Endura's Hummvee Convertible Jacket is aimed more at the off-road market, but its waterproof and breathable properties make it also very good for the road if you're touring or commuting at a relaxed pace in cold and wet weather.
This jacket's name suggests a high degree of protection, and the Hummvee will definitely ward off rain, though it lacks in the breathability department when weather conditions get warm or exertion levels go up.
On my first test ride, I rode for 45 minutes at a steady pace in a very heavy downpour with air temperature around 7 °C. There was no sign of water ingress and no build-up of dampness inside the jacket. On the second test ride, the temperature was around 16 degrees and, after 10 miles stiff going into the wind with a couple of climbs, I was soaked in sweat, despite undoing some studs for ventilation (more on that later). This is definitely a jacket for colder conditions, and not for when you're doing anything close to a fast pace.
It's called a 'convertible' because the sleeves are detachable, meaning you can turn this jacket into a gilet. This makes the Hummvee a very versatile garment. The sleeves are joined to a panel which forms the back of the jacket, and the whole thing is connected to the main jacket with zips and press-studs. This allows you to set off for your ride in the rain wearing the full jacket then, when conditions get warm, you unzip the sleeves and back panel and stuff them in the large rear pocket on the jacket, leaving you with a gilet boasting a windproof nylon front and fully-ventilated mesh back.
Conversely, you could wear the gilet for most of your ride in dry conditions, then zip on the sleeves and back panel if the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Either way, the zips and studs are not ideal for a quick roadside refit, but if the rain's setting in it's well worth spending a little time to ensure your windproof layer turns into fully functioning waterproof garment. If you're feeling too warm on the inside with the sleeves on, you can undo some of the studs around mesh back panel to increase ventilation.
The medium size proved ideal for my 175cm height. The cut is not body-tight, but it's not too baggy either. There's plenty of room for a base layer and winter jersey underneath. The Hummvee is aimed at men or at cyclists of both genders, and is not available in a female specific cut.
As with many cycling jackets, the hem is diagonal, so shorter at the front and longer at the back. Another inch or two on the back would stop spray from the back wheel hitting your rear end if you were riding without mudguards.
The sleeves are a good length, so no bare skin around the wrists, with matching colour Velcro adjusters to tighten to keep out the wind (or loosen for ventilation if required). The collar is the perfect height, and has an adjuster in the back, so you can have it close-fitting for warmth or loose for more comfort or ventilation.
Our test sample comes comes in a pleasing two-tone red, which is fairly visible to drivers in daylight. Other colour options are black and day-glo green (or 'kelly' green according to the Endura website). For night riding, there are reflective strips and decals on the back and sleeves, plus reflective decals on the front. There's also a very well-made plastic loop on the back to take a rear light.
For carrying stuff, there's plenty of room in the large rear pocket of the jacket, although you might want to leave it empty so you've got somewhere to put the sleeves when they're not required. On the front there are two zipped pockets with side access, one with a security pocket and a key hook. These pockets are quite low, though, so anything more than a tenner in there and your front door key might bang on the tops of your thighs when pedalling. These pockets also contain hem adjusters, which is neat, but this means if you want to adjust the hem you have to unzip the pockets.
The separate pocket linings under the nylon at the front of the jacket effectively means two other roomy inside pockets; these could be useful for stowing things when wandering around off the bike, or just heading into the café halfway through a club run.
All zips are the excellent YKK with useful loop pullers on the pockets. The main zip has a neat cover at the top and a good storm flap.
On size and weight, the Hummvee Convertible is not the sort of jacket you can take off and fit in the back pocket of your jersey, although you can stuff the sleeves into the jacket's own rear pocket, as mentioned above. If you are going to take off the whole thing, you'll need a backpack or good-sized saddlebag to carry it. To keep it compact when not being worn, the whole jacket can be stuffed into its own rear pocket, when turned inside out, although this did not work well as the zip has a puller on only one side.
