With heavy weather drenching the ‘drought-stricken’ UK, a waterproof jacket is essential if you’re hitting the roads.
Carrying a waterproof is a wise idea at any time of year when riding in the UK, and whatever you decide to buy, it needs to be stowable. The Endura Equipe Helium jacket is just that, and comes with a small stuff sack, which fitted comfortably in the pocket of a standard cycling jersey and was easy to get out and put on when rain struck.
The fit was good, with no spare fabric flapping in the wind and the tapered, elasticated cuffs kept us snug and prevented water from getting in. The zipper’s internal storm flap helped to keep us dry, and was off-set at the top to prevent irritation at the neck.
A pocket at the back on the right side can accommodate the stuff sack and a couple of gels, although it proved difficult to undo the zipper on the move. The internal taping showed no gaps and the zips operated easily. The elasticated cuffs and neck felt strong but soft, and caused no discomfort or snagging.
We wore it on a 40-mile ride in heavy rain and experienced no more than the usual sweatiness. A ride in showery conditions caused us to remove the jacket after 10-miles when the rain had passed. Our core temperature had risen, but this warmth was due to the extra layer, not a lack of breathability: there was no moisture beading on the inside other than on the seam tape. Washing has not reduced its waterproofing.
The Helium has a simple design, with little extraneous detailing, which gave it a classy appearance. It’s offered in red, black, white or bright yellow, with reflective piping and branding, and a vent across the shoulder blades.
With a retail price of £89, the Helium compares favourably to similar items from other high-end manufacturers.