Pearl Izumi Flash Short and Shirt Review
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Running is a big part of my life, as I am able to get out at least 5-6 days per week. That may seem excessive, but I push a stroller with my 2 little ones on board to and from school every day. That’s approximately 5 miles a day just through commuting. Hence, I was happy to put the Pearl Izumi Flash Short 2 in 1 and Flash LS Shirt to the test while commuting, but also for my Speed and Tempo workouts in preparation for a marathon in Anchorage, Alaska of all places.
Pearl Izumi – The Company
Pearl Izumi is a forward thinking, design and performance oriented company with a product focus on cycling, running, and triathlons. Since I enjoy all of those disciplines, I have been a fan of Pearl Izumi for a long time. Their American Headquarters is based right here in Louisville, Colorado in a brand new state of the art facility (see review HERE), and have a very active presence locally as well as with their sponsored athletes.
Introduction of the Pearl Izumi Flash 2 in 1 short and Flash LS Shirt
Right out of the box (or bag in this case) I noticed a few things about the Flash 2 in 1 Shorts that I really like in my running attire. First of all, they have a longer inseam which is good thing in my opinion. Second, a liner is a plus for me to provide compression, and to be blunt: it keeps things in its place. The shirt also graced a feature of importance with breathability panels in key locations. Disclaimer: It’s the middle of winter, so many of my runs have taken place on a treadmill, or underneath outerwear to stay warm. The true test of this products ability will be tested as the temperatures rise in the next few months. The Pearl Izumi Flash LS Shirt is a comfortable looking technical shirt with a breathable graphic design panel on the top left shoulder blade.
Flash 2 in 1 Shorts
- Transfer Dry 4-way stretch fabric provides optimal moisture transfer and stretch with superior hand feel.
- Transfer Dry Built-in boxer brief
- Zippered back pocket to store your keys, food, or music.
- 9” inseam for the shorts and shell
- Lining: 80% Polyester, 20% Elastane
- Mesh: 100% Polyester
Flash LS Shirt
- Transfer Dry Fabric is lightweight and provides superior moisture transfer
- Mesh panels for breathability
- Graphic art for visual appeal
- Main body fabric UPF 50+
Pearl izumi Flash Shorts and shirt Features
Let’s talk about this Transfer Dry technology that is a key feature for both the shirt and the shorts. In outer apparel, breathability and waterproof ratings are a big deal. In the case of the Flash pieces, they need to efficiently and quickly work to wick away your sweat. I will try to explain the Transfer Dry to the best of my ability. Take one drop of sweat, and visualize it being divided into even smaller droplets which are distributed, spread, or ‘transferred’ out and away through the fabric to the open air and released or cooled. Basically, the rate at which it sheds your perspiration is increased to allow you to stay cooler and perform better. I know this is geeky technical stuff, but trust me in that I have compared this specific feature with one of my technical race shirts over the course of a 5k Tempo Run, and the Flash LS were definitely showing sweat pockets but about half as much as my other shorts and shirts.
A 4-way stretch is how the outer shell of the shorts is categorized, allowing for a wide range of physical activities. I have run, stretched, yoga’d, biked, lifted, and completed a pretty rigorous crossfit routine.
Inner Transfer dry inner boxer brief. Provides moisture wicking and support. A smooth elastic waistband provides adequate support without having to fasten the drawstring, but its there if you need it. It did not pull too tightly which is a concern of mine with other short I’ve had.
Forget the short shorts movement. I think most guys these days wear something with a bit more modesty, and I like the versatility to wear the Pearl Izumi Flash 2 in 1 Short and Flash LS shirt to the gym, play some hoops, cross fit, or partake in yoga . These shorts have a 9” long inseam for the shorts and the liner. The only concern I usually have when wearing the longer shorts is how much flapping around the bottoms of these shorts will do.
The Pearl Izumi Flash 2 in 1 short feel silky smooth which is a nice feature as they are comfortable and allow for ease of movement no matter your sport or intensity level. The shorts also sport a small back pocket, and by small, I mean really small. I really don’t see the need for large pockets. This will hold your key, and/or a gel, but that is really about it. It zips shut, but access is fairly easy even on the go.
The shirt has a “graphic” feature on the back shoulder blade which I could take or leave. Other than that, both have a simple design look, fit great, and perform excellent.
Performance of the Pearl Izumi Flash 2 in 1 shorts and Flash LS shirt
With several easy runs in the book, it was time to see how these shorts performed when I’m pushing myself to the limits. My marathon training calls for speed work and tempo workouts, so a 6 x 800meter speed session was in the books. My only concern with longer inseam shorts is the possibility of the bottoms to flap around a bit. Depending on your body style, shape, running form, etc. this can be an individual thing. In my case, there was a little bit of extra fabric flap, but not so much that I really even noticed it. I was able to hit my workout times.
The shorts’ liner provided a bit of compression with a fair amount of breathability/sweat wicking. The Flash LS Shirt really allowed me to see Transfer Dry feature in its full glory. As I mentioned above, the shirt was somehow able to push moisture away from my body keeping my core temperature more stable allowing me to feel good while pushing myself to the limit.
A very key feature in the performance category for me is how these pieces stand up to the test of time. Now that is a bit hard to do with a month long test, but having thrown these pieces into the laundry about half a dozen times has kept them looking good and performing great. No fading, shrinking, or bunching of fabric.
First of all, the lining in the shorts is a unique stretch fabric that really is comfortable and provides compression at the same time. That might seem a little contradictory, but the stretch elastic conforms to my lower body quite nicely. The one thing that always concerns me with the slightly longer shorts is how they hang on the legs, and move without excessive flapping or bunching up in between the legs.
Final thoughts of the Pearl Izumi Flash 2 in 1 Short and Flash LS Shirt
It’s really hard to find anything really wrong or negative about this Flash Combo running shirt and shorts. It all comes down to personal preference I suppose. For me, the features presented in both pieces are what I look for, and will continue to wear and test its capabilities. The Transfer Dry feature is super cool (pun intended), and will provide for plenty of miles as the Spring season comes upon us. They are both quite versatile in that you can wear them for a wide variety of activities without looking out of place (picture split runner shorts and singlet in the weight room). All in all, I would rate them a solid 9 out of 10 for performance and appearance.
Available colors: Shadow Gray/Sulphur Spring and Black/Shadow Grey
MSRP: $55 for the Flash 2 in 1 Shorts, and $45 for the Flash LS Shirt
For more information on the Flash 2 in 1 Short and Flash Shirt visit: www.pearlizumi.com