The story behind the Pearson jersey we liked so much, we turned it into a jacket.BECAUSE ITS THERE ADVENTURE JACKETCreated for gravel riding, Pearson’s Adventure collection is designed to help you negotiate the miles ahead; to help you reach, then go beyond, your cycling potential. First launched in 2019, among our more popular pieces was the Adventure Long Sleeve Jersey. The original brief for the jersey was to make a product so durable it could be ridden through a hawthorn bush (we did add a caveat this wasn’t advisable, apologies if you missed it). Made using rugged Cordura® fabric, we were so impressed with the jersey’s performance that, this season, we’ve made it even better. In fact, we’ve made so many modifications that it’s actually a whole new product; say hello to the Adventure Long Sleeve Jacket.

The inspiration for this jacket was George Mallory, the English mountaineer who, in the early 1920s, attempted to become the first man to climb Mount Everest. Asked why he undertook such a perilous enterprise, Mallory told a rapt press corps in New York: “Because it’s there.” Which is roughly how we feel about off-road riding and hence why the jacket shares the same Pearson moniker. Mallory undertook three expeditions to the world’s highest mountain, in 1921, 1922 and, fatefully, in 1924 when his ambition cost him his life.


Mallory’s disappearance on Everest in June that year prompted decades of debate as to whether he reached the top. The experiences of those who followed, not least Edmund Hillary who bagged the first official summit in 1953, strongly suggest Mallory failed (his body was eventually found in 1999, far from the summit route). Among the reasons cited is Mallory’s kit, considered basic by modern standards. A photograph of Mallory and his fellow climbers, resplendent in tweeds and hobnail boots, prompted playwright George Bernard Shaw to compare them to, “a Connemara picnic surprised by a snowstorm”. Their tweedy Norfolk jackets seem scant protection against Everest’s extreme elements, although the tightly woven wool doubtless provided some insulation.

A question left to history is why those earliest Everesters chose to ignore a type of technical apparel whose performance benefits had already been well proven. Today, the use of waxed-cotton fabrics is widespread in the outdoor clothing industry. Yet even by the 1920s and 1930s, enthusiasts included large numbers of motorcyclists and sailors. So while Pearson is always on the lookout for clever new fabric technology, we also know a good thing when we see it; considering how little the bicycle has changed in more than 150 years, we’re aware some designs endure for good reason.

Key to our new Adventure Long Sleeve Jacket are waxed-cotton panels, which we’ve added to improve weatherproofing (they’re also rather stylish). The fabric is supplied by British Millerain, a company that first pioneered the use of waxed cotton as far back as the 1880s, and which has been creating exceptional waxed cotton ever since.


Waxed cotton is created by finishing the fabric with a waterproof treatment. Historically this was beeswax or paraffin, the latter having a bad rep for being smelly. Millerain’s waxed fabric is made from premium Egyptian cotton, to which they add a refined hydrocarbon wax, a technique Millerain developed 20 years ago. Unlike paraffin it doesn’t smell and unlike beeswax it doesn’t require any effort on the part of the nation’s bees. (Given the species’ ongoing struggle to maintain numbers, we thought they had enough to do.) Not only is Millerain’s fabric 100% cotton, it’s also made in the UK, thus reducing its carbon footprint.

Thanks to Millerain panels on the chest and shoulders, the updated jacket is our most durable yet. If its predecessor could make short work of a hawthorn bush, we’ve designed this as a jacket for life. The main fabric is made from recycled polyester and recycled Coolmax®, a technical material that offers exceptional moisture movement and is also quick-drying. And as we approach that time of year when the nights close in and mornings seem not to have got the memo, the jacket carries reflective artwork. It also features an exclusive Pearson-Millerain vintage logo.


We’re confident the jacket will not only encourage you to explore the great outdoors but help keep you there. So we’ve included plenty of storage too, with two large pockets on the front; 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.

Whatever the shortcomings of their kit, perhaps what we should celebrate about those first adventurers is not so much the historic firsts but their sheer persistence. After all, it was during the subsequent expeditions they inspired, to Everest and elsewhere, that numerous kit developments were made; think of the waterproofing, breathability and minimal weight that we, as modern cyclists, take for granted. “Because it’s there,” Mallory said of Everest. We believe the same applies to the miles ahead, to all those roads (and possibly mountains) you’ve yet to ride.

View: Because It’s There Adventure Jacket.

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