Windproof garments have changed a lot of people's ideas about winter riding, my own included. Endura's FS260 Pro Thermal Windproof jacket is likely to win a lot more converts. Endura calls this a jacket rather than a jersey, which in weight and feel is probably right, but the cut is definitely jersey-like.
Different manufacturers have different approaches on how to keep the wind off while avoiding you overheating on your winter training rides. Some use pit or chest zips to help with airflow. Endura has gone for micro-mesh panels, lined with fleece, on the back and the backs of the arms.
I certainly noticed this each time I set off, with just a hint of coolness around the backs of the arms particularly; but they do say you should start a bit cold and once I was up to operating temperature I was comfortingly cosy. Having said that, if I didn't keep up the pace, for example on a long, easy descent, I did find the cooling a little too effective – but I freely admit to being utterly wet and a weed. On the other hand, if you tend to push hard on your winter training rides, or you naturally have a hot running engine, you might find this on the warm side.
The chunky front zip is easy to do up with gloved hands and I really liked the baffle behind it which, when zipped all the way up, cleverly tucked into the equivalent baffle inside the collar to create a draught-proof seal. This was achieved without throttling the rider.
The sleeve length really pleased me too, as I hate getting cold wrists. Endura has extended the micro-mesh fabric from the backs of the arms to the cuffs, which are gratifyingly long and stay firmly in place over a long-cuffed glove. Similarly, the body of the jacket has plenty of length and is kept firmly in place with a generous amount of silicone gripper.
There are three elasticated back pockets which hold plenty of stuff securely, but the sloped zip on the fourth security pocket meant this was smaller than it needed to be and I couldn't fit my favourite waterproof wallet-and-phone cover in.
What you wear under this top will, of course, affect its performance. I tried pairing it with either a winter-weight synthetic baselayer and a merino wool jersey and found the synthetic best for both warmth and humidity control.
In a relentless January gale, cold enough to carry snow, the windproofing worked perfectly and the jacket shrugged off the stinging snow pellets. On milder, overcast and blowy days I found the windproofing welcome but I never overheated.
Endura makes no claims about waterproofing, and on really wet days I managed to stay dry by the simple expedient of staying indoors and watching telly. Seriously, though, I always take a waterproof shell on winter rides, even in a jacket like this. Hypothermia is for losers.
Mid price but max performance from this windproof jacket, particularly for those inclined to feel the chill on winter training rides
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Endura FS260-Pro SL Thermal Windproof Jacket
Size tested: Large, Black
Tell us what the jacket is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Part of Endura's FS260 Pro range:
"FS260-Pro is a no BS, but always sharp looking collection for riding fast and far."
Endura describes the SL Thermal Windproof Jacket as "Winter Training Insulation".
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
High stretch, windproof fabric with thermal lining on front and sleeves
Stretch thermal rear panels
Full length front zip with baffle behind
High cut, double layer collar for warmth and comfort
External rear gripper
Three rear pockets with additional zipped security pocket
Construction: Polyester 70%
Beautifully made from rugged materials.
An excellent balance of insulation and ventilation, I would say.
So far no rubs, bobbles or snags. Washes well and shows no sign of fading so far.
Endura makes no claims about waterproofing. It shrugged off snow showers.
Again, no specific claims but the micro-mesh panels on the back and the sleeves did a good job of venting the jacket.
Great sleeve length, long cut which stayed in place on the bike. Whilst the fit is slim, it is not tight.
Size was perfect for my long frame. While there is stretch in it, if you are wide in the chest or shoulder you may find it pays to go bigger.
At 565g it's a little more than some of the competition but certainly didn't feel bulky in use.
Excellent all round, especially the double-collar for draughtproofing at the neck and the long cuffs which stayed securely over the gloves.
There are good jackets out there for less - or considerably more. For the quality of design and construction, this is a pretty reasonably priced garment.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washed very well, no sagging, fading or shrinking and it dried quickly.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Marvellous. Warm without overheating. Super-comfortable.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Great cut, high quality construction, windproofing, ventilation, baffle behind the zip, neck baffle.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
Rather small zip pocket.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? Yes
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
This soon became my first choice for winter riding, even over more expensive takes on the same theme. It's like being hugged by your mammy all through your ride.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale CAAD10 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking