review

Endura Pro Primaloft Gilet II

8
£119.99

VERDICT:

8
10
Solid choice for serious core warmth, can carry decent amounts of kit all day, yet is packable into smallish spaces
Thermal regulation
Somewhat-packable
Low weight
Good pockets
Not cheap
Weight: 
175g

The Endura Pro SL Primaloft Gilet II is designed to layer over a jersey or under a jacket, keeping your core warm while allowing you to carry everything you need in its generous pockets. Designed for longer rides, it'll pack away if your jersey has large-enough pockets too.

Back in 2017 Ashley gave the first incarnation of Endura's insulated gilet 9/10, praising its insulation, packability and race fit.

> Find your nearest dealer here

Basically nothing's changed in the warmth and fit regard – it'll still keep you warm when going fast, without flapping. This time round you get better pockets and a two-way zip. Looking at the photos from the 2017 review, it's considerably bulkier than before – it's now about a double-fist's worth of volume, so might poke out a bit when stowed if your jersey pockets are on the small side.

I found the sizing to be on the tight side – the Medium fitted my 38in chest pretty snugly, and it's advertised at 39-41in. (It's not me in the photos.) So if you like a tight fit, great; if not, you may want to size up. The fit under the arms is pretty close too – when standing with arms hanging down you can feel the elastic underneath, something to be aware of if wearing over a looser-fit jersey where the gilet could make it bunch.

Endura Pro Primaloft Gilet II - riding.jpg

The fit around the neck was reasonably loose – I could easily get a hand down the collar past my 14in neck. This was actually a good thing, as it aided breathability. The windflap-backed zip ends in a garage, with a wee stretchy panel to one side for some give if layered over a high-collar jersey or scarf, so there's no chance of any irritation there.

Endura Pro Primaloft Gilet II - chest.jpg

The zip is an oddment, designed to be zipped up from the bottom as per normal, but also to then be unzipped from the bottom up to aid ventilation if needed. This sounds great – unless you forget to push the zip's lower half all the way down and lock it in place by pressing the tab flat, in which case it can ride up and open unawares. How robust this design is remains to be seen over time, but I'd suggest a packable garment should be treated with some care anyway.

Endura Pro Primaloft Gilet II - hem.jpg

The pockets follow the traditional layout of most jerseys with three across the back, plus a zippered security pocket on the right. Again, being a packable garment they aren't overly robust or reinforced, so you'll want to go easy with the loads.

Endura Pro Primaloft Gilet II - zip pocket.jpg

Also available in bright blue and 'Pumpkin', the tested black features reflective logos on the collar and centre rear pocket.

Endura Pro Primaloft Gilet II - pockets.jpg

Worn over a merino base and thick jersey, the gilet kept me warm during a 5-8°C rolling climb from zero to 550m above sea level, being zipped up and down through the forest and out onto the tops as effort and wind speed dictated. It did absorb a lot of sweat, but didn't feel damp or chilly – this was through two layers, mind. No wind gets through, that's for sure.

Endura Pro Primaloft Gilet II - primaloft logo.jpg

Worn over the same thick merino jersey and base, and under a triple-layer jacket into 3-4°C and a strong headwind, the gilet didn't feel bulky or overly warm. I was able to control my temperature effectively by zipping up and down one-handed, and after two hours of 75% max heart rate effort including a 400m forest gravel climb, I got home to find it had absorbed exactly 15ml of sweat – three teaspoons. It felt damp, sure, but not uncomfortably so, and what liquid there was evaporated in a few hours.

> Buyer’s Guide: 53 of the best pieces of cycling clothing to keep you warm in winter

Recently Stu was impressed by the lighter and £20 cheaper dhb Aeron Polartec gilet, a slightly different beast relying on fluffy fabric instead of actual down-style insulation, with a higher-vis look. Sticking with Primaloft insulation, Jim liked the Alpinestars Denali Vest for a tenner less, but the pockets are of a non-trad-road layout.

> Buyer’s Guide: 10 of the best cycling gilets

Now, £120 is a fair amount of cash for a garment with no sleeves, no waterproofing and limited application outside of winter. But if you need serious core warmth in a fitted, layerable, packable form that can be worn for hours if needed, with pockets storing items needing access, look no further.

Verdict

Solid choice for serious core warmth, can carry decent amounts of kit all day, yet is packable into smallish spaces

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Endura Pro Primaloft Gilet II

Size tested: Medium

Tell us what the product is for

It's for people needing seriously warm core insulation from cold winds, all day long, but that can be packed away when not needed.

Endura says:

DESIGN PHILOSOPHY

The original Pro SL PrimaLoft® Gilet was a game changer, bringing technical hollow fill insulation to the performance cycling market in the form of a versatile, packable gilet. The updated version, the Pro SL PrimaLoft® Gilet II, is even better with improved breathability, stretch and an updated, contemporary design.

LIGHTWEIGHT INSULATION

Two different types of Primaloft fill have been used. 80g of PrimaLoft® Gold has been used on the front torso, maximising insulation exactly where you need it most. 60g of PrimaLoft® Silver Active has been used on the back, giving improved breathability and accomodating some stretch to create a great fitting garment.

PRIMALOFT® INSULATION

PrimaLoft® insulation boasts an exceptional warmth to weight ratio, tiny pack size, extremely breathable construction and is highly water resistant making it a tremendously versatile performance insulator.

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

Endura lists these features:

Lightweight, windproof shell panels with PrimaLoft® GOLD insulation

Stretch insulated back for unrestricted movement

Triple rear pocket system with zipped security pocket

Lightweight internal hem elastic with silicone gripper

Clean bonded hem

Subtle reflective details

90 Day Satisfaction Guarantee

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

As with all Endura products I've tested, excellent construction.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

Yep, it kept me warm in biting cold, while not turning into a sweaty mess.

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

Time will tell.

Rate the product for fit:
 
8/10

Nice and snug, with a good collar. You may want to go a bit larger if you don't like tight, mind.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
6/10

It did size up small, especially factoring in its likelihood of being worn over thicker winter jerseys.

Rate the product for weight:
 
7/10

For what it does, weight seems pretty good.

Rate the product for comfort:
 
9/10

Yes, very comfy.

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

The Alpinestars Denali is similar and a tenner cheaper at £110, dhb's Aeron Polartec is £100; £120 is a lot of cash, but if you want the combo of performance, weight, size and features (pockets, two-way zip etc) then it's not a bad price.

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

Yes, washed up fine on a wool wash.

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

Pretty well. Can't complain, snug as a bug.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The surprising breathability. I was able to leave it on for long rides.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing, really.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

If you need to keep your core warm, on the road, or gravel, or dirt, this Endura gilet will do the job, on top or under a layer. It's seriously warm, and packed with features. Assuming that's your use case, the £120 is a good price for a quality garment.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 46  Height: 183cm  Weight: 72kg

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

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, mtb, Dutch bike pootling.

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