Cornwall, nestled within the far southwest of England, is maybe the proper place to check a water-proof biking jacket. It’s phenomenally damp right here; neglect every little thing you see on postcards, the default setting is ‘mizzle’ (a tasty mix of mist and drizzle), after which it rolls by grades by to “Atlantic gale deluge”. It’s also delicate, hardly ever dipping beneath round 8C/46F, so no matter jacket you put on needs to be each waterproof and breathable. Given absolutely the soaking Cornwall had over the festive interval, I had the proper alternative to place some extra miles into the greatest waterproof biking jackets. Right here I’m going to take you thru the great and the not-so-good bits that the Endura GV500 waterproof jacket brings to the desk.
The Endura GV500 has seen motion within the mud, rain, and excessive winds, but in addition simply in cooler circumstances. How does it form up then? It’s good, particularly for the value, and doubly so should you discover it on sale which is a reasonably common incidence.
Design and aesthetics
Gravel-specific is right here to remain I’m afraid. We’ve pushed by the darkish days of both utilizing street or MTB merchandise relying on what matches our wants the very best, and waterproof jackets are the most recent issues to be given the GS remedy. The GV500 waterproof jacket is, in easy phrases, a pared-back model of Endura’s extraordinarily profitable MT500 mountain biking jacket. Fewer options, and a barely completely different material, however a consequently lower cost as effectively that makes for a compelling package deal for each gravel and MTB.
Gravel clothes has a call to make, garment to garment, about the place it attracts its inspiration. Some gear is street put on with a utilitarian edge, right here the aesthetic and construct are undoubtedly mountain bike. The minimize is boxy, and there’s little to no stretch within the face material so don’t even suppose by way of ‘race match’. It’s saggy, to not a loopy diploma, however sufficient to accommodate a light-weight down jacket beneath ought to the necessity come up. I’d wager although that should you’re needing a down jacket beneath a water-proof you could be higher served by among the choices from our listing of the greatest winter biking jackets. It’s a slimmer match than one thing just like the Albion Zoa Rain Shell although, which has a barely extra expeditionary focus.
In comparison with the MT500 jacket there aren’t any aspect pockets and no pit vents. The Exoshell40 waterproof material right here is the usual possibility, slightly than the “DR” sturdy model, that means it’s lighter, packs down smaller, however is a bit more fragile. The outer material is ripstop nylon, and it feels sturdy and has shrugged off heavy Cornish gorse bushes and my propensity to select gravel routes that require me to hold my bike on my again with ease.
Sturdy, sure, however the material is that basic rustling, noisy materials. Inside it’s obtained a backer much like Gore-Tex Energetic, however the entire package deal feels thinner and extra light-weight. The waterproof ranking of 20,000mm and breathability of 40,000g/m2/24hr are respectable, notably at this value level. If you wish to perceive the ins and outs of waterproof materials, rankings and so on then you’ll want to examine our ‘waterproof materials defined’ article. The membrane itself is fluorine free, that means the GV500 is probably not inclined to the adjustments that can come to an enormous swathe of waterproof gear as soon as the PFC ban comes into impact.
Zips are one thing I get fairly enthusiastic about at occasions. Right here we have now a water-proof primary zip, however it’s sadly single-ended. If you happen to experience in a T-shirt with a backpack then that is effective, but when it’s worthwhile to entry jersey pockets you’ll must unzip. The storm flap is, oddly, exterior. This offers a clear look however appears to me like it could be extra helpful inside, notably within the face field space the place the absence of an inside flap means the zip itself sits in your chin when absolutely zipped up. That is uncomfortable, even on shorter rides.
Bizarrely the chest pocket, what I’d consider as a ‘valuables’ pocket, doesn’t function a water-proof zip. It does function a double tabbed zipper although (i.e. there’s a pull tab accessible contained in the pocket) for causes unknown, as you possibly can’t entry the pocket aside from from the outside zip. One thing to clip your keys to maybe?
Lastly, earlier than the real-world juicy, soggy particulars, we should focus on match. I’m not a broad man. I’m in reality what’s often, grimly, known as a ‘bike owner’s physique’ in advertising and marketing, to the exclusion of each different physique sort; tall, slim, skinny even. In a small the shoulders have been too slender, feeling tight beneath the armpits and throughout the higher again. The extra racy your place is the extra this sense will likely be exacerbated, because the angle your higher arms make together with your torso opens up. On the plus aspect, as a lanky gentleman, the GV500 has refreshingly lengthy arms. Typically I’ll discover jackets expose my wrists, however this was by no means the case right here. Positive, you possibly can’t cinch the cuffs, however they’re tight sufficient, particularly should you’re going to put on them over gloves.
