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The Altura Endurance Women's Long Sleeve Jersey is warm enough for early starts or chillier autumn days. It's great in windy conditions or brief light showers – just don't expect it to stay dry in the rain.
I used this jersey on cool but not cold days in early autumn, with temperatures generally around 8-15°C. I quickly warmed up because of the jersey's fleecy interior but was rarely over-warm. The reasonably tight collar and cuffs alongside the DWR (durable water repellent) coating to the upper arms and chest keep the wind chill off. It's certainly warmer and more wind resistant than a mid-weight jersey and arm warmer combo, and is breathable enough that I didn't feel overdressed either.
Unlike Shaun, who tested the men's version, I didn't get caught in a downpour while out in this jersey. He found that he was quickly sodden because the DWR coating only covers the upper arms and chest areas. I found the coating adds a little welcome wind resistance to these areas, which makes the jersey great in cooler, blustery conditions, but though it can withstand an autumn drizzle, in rain I'd be layering up with a waterproof as well. As soon as water seeps through the seams, the jersey becomes very wet very quickly.
Three main materials are used in the construction of this jersey: a warm fleecy soft fabric throughout, with an additional windproof outer layer over the shoulders and chest, and a stretchy outer layer over the back.
Both outer layers have that DWR coating, designed to make water droplets roll off in beads rather than soak through, but it seems to work more effectively on the windproof panels than the stretchy back fabric. The extra protection is useful in certain conditions, but I'd be put off planning a wet-weather ride in this jersey.
The collar is warm, featuring a thicker Polartec fleeced collar, and well sized. Often, larger size jerseys size up the collar too much, but the Altura fitted well without being overly tight.
A zip garage gives added comfort, although I wasn't able to pull the zip down one-handed from fully closed.
At the back of the jersey are three pockets and a smaller zipped pocket. In keeping with the weather-resistant features, the main pockets have a 'hood', which does require an 'up and then in' movement to access on the bike, but are otherwise roomy.
The smaller zipped pocket foiled me, but I forgave it when I realised that was because the pull-tag had fallen off in transit, rendering it impossible to open while the jersey was being worn.
Tapered cuffs and a silicone gripper at the hem help to keep the jersey in place while riding.
Subtle but effective reflective patches are positioned on the lower arm and the rear of the jersey. These are almost unnoticeable against the charcoal colour of the jersey but are bright when lit at night.
Although the men get a choice of two colours, this carbon grey is the only option for women. That's a poor show compared with its summer Endurance offering, which was available in teal and red alongside the carbon.
I found the jersey neither overly loose nor race-fit. It would easily take a baselayer underneath if the weather required it, or could be layered under a jacket for additional warmth.
The drop at the back is nice and low, and although my personal preference would be for a slightly lower front as well, it covered everything that needed to be covered without gaping or flapping.
The sizing is true to street size, which is always refreshing with cyclewear. With sizes 8-18 available, Altura has made the jersey available in more sizes than some other brands at this price point.
Altura describes the Endurance as 'cosy' and I'd agree. I like the feel of the material, and overall it's comfortable to wear. My nit-picks are the use of sewn-in labels and the seam choices.
There are two labels with the potential to itch or chafe – one with the care instructions, and a neck label that's useful for hanging the jersey up like a coat, if you need to do that. This label was a minor irritation.
Looking at the seams, although the front seam is flatlock stitched and comfortable, the others aren't. I noticed this particularly on the outer arm, where the additional windproof material means an additional seam that chafed a touch on the elbow.
At £80, this sits in mid-range jersey land, well below the likes of the £115 Iris Himmel but twice the price of dhb's Women's Long Sleeve Thermal Cycling Jersey. You don't get any water-repelling treatment or a zip pocket with the dhb, though.
It's roughly the same price as Fat Lad At The Back's thermal long sleeve options (£79.99 rrp, though most currently reduced to £49.99), one of which Lara tested in January (the no-longer-available Fearless Fabulous Female Midweight Thermal) and the Altura has additional features and more attention to detail for the money.
Overall, it's a good but not exceptional jersey that makes a little too much of its water-resistance.
Reasonable option for British autumn rides, just check the forecast first for rain
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Altura Endurance Women's Long Sleeve Jersey
Size tested: 18
Tell us what the product is for
According to Altura, the Endurance women's long sleeve jersey is "ideal for those milder days out when you can leave your jacket at home."
It continues: "The Endurance Long Sleeve Jersey is the perfect solution for those milder days when you want to leave your jacket at home but need more than a jersey and arm warmers. A cosy thermal brushed back jersey fabric and Polartec® fleece lined collar combo provides warmth whilst DWR-coated windproof chest and arm panels provide water-resistant protection from the elements. Reflective detailing helps to keep you visible in lower light conditions and there's plenty of storage from the three stash-pockets and secure zip-pocket too. This highly versatile jersey can be layered up depending on the conditions to keep you comfortable all day out on the bike."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- Thermal brush back fabric
- Windproof chest and arm panels with DWR coating
- Polartec® fleece lined collar
- Three Stash-pockets and one secure zip pocket
- Shaped cuff
- Branded silicone gripper
- Reflective detailing
There were a couple of loose threads, but the inside of the pocket seams were neatly covered with heat-sealed circles of fabric for a smooth finish. A particular bugbear of mine are sewn-in labels, and this jersey has two of these.
If Altura hadn't made claims about weather-resistant protection then this score would be higher. Once rain gets in at the seams then you get pretty wet pretty quickly.
Washed well without pilling.
The cut allows for a thin layer underneath if wanted, and the jersey is thin enough to layer up with a jacket over the top on colder days or at cafe stops.
Nearly top points for being available in sizes 8-18 (Altura if you are reading, please do consider size 4-6 and 20+ riders also). I'm a standard street size 18, and this jersey came up true to size.
It's light enough not to notice in use.
I liked the fleecy fabric, which was more breathable than I had expected it to be. The extra seam on the sleeve was a less comfortable addition.
It's a mid-range jersey, but offers a little more than some competitors.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
It washed well at 30 degrees – just don't try it in a hotter wash because of the waterproofing.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
This is a comfortable jersey that performed well on days where the temperature was between around 8 and 15°C, or for cooler days on faster rides.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The material – even the parts with DWR treatment – was comfortable to wear.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It doesn't stand going out in the rain.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's mid-range, sitting below boutique options such as the £115 Iris Himmel but above others, such as dhb's £40 Women's Long Sleeve Thermal. It's roughly the same price as Fat Lad At The Back's thermal long sleeve options (£79.99 rrp, though most currently reduced to £49.99), one of which Lara tested in January (the no-longer-available Fearless Fabulous Female Midweight Thermal) and the Altura has additional features and more attention to detail for the money.
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
It's a good, comfortable jersey at a decent price, but its water-resistance is minimal.
About the tester
I usually ride: Trek 7.5 WSD My best bike is: Turquoise Cruiser
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Novice
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, general fitness riding, Leisure