The FS260-Pro Adrenaline Race Cape is a great garment from Endura, proving breathable race capes can be relatively affordable. In my experience, packable race-light 'shells' (it's not a cape in the old sense of the word) can be one of two things: super-expensive yet breathable and comfortable, or cheap and boil-in-the-bag. I'm delighted to report here that the FS260-Pro straddles the two definitions.
Endura claims that breathability is rated at '20,000g'. Essentially, this means that 20kg worth of moisture will be transferred through the fabric per square metre in a 24-hour window. Focused down, for a four-hour training ride you can expect a square metre of the Adrenaline Race Cape fabric to shift 6kg of sweaty moisture. This sounds impressive, but how does it function in reality?
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Put simply: very well. Of course, there's a limit to how effective any breathable fabric can be. Even industry standard Gore-Tex meets its match in a combination of humidity, warmth and exertion. But, if you're riding at a high tempo, the Endura keeps you as dry as I've experienced in a shell such as this. It works best in cooler conditions – and layering up too much negates its effectiveness – but it really is quite impressive.
Alongside this, the Adrenaline also boasts 15,000mm water column of waterproofness. Caught in a couple of heavy showers, I found the Race Cape a good option, especially with the unseasonably warm weather the UK has had so far this winter. It really does keep the rain off impressively well, if not quite as well as a sturdier dedicated rain jacket. It wouldn't replace a full-on rain jacket, but certainly I've never felt as confident in a cape to deal with inclement conditions as I have with this one.
Aiding this waterproofness are taped seams and hems at the waist and wrists that create a gentle seal to stop water worming its way inside. These are created from a reflective material, upping the jacket's visibility rating. I had a fluoro green colour to test, which also helped, but you can have white or black if fluoro isn't your thing. I confess, it's not usually my bag, but this translucent fluoro (so racers can have their numbers seen through the back of the jacket) isn't too bad.
Unfortunately, and this is my only real gripe with the jacket, the cut is a touch baggy. Considering the race aspirations Endura has for this cape, I would have expected a slimmer cut, especially taking into account the slight stretch the fabric offers. It means when the wind picks up you can sound a bit like a plastic bag.
Of course, packability is one of the forefront features of the cape too – it very easily compresses into a pocket, and if you're into fastidious pocket neatness, it also comes with its own attached bag for storage. This is made of the same fabric as the jacket, so doesn't add any bulk at all.
Sizing overall largely matches up with general sizing charts – but with the slightly baggy nature of the cut, I got away with a medium, though I usually wear a large for outerwear. If you do opt for a tighter fit, I also recommend taking care when taking off the cape. The stitching is inevitably lightweight to avoid adding bulk, so this has its slight pitfall in being more delicate than it otherwise would be.
> Check out our guide to the best waterproof cycling jackets here
This also meant I was nervous about putting it through a wash, too, but it does clean up well, especially if you chuck it in the washer before it has a chance to fully dry. Alternatively, you could hand wash it in warm soapy water. Just be sure to hang it out properly when drying to avoid too much creasing – you can't iron it! A very small price to pay for the cape's packability, though.
What is also (comparatively) small is the price. At an rrp of £64.99, this sits in the middle range of race cape pricing, but if you scout about online you can pick one up for as little as £47.49, when it starts to become excellent value...
This is a top-performing packable cape, at a not over the top price – you can't go far wrong
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Make and model: Endura FS260-Pro Adrenaline Race Cape
Size tested: Medium, Lime Green
Tell us what the jacket 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 FS260-Pro Adrenaline Race Cape is for high-tempo scenarios where the heavens open and you need emergency, packable, waterproof and breathable cover.
Endura says: "Lightweight translucent waterproof & breathable jacket in an athletic fit"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
- Lightweight, compact, waterproof and breathable fabric with built-in stretch
- Race number visibility
- Lightly padded collar and storm flap
- Full length YKK centre zipper with sprung puller
- No fuss pull-on elasticated cuffs and collar
- Fully seam-sealed for waterproof protection
- Athletic fit
- Reflective trims and prints
- Packs into small stuff sack
- Acts like an invisible force field
- Waterproofness: 15,000mm
- Breathability: 20,000g
Rate the jacket for quality of construction:
The fabric is excellent and resistant to sharps like fingernails. The seams aren't so strong, but that's what you get for such a lightweight construction. For purpose, it's very, very good.
Rate the jacket for performance:
Having fallen prey to a few boil-in-the-bag experiences with capes like this, this was a pleasant surprise. Breathability is only stumped in particularly warm and humid conditions, while it'll keep the vast majority of the rain off.
Rate the jacket for durability:
A jacket of this nature is never going to be 'strong', but all things considered this is as strong as any of its rivals.
Rate the jacket for waterproofing, based on the manufacturer's rating:
A claimed 15,000mm water column, and it's very good.
Rate the jacket for breathability, based on the manufacturer's rating:
It's as breathable a jacket as I've come across short of incorporating Gore-Tex fabric technology.
Rate the jacket for fit:
Reasonable, although slightly baggy if you go for your usual sizing. I usually fit a large, but the medium worked best for me.
Rate the jacket for sizing:
See above – but the proportions are very good, so arm length and storm flap length is well thought out.
Rate the jacket for weight:
If they could make it lighter, I probably wouldn't notice.
Rate the jacket for comfort:
Personally, I'm not the biggest fan of how race capes such as this feel against the skin – but I stopped noticing after a while, which can only be a good thing.
Rate the jacket for value:
For performance like this, £64.99 is good value. If you can get it for sub-£50 then that pushes up the rating somewhat.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Rinsing is all that's needed, with a touch of Nikwax. The fluoro colour can attract dirt, but as soon as you get wet on another ride any light staining quickly gets covered again. Consider the black option if you're worried about this.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
The breathability. Water resistant would have done, but the full waterproofness in tandem with this is a real plus.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
Slightly baggy nature of the cut – go for a size down to combat this.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? It'd be on my shortlist, yes.
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes
Age: 25 Height: 188cm Weight: 83kg
I usually ride: Specialized Allez Sport My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding
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