Endura mountain bike clothing started in Scotland in 1993 and immediately forged a reputation for creating gear with practical trail-bred features and stand-out durability. Over the years it has also expanded its line into serious performance kit as well as helmets, body armour and clothing-care products. Famous riders such as Danny MacAskill, the Athertons, Hazzard Racing and Kriss Kyle add top-level development feedback to boost Endura’s massive in-house experience and joining the Pentland Clothing group has given it access to a whole new level of R&D data. Most of its key items are available in womens' and kids-fit options and colours.
Practical durability and value across different rider ‘tribes’ and product families are still the core of its connection to Endura fans all over the world.
Skip to: The Endura range explained
If we’re honest we always used to gravitate towards Gore when it came to proper weatherproofing but the Endura MT500 was a real revelation when we tried it. Its top-performing waterproof jacket also gets a new fabric for a softer, more mobile feel and even better durability this year.
The thin membrane ExoShell 40 DR cloth gets a durable DWR coating and soft mesh inner layer to wick sweat to the shell and prevent a cold clammy feel when you stop climbing and start descending. While it breathes impressively well already, massive double-ended side zips and mesh-backed front pockets make manual heat/sweat management super easy even with a backpack. Reinforced, silicon gripper-enhanced shoulders mean that your backpack won’t climb onto your helmet on vertical descents or wear a hole in your jacket over time either.
A highly evolved fit including stretch panels means no restriction of movement and room for layering without blowing up like a sail in a gale. Practical detailing is class-leading too with decent-sized chest pockets, a hidden internal pocket and a lift pass pocket on the sleeve. The full-sized hood gets cord locks to keep it close to your face in sleet but stows away neatly while the extended cuffs have a lycra inner cuff for warm glove docking and a broad velcro strap for sealing. Reflective and embossed logo details give it a real premium feel. The MT500 comes in four muted colours for men and two more for women. If you want full-weather protection there are matching trousers or the impregnable MT500 onesie which has been our go-to winter testing solution for the past two years.
Extensive features and the new lining does increase pack size though and it’s worth noting that the 2019 jacket is actually more breathable if you’re looking for the best sweat-shifting performance around.
This shell jacket is a perfect example of what the MTR range is about. Superlight ExoShell40 fabric keeps water out for an impressively long time and, most importantly, for fast-moving riders, it wicks sweat really fast to keep you dry and comfortable inside. Snug fit includes stretch shoulder, cuff and side panels so there’s no flapping. You can detach the hood to minimise pack size and there’s a packing loop to parcel it up for pocketing. There’s an MTR Spray Pullover (£129.99) which mixes ExoShell40 on the leading edges with a stretchy showerproof rest of body and a half zip for minimum weight and pack size.
Endura calls this the superhero of hoodies and it’s been a favourite in its lineup for years. The tough windproof soft-shell material gets DWR waterproofing to shrug off showers and stays warm when wet anyway. Extended sleeves, adjustable hem and hood stop draughts but the casual styling and hand pockets mean it doesn’t look weird on the street. There’s another inside pocket with a headphone hole for valuables and vibes.
Most of us pick riding shirts by brand or logo but the MT500 Burner jersey has always stood out as a smart choice for riders on the ragged edge. Shoulder and sleeve reinforcement let you clip trees or take a slide down the trail without trashing your shirt or the skin underneath and it’s roomy enough to pad up underneath without arm pump. Fast-wicking material keeps you drier when your heart’s pumping and silicon print on the shoulders will keep backpack bounce in check, too.
The most ‘seriously, just try it’ addition to Endura’s 2020 range takes a mid-weight Merino -jersey and ices it with spray protection across the upper chest and arms, shoulders and across the three big back pockets and adjustable hem. For the first few minutes of a cold ride, your belly and forearms will feel freezing and you’ll wish you’d gone ‘full jacket’. Grit your teeth though and it’ll soon settle out to just the right level of warmth - even if you’ve been through some significant rain or windchill along the way. One of the back pockets gets a zip for keeping your valuables safe and there’s another zipped pocket on the chest. The Merino means it doesn’t start stinking if you’re riding for successive days so it’s particularly good for backpacking or extended adventures. While Merino always means more money, the versatility and wearability boosts value. There’s a short sleeve version without the shower proofing for £25 less too.
