Review: Endura Windchill II softshell jacket

Endura Windchill II jacket

Endura Windchill II jacket

I bought my Endura Windchill II back in December 2016. It’s now nearly June 2017 and I haven’t worn any other jacket since.

The Endura has done me all winter and is still suitable for these late May days, due to the long pit zips, which cool you down nicely when you start to overheat. In winter I wore it over a merino or cashmere polo and a Roubaix jacket or warm gilet (I often wear the Spark, by Rohan – designed for hiking rather than cycling, but it packs down really small when you take it off). Now, I’m heading out in the Endura plus the DHB Flashlight gilet, tending to wear both on colder days (say, 12 degrees) and remove the gilet after 30 minutes or so on warmer days (say, 15 degrees).

I wanted the Endura because it’s a soft shell. My Mountain Warehouse Adrenaline jacket has always done the trick of keeping the weather out, but I’ve never liked the plasticky feel of the garment, which feels like wearing a shopper bag. What I really wanted was the women’s version of the jacket my DH wears, the Endura Velo PTFE Protection jacket, but there was no women’s version (and the men’s version appears to be no longer available, also). A softshell seemed the next-best option.

The Endura Windchill II has a range of useful features. It’s made of polyester with a bit of elasthane for stretch, and has a waterproof and breathable stretch front and sleeves. The sleeves bit is important, as this is what made my DHB Flashlight jacket not much good for winter cycling – the wind used to just whip straight through the seams. No such problem on the Endura, which provides very effective wind protection.

The waterproof front section is teamed with thermal Roubaix for the underarms, sides and back, which allows you to sweat a bit better. Add in the generously long pit zips, with their huge, glove-friendly toggles, and you’ve got yourself a true three-season jacket, made all the more snug by the nice long back and laser-cut storm flap on the zip. I like the contrast of the turquoise with the pink on the zip – coincidentally the same colourway as on the DHB Flashlight items.

The shade of pink is a little dark for my taste – nowhere near as high-vis as the Mountain Warehouse – but it’s good enough to be seen in, and there is a generous amount of reflective trim on the sleeves and rear: on a sunny day, the light bouncing off it is nearly enough to blind me, never mind oncoming traffic.

A concealed zipper chest pocket is big enough for my Nikon Coolpix and a tissue, and there’s an integral glasses wipe on elastic. At the rear, there are four good-size pockets – three open and one zipped, where I keep my emergency cash and a lip salve.

Overall, the Endura screams both quality and good design – it has the feeling of being designed by actual cyclists. Mine cost about £75 from Tredz – I think it’s now around £80. Worth every penny.

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