On cost, the jacket's full retail price is a penny under £85, but you can find it for less at some bike shops and the usual on-line stores. This puts it on par with comparable jackets from brands such as Polaris, and cheaper than similar stuff from Gore, Sportful, Assos or Castelli, although on some of these brands the breathability is better. But most jackets don't have the ability to turn into a gilet, which is this Hummvee's key feature, so it's not comparing like with like.
Overall, the Hummvee is a very good jacket, with a flexibility that makes it two garments in one, and it's highly recommended for leisure riding, relaxed commuting or touring at a steady pace in a mix of weather conditions.
Switches from waterproof, breathable jacket into windproof gilet; ideal for steady commuting or general riding
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Make and model: Endura Humvee Convertible Jacket
Size tested: Medium
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 waterproof breathable cycling jacket that converts to a windproof gilet. It is primarily aimed at mountain bikers (the Endura website promotes its 'Versatile trail protection' ) but it's also ideal for for the road if you're commuting or touring at a relaxed pace in a mix of weather conditions.
Other features listed on the Endura website include:
" Relaxed fit with zip off detachable sleeves;
Waterproof zipper with snap-down pullers on arms allow for conversion to gilet;
Unique rear panelling on bolero sleeve section for enhanced breathability;
Mesh back panel on gilet for air flow;
Twin front zipped pockets and zip rear pocket;
Reflective visible through 360°;
Folds into rear pocket with LED light loop;
Full inner storm flap;
Adjustable collar and cuffs."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The Endura website also describes the Hummvee's Waterproofness and Breathability both as '10000'. This refers to a standard industry tests, the first for waterproofing, whereby a virtual column of water balanced on top of the fabric, and its height measured (in millimetres) before the water goes through the fabric. Generally, a 10,000mm figure means showerproof, while 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 very fair, as the Hummvee definitely kept out the rain.
The second figure – for breathability - measures (in grams) 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 in the Hummvee would confirm that Endura's claim of 10,000 is fair, as we found breathability lacking on faster paced rides, especially in warm conditions.
Very well put together with good quality fittings.
This jacket is certainly waterproof, and provides wind protection, but breathability is limited, meaning performance is good for relaxed rides in cold temperatures. If you're going fast, or the temperatures is warm, it's not suitable.
Fabric seems substantial, seams are neat, and zips and fasteners look as thought they will give good service.
This is not a featherweight piece of kit, but at just under 400g, this jacket is a fairly light for the level of protection, although it's too bulky to stuff in a jersey back pocket if not needed.
A comfortable fit, not too tight but at the same time not voluminous. If you ride at a past pace you'll find it flaps in the wind, but if you ride at a fast pace you'll overheat anyway. If you tootle around, the looser fit won't be a problem, and breathability will be just fine.
The price is fair for the level of performance. Waterproof garments that are more breathable (for faster paced cycling) are generally a much higher price. What makes this garment different, and good value, is the ability to turn into a gilet, giving you flexibility when weather conditions (or cycling pace) is likely to be variable.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, this jacket performed very well, in that it withstood the rain, and breathability is good when riding at a relaxed pace. Its key advantage is the ability to detach the sleeves, so it's two garments in one: a jacket for cold and wet conditions; a gilet for when it's warmer or drier.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Flexibility: two garments in one. Good relaxed fit for relaxed commuting and general touring or leisure riding. Quality of construction very good.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Lack of breathability was notable when pushing hard, or riding in warm conditions. For more relaxed cycling, this won't be a problem.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? For gentle leisure riding or touring, yes. For faster rides, no, as I'd want something more breathable (and would sacrifice some waterproofness for increased breathability)
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, for gentle leisure riding and easy-paced commuting.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Overall, as a reasonably priced and well-made jacket for relaxed commuting or general riding, the Hummvee is good. If you ride fast, this isn't the kit for you. What makes this jacket stand out is the skilful design and clever touches that mean you can turn it into a gilet, giving you flexibility in varied weather conditions. This makes it very good indeed, and well deserving of an overall score of 8.
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)