Like any outdoor clothing company worth its salt Endura does a range of baselayers that suck your brackish bodily fluids off your skin and into the air to leave you dry and comfortable, These range from kinky summer fishnet vests to a 3D-ribbed, mesh-back strip ‘engineered’ base at an excellent value £44.99. The one we absolutely love is the BaaBaa blend which uses machine-washable ‘non-mulesed’ (Google ‘mulesing' by all means, but only if you’re prepared for painfully skinned sheep buttocks) Merino for a super-soft-against-the-skin feel. On the bike it stays warm when wet and doesn’t harbour stink like a synthetic baselayer, and off the bike little touches like the faux leather hem tag means you can pass it off as a normal top. They’re machine washable and last really well in terms of shape and wear and tear making it excellent, versatile value.
We have to admit we’ve only seen this and not worn it in anger yet but after living in the MT500 version for the past two winters we’ve made sure we’re first on the sample list. At a penny under £200 it’s still a lot of money but it’s half the price of the MT500 onesie. It gets the same half-jacket design for maximum splash protection at the back with mobility at the front. There’s a ‘grown-on’ storable hood and it’s fully seam-sealed to stop leaking. The ExoShell20 fabric gives a soft, comfortable feel with reasonable waterproofing and you can boost breathability with the big armpit/side vents. You get a zippered chest pocket and two handwarmer pockets but the best thing by far is the massive sense of smugness you’ll have from knowing you’ll finish the filthiest rides (on- or off-road) totally clean and comfortable underneath.
If you don’t want to go full onesie or full waterproof then the MT500 Spray Trousers II combine colonic irrigation protection with excellent breathability, durability and warmth for dirty-weather riding. The fully waterproof seat panel is the main misery saver in the wet but they’re completely DWR coated for shower proofing and soft lined to remove the sweat and rustle of normal waterproof trousers.
Zippered thigh vents are surprisingly effective for cooling on climbs and long-zippered ankles make them easy to pull on and off. They’re properly tough, too, with a double seat and reinforced ankles so our samples are still going strong after two years of very regular use. The fit is excellent with adjustable waist and plenty of stretch panels and enough room in the knees for full-size pads so you can comfortably bike park or backcountry all day. Add poppers for attaching Endura’s Clickfast liner shorts and zippered hand pockets for valuables and they’re cracking value too. If you don’t need full legs the Spray Baggy shorts are £79.99.
Endura also does a range of different weight and fit waterproof trousers and shorts, Primaloft insulated ‘Freezing Point’ trousers and a snug fit MT500 DH Burner pant, too.
There are more and more cargo liner shorts jumping on the bandwagon popularised by Specialized and its SWAT shorts, but these Endura ones go a step further for extra storage. The company first used the full back/almost skinsuit design on MT500 ‘bibs’ years ago, but these are much lighter, see-through fast-wicking fabric that’s definitely best hidden under baggy shorts. They’re vertical Clickfast compatible for height adjustable fastening to your baggies and they get the latest 500-series pad for day-long comfort. As well as three normal back pockets there’s an extra long sleeve for a bladder or spine armour so they’re great for endurance and enduro riders, not just minimalist racers. Our only complaint is that while high set pockets mean no interference with the waist of your shorts, they can be hard to reach, especially when riding.
Our favourite Singletrack short has been updated again for 2020. The mix of hard-wearing nylon and large stretch panels with double stitching in key areas make them seriously tough in a slam without awkward dragging or bunching in the fit. The wicking waistband also gets velcro adjusters and a double-press stud fixing for post-lunch paunch security. There are zipped hand and phone pockets for on or off the bike use and zippered thigh vents if you start overheating on climbs. Alternatively go for the Singletrack Lite short which is entirely lightweight four-way stretch fabric with less zips and available in standard or ‘short’ lengths if you want to go Euro style.
Three quarter length shorts might be a fashion disaster on the street these days but Endura’s staple knee savers are still going strong and work great on the bike for all sorts of reasons and most seasons. The heavy-duty ripstop nylon fabric with seamless seat insert will last for years (ours certainly have) and they protect well if you take a spill. There’s still enough room in the adjustable, pre-bent cut knees for a slim pad and a mesh back prevents them getting too sweaty. There are vents on the legs for summer and a DWR coating for showers. Hand pockets, cargo pockets and massive map pockets on the back of the legs make them a proper workhorse and they come with a basic but bearable Clickfast liner which makes them a proper bargain. There are standard length and stripped down Lite versions of the Humvee too if the 3/4s aren’t your bag(gy).
