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Endura Pro SL Knee Warmers II

7
£39.99

VERDICT:

7
10
Great performance and an excellent build, but the shaping won't suit everyone
Warm but breathable
Rain beads off well
Windproof
Very high and narrow at the top
Weight: 
110g

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 Endura Pro SL Knee Warmers II are impressively well made, combining warmth and windproofing with useful breathability. The very effective DWR coating keeps showers off pleasingly well too, but if you've got big thighs, these may not be for you.

The Pro SLs are a step up from Endura's cheapest options in that they're shaped from several panels and use a few fabrics, instead of just one of each. The stitching is all overlocked too, to keep the seams flat and unintrusive.

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The construction generally is impressive, in fact, and the stitching and silicone grippers (both inside and out at the top, to better grip your shorts) look and feel seriously solid. The chunky retro-reflective bars on the backs are a great touch, too.

The water-repelling abilities of the front panel and lower cuff are impressive, too, with rain beading eagerly in a silvery sheen, but when they do soak through they don't get too much colder anyway. The treatment is DWR-M, a newer version that's created in an eco-friendly way and is Bluesign approved.

If you can't be bothered to stop and remove the Pro SLs when it gets a bit milder, they also stay comfortable when sweaty. I found they would heat up until my legs were damp, but never went beyond 'a bit warm' into anything unpleasant. They breathe well enough, despite being usefully windproof.

2021 Endura Pro SL Knee Warmers II - logo and cuff.jpg

The stretchy, non-windproof panels behind your thigh surely help with this effective heat management, but at the same time the Thermoroubaix lining creates a cosy and protective feel as soon as you put them on. It's a good balance!

A word about sizing – Endura does have a chart, but the 'size guide' link on the Pro SL page doesn't take you to it. Make sure to follow the sizing link at the bottom of the site instead, and read it carefully... it can be confusing. Size S/M, for instance, can fit thighs up to 57cm or 52cm, depending on how many other sizes there are in the range.

As a consequence, I fit an S/M for the slightly more basic FS260-Pro Thermo Knee Warmers, but an M/L for these. Potentially confusing...

I say 'fit,' but while I found these perfectly sized below, around and immediately above my knee, I was never really comfortable with the top opening. It's strongly elasticated and relatively narrow, and it sits very high at probably the widest part of your thigh.

2021 Endura Pro SL Knee Warmers II - top gripper.jpg

I found the elastic strong enough to do sausagey things to my legs, and it always left prints in my skin of the four lines of grippy silicone. I had a similar issue with those FS260-Pro Thermo warmers, though the broad elastic topping these SLs is even less forgiving.

2021 Endura Pro SL Knee Warmers II - top gripper inside.jpg

Pushing the top band further down my thigh helped, but inevitably led to wrinkling and bunching around the knee. It rarely led to the warmers slipping overall, though, which only made me wonder why the elastic needs to be so fierce in the first place.

The SLs come in three sizes, so technically you could size up, but these are already very long – and otherwise fit well – so that's perhaps not the answer. I think these are just best suited to those with relatively slim thighs.

2021 Endura Pro SL Knee Warmers II 2.jpg

Certainly if they do suit your shape, you'll benefit from the extra coverage of those tall thigh sections, and the quality is great.

Value

The price seems fair for what you're getting, and matches the £40 Morvelo Stealth Stormshield Knee Warmers, which are also very weatherproof – but seemingly a more forgiving fit.

> Buyer’s Guide: 20 of the best arm & leg warmers for 2021

You can get cheaper, though, such as with Sportful's very good NoRain Knee Warmers at £32. If you're not bothered about waterproofing, Galibier's Roubaix Knee Warmers are a serious bargain at just £16.80.

Overall

If the Pro SL IIs fit – if your legs are either very thin or muscled as hard as bulletproof glass – they're lovely. They're warm wet or dry, are lovely and soft inside, and add a sensible dollop of visibility with style. They also feel made to last.

However, if the high, narrow tops don't suit your thighs, the unforgiving elastic can really dent the overall performance. And also, now I come to think of it, your legs...

Verdict

Great performance and an excellent build, but the shaping won't suit everyone

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Endura Pro SL Knee Warmers II

Size tested: Small/Medium

Tell us what the product is for

Endura says: "The new Pro SL Knee Warmers II deliver without compromise. Windproof, water repellent fabrics in carefully constructed pre-shaped panel designs offer the protection that your extremities need for comfort in a wide range of conditions."

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

Endura lists:

Windproofing and Warmth

Careful, clever fabric placement utilises 4 way high stretch windproof panels and luxurious thermoroubaix, providing the optimal balance of weather protection and warmth.

Thermoroubaix with DWR M

Thermoroubaix is a luxurious, high stretch thermal fabric that provides comfortable insulation and features the PFC Free DWR M treatment for excellent eco friendly water repellencey.

Elastane 15%, Nylon 30%, Polyester 55%

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Impressively shaped panelling and strongly stitched.

Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10

No reason to think they won't last like most Endura stuff (which in my experience is very well).

Rate the product for fit:
 
7/10

Great for the most part, but I couldn't get on with the high and narrow top.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
7/10

Assuming the shaping is suitable, the sizing is fine – though pay careful attention to Endura's chart.

Rate the product for weight:
 
7/10

Perfectly acceptable both worn or in a pocket, though the SL doesn't mean 'superlight' – Endura's own (cheaper) FS260-Pros are actually lighter.

Rate the product for comfort:
 
7/10

For me, the tight tops detracted from what was otherwise a very comfortable pair of warmers.

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

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

No issues at all.

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

Warm, usefully windproof and don't overheat if the day gets bit milder.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Impressive shaping around and below the knee, very strong build.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The strongly elasticated tops are just too tall and narrow to fit me comfortably – and my thighs aren't massive.

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

The price seems fair for what you're getting, and matches the £40 Morvelo Stealth Stormshield Knee Warmers, which are also very weatherproof – though seemingly a more forgiving fit.

You can get cheaper, though, such as with Sportful's very good NoRain Knee Warmers at £32. If you're not bothered about waterproofing, Galibier's Roubaix Knee Warmers are a serious bargain at just £16.80.

Did you enjoy using the product? Mostly

Would you consider buying the product? No, but only because of the tight top cuff.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes – if they had suitably slim legs.

Use this box to explain your overall score

Ignore the top cuffs and everything is great – these are really well made, work really well and feel good. The price is fair too, especially as they feel built to last a long time. However, if you've got big thighs – and I'm not talking rugby player here, I'm 6ft and fairly slim – it could be all but impossible to ignore those cuffs. They're tight enough to be uncomfortable and look odd. With a more accommodating fit here, they'd be an easy 8.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 48  Height: 183cm  Weight: 78kg

I usually ride: Vitus Zenium SL VR Disc  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: general fitness riding, mtb,

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