Endura's Adrenaline Race Gilet is ideal for racers and sportive riders, or anyone that needs a certain degree of protection from the elements combined with ultra-light weight and easy packability.
The Adrenaline Race Gilet is part of Endura's FS260-Pro range which is aimed primarily at racers. It's translucent so that team/club jerseys and race numbers are still visible, but the white colour is also an advantage for non-racers as the wearer is more visible to car traffic, especially in wet or gloomy conditions.
The material is nylon front and back. It's very fine, almost like a gauze, which Endura claims is waterproof and breathable. On test rides, the gilet certainly proved to be shower-proof and even rain-proof, but it didn't keep out heavy downpours. It is, however, very breathable which means there's no clammy build-up of perspiration on the inside.
When assessing garments designed for sporting activities in bad weather, there's always a pay-off between being breathable and waterproof. The more you have of one, the less you can have of the other. This Endura Adrenaline Race Gilet gets the balance just right. In bad rain, it won't keep you 100% dry (and sometimes it's hard to tell what's sweat going out and what's rain coming in), but the key point is this gilet will keep you warm and comfortable when riding in cold and wet conditions, meaning you can crack on without turning into a sweat-ball.
This Adrenaline Race Gilet is also windproof, and ideal for autumn or winter conditions when you need to keep your torso warm but don't need a whole extra jersey or jacket.
Another good thing about this gilet is its light weight and very small size when packed. It comes with a separate pouch with drawstring but that's actually quite roomy. You can get this gilet down to a much smaller size by rolling it tight, when it goes down to the size of a banana. This makes it ideal for those long rides when the first couple of hours are chilly, but it warms up later on. You simply take off the gilet, stuff it in your jersey pocket, and hardly notice it's there.
The material is slightly stretchy, which allows for a close fit. Your 37-inch-chested correspondent tested a size medium, worn over a base layer and medium thickness jersey. This was fine in most conditions but a little flappy around the shoulders on descents. With three layers underneath, the fit was more snug.
Other features of the Adrenaline Race Gilet include: elasticated arm-holes, elasticated collar with padding on the inside which means it's close fitting and very comfortable; full-length zip with a flap of fabric at the top for the zipper to fit into so it doesn't chafe your throat; a few bits of reflective material to show up in car headlights if you're riding in the dark.
The zip has a storm-flap, which helps with water- and wind-proofing, but it often gets stuck in the zip when putting on the gilet one-handed (or even no-handed) while cycling. This is a problem with most gilets, though, and not an issue at all for riders that stop to put on this extra layer when it starts to rain.
On price, the Adrenaline Race Gilet retails at £45, though you can find it a few quid cheaper at on-line stores. This is a very good value price for the features and quality, and compares well against gilets with similar performance from other manufacturers. You can get cheaper gilets (such as B-Twin Ultralight for 20 quid) or more featherweight gilets (such as the Sportful Hot Pack Ultralight, a mere 39g for £100), but the combination of good levels of waterproofness and breathability on the Adrenaline Race Gilet, combined with its light weight and packability, make it highly recommended.
Light-weight, easy-pack gilet with impressive breathability and good rain protection. Good value too
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Make and model: Endura Adrenaline Race Gilet
Size tested: Medium, white
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?
This product is a gilet, designed for race use. But will be handy for sportive riders or anyone that wants good protection from the weather, and is willing to sacrifice a bit of water ingress in downpours for the sake of good breathability and overall comfort.
The Endura website says the gilet is for 'Competition Performance' and hgighlights the following features:
' Lightweight compact translucent breathable/waterproof fabric
Back panel allows race number to be seen
Lightly padded collar and storm flap
Full length centre zipper with sprung puller
No fuss pull-on elasticated cuffs and collar
Fully seam sealed
Reflective trims and prints
Packs into small stuff sac'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The Endura website then quotes the following technical aspects:
' Waterproofness: 15000
No unit of measurement given, but for the first figure it's most likely millimetres. This refers to a standard industry test, whereby a virtual column of water is balanced on top of the fabric, and then measuring how high (and therefore how heavy) this column can get before the water goes through the fabric. Generally, a 5000 to 10,000mm figure means showerproof, while 20,000 to 30,000mm means fully stormproof.) It's important to note that this figure usually refers to the fabric as it leaves the factory, not necessarily to the garment itself, and especially not after a few months of use. Our real-world test rides would confirm that Endura's claim is probably on the optimistic side, as the gilet does not withstand heavy rain – although that's not a problem for the reason stated in the main review. If you want something more waterproof, it's going to be less breathable.
Which brings us to...
The Endura website claims the gilet's breathability is 20,000. Once again, there's no unit of measurement given, but this one is grams. This refers to another standard industry test, measuring the amount of water vapour that can pass through a square metre of the fabric in a 24 hour period. Generally, the higher the figure the better the breathability, so 5000g would be OK and 30,000g would be excellent. Our real-world test rides would confirm that Endura's claim is very fair, as in serious use (chain gang in the rain) this gilet displays excellent breathability.
Construction seems very good. All seams are neat with no loose threads. The seams are taped across the shoulders and down the sides for further waterproofing.
There's no netting panels, as on some gilets from other manufacturers, but those are generally designed to be windproof-only garments, whereas this Endura gilet is waterproof and breathable.
In any outer garment for active sport, there's always a pay-off between breathability and waterproofness. The more you have of one, the less you can have of the other. This Endura Adrenaline Race Gilet gets the balance just right.
Key features of this gilet is its light weight and packabilty. The pay-of is a very fine fabric, which is going to suffer if you stuff it in a pocket next to a multi-tool, catch it on brambles when riding down country lanes, or just fall off. But if you look after it, this gilet should last a good few winter seasons.
For a garment with this degree of waterproofness and breathability, as opposed to just breathability, the weight is very good. The Endura website claims 86g but on the road.cc scales we make it an impressive 74g
The material is slightly stretchy, which allows for a close fit, reducing flappiness to a minimum.
A RRP of a penny under £45 is a very good value price for the features and quality, and compares well against gilets with similar performance from other manufacturers.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, this gilet's performeance is excellent. It keeps out most of the rain, and breathes very well. It's not for touring or commuting, but it's ideal for racers and sportivistes happy to sacrifice a bit of water ingress in downpours for the sake of good breathability and overall comfort.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Fit, stretchy material, levels of rain protection and breathability, light weight, small pack size.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The storm flap behind the zip is a personal niggle, as it often gets caught in the zip if you're putting on the gilet while riding your bike, but this is a feature of all gilets, not just this Endura Adrenaline Race Gilet. And for many cyclists, especially those that stop to put on ot take off gilets and jackets, this won't be an issue. (On all my gilets I have cut off the storm flap. It doesn't seem to make much difference to water- and wind-proofing, but it's much quicker and easier to put on the gilet while on the move.)
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?
In conclusion, this is a very handy piece of kit for racers, sportive riders and anyone keen to crack on. A nice combination of good rain protection, breathability, close fit, light weight and small pack size. Durability may be an issue, but it's a fair pay-off. The price is good too. All in all, a well-deserved score of 9.
Age: 53 Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm Weight: 11 stone / 70kg
I usually ride: an old Marin Alp, an old steel classic My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex (can you see a theme here?)
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Trail riding and rough-stuff (off road on a road bike)