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Endura's Urban Luminite Pants may be a little lacking in practical extras – for example, there are no pockets, no fly or popper/button closure, and no adjustable sizing – but they more than make up for that with simply superb waterproofing, breathability and reflectivity. As an effective pair of overtrousers for when the going gets wet, they're hard to beat.
As a negative ninny, the first thing I noticed about Endura's Urban Luminite Pants was what they didn't have. After testing Cube's Blackline Pant and Shorts, where I'd even moaned about 'only' having a single pocket, it was a chastening experience to find the Luminites had no pockets at all.
Unlike the Cubes, the Enduras also don't have Velcro side straps to dial in sizing. And they don't even have a fly or buttoned or poppered closure. Good Lord – the inhumanity of it. I mean, you might be tempted to see them as overtrousers or something, and only put them on when it's raining.
Which, of course, is what they're designed for. They are 'only' overtrousers – but actually very well-thought-through ones. For example, the waist and crotch's lack of zips and poppers is the legs' gain. At the bottom of each leg, extra material is poppered up inside, ready to be let down if you need a little more length. Then there are zips that run up each calf, allowing you to get your Luminites on in a hurry without taking off your shoes.
While I castigated the Cubes for being measly on reflective elements, there are no such problems here with two huge reflective stripes on each leg – one on the outer thigh, the other on the calf – and a cute little Endura sign on the bottom.
Incidentally, the Endura website says the Luminites have 'Ankle zip with storm flap and Velcro adjustors'. I'd say it's more of a long calf zip than just ankle, and I can see no sign of any Velcro on these trousers at all. However, if you let the trouser legs down completely, you can use the poppers to achieve a tighter seal round your ankles – it's very effective.
As we've come to expect from overtrousers, there's a relatively small reinforced and – in this case – stretchy section in the immediate area of where bum touches saddle. And arguably more important than any of the visible features is Endura's choice of fabric because – it says – this 2.5-layer waterproof fabric is completely waterproof and breathable.
Transfer theory to the road and I have to say these are fantastic overtrousers. If we deal with probably the most important aspect – weatherproofing – performance is faultless. Even in heavy rain, water stays away and I was particularly impressed by that poppered closure round the ankle, which stopped the bottom of my jeans getting damp.
Breathability is excellent, with no build-up of self-induced sogginess occurring on the inside surface. Comfort is just as good, with the soft waistband happy to be hoiked up like an old man's slacks yet still not dig into the tummy. And – unlike Cube's offerings – the section of reinforced material in the crotch has a fairly benign reaction to the saddle, so you won't be slipping out of position.
Finally, sizing is bang on the money. I was over-cautious and ordered a pair of Luminites one size larger than my normal trousers, expecting that I'd need a bit of room to get them over jeans. With jeans, they're fine but if you're more likely to wear them over just cycling shorts or tights, stick to your normal size.
As I mentioned, Cube's Blackline Rain Pants aim to do largely the same job, albeit with a few extra bells and whistles, but cost £129.95. Similarly, Gore's Power Trail Active Pants are a premium option at £159.99. At the other end of the scale, there are the fairly plain Altura Nevis III Overtrousers for £44.99. Amongst this company, the refined Enduras justify their price rather well.
As a cycle kit reviewer, no matter how good a product seems, there's often the sense that something could be done just a little better. However, these Endura Urban Luminites actually had me thinking slightly differently. While an external pocket would be nice, I'd quite happily forget that detail to have these as my everyday rainproof overtrousers. They do everything so well, and at such a fair price, it seems a little churlish to ask for too much more.
To paraphrase those well known cycling commuters, the Rolling Stones: I know they're only overtrousers, but I like 'em.
Excellent waterproof overtrousers that faultlessly do the job of keeping you dry and safe
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Endura Urban Luminite Pant
Size tested: XXL
Tell us what the product is for
They're waterproof trousers to keep you dry when it rains.
Endura says: "Choose to ride no matter what the weather. These waterproof trousers will keep you dry and increase your visibility while you leave the gridlock behind. Large reflective prints or panels catch vehicle headlights, boost visibility in low light conditions."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Lightweight, breathable 2.5-Layer waterproof fabric in a fully seam-sealed construction
Durable stretch seat panel
Ankle zip with storm flap
Popper leg length adjustment
Highly reflective panels for 360-degree night time visibility
Really well made.
Perfect performance on the bike. Legs are kept dry and pedalling is unencumbered. Reflectivity is excellent.
Although there's only a relatively small reinforced area at the seat, durability has been all good so far. My only query concerns the use of poppers. Their hold is very strong and I wonder if there exists the potential to damage fabric with an over-enthusiastic de-poppering. I've been quite tough on them so far and no sign of problems, but I wonder about repeated use over extended time.
Really good. Leg length is plentiful and adjustable while lower back coverage is good, too.
I ordered a size bigger than I needed to deal with going over jeans – it does indeed feel like a size bigger.
Light and simple.
The soft waistband keeps the trousers in place with causing any problems.
Cube's Blackline Rain Pants aim to do largely the same job, albeit with a few extra bells and whistles, for £129.95. Similarly, Gore's Power Trail Active Pants are a premium option at £159.99. At the other end of the scale, there are the fairly plain Altura Nevis III Overtrousers for £44.99. Amongst this company, these Enduras justify their price rather well.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Machine wash at 30 degrees then drip dry. All good.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Really well – they offer perfect performance on the bike.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I liked that you can use the poppers to bring in the hem of the trousers in a tighter closure round the ankles. Long zip at lower leg is very handy for getting them on.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Could do with just one zipped pocket for keys.
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
When it comes down to simple on-bike wet weather performance, the Luminites are perfect. Waterproofing is superb, as is breathability. Fit and comfort is good, too, while reflectivity is awesome.
About the tester
I usually ride: Islabikes Beinn 29 My best bike is: 25-year-old Dawes Galaxy
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: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb, Leisure