February is still officially winter and this month’s clothing tests will reflect the prevailing bad weather.
Our thoughts for keeping out the elements turned naturally enough to Endura, whose garments are perhaps inspired by looking from the window of their Livingston offices and witnessing all that the Scottish climate holds in store.
We’ll take a detailed look at six garments from Endura’s flagship Equipe range, and then bring you reports of each as the month unfolds.Thermo Windshield Jacket
The Thermo Windshield Jacket is the first item from the box and visually the most striking. Finished in an unmissable shade of red (flourescent green and black are also available) we’re hoping its attention-grabbing properties extend to those with whom we share the road.
As the name suggests, much of it is made from fabric designed to cheat the wind, specifically at the chest, the front of the collar, and the deep rear pocket, which covers the kidneys. Reassuring stuff. The back, and the rear facing edge of the sleeves are elastene. The collar and elbows are reinforced.
Among its many features is an impressively deep collar (a full 6cm), which looks more than equal to the challenge of keeping out the wind, an off-centre zip to avoid pressure on the throat, and a Napoleon pocket in which a glasses wipe has been sewn (what looks like a sensible development: most we see are on the inside of the jacket, placing the wipe close to the skin and thereby exposing it to moisture from the skin).
The jacket offers three rear pockets, but not in the traditional configuration, where typically they are of equal size. Instead, Endura have split the trio into a broad central pocket flanked on either side with two deep, narrow (8.5cm at the top) openings, both of which have a magnetic ‘fastening’.
The Endura Equipe Thermo Windshield Jacket is available in red, black, or flourescent green, in five sizes from S to XXL, and costs £124.99.Thermo Windshield Biblongs
The Thermo Windsheld Biblongs are a welcome sight, if our experience last year with Endura’s Thermo Bib Knickers is a guide. The two garments have much in common, barring the waterproof shin panels on the longer offerings (the medium set supplied will be tested by Tim O’Rourke; those pictured are the Bib Knickers from an earlier review). Immediately notable are the super-broad bib straps, which, at 6.5cm, were the widest and, thanks to the enormous stretch, the most comfortable of any we tested last year.
Another feature we’re pleased to see again is the prodigious insert, one described by Endura as an “Endurance 3D 800-Series” pad, one of the largest, and certainly the greenest we’ve seen. It’s offered almost a year’s worth of comfort so far in the bib knickers, and we’re expecting no less in the tight. Other features of note are a Roubaix Thermolite fleece lining, and a short zip that unites tough halves of an elastene panel at the base of the stomach for ease of comfort breaks.
The Endura Equipe Thermo Windshield Biblongs are available in black, in five sizes from S to XXL, and cost £134.99.Thermo Windshield Glove
The first thing to say about the Thermo Windshield Glove is that it offers a very close fit: presumably on the assumption that there is little point in deploying technical fabrics to keep out the wind only to let it come whistling in at the wrist. Be warned, though, if you are large of hand and try a size larger than your normal. Once on, the fit seems comfortable: tight around the fingers, but not constricting. Long rides will tell if this remains the case, and we’ll report back in our subsequent review.
This glove is a slender affair, and packed with pleasing details. The suede palm is reinforced at the top and at the thumb, and each of the fingers is finished with a neat array of silicone dots in the collection’s signature flouro green. The back of the index finger and the tip of the middle finger have a suede finish to use as a wipe, while the deep cuff extends far above the wrist. Our hopes are high.
The Endura Equipe Thermo Windshield Glove is available in black or red, in five sizes from S to XXL, and costs £44.99.Cashmere sock
Another garment with every appearance of quality is Endura’s cashmere sock, which we’re fighting hard to keep from wearing around the house. It’s super soft, ribbed at the ankle and just above the metatarsal in what Endura call “stretch zones”.
The sock is finished with minor details in fluoro green, including the Equipe collection’s ‘E’ logo on the back of the cuff.
The Endura Equipe Cashmere Sock is available in black, in two sizes (S-M and L-XL), and costs £15.99.Equipe Thermo Skull Cap
The Equipe Thermo Skull Cap offers more than its bald description might suggest; a short peak, for a start, which, with a brim just 4cm deep, could be the helmet liner we’ve been looking for i.e. one with a peak that fails to blot out the road ahead, but with the promise of protection to the ears.
Like the gloves, it’s close fitting, and like the gloves, finished with a few subtle, but pleasing details, including a green plastic tab at the rear with which to pull it down, and the chic black-on-black ‘e’ logo on the brim.
The Endura Equipe Thermo Skull Cap is available in black, in two sizes (S-M and L-XL), and costs £24.99.Superstretch Thermal Overshoes
Overshoes represent the single area in which all manufacturers have the greatest gains to make, in our opinion. Endura have certainly taken aim at robustness with this neoprene offering, which has rubber reinforcements at the ankle and the instep.
It’s zipless, which removes at a stroke the feature most likely to fail in an overshoe, but will need to stretch, especially at the cuff, if it is to overcome the lack of such. Equally impressive is the kevlar-like material on the sole, one Endura describes as “Superfabric”, cut by laser and glued in place.
The Equipe Superstretch Thermal Overshoes are available in black, in four sizes, and cost £34.99.
Website: Endura Equipe
UK distributor: Endura