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review

Oxford Endeavour Gilet Fluo

7
£34.99

VERDICT:

7
10
Well-executed gilet with broader horizons than commuting, but single pocket may be a turn off
Light
Bright
Easily packable
A good fit
Single pocket may limit the appeal
Weight: 
169g

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Oxford Endeavour Gilet Fluo is described as a 'relaxed fit', but don't interpret this as meaning baggy, or just for commuters. The Endeavour is equally at home on a training run, and easy to pack in a jersey pocket.

Okay, so it's a woven rather than laminated polyester which promises to remain breathable, but that had me questioning its weather-cheating properties.

The cobalt grey panels are 'Nightbright 360', a retro-reflective that turns a brilliant white when graced by car or street lighting.

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Retro-reflectives have long been a staple, but this is a definite notch better than generic offerings, and accentuated by sensible positioning.

2021 Oxford Endeavour Gilet Fluo - reflective back.jpg

The front panel has a zippered breast pocket, which will swallow a wallet or long-zoom compact camera without indigestion, but not a phone.

2021 Oxford Endeavour Gilet Fluo - reflective front.jpg

You get a fleece collar with zippered garage to keep chills out, but no rear pockets, and Oxford has gone for an elastic rather than silicone-gripper hem.

2021 Oxford Endeavour Gilet Fluo - collar.jpg

Sizing

'Commuter' tends to imply loose-fitting and, to a lesser extent these days, lower rent. But while this is slightly less figure-hugging than some racier gilets, including its Venture cousin, it's still snug. The thin, woven fabric allows it to stretch, so it doesn't bunch if you're layering up or wearing regular clothes.

2021 Oxford Endeavour Gilet Fluo - tail.jpg

The snug fit ensures it doesn't flutter like a builder's tarp when it's blowing a gale.

Comfort

Despite being thin (and therefore, very breathable) the fabric does a decent job of tempering unexpected gusts and to some extent, the retro-reflective panel also helps protect your shoulders and chest. I've worn ours in temperatures between 3 and 13°C.

At the lower end of the spectrum, it's offered that extra insulation from unpredictable, gusty stuff, meaning I could get away with a long sleeve winter jersey and summer weight base layer.

2021 Oxford Endeavour Gilet Fluo - hem.jpg

On occasions where the temperature climbed into the low teens, I was pleasantly surprised by its breathability at a steady 18-20mph and didn't feel any need to whip it off mid ride.

2021 Oxford Endeavour Gilet Fluo - shoulders.jpg

The zipper tag is reasonably proportioned, so getting the zip down for a bit more air cooling is straightforward, even in full finger gloves.

> 19 best cycling gilets — get to know this wardrobe essential

While laminated fabrics will hold back brief showers, the Endeavour takes on water relatively quickly, but also dries in similar haste.

Presence

The very bright yellow is great for murky and overcast conditions, but I've also been pleasantly surprised at how conspicuous I've been while hustling along singletrack roads on bright days.

2021 Oxford Endeavour Gilet Fluo - chest.jpg

While the reflectives lack the outright punch of something like Proviz Reflect360, but is closer to it than I was expecting.

Durability

Washing is straightforward, and ours has emerged each time looking very fresh. Organic grime has vanished without trace, and oily stuff has faded almost completely.

Value

The £34.99 price is very reasonable for the performance. The B'Twin Men's Visibility PPE Certified Sleeveless Reversible Gilet 560 is £39.99, but it's also reversible, very bright and offers three pockets. On the other hand, it's a bit hefty for milder outings and not really packable.

The Proviz Reflect360 Plus Gilet is incredibly bright, offers three pockets and better water resistance, but at £59.99 is a good bit dearer. The Respro Basic Waistcoat, meanwhile, comes in at £21.99 but is seriously low on frills – it has no pockets, and nor is it cycling-specific.

Summary

The Oxford Endeavour bridges the gap between commuter and training gilet rather nicely. The single (front) pocket might be a deal-breaker for some, though.

Verdict

Well-executed gilet with broader horizons than commuting, but single pocket may be a turn off

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Oxford Endeavour Gilet Fluo

Size tested: Medium

Tell us what the product is for

Oxford says "The Endeavour is a relaxed fit hi-vis gilet. It is designed to fit over non-cycle apparel and allow active movement. A slightly raised fleeced collar provides added protection from cold winds. The gilet features Nightbright 360 which provides a subtle reflective panel that are stylish by day and visible by night."

My feelings – it's well-designed gilet that works and, save for the single pocket, is more than equipped for long, fast rides.

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

100% Polyester

Breathable stretch front and rear with reflective detail

* Fleece-lined collar

* Zipped chest pocket

* Reflective logos

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
7/10

Light, stretchy fabric but sturdy and well made.

Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10

A good all-round performer, with greater horizons than commuting.

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

Responds very well to wearing and washing.

Rate the product for fit:
 
8/10

Snug fit that works well with or without layering.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
8/10

Medium was bang on.

Rate the product for weight:
 
7/10

Feels lighter than its 169g.

Rate the product for comfort:
 
8/10

Decent defence against chill, and dissipates heat efficiently.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

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

Surprisingly easy. No deterioration of the fabric or retro-reflective detailing to date.

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

Overall performance is impressive.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Nice design, good fit, bright and easily packable.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Single pocket may limit the appeal.

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

The £34.99 price is very reasonable for the performance. The B'Twin Men's Visibility PPE Certified Sleeveless Reversible Gilet 560 is £39.99, but it's also reversible, very bright and offers three pockets. On the other hand, it's a bit hefty for milder outings and not really packable.

The Proviz Reflect360+ Gilet is incredibly bright, offers three pockets and better water resistance, but at £59.99 a good bit dearer – the Respro Basic Waistcoat, meanwhile, comes in at £21.99 but is seriously low on frills – it has no pockets, and nor is it cycling-specific.

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

This is a decent gilet that fills the gap between commuting and performance. The single breast pocket may limit the appeal, but other than that there's little to dislike. It's good.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 47  Height: 1m 81cm  Weight: 70kg

I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset  My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)

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