Bicycle and Gear Reviews

Cold wear: 2010 Endura Windchill jacket

19 Comments 24 October 2010

Massive zipped vents for extra ventilation, front pocket perfect size for a phone

As you might have noticed, I’ve fought a constant battle in finding a suitable outfit that would keep me warm in the cold weather and upcoming winter, but wouldn’t boil me alive since I heat up like a sauna when exercising. I tried several different hard (ie. water and windproof) shells: Thinner ones, more expensive ones and ones offering best breathability. None of them worked for me. They made me run so hot the sweat condensed inside the jacket causing my base layer to soggy up.

Huge pockets and a silicon band on the butt side.

Then I went for soft (windproof) shells, and fully wind-proofed ones were better, but still not what I wanted. Our friend Toby mentioned in some context about soft shells that are windproof in the front (that keeps you warm), but are not in the back and under the arms, so I started looking for a soft shell that would meet these specifications. I also wanted the jacket to have audio access from a waterproof pocket for my iPhone and rear pockets to keep my stuff.

Luckily, my soon-to-be-favorite company Endura from the UK makes just a jacket, and since I was already comfortable with their sizing, I ordered a 2010 Endura Windchill soft shell jacket and it arrived a few weeks ago, just in time for cooler weathers. The jacket is actually waterproofed from the front and the sleeves (which I thoroughly tested today), but has Thermal Roubaix (read: Lycra and Elastan) underarm, side and back that allows my steam to ventilate out.

The Windchill has big reflecting surfaces in every direction

The difference is massive. Previously when I rode to work, there was sweat dripping from my sleeves when I took my gloves off and I seriously needed a shower after peeling the slimy base layer from my skin. Now, the same distance at the same temperature it feels like I hardly break a sweat. Theoretically I could go on without a shower if I would ride just a bit slower, something that was never an option with other jackets.

The jacket has three big stretch pockets in the back and in the middle there’s a small, waterproof zipped pocket that holds your keys and a small wallet. The pockets are quite large, but not cavernous. I just rode home with a compact camera, a jersey, a pair of socks, wallet, keys, iPhone and a pair of Helly Hansen base layer pants – all in my back pockets and I didn’t even notice them there.

Our verdict: ★★★★★

As the jacket ventilates so well, I see I can use it for 9 months per year here in Finland and with its low price of about 90 €, it’s well worth the investment.

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- who has written 201 posts on Coming thru!.

Markus is a bike commuter gadget freak who is learning the ropes of the bike world, you can find him all around the web - but you can start with his twitter at @banton.

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  • Hugo

    Looks good. It’d be handy if you could also always mention where you buy stuff from.

    By the way, the grey text on maroon background is very hard to read on my screen.

  • Hi,

    Mostly we shop in our local bike shops, but for clothing it’s usually Chain Reaction Cycles since they have a great selection for larger sizes. Sometimes we also order directly from the brands.

    Grey text on maroon? We know Opera fails on our site, other browsers should have 99.999% white background on all text, apart from a few navigational elements.

    Maybe something is broken?

  • Sami

    Sounds like a great product. I use backpack when commuting which makes me sweat like a waterfall, so I always have to take a shower both at work and at home after a ride. Do you use a backpack or where do you pack your stuff (work clothes etc.)? I mean, even a jacket like this loses its meaning when using a backpack…

    White bg with Firefox.

  • I try to commute without a backpack, but I have tried the Windchill with my Chrome Soyuz and the small Camelbak Blowfish. The latter didn’t cause a lot of sweat, and even the Chrome wasn’t too bad as the jacket is form fitting, allowing air to circulate in the grooves of the Soyuz backpack.

    I take a shower on both ends anyway, as I ride hard and fast to make the journey under one hour.

    I have spare clothing in the office (jeans, hoodie, underwear, socks, t-shirts, hats, shoes) – which I refill about twice a month using either a backpack or a waterproof diving bag I put on my rack. I can also do it on those days I can’t bike to work due to early client meetings or such.

  • Frank

    Same issue here, gray background on maroon. The only white elements on the page are the header and some image borders as well as div borders. Looks like the site fails in Chrome 7.0.5 as well…

  • Thanks for the feedback, made fixes – could you all check them out on Opera and Chrome?

  • Hugo

    Both Opera and Chrome working great now, thanks!

  • Yay!

  • Hugo

    I used to use a rucksack, but now have a rack and pannier, it’s really made a HUGE difference. I usually try and bring a week’s worth of stuff in at a time so I don’t need it everyday.

    But then, in the winter, it can be useful to have an extra layer or two in case it’s colder than you expect (and likewise, somewhere to put stuff if it’s warmer than you expect :).

  • I use the pockets in the rear of my jerseys / jackets for extra layers. That’s what they’re for :)

  • Sami

    I won’t go to the rack-and-pannier thing, because I want my bike to be as “naked” as possible. But that’s a good idea to bring more stuff at once, to minimize the use of backpack.

  • Sami

    Have you thought to make a review of the local bike shops? Which of them has the best service, best clothing selection, road or mountain biking etc…

  • That’s worth a thought, but we naturally like our own favorites instead of going around every shop. My local bike shops are Ajomies in Tikkurila, Vantaa and Hi5Bikes in Alppila, Helsinki. Maarten visits Mountain Bike Shop in Töölö, Helsinki. We also like Foxcomp in Kivihaka, Helsinki.

    Maybe we should write a bit about them, but we have to find an angle that will interest our international readers as well :)

  • Mane

    is the jacket available in FInland? Helsinki?

  • Hmm, now that I look at it from their dealer list, it doesn’t seem like Finland has an importer: http://www.endura.co.uk/Dept.aspx?dept_id=3 – That’s weird.

  • That IS weird. ‘Cause I’ve been buying Endura gear both from Kauppa-Veljet and Fillarikellari. I’m pretty sure Fillarikellari carries most Endura jackets.

  • That’s good news! Have to check it out next time I’m there.

  • That’s good news! Have to check it out next time I’m there.

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Coming Thru (or Coming Through - as that URL was taken) is a daily updated bike magazine - a collection of writings and links that relate to biking in its every form. The idea started from when Maarten met Markus decided to finally start collecting the things we like about bikes and talk about our everyday adventures in dodging moving objects at high speeds.The site is run by a collage of cyclists, most notably by Canadian Johanna MacDonald, Belgian Maarten Patteeuw and Finnish Markus Sandelin.

It all started in the spring of 2010, after a record breaking snowy winter when Markus bought a house 25 kilometers from the office and decided to handle the commuting with a bicycle. It turned out the bike wasn’t up to standards for that kind of stress and the first weeks were more tragicomic than glorious. Thus the idea began to brew to actually document this journey.

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