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The Altura Endurance Long Sleeve Jersey is described as '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'. I'd loosely agree with this, although the DWR component isn't comprehensive, with the fabric quickly becoming wet when light showers turn to rain.
The jersey is made from a mix of 82% polyester, 18% elastane, and feels like other winter weight jerseys I've tested over the years – soft and supple, without any of the stiffness one might expect from a garment boasting windproof and water-repellent components.
That said, the latter only covers the chest and arms, and without a weather-repelling gilet, the fabric rapidly absorbs heavier rainfall. It's certainly welcome on drizzly days, and perhaps I was expecting too much but its limitations quickly became apparent when I was caught in an apocalyptic downpour; within 20 minutes, things were soggy, and by the time I'd made it back an hour later, the jersey was truly sodden.
Breathability is good, though. I'm typically chasing along the lanes before dawn, and to my surprise, even at 15°C and a steady 18-20mph, I've never felt 'boiled in the bag' or even needed to lower the front zip.
At the other extreme, in single figures (7°C and lower on some mornings) the fabric keeps welcome warmth where arm warmers and middleweight jerseys wouldn't. Add blustery, autumnal winds into the mix and the Endurance wins hands down.
Paired with mitts and slimline full-finger gloves, the cuffs – described as 'shaped', and essentially an elasticised taper – provide a gentle overlap, shutting the door to incoming chill and gusty showers.
The overall cut of the jersey gives some room to move but without irritating flutter when tackling exposed descents and the like. Altura describes it as semi-fitted, and I'd agree: roomy enough for a winter-weight baselayer and flattering to those regions some might be self-conscious about.
Altura kit has always come up slightly generous, I've found, but medium is my default and the medium on test was bang on for me, with enough room around the shoulders and enough length in the arms without being too long in the body.
Round the back we have the increasingly standard four pockets: three open-top and a fourth zipped one for valuables and whatnot. I say standard but, given the jersey's brief, Altura has given them a canopy designed to prevent water creeping inside, without hindering access, though there is a slight knack to grabbing stuff if you're wearing full-finger gloves – a matter of stretching the pocket slightly as you delve inside.
The zipper tag on the fourth pocket is also sensibly proportioned, as is the one on the main zip, which isn't always the case.
The pockets are roomy enough for those who, like me, love to bung stuff in – 6-inch smartphones, long zoom travel compact cameras, tubes, and snacks are readily swallowed without any fear of ejection. They've even held 600-650ml bottles without a problem as I've explored unmade roads and green lanes.
Other features to note are flat seams, a silicone hem that prevents incremental creep, and a comfortable collar that's described as fleece-lined, and is much like the thin pile inner fabric, but closer to corduroy in texture, in my opinion.
Colour-wise, there's a choice of red and the 'carbon' on test, which is a rather fetching charcoal grey. Bold retro-reflective logos and detailing enhance the back and other points, so while it'll hide mucky handprints following a roadside mechanical, it's not too stealthy.
It's early days but there's no sign of bobbling or similar wear despite regular exposure to over-hanging branches and the usual everyday carelessness.
Given its DWR coating, I've been more disciplined than usual when it comes to machine washing – 30 degrees, no tumble drying and no fabric softener.
Although £80 isn't cheap, it still compares favourably with others for this kind of specification. Middleweight jerseys are quite plentiful but tend not to have a DWR coating.
Some we've looked at are well over the £100 mark, from the likes of Stolen Goat, Le Col, and Castelli with its is it a jacket or is it a jersey Perfetto.
Another option would be to go for a softshell jacket, some of which are very jersey-like, though they also tend to be higher priced than the Altura – Lusso's Aqua Repel V2 Jacket, for example, is £134, but you are getting excellent weather protection.
Or, if you're happy with a short sleeve jersey and arm warmers, another well-priced option is Galibier's Sentinel at £66.25.
Bottom line, if you are seeking a cooler weather, middleweight long-sleeve jersey with a degree of shower resistance, the Altura Endurance Long Sleeve Jersey is well worth a closer look. It's not the most effective in heavier rain, but breathability is good, as is the cut, and you're not paying over the odds.
Decent cool weather jersey, good for drizzly days, just don't expect too much from the DWR component...
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Altura Endurance Men's Long sleeve jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Altura says: "Ideal for those milder long days out when you can leave your jacket at home featuring a warm Polartec® fleece lined collar and DWR coating
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. "
My feelings are it's a decent jersey that does pretty much what it says in the blurb, but the DWR fabric is less effective than implied.
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
Fabric feels pleasant on the skin and the jersey is well made.
A decent all-rounder. However, I can't help feeling the DWR (Durable Water Repellent) component is overplayed.
Seems well made and washes well. (I've stuck religiously to 30-degree machine washes.)
Semi-fitted cut is perfect for cooler weather layering, without feeling loose or highlighting those areas we might be a little sensitive about.
Medium was bang on for me: roomy enough around the shoulders, long enough in the arms without being too long in the body.
A decent tog weight for off-season riding and should withstand the usual highs 'n' lows of everyday riding.
Comfortable fabric that's generally efficient at regulating your body heat, even when temperatures hit the mid-teens.
At £80 this isn't cheap, though it's still favourable for this kind of specification compared with others.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very straightforward, although I've stuck religiously to 30-degree machine cycles and hung it out carefully.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, the Altura Endurance is a capable cooler weather jersey with some nice touches. The fabric is pleasing on the skin and the right tog weight for cooler weather, without leaving me feeling overly warm on milder days. Three deep pockets provide excellent, supportive storage and the cut cheats blustery weather while still allowing thicker baselayers, if required. The DWR coating is useful to a point but only in drizzly conditions; get a sudden downpour and it absorbs moisture quickly.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Great fit, nice pockets, and subtle styling.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing really, though I felt the DWR component fell short of the hype.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Middleweight jerseys are quite plentiful but tend not to have a shower-repellent coating – those that do, that we've tested, tend to be well over the £100 mark...
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, so long as they were prepared to accept the DWR component's limitations.
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's a good option if you are seeking a cooler weather middleweight long-sleeve jersey first, a degree of shower resistance second.
About the tester
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)