The Endura Luminite DL is another incarnation of the Scottish brand's long-running and justly popular staple. Its ability to keep you dry, from inside and out, is good and it scores well on specification, but it does face stiff competition from similarly priced jackets offering better water resistance and breathability.
The Luminite DL is a two-layer design made from a breathable 100% polyester ripstop fabric with a mesh lining, and seems rugged and generally up to the job.
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Its breathability and waterproof ratings of 10,000mm apiece are nothing out of the ordinary, with its wicking ability dependent to an extent on your own thermostat and the quality of your base/mid layers. In temperatures between 5 and 12 degrees, I found the Luminite pretty comfortable, even at a steady 17mph for 10 miles or so.
On longer or faster rides – when you suddenly find yourself accelerating hard, heading up a climb, or tackling the usual challenges through town at rush hour – its limitations become more apparent. It's not bad, and two zippered ventilation panels beneath the arms help with dispelling moisture, but the clamminess takes a little longer to shift.
A lot of commutes aren't that pacy, though, and on some very cold, blustery outings I've been very grateful for the additional protection the Luminite offers.
Whether heavy or moderate, no rain gets through for at least two hours – which should be sufficient for most people's commute. The dropped tail also offers decent defence against spray.
Even when truly sodden, hang it up and it's more or less dry in around an hour at room temperature, which is convenient for work or when visiting friends for the evening.
Besides the acres of retro-reflective detailing, there's the integrated 'luminite': a three-mode LED located just above the drop tail. This fits better than its predecessors, due in part to a green silicone shell. It's up to the job as tertiary illumination goes and visible from 50-80 metres. And when wash day or battery replacement beckon, it's easily removed.
The retro-reflective detailing coupled with the colourway and integrated light ensure you're highly conspicuous at all times. On clear nights on dark roads it's around 200 metres, round town more like 125-150m.
The cut is on the relaxed side of racy, which means it works well with road typical kit and street threads alike. Simply relax/tighten the neck and hem cords to taste. The fleece-lined collar is sensibly proportioned, so cold, wet stuff shouldn't sneak inside.
Some 'commuter' designs can be a little longer at the front, which can mean they snag on the saddle's nose when you're dismounting. No such problems here, provided you've got the sizing right. For me, medium would appear to be the new large... There's plenty of length in the sleeves, and this coupled with adjustable wrap-over Velcro cuffs means it's easy to achieve a weatherproof seal, even when you're bombing through a storm.
It comes in sizes S to XXL, and in high-vis yellow as well as this fluoro green; green would be my preference, and seems to register quicker with drivers than yellow.
Like any decent commuter jacket, the Endura's pockets are well sussed. All have zippers, so no risk of delicates/valuables getting ejected come the first bump. A decent sized breast pocket will entertain relatively bulky wallets or smartphones, and two at the hip are good for parking hands, keys and so on. These also feature a tactile lining for comfort.
At the rear there's a big, deep poacher type, which is great for gloves, mini pump, spare tubes and other overspill.
The ripstop fabric is reassuringly durable and has resisted the usual, everyday rough 'n' tumble with no calling cards. On some off-road forays it's stood up well to friskings from foliage and brushes with brickwork, too.
> Buyer's Guide: 8 of the best high-vis winter jackets
Ingrained grime lifts pretty convincingly, although when it comes to non-organic grime – chain lube, oily spatter, diesel and the like – I've been inclined towards soap flakes and pre-washing by hand before taking the 30-degree machine cycle.
Riders looking for an everyday jacket for commuting that will also lend itself to other generic outdoor activities will find a lot to like in the Luminite. That said, those with longer/faster commutes might find quicker-wicking designs – such as Altura's NV2 (review to come) or dhb's Flashlight Force – worth the extra cost.
A very worthy commuter jacket but it faces stiff competition from faster-wicking options
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Make and model: Endura Luminite DL Jacket
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?
Endura says: "Comfortable Commuter Protection
Protection from the elements and added visibility on the road
Mid-weight 2-Layer waterproof, breathable ripstop fabric
Fully seamsealed waterproof construction with fast wicking mesh liner
Emblazoned with high visibility 360 degree reflective safety chevrons
Integrated rear Luminite LED with 3 flash phase options for additional visibility
Underarm zip vents
Zipped chest and handwarmer pockets
Adjustable neck and hem cords
Cosy touch lining in handwarmer pockets and inner collar
Includes a free layer of air insulation"
It's an iconic commuter jacket with some very nice touches but starting to feel slightly average, given jackets offering better water-repelling and breathability are available for very similar outlay.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
Rate the jacket for quality of construction:
Rate the jacket for performance:
Still good by genre standards and quite versatile, a consideration for those who also want a hardy walking/outdoor jacket.
Rate the jacket for durability:
Rate the jacket for waterproofing, based on the manufacturer's rating:
Very good and as I'd expect from this end of the market.
Rate the jacket for breathability, based on the manufacturer's rating:
Typical of a commuter model with a 10,000mm breathability rating.
Rate the jacket for fit:
More relaxed fit that works well with cycling-specific clothing and street wear alike.
Rate the jacket for sizing:
Generous, but medium was correctly proportioned for me.
Rate the jacket for weight:
Heavier than some, which becomes apparent on longer rides, but fine for 10-15-mile round trips and general wear.
Rate the jacket for comfort:
Generally good but better suited to the colder months, especially if you really want to blast along.
Rate the jacket for value:
Still represents good value but faces stiff competition from newer models.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Water and weather resistance is good, in keeping with others meeting the 10,000mm water and breathability ratings, though things can turn a bit clammy, and rider-generated moisture takes a while to disperse. It's fine for commutes of around 10-15 miles. The design is very effective at snaring attention.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Good fit, decent weather protection, plenty of pockets.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
Nothing given the design brief.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes, generally speaking.
Would you consider buying the jacket? No
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? A worthy contender for commuting but there are better options for more spirited riding.
Use this box to explain your score
An iconic jacket that is still very relevant but it faces stiff competition.
Age: 43 Height: 1m 81cm Weight: 70kg
I usually ride: Rough stuff tourer based around 4130 Univega mountain bike frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
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