-Needs a full to 3/4 zip
-Rear pockets is difficult to access

Overall Rating: 4.5 Flamin’ Chili Peppers

P.R.O. Versa 1/2 Zip Jersey Specs

An ideal jersey for the epic ride, the men’s P.R.O. Versa Jersey features secure rear pockets and a half front zip for venting.

Colors: Blue, Gray, White

•P.R.O. MicroSensor®-Transfer fabric for cool, dry comfort
•Dual rear zippered pockets for easy access storage
•Flatlock main seam construction for a chafe-free fit
•1/2 front zipper for ventilation control
•Semi-Form Fit
•Content: 100% polyester

MSRP: $75.00

ELITE Versa 1/2 Zip Jersey

Bottomline
The material is a bit thicker/heavier than the P.R.O. Versa, so it’s nice on milder days, but it still retains great moisture transferring for any temperature. It has one of the best rear pockets I have ever used, and is easily accessible, and has this very nifty attached sunglass cleaning cloth. Brilliant small addition! I got accused by my riding buddies of looking like a UPS delivery guy! Like a lot of jerseys, it needs a 3/4 zip to ventilate better, especially on warm days. The Elite Versa is a great jersey, with nice comfortable material, with great wicking capabilities, and am extremely useful rear pocket. Where would you like that package delivered?

Strengths
-Comfortable
-Good moisture transfer
-Nice rear pocket with attached sunglass cleaner

Weaknesses
-Needs a full to 3/4 zip

Value Rating: 4 Flamin’ Chili Peppers

ELITE Versa 1/2 Zip Jersey Specs

Designed for an all-out mountain assault, the men’s ELITE Versa 1/2 Zip Jersey features a half front zip for venting and an easy access side pocket with an optical cloth for keeping vision clear.

Color: Brown, Blue, Gray, Green

•ELITE UltraSensor®-Transfer fabric provides cool, dry comfort
•Side pocket with optical cloth
•Heat-embossed all-over print
•1/2 front zipper for ventilation control
•Content: 100% polyester

MSRP: $55.00

About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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