The Endura Pro SL Windshell offers a race-orientated fit and plenty of protection from the various elements. With a smattering of waterproofing and windproofing, it is a very good package, if not the most breathable.
- Pros: Lightweight, foldable package; performance cut
- Cons: Can get quite warm if you are riding hard
The temperatures are rising here in the south-west but it's still chilly either end of the day, the ideal conditions for a jacket of this sort.
First up, it only weighs 190g and being such a thin, lightweight jacket it folds up and sits in a jersey pocket without you even noticing it, perfect for a ride in changing conditions.
The shoulders, top of the arms and front panels are made from a waterproof fabric, something I wasn't expecting for a windshell, so it was a welcome benefit. Riding at speed or into a headwind when it is raining hard, the panels do a good job of keeping your torso and upper back dry, plus they have the benefit of windproofing to keeping your vital organs warm.
The rest of the windshell fabric is windproof but with an added DWR (durable water repellent) coating to keep the worst of the rain off. It'll eventually get overwhelmed, but as it's used on the more sheltered parts of the body it'll take a while.
The main back panel is a much thinner fabric to aid breathability, helped by some venting holes under the arms. It does a decent enough job unless you are riding really hard; a few times I did find it getting overwhelmed and a little clammy, and that was in temperatures of high single figures with just a long-sleeve baselayer underneath.
Dropping the full length zip to about midway for a few minutes or when starting to climb does help matters.
I do like the overall cut of the Endura. It's performance orientated with a shape that suits you better when on the bike rather than off it, plus it has a long tail section to protect your rear from road spray and chilly winds.
I found the arms to be a good length for minimising skin exposure between glove and jacket, and the cuffs are cut at angles – longer on top – to help this.
You get a tall neck, and the front zip has a storm guard too to keep rain out.
Endura has included some smart little details too, such as the gel pocket on the left hand side, plus on the right there is a zipped opening which gives you access to your jersey pocket. It's not massive and can be a bit tight to get a winter gloved hand through while riding, but if you know exactly what you need to grab it's a neat touch.
There are some subtle reflective stripes on the chest, but it's a shame they don't continue around to the back. I'm guessing the change to the lightweight mesh back panel may be the reason behind this. It's also only available in black.
Endura offers a decent range of sizes from XS through to XXXXL – up to a 51in chest – and the sizing chart is spot on. The sizing is pretty generous – the Windshell is performance styled but without being a full-on race cut – and each fabric used in the jacket has plenty of stretch.
Price-wise, at £99.99 the Pro SL is not cheap for a lightweight jacket on the face of it, but looking back through our reviews of similar tops it's not too bad. It matches the Pearl Izumi Elite Hybrid jacket for money and the performance seems to be similar, though the Pearl Izumi does sound to have slightly better breathability.
I've been a big fan of the dhb Aeron Lab Ultralight jacket over the winter, and while it is fully waterproof unlike the Endura and comes with a £150 price tag, the Endura is very similar in terms of cut and packability. The inclusion of waterproof panels at the front, the areas that take the brunt of the weather, means that the Endura's performance isn't too far off.
Overall, if you want a lightweight weather-resistant jacket that you can wear for the entire ride or just drag it out when you need it, the Pro SL is a handy companion.
Impressive weather-resistant properties and a great performance fit, although it can get a little warm
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Endura Pro SL Windshell
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?
The Pro SL Windshell is a lightweight packable jacket which offers a mix of waterproofing and windproof panels.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
Endura lists these features:
Waterproof, stretch front and shoulder panels
Lightweight, stretch rear windproof back panels with DWR finish
Full front zip with full length bonded storm flap
External gel pocket and rear jersey pocket access zip
Hidden loop for quick and easy packing
Subtle reflective trims
90 Day Satisfaction Guarantee
Very well made throughout. Neat stitching and finish.
It came up true to Endura's size guide.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Endura recommends a 40 degree wash but even at 30 degrees there were no issues with it coming up clean. No problems with shrinkage or anything either.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It keeps the weather at bay and has some neat touches.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
Not the most breathable.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
For the package and quality it stands up very well to others on the market, coming in cheaper than a lot of them in fact.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes, as long as it wasn't too warm.
Would you consider buying the jacket? Yes
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
A very well made performance jacket with some neat touches and fabrics.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.