The Endura Pro SL Lite Gilet II is a practical, windproof, waterproof and easily packable gilet that is ideal for changeable conditions.
In autumn, spring and early summer it can be difficult to dress correctly for a ride: start off in the morning and after a few hours in the saddle the chances are the conditions will be completely different. It is why kit like arm warmers and gilets are so important, offering protection when you need it but being easy to stow away when not. Endura's Pro SL Lite Gilet II manages to do both parts of this effectively, offering protection from the elements and easy stowability in a jersey pocket.
There are a couple of materials used in the gilet. The majority of the panels are made from a nylon and elastane mix, which gives the material a certain amount of stretch while maintaining waterproofing, with the centre of the back being a perforated fabric that allows for heat build-up to escape more easily.
It's relatively close fitting without feeling tight thanks to the stretch in the fabric. There's no excess material, and to help keep everything in place and maintain this close fit Endura has included a silicone gripper across the bottom of the armpits.
In terms of protection against the elements, the gilet offers a decent amount of waterproofing and very good windproofing. You wouldn't necessarily choose any gilet if you were going out in the pouring rain, but this one does the job if you want to keep the rain off your core in showers. Windproofing, as I say, is very good. I must admit that in the past few weeks I haven't really had an opportunity to test it in genuinely cold weather, but down to around 6°C it worked well in keeping the chill off, and I would be confident that it would do the same in colder temperatures.
At the front of the gilet is a good quality YKK zipper with a nice stiff cover which helps with the windproofing and also makes it difficult to get the zipper caught midway through use. The zip pull is also nice and big, so it's simple to use with full finger gloves and it also stays under the zip cover when fully zipped and doesn't swing around.
The front also has two large reflective stripes across the chest and an Endura icon, which all helps with being visible in low light conditions, and there's another high-vis logo on the middle back pocket and two stripes running down the back of the neck.
There are three large open rear pockets and a zipped one for valuables on the central pocket. These offer enough storage for most long distance rides, although generally, in the temperatures I was testing in, after about an hour I was generally transferring the contents and the gilet itself into my jersey pockets.
At the top there is a neat loop for wrapping around the gilet when folded; it's hidden in a Velcro compartment to prevent it from irritating your neck when riding – a small but nice touch. I also found it handy for hanging up the gilet at times.
Putting it on, taking it off, and tucking it away in a pocket is all very easy, with that robust zip making the job simple even in full finger gloves. It doesn't fold down as small as some gilets I have used, but I could easily fit it and a pair of arm warmers into one jersey pocket.
Its RRP of £89.99 is a little steep, especially for a gilet that only offers wind and water protection rather than insulation. It's the same price as the Orro Cycling Gilet that Jez tested in 2018, with broadly the same features, which Jez also thought was a little pricey.
You can pick up a similar gilet, albeit without some of the added features like silicone grippers and the hidden loop, for quite a bit less. The Lusso Aqua Challenge, for example, comes in at £64.99, though the Endura has more visibility elements and better breathability thanks to the back panel.
Overall, I liked this gilet. It has a good fit, with the stretch in the fabric allowing it to sit close without being restrictive, plus it keeps out the elements while also packing away relatively small. The only slight negative is the price, but it makes a good fist of justifying it.
Very good gilet that keeps out the elements and stows easily, if a bit pricey
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Endura Pro SL Lite Gilet II
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
It is a gilet designed for cold weather riding with a focus on keeping the wind and rain off whilst still being packable in a jersey pocket when necessary.
Garment technologies developed by Endura for the most demanding races in professional cycling are available to cyclists who ride only for passion in our flagship road collection - Pro SL.
PREMIUM PERFORMANCE AND VERSATILITY
Carefully engineered fabric panelling provides protection from wind and spray where you need it, whilst allowing for maximum breathability. Designed to be a versatile addition to your outfit by protecting you from the elements when needed, and fitting comfortably in your back pocket when not.
90 DAY SATISFACTION GUARANTEE
So confident are we in this product that, if you are not entirely satisfied with it then we offer a no-quibble refund or replacement policy within 90 days of purchase.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Waterproof, stretch front, back and sides with breathable mesh panels
Full front zip with full length bonded storm flap
Three rear pockets with additional zipped security pocket
Hidden loop for quick and easy packing
Subtle reflective trims
It is a well-made gilet with tight stitching connecting well-chosen fabrics.
Performed well throughout, breathability was good and it managed to keep the elements out too.
The zips are robust and good quality, so they're likely to last, and the rest of the fabric is showing no sign of being likely to rip or wear out.
The fit is particularly good thanks to elements such as the silicone under the armpits and the slight stretch in the material.
The medium I tested fitted as I would expect.
It's not the cheapest gilet out there, but performance and fit are very good.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Easy: wash it at 30 and line dry.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well, it kept the wind and rain off effectively and was easy to stow when needed.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The effort that's been made to keep it in place, like the silicone grippers.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It is pretty pricey, but it is part of Endura's flagship Pro SL collection.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The Orro Cycling Gilet that Jez looked at recently is the same price and with broadly the same features. You can pick up a similar gilet for quite a bit less, such as the Lusso Aqua Challenge which comes in at £64.99, but with fewer visibility elements and not such good breathability.
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 bit pricey, but on performance alone it's very good. You can get gilets that do broadly the same thing for less, but there's no denying that the fit is great, and additional elements like the grippers, hidden loop, and perforated panel on the back all add value.
About the tester
I usually ride: CAAD13 My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
George spends his days helping companies deal with their cycling commuting challenges with his company Cycling for Work. He has been writing for Road.cc since 2014.
When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.