As summer becomes a distant memory and the temperature begins the steady decline into winter, now is the time of year for a lightweight jacket like the new Xtract from Scottish firm Endura.
There's really so much choice of clothing these days that there is no excuse to get caught out by the weather, or dodgy weather forecast. The pitch with the Xtract jacket is a waterproof jacket that is light enough to be rolled away and stuffed in a jersey pocket when not needed. This sort of jacket is hugely useful whether you're commuting every day or doing sportives.
The fabric Endura use is surprisingly breathable and proved comfortable for wearing through a short shower the other day. Endura claim it's completely waterproof and that certainly appears to be the case. I've used it on a handful of rides, both starting in the rain (the downside of testing clothing!) or pulling it on during the ride when the weather made a turn for the worse, and it's kept the rain out.
It's a reasonably fitted jacket, though I still found the size small came up a little on the large side, despite Endura labelling it as an athletic cut. However, there is plenty of space for a good few layers underneath though. Endura offers a range of sizes to suit most body shapes and sizes and as with most clothing, it really is best to try it on before you part with your money, if you can.
When you don't need to wear the Xtract, it packs down small enough to fit into a typical jersey or jacket pocket. It comes with a separate stuff sack but I binned that off immediately as it's just unnecessary really except as a handy way to store it in the wardrobe.
The jacket is well constructed and has proven very durable so far, which is a good thing as it's the sort of jacket that can see a lot of abuse as it's first to be flung on the floor when you get back from a ride, and could spend a lot of its life scrunched up in a pocket.
A couple of mesh panels around the back further help with the movement of hot air away from the body. There's a dose of reflective details and the full-length zipper is lined with a storm flap. The fit is improved with elasticated cuffs, neck and hem, and there's a small zipped pocket on the side.
All things considered, this is a great performing lightweight waterproof jacket that is breathable enough to be worn for an entire ride, whether it's a sportive or the daily commute. It's packable enough to serve as a good emergency jacket so you have no excuse to get caught in the rain.
And the best thing about is it costs just £55, which is really good value. You could spend a lot more, but why would you when this one works so well?
It's available in a range of colours, and men and women-specific versions.
Superb waterproof packable jacket at a great price
road.cc test report
Make and model: Endura Xtract Jacket
Size tested: Small, red
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
The Xtract Jacket's fabric is not only technically impressive, it also features a lovely soft touch outer and a smooth inner surface. The minimalist jacket is cut in an athletic fit that still leaves a bit of room for layering, and it comes with a neat little stuff sack, packing down to the size of a can of Irn Bru. Mesh ventilation on the back aids breathability further. The jacket also features a spacious concealed security mesh pocket, elasticated cuffs, neck and hem for a great fit, reflective trims, and a full length zip with internal storm flap and zipper garage.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Lightweight waterproof / breathable ripstop fabric
Reflective trims on sleeves and rear centre back
Elasticated cuffs, neck and hem
Full length zip guard
Centre back mesh vents for optimal breathability
Concealed security pocket
Complete with stuff sack
Keeps the rain out, which is what you want when it's hoofing down, without the bulk and weight of a regular waterproof jacket. And it's light enough to pack down small when the rain stops.
No problems so far. Even been using it mountain biking diving through brambles and it's looking just fine still.
Light enough to stash into a jersey pocket, and light enough when you're wearing it to still be comfortable.
Brilliant jacket especially when you consider the £55 price tag.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Does what it sets out to do.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Waterproofness and decent breathability.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Fit could be a bit closer, or I could eat a few more biscuits to fill it out I suppose.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
A great jacket even without taking into account the great price
About the tester
Age: 31 Height: 180 Weight: 67
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.