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Verdict: 
Superbly waterproof and breathable lightweight shell
Weight: 
209g

The Endura FS260-Pro SL Shell is an exceptionally breathable, fully-fledged miserable-weather jacket with a host of features but no excess faff. It's a cracker.

Being based in Scotland, Endura should know a thing or two about keeping dry. That's not stereotyping – it rains a lot up there. And if you like riding a bike, fast, in the rain, below a certain temperature, you want a proper shell.

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Modern design, fabrics and fabrication mean that even humble-priced garments can perform exceptionally well, so to stand out the technical features of a garment need to be spot on, and it's here where the FS260-Pro shines.

Endura has used a three-layer Exoshell40 fabric (in black or fluoro green) of amazing thinness and only 70g per square metre (for reference, even a thin merino baselayer is twice that). The fabric can apparently breathe 60 litres of moisture per square metre per day, and has a waterproofness measure of 18,000mm (meaning a tube of water 18m tall with a patch of the fabric over the bottom wouldn't seep through). The whole thing is fully tape-sealed – even around the small square stretchy panels near the hip. It's a masterclass in detailing.

Endura FS260 Pro SL Shell - riding.jpg

We should all take technical marketing claims with a hefty pinch of the proverbial, but in my experience Endura has a product that works. Despite repeated drenchings, working hard on the bike over up to four hours in low single-digit temperatures, I never once noticed rain getting through.

I also never felt the need to ventilate more than a half-zip pull on some of Hampshire's and the Yorkshire Dales' finest climbs, even with breaks of sun and temperatures in the low 10s. More impressive, some of these rides were done wearing the matching FS260-Pro SL Classics Jersey – in itself a very waterproof garment with excellent breathability (review here). The FS260 shell is so good at breathing, it can layer over other similar garments no problem. 

Feature-packed

The technical features show Endura's designers work hard for their Scottish pound. Starting at the neck, there's a sculpted flap that wraps around high under your helmet retention mechanism, making a near-perfect seal to prevent water getting down your back. The collar stands high but not too tight, with no zip garage but I honestly didn't notice any throat/chin irritation. The zip is protected back and front by a generous, semi-rigid storm flap and is perfectly adjustable one-handed with gloves on.

Endura FS260 Pro SL Shell - shoulders.jpg

Down the right side at a slight diagonal is a long access zip to let you get your right hand into the centre and right-hand pockets. I used this feature a lot, and it works flawlessly – god knows how many samples it took to get the zip position just perfect.

On the left side there's a tiny credit-card-sized pocket replete with drain-holes, good for quick access to a few gels or bars.

Endura FS260 Pro SL Shell - back.jpg

At the end of each generously-long sleeve there's a slanted neoprene-type cuff that does a great job of diverting rain away from your gloves and keeping wind out. It's snug and not adjustable so no chance of venting a breeze up there, but because of the jacket's breathability I didn't miss what I use often in other jackets.

Under the tail there's a large 'Endura' logo in grippy silicone, and in use I never felt the tail ride up. On the tail there's a large reflective Endura logo matched by similar reflective racing stripes on the sleeves and collar – Endura has branded the jacket subtly but clearly.

Endura FS260 Pro SL Shell - tail.jpg

And finally, a simple but oh-so-useful elastic loop, hidden in its own tiny Velcro'd pocket on the back of the collar. Once the jacket is rolled firmly up from the hem, this loop is then wrapped around it to keep it rolled up for popping into a jersey pocket.

Fit for purpose

I'm 6ft with long arms and broadish shoulders and weigh 73kg, and the fit of the medium was perfect. Approaching 70kph I couldn't detect any flapping, probably down to the stretchy panels around the back of the shoulders keeping everything snug. Throwing the bike around on climbs, the flexible fabrics and cut meant no tightness across the shoulders, and no nasty gaps appearing around the neck or waist. It's a water/windproof second skin that rolls up into a small package and weighs less than half a small bidon.

> Check out our guide to the best waterproof jackets here

At £140 I don't think the FS260-Pro SL Shell is overpriced or even just on par: I think it's a bargain. You'll love getting it out and laughing at the rain/wind/hail gods. Just appreciate that it's unashamedly a race ('athletic') fit and you'll be fine.

Verdict

Superbly waterproof and breathable, it redefines what you can expect from a lightweight shell

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Endura FS260-Pro SL Shell

Size tested: Medium

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?

It's a slim-fitting jacket for riding fast in abysmal weathers.

Endura says:

Packable Lightweight protection

Lightweight, waterproof and breathable Exoshell40 3 layer fabric

Fully seam sealed

Stretch waterproof shoulder, side and cuff panels

Athletic, non flap fit

Zipped access to pockets on rear

External gel pocket

Hidden loop for quick and easy packing

Reflective trims on hem and sleeve

Road ride in the rain in style!

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?

Exoshell40 triple-layer fabric, 70gsm.

60,000 breathability, 18000 waterproofnesses.

Loads of features as per the review body.

Rate the jacket for quality of construction:
 
9/10

The whole thing is put together with great attention. I couldn't pick a stitch out of place.

Rate the jacket for performance:
 
10/10

Overall, the performance is simply amazing.

Rate the jacket for durability:
 
9/10

It's a very thin fabric, so time will tell how well it lasts – but it's assembled perfectly.

Rate the jacket for waterproofing, based on the manufacturer's rating:
 
10/10

It didn't let a drop through.

Rate the jacket for breathability, based on the manufacturer's rating:
 
9/10

This is the most breathable jacket I've ever worn.

Rate the jacket for fit:
 
8/10

I could possibly ask for another half-inch in the arms, but then I have stupid-long arms.

Rate the jacket for sizing:
 
8/10

For me as a medium, it sized perfectly.

Rate the jacket for weight:
 
9/10

At 209g, this has to be one of the lightest triple-layer waterproofs in the world.

Rate the jacket for comfort:
 
10/10
Rate the jacket for value:
 
9/10

Compared with the Rapha Hardshell or POC Essential, for half the price? Impressive.

How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Washed up just fine.

Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Incredible. I cannot believe how breathable it is, while being a close fit and light.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket

The slash access zip. No, wait, the collar. Hang on: the cuffs. Er...

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket

Nothing. Not a sausage.

Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes

Would you consider buying the jacket? Yes

Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

The only thing that might stop it getting full marks is the price, but even that, all things considered, is very reasonable. And compared with similar jackets from POC, Rapha and so on, which are all heavier, it clearly justifies five stars.

Overall rating: 10/10

About the tester

Age: 43  Height: 183cm  Weight: 72kg

I usually ride: Merida Ride 5000 Disc  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, club rides, general fitness riding, mountain biking, Dutch bike pootling

3 comments

Avatar
fustuarium [246 posts] 2 years ago
1 like

I've a few FS260 items and this got me wondering if there's a single duffer in the whole range. A quick search for FS260 on here suggests there isn't.

Avatar
Richard D [140 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I bought one to replace a Gore Oxygen ActiveShell thingy destroyed in a crash.

The Endura jacket fits better, feels better, breathes better and keeps out the wet stuff better in my experience so far.

Avatar
sq225917 [39 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Mine is 3 months old, I keep it pristine, just a rub with a wet cloth to keep the road spray off the tail. Last weekend was mucky so I had to put it in the wash, Nikwak tech wash, 30 degrees. My reflective tape is peeling behind the neck and it looks like the seam taping under the arm is beginning to peel.

 

The rest of my Endura gear, 260 race cape, Stealth and MTR have ben flawless.