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Verdict: 
Excellent windproof that's warm, comfy and very aero – pack a separate waterproof and enjoy the breathability
Weight: 
559g

The Endura Pro SL II is a warm, very slim-fitting and extremely protective winter jacket that looks built to last - and an absolute godsend on horrible winter days. A redesign of the original Endura Pro SL, it features an excellent high collar, intelligent use of panels and a sleek yet stretchy fit that will never slow you down.

Pros: Comfy aero fit, totally windproof, warm, doesn't have to be black

Cons: Not cheap, sleeves could be tiny bit longer

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Endura Pro SL Thermal Windproof II - collar.jpg

That well-judged high collar is a good place to start. Inside the twin-layer windproof neck is a separate lower collar designed to stretch across the back of your neck, while on top there's a soft-lined draft/drip deflector as a further seal. Combined with a fit that's well-judged for both neck circumference and height (ie, the main jacket is skin tight on me, while the collar is snug but not tight) it works brilliantly at keeping unwanted elements out. There's still room for a neckwarmer inside too.

Endura Pro SL Thermal Windproof II - riding.jpg

That thoughtful design extends throughout. The panels under the arms and down the sides of the torso are finely perforated for breathability and very stretchy, while everything else – three rear pockets included – is a heavier solid fabric that's fully windproof (even freezing 25mph gusts did nothing).

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The soft thermal lining is limited to the front, the top of your arms and most of the width of your back, and rounded overlocked seams seal those patches without issues (I couldn't even feel them). Pick the jacket up and it feels almost wetsuit-like, especially around the chest, but once on its well-shaped stretch fit feels as much like a thick jersey as a jacket. There's nothing to flap or rustle, and up to 7-8 degrees C it breathes perfectly well. Get to around 10-12C and it gets a little clammy, but not horribly so.

Endura recommend this as an outer layer on dry days between -5 and 12C, and a mid-layer beneath a waterproof once it worsens. That seems accurate, though you won't find much room beneath it for baselayers unless you size up. I didn't want to fit more than two (one tee, one long sleeve), and that combo was warm enough down to around zero. Any lower and I'd recommend an outer layer, however.

Endura Pro SL Thermal Windproof II - pockets.jpg

The tail is good and long, and kept in place with elastic boosted with silicone gripper. It's not dropped, though, so the front is the same length – ideally it would be shorter as this can lead to it folding once you're tucked in on the bike, but it truth it caused me no actual problems.

The three pockets are wide and secure, though only the central one is particularly deep. There's a zipped section on the outside of one that can take phones, cards or keys, plus reflective detailing in the centre for safety.

Naturally the zip has a heavy windproof flap behind to truly seal out drafts, plus a large zip garage to keep if from snagging your neck. It's so deep it can be awkward to grasp the zip in gloves, however, despite the long plastic pull.

Endura Pro SL Thermal Windproof II - cuff.jpg

That only leaves the cuffs as a place cold air might enter, and happily they're narrow-ended with well-judged elastic – again snug but not tight – keeping them sealed and in place. Personally I'd have liked another 10-15mm sleeve length as, although they never separated from any of the winter gloves I tried it with, sealing was better if I pulled my baselayer sleeves out as extensions.

I appreciated the light blue option alongside the traditional black. It might not be quite the 'Hi-Viz Blue' of the name, but it's both noticeable and (to my eyes) very attractive. The subtle stripes and logos, allied to the shiny gunmetal zip, give the Pro SL II a stylish look of quality it entirely deserves.

Endura Pro SL Thermal Windproof II - seams.jpg

It even copes quite well with rain, despite not being waterproof. Riding through truly awful rain and wind for 90 minutes at 4C, I couldn't seriously tell if I was sweating or it was leaking or not (though it's possible my brain had just frozen up). Checking the jacket once back indoors, the thermal sections felt considerably drier than my baselayers, but nothing was drenched (unlike my socks and bibs). It must have leaked, but it still kept me warm (not toasty, but not chilled) despite conditions far past its designed intent. I wouldn't want to rely on that, but I was still impressed.

