Endura FS260-Pro SL Shell - review - Road Cycling UK

Expert road bike reviews and the latest road bike news, features and advice. Find rides & events, training articles and participate in our forums

Share

Reviews

Endura FS260-Pro SL Shell – review

Simply superb - a very waterproof, very windproof and very breathable jacket from the Scottish maestros

When you have Graeme Obree – one of cycling’s greatest pioneers – as an ambassador, you need to create innovative and high performing clothing. Luckily for Endura they have nailed it with the FS260-Pro SL Shell. It’s very waterproof, completely windproof and, this is the best bit, combines that with really impressive ventilation.

When Endura launched the FS260-Pro SL Shell back in March, they described it as the “perfect all-day defence in the dreich (dreary; bleak; grim) Scottish summer or as an emergency layer stashed away in a jersey pocket ready for a sudden torrential Alpine shower… a year round essential wherever you ride.”

And that’s a pretty fair description – but, of course, we’ll give you more than that. The jacket was predominantly tested through April and early May, and on one particular ride in the Cotswolds I encountered that classic UK combination of bright sunshine, snow, hail and pounding rain. The kind of conditions which are pretty much impossible to dress for – but having a protective but compact outer layer actually made it an enjoyable ride. The Endura FS260-Pro SL Shell is one of the best outer shells I have used.

The Endura FS260-Pro SL Shell is one of the best jackets we’ve ever tested
  • Specification

  • Price: £139.99.
  • Sizes: S-XXL
  • Size tested: M
  • Colours: hi-viz green; black
  • Website: Endura

What’s so good about it? The best place to start is waterproofing – which is where the jacket really excels. It’s made from an ‘Exoshell40’ fabric, which has a three-layer construction and a 20,000mm waterproof rating. The seams are fully taped throughout and the material itself doesn’t let anything in even in driving wind and rain.

The level of protection is also helped by the jacket’s design, with a very high collar which more or less covers any part of your exposed neck, all the way up to most helmet retention systems. The zip is also taped and has an additional storm flap behind it which ensures nothing gets through that way.

The jacket is also very windproof, thanks again to the excellent fabric. The real trick, however, is that it doesn’t take much away from breathability – and, once again, the jacket surpasses almost everything I have used in the past on that front. Even when working hard on climbs, the most I felt I had to do was lower the zipper slightly, which is really saying something. Top marks to Endura.

The jacket has some other well thought out design features, too, the best of which is the access zip at the back. This has been well placed to allow access to the right and centre pockets on most jerseys without needing to be a contortionist on the bike. There’s also a small gel pocket on the left hand side which is really useful for things you’re happy to get wet, but may need to access quickly. This pocket also has drainage at the bottom to ensure water that runs into it doesn’t create a pool at the bottom.

The jacket is made from a three-layer fabric called Exoshell40

Endura describe the fit as “athletic” and, once again, that’s a fair call. I wouldn’t call it an out-and-out racing fit, but it’s sensibly cut; close in the right areas to avoid any undue excess material flapping in the wind. The jacket is comfortable to wear on the bike, with a soft lining on the inside of the collar and inside of the cuffs to avoid any chafing where the jacket has direct contact with the skin.

One of the most important elements of a foul weather jacket you expect to wear outside of winter is the ability to pack it down and fit it into a jersey pocket. Despite the triple-layer fabric, the jacket packs down small enough to easily fit into a pocket without it taking up too much space. It’s not as compact as the lightest shells (one you might take on the off chance there’s rain, for example, rather than a good chance) – but given the level of protection it offers in really tough conditions, that’s more than forgivable.

A soft lining on the cuffs and collar avoid any chafing on areas where the jacket may come into contact with the skin

The final details to mention are the dropped tail, which is elasticated to keep it in place, and a decent amount of reflectivity, with long tabs on either side of the rear, along with reflective logos on the front and back. The jacket is also available in black, as well as the green tested.

The Endura Shell is comparable in performance with the Gore 30th Oxygen 2.0 Gore-Tex Active jacket reviewed back in February – and while Gore’s offering pips this by a whisker, it’s also £80 more and at £139.99 the Endura’s as much of a bargain as a £140 jacket can be.

This side pocket is handy for storing things you don’t mind get wet, but might need to grab quickly

Conclusion

The Endura FS260-Pro SL Shell is a triumph and does a superb job at keeping out wind and rain while still retaining an excellent level of breathability. It packs down small enough to fit into a jersey pocket when you don’t need it, and, all in all, is a well thought out design with a sensible cut which will suit a lot of riders.

Pros

  • Very waterproof, very windproof
  • Excellent breathability
  • Well thought out design and cut

Cons

  • Doesn’t pack down quite as small as other jacket, but trumps them on performance

Share

Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.

production