Take a look at the Endura website and you'll find its FS260-Pro Jetstream III listed under the 'jerseys' tab. While it may not classify as a full-on winter jacket, the Jetstream is much more than a simple jersey, and over the last month of daily commutes and weekend rides in typical UK autumn conditions, it has proven itself by being first thing I've reached for when the weather looked iffy.
The idea behind the Jetstream is fairly simple at its core: take a slim-fitting, long-sleeve jersey and add windproof panels to the most exposed areas. In practice, this means windproof material can be found on the front of the torso, the front of the arms and the rear pockets, with the rest of the jersey made from fleecy Roubaix fabric.
Despite recent leaps forwards in fabric technology, balancing weatherproofing with breathability is still a tricky one. In the case of the Jetstream, Endura has forgone true waterproofing for something much more versatile across a wide range of conditions.
The windproof panels certainly do work, and paired with a baselayer the jersey was comfortable as temperatures dipped into single figures on a few early commutes. The beauty is that once the mercury has risen by the time of the return trip, you can still comfortably don the Jetstream without slowly steaming inside. Although the weather's yet to throw a truly cold day the way of the west country, with a couple of layers underneath, I reckon I'd be able to wear the Jetstream in temperatures down to around 5°C.
In sustained heavy rain, the jersey won't keep you dry, but for sub-hour trips, or when the precipitation is light or inconsistent, the Jetstream does a good job of ensuring you retain body heat, even if you're wet.
The use of windproof fabric does have its drawbacks, even if these are minimised by careful design. The fabric isn't the most comfortable against the skin and can start to feel a bit clammy on the arms if worn without a long-sleeve baselayer. This limits the jersey to a maximum of 12-13°C unless you can put up with some moisture build-up on the arms – I've used it in temperatures of 16°C and arrived home with sweaty arms, but otherwise feeling fine.
Another thing to note if you carry a backpack is that this will reduce the jersey's operating range by a few degrees, as nearly all the breathable Roubaix fabric is located on the back.
While the Jetstream's versatility can be attributed to its balance of windproof and breathable materials, in my opinion the slim-cut fit deserves equal praise. Unlike some jackets, the Jetstream hugs your body, to reduce air resistance without feeling restrictive.
I usually wear a medium in non-Italian brands, and the medium I tested was a nearly perfect fit. At 190cm and 70kg, I struggle to get jerseys that are long enough in the arms and torso without being baggy around the chest. I had no such issues with the Jetstream. The arms were long enough to fit under winter gloves, while the dropped tail (held securely in place by a strip of silicone) kept rear wheel spray from completely soaking my behind. Overall, I'd say the fit leans towards slimmer individuals using fairly aggressive road cycling positions, but the stretch in the fabrics means it can still accommodate a range of body types.
If I have one criticism, it's that the collar is a little long at the front. On the bike, it's pretty much impossible to do the zip up all the way, but this didn't really impact its ability to keep weather out as the area underneath the chin isn't very exposed while riding. Conversely, the height proved more useful when off the bike and walking around, so it isn't necessarily a bad thing... Another little niggle is that the YKK zipper could do with a bigger tab to make it easier to use with thicker gloves, though for the intermediate temperatures the Jetstream is ideal for, this is less of an issue.
Rounding off the jersey are three generously sized rear pockets with reflective trim, plus a zipped pocket integrated into the right side. The material used for their outer surfaces is the same windproof fabric used elsewhere, so the pockets do provide some protection from wheel spray for whatever you decide to stash, though anything valuable should be in a proper waterproof case. Another benefit of the windproof fabric is that it gives the pockets more structure and stiffness, an important attribute on winter rides when you're packing half a kitchen cupboard's worth of food 'just in case'.
All in all, the Endura FS260-Pro Jetstream III proved an ideal jersey-cum-jacket for the sort of changeable weather the UK seems to specialise in. The windproof panels fend off the worst of the chill, be it wind or water-induced, while the Roubaix back panel keeps things from get too sweaty. The fit is excellent, making it seem much closer in feel to a jersey than a jacket, despite its ability to shrug off weather. At £72 it isn't cheap, but that figure begins to justify itself once you find yourself reaching for it before every ride.
A well thought out and well executed windproof jersey, ideal for changeable conditions
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Make and model: Endura FS260-Pro Jetstream III
Size tested: Medium, Black
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?
Endura lists the Jetstream as a jersey, but it is much more than that. It's capable of handling a wide variety of weather conditions without feeling big and bulky.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Sublimation printed windproof front and arm panels
Insulating Roubaix fleece inner on back and back sleeve panel
Athletic non-flap fit
Full front zipper with sprung puller
Triple rear pockets with reflective piping
Zipped rear security pocket
Rate the product for quality of construction:
Very good in general. After a being used every day for over a month, the only sign of wear is a single loose thread around the base of the zip.
Rate the product for performance:
The Jetstream strikes a good balance between weatherproofing and breathability, making it ideal for a wide range of conditions. Despite the protection, its slim cut makes it feel much closer to a jersey than a jacket in use. It feels sporty and the lack of flapping is noticeable. The only negative is that the windproof fabric on the arms isn't the most comfortable, so a long-sleeve baselayer is advised.
Rate the product for durability:
Over daily commuting duties over the past month or so, the jersey has shown no visible signs of wear.
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
The Jetstream's light weight belies its ability to shrug off bad weather.
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
Excellent, slim-cut fit which almost makes the jacket "disappear" when on the bike. The only niggles are the neck, which is too long to be fully zipped up in a road bike position, and the tendency for the arms to feel a little clammy if not used in conjunction with a long-sleeve baselayer.
Rate the product for value:
It really outperforms so much more expensive competition. Given the amount of use it is likely to see, it's great value.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well; the Jetstream is perhaps the most versatile jacket I've tested.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The fit. In particular, the long arms and torso, coupled with the slim fit through the chest. This combination ensures the jersey provides plenty of weather protection without feeling bulky and flapping about in the wind.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The windproof fabric isn't the most comfortable against the skin.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 24 Height: 190cm Weight: 69kg
I usually ride: Giant TCR My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Semi pro
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking
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