Buy this and you still need a waterproof jacket, but what you gain is impressive versatility and good breathability that'll keep you happy through more than just winter. And while £150 is a fair investment, it's less than similar jackets that are waterproof too. Castelli's excellent Alpha Ros will keep you both warm and dry, for instance, but is £275. Assos' similarly great Mille GT Ultraz is £260.

There are other windproof options though, and while many are £110+, one notable exception is the Galibier Mistral Pro [/url]. While it's less breathable and handles heavy rain poorly, it's DWR-treated for showerproofing – and just £80. For versatility, performance, comfort and style, however, the Endura Pro SL II is absolutely worth the money.

Verdict

Excellent windproof that's warm, comfy and very aero – pack a separate waterproof and enjoy the breathability

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Endura Pro SL Thermal Windproof II

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?

Endura say the Pro SL Thermal Windproof Jacket II "is exactly what you need to get you riding through those chillier autumn and winter temperatures. On milder days, it works brilliantly as a breathable outer shell to take the edge off, and on colder days you can use it as a mid-layer option beneath a good quality waterproof."

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

Endura list:

-Material: 52% Nylon, 32% Polyester, 16% Elastane (Spandex)

-High stretch, windproof fabric with thermal lining on front and sleeves

-High wicking, stretch thermal rear panels

-High cut, double layer collar for warmth and comfort

-Extended cuff for a glove integration

-External rear elastic with inner silicone gripper

-Three rear pockets with additional zipped security pocket

-Reflective trim

-Suggested Temperature Range; -5 to +12 Degrees C

Rate the jacket for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Clever, complex build is very well stitched together.

Rate the jacket for performance:
 
9/10

No flapping or noise, totally windproof and impressively warm.

Rate the jacket for durability:
 
9/10

Feels tough all over.

Rate the jacket for waterproofing based on the manufacturer's rating:
 
6/10

Endura don't claim any waterproofing, but hours in torrential rain didn't lead to any sensation of leaks, and while baselayers emerged wet, the inside of the jacket felt reasonably dry and still comfy. Odd. It gets you wet, then, but comfort stays high.

Rate the jacket for breathability based on the manufacturer's rating:
 
8/10

Very good in the cold/very cold, say 5-6C and downwards, though gets just a little clammy once temperatures near double figures.

Rate the jacket for fit:
 
8/10

Generally excellent. Personally I'd have liked another 15mm in the sleeves and 25mm removed from the front hem, but neither thing actually caused problems.

Rate the jacket for sizing:
 
9/10

Just right for a really slim fit.

Rate the jacket for weight:
 
9/10

Not especially heavy, and light given its performance and protection.

Rate the jacket for comfort:
 
9/10

Well-judged fit and stretch combine with great performance for serious comfort on unfriendly days.

Rate the jacket for value:
 
8/10

It's not cheap, but it works really hard for its money.

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

I wouldn't generally machine wash a jacket like this - though you can. It hasn't picked up any smells and has so far looked perfect after hand washing (and rain soakings).

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

Slightly clammy at the upper end of its temperature range, but invaluable when temperatures sink.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket

Basically everything.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket

Nothing! Slightly longer sleeves would be nice, but in truth these stayed gap-free with winter gloves anyway.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?

It's at the upper end for a windproof, but justifies it with strong performance and versatility.

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 overall score

This kept me if not hot then not chilled during a 90-minute downpour on a 4 degree day, which is well beyond its stated use (it's not even waterproof). In the dry it's superb over one or two layers down past freezing point, making it an easy 9. With a slightly more tailored front hem / arms – and maybe DWR – it could be a 10.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 45  Height: 183cm  Weight: 78kg

I usually ride: GT GTR Series 3  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: general fitness riding, mtb,