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Endura Air Defence Jacket  By Ben Freeman

Endura Air Defence Jacket RRP £75 

Endura website

Why am I reviewing this jacket? The answer is quite simply that it's the most impressive piece of cycling specific clothing I have ever come across (and I've got wardrobes full stuff to compare it with).

Most cycling jerseys and jackets are based on a rather outdated cycling design, 3 large floppy pockets on the rear and nothing on the front. So if you ride on the road (without a Camelback) most riders need somewhere for a pump, a few bars and spares for punctures and house keys which need to be secure (as you'll be locked out if they bounce out the jersey pocket). So why the three floppy pockets? 

Well Endura have seen the light and you get one long thin 'pump' pocket on the back and a larger zipped secure pocket for everything else! You also get a nice 'phone' pocket on the front for valuables, a concealed pocket inside the jacket and a tap to hang an LED ligt on the back of the jacket. All this is topped off with reflective piping on the rear and sleeves, to offer a small amount of visibility at night.

 

 

But a few well thought out pockets are not worth a review ' what is worth writing about is WindTex, a very impressive material ' basically if you've ever bought a Gore WindStopper jacket you'll know its key features:

  • Windproof (good)
  • Not very warm (OK)
  • Heavy (not so good)
  • Doesn't stretch much  (not so good)
  • Quite cold when wet  (not so good)

 

Well WindTex is as windproof as Gore Windstopper but amazingly also manages to be:

  • lighter & thinner
  • very warm
  • waterproof
  • stretchy
  • as warm when wet as when dry (not that it gets wet on the inside)
  • very breathable

So, you can go for a close-cut fit, knowing that it will stretch with you quite comfortably. Their cut is generous but with nice long sleeves to make sure you wrists are covered no matter how stretched you are on the bike. Their sizing is a bit odd, I'm 40' chest, but fit a 'small' jacket ' so either their set for Americans (where 40' would be anorexic, or there's something awry here).

 

The Air Defence jacket is basically a Winter jacket, but as it has a full length zip you can ventilate quite well and unless its really cold, a short sleeve wicking T-shirt is all you need underneath.

 

As for weatherproof-ness, on a recent November MTBB Forum ride at Nant-y-Arian in torrential rain, I just wore the Air-Defence jacket over a Lifa T-shirt and had slightly damp elbows after a 3 hour ride. The seams aren't sealed, so it will leak a bit along the seams if it's really wet ' but unless I was going on a really long ride or a multi-day trip, I wouldn't bother with a waterproof anymore. As for breath ability its very impressive, the only spot which is a bit damp is the small of your back which is under the pockets i.e. two layers of WindTex material ' everywhere else stays dry even climbing Redemption at Glentress with the jacket zipped up.

Conclusion

If you're looking for a good Winter jacket and considering Gore WindStopper jackets, take a look at the Air Defence jacket as it does the same job, only better!

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