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The quick model is that should you’re searching for a jacket that’ll hold you dry out on the gravelly trails then that is undoubtedly price contemplating. The DWR (sturdy water repellent) has held up admirably up to now, even within the face of some staggeringly heavy and extended rain. For some context, the path to the coast that I often take was a foot deep underwater at factors (R.I.P. to my bearings).
Regardless of the downpours, the sleeves particularly did preserve a wholesome bead, even when costlier objects have wetted out. I’m not one for gloves until it’s deathly chilly, however the longer sleeves did at the very least assist hold my wrists somewhat dryer.
The hood I wasn’t overly keen on, or I ought to say the hood-facebox combo. With the hood up over a helmet it clamps the face field in opposition to your shin. But, this implies it stops water pouring in, however with out a flap internally you find yourself consuming the zipper or having it rub your chin. The match didn’t hassle me an excessive amount of in the true world. Sure, it was somewhat too tight within the shoulders, however whereas driving off-road, with a continuously altering physique place, it didn’t actually give me second ideas. On street sections, within the drops, the factor that bothered me probably the most was the saggy chest. With my cellphone within the chest pocket, it was continuously clattered by my knees. If you happen to’re a extra broad-set rider although it’s price contemplating making an attempt one on before you purchase. As I mentioned earlier than, it’s extra of a difficulty in additional stretched-out positions, which isn’t actually what it’s designed for.
A hill I’ll die on is that each one hooded biking jackets ought to have a way of stowing the hood. The hood is a wind sock, and when it’s not tipping it down and I’m both utilizing the jacket as a windbreaker or simply accepting a humid head for temperature causes, the hood flaps about my neck and ears and turns into extraordinarily irritating. This isn’t an issue distinctive to this jacket, however it appears to be a difficulty with all biking waterproofs.
Breathability is, for me at the very least, the true check of a water-proof biking jacket. I run scorching, Cornwall is delicate and extremely humid on the coast when the air is stuffed with sea spray (it’s additionally bloody homicide for bike elements, however that’s one other story…). A breathability ranking of 40,000g/m2/24hr seems to be good on paper, however what does it imply in actual life? Truly this was in all probability what impressed me probably the most; sure the jacket stored me dry, apart from the often accepted slight ingress on the hem/neck/cuffs, however I might fortunately carry a heavy bike up an extended, steep staircase (excessive effort, no wind cooling impact) with out something greater than unzipping the neck somewhat. If you happen to run scorching it’s a great possibility, and felt noticeably extra breathable than the dhb Path Waterproof Jacket.
The flipside to this breathability is that, when stopped, it doesn’t really feel so cosy. My benchmark for the goldilocks zone is the Albion Zoa, which is each extraordinarily breathable and feels protecting sufficient to not likely give a second thought to stopping for some time within the parts. With the GV500 jacket although it’s undoubtedly somewhat extra chilly while you cease.
I think, in addition to weight financial savings, that is why the mountain bike model makes use of thicker material. Maybe Endura feels mountain bikers usually tend to be uncovered to the weather than their gravelly counterparts.
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I’ve examined loads of waterproof jackets this winter and can proceed to take action till the weather conditions enhance (please, ship towels). It’s straightforward to get hung up on what’s the best possible while you’re continuously going out within the rain and lose sight of the associated fee and what’s a ‘regular’ use case. The Endura GV500 sits at what might be the higher stage of ‘price range’, at a retail value of £159.99.
If you need the very best then this isn’t it, however at this value level, the GV500 is I think considered one of, if not the very best in its class. It’s recurrently discounted too – seemingly in a value warfare with the equally priced dhb Path Waterproof – making for an much more compelling providing that represents nice worth contemplating the efficiency on supply.
The Endura GV500 waterproof jacket supplies good safety from the weather, and is available in at a gorgeous value level for these riders trying to step up from ‘rain averse’ to ‘deluge curious’. It’s not the cream of the crop, however it’s in all probability the very best of the bunch at this value level. It’s solely actually let down by slight match points and zip particulars, which, for intermittent use, you possibly can undoubtedly look previous.
|Match||Lengthy sleeves are good, however it’s somewhat saggy up entrance and tight throughout the shoulders and higher again||7/10|
|Safety||It is about as waterproof as anybody would wish for day driving. Not expedition-tier, however it does not attempt to be||9/10|
|Options||Whereas it does not proport to be a function wealthy jacket, the options which can be current aren’t all the time effectively executed; I am speaking zips, largely||7/10|
|Breathability||I am a sweaty boy. It did very effectively in conserving me cool||9/10|
|Worth||Contemplating the safety you get it is superb worth, particularly contemplating it is recurrently discounted||9/10|
|Total ranking||Row 5 – Cell 1||82%|