Endura has been offering increasingly advanced lids for a while in the MT500, Singletrack and Humvee ranges but this is its first full-face helmet. It uses the same honeycomb impact-dispersal material as the MT500 helmet (and Smith helmets) and passes safety standards for full-on downhill use. At under 600g for the medium/large size, it’s extremely light with a micro-adjustable cradle and swappable pads to tune fit. Try and check before you buy if possible though as it’s definitely on the snug side.
The Endura range has a glove for every subset of every season and for every type of riding but we’ve been wearing these new Windproof versions of its classic Singletrack gloves a lot this winter. The softshell material adds noticeably more warmth than the normal Singletrack when it’s wet and windy but the synthetic leather palm still gives excellent trail feedback. Silicon detailing on the palm and braking fingers increase wet-bike control. Neoprene outer knuckles and small rubber segment ‘armour’ give a bit of branch/bush-punch protection and the velcro closure on the 3D-formed neoprene cuff is rubber reinforced, too. They’re not smartphone compatible for instant singletrack selfies or taking emergency calls when you’re shirking from home but the whole thumb features Terry towelling.
The standard rubber and neoprene MT500 overshoe has been a benchmark for warm winter foot protection for years and the 2020 version is even more rugged than ever. The Plus stands out as the only overshoe designed specifically for wearing with flat pedals and shoes though. That means a full cutout over the pedal contact area, but also aggressive tread under the toe and a wider fit than normal to match with most flat shoes. Double velcro fastening up the back makes them easy to get on and off too.
The original Humvee waterproof sock has been a big success judging by the ‘sold out’ warnings on Endura’s website and we’ve certainly had warmer and drier feet since we got our set. Endura is not resting on its laurels though but pushing ahead with a totally new design. This uses a much more engineered knitted fit for a properly snug feel from the three-layer, stretchy-membrane construction. They’re unpadded to make them compatible with normal shoes so you don’t have to go a size bigger for winter and they come in long or short (£29.99) versions depending what depth of puddle you’re in to. We haven’t had a chance to try them yet so we don’t know how warm they’ll be, but you can always size up anyway and stick some liner socks underneath.
The MT500 Hard Shells offer full DH-protection but are well designed enough to pedal in all day. The extended hard cup over the knee adds sharp-edge and slide protection and sits on a larger D30 shock-absorbing pad to disperse impact forces. There’s light PU padding around the outer knee too. The pre-bent fit with extended upper cuff stays in place well even under trousers without having to crank the broad straps up too tight and they come in three different sizes for an accurate fit. Fabric (rather than neoprene) sleeve with full-mesh back prevents them from getting sweaty. If you don’t want the hard shell there’s a D30 loaded ‘Lite’ version with excellent ventilation for £10 less.
Endura was one of the first brands to provide lightweight ‘trail’ pads while most brands were still just making hard armour for ‘hucking’ (look it up kids). The latest Singletrack pads use multi-layer memory foam over the kneecap with lighter padding on the sides. Open mesh with Terry lining keeps them comfy when they’re on and the fully open ‘wrap strap’ design means you can whip them off without taking your shoes off. There’s an extended shin protecting version and an elbow pad too as well as pull-on Lycra ’sleeve-style' Singletrack Lite option.
The Endura range explained
MT500 has been Endura’s super-tough, high-performance product family since the appearance of the legendary Kevlar-reinforced, double skin cordura/lyrca skin shorts in 1995. If it’s reinforced and ready to shred without getting shredded it’ll have an MT500 label. If it’s properly downhill designated they’ll add the Burner tag as well.
Endura’s MounTainRacing range is its lightest, closest fitting, fastest-wicking clothing for riders going faster and/or further whether there’s a number on their bars or not. That means it works brilliantly for gravel and adventure riding too.
Endura Singletrack clothing is light but durable for efficient trail riding but with a more generous cut and more affordable price tags than MTR. It also includes lightweight body armour to reflect the fact that the average trail rider is getting more and more aggro as bikes get bigger and faster.
The Humvee range started with pocket and vent loaded 3/4 shorts designed by London cycle couriers and they’re still a staple part of this casually-styled-but-super-practical-and-feature-rich range. Whether you want to rail berms in a Klunkers style ‘Shacket’ or find gear that’ll work on a world adventure but still look okay on the school run, Humvee is where it's at.
Ethics and back up
27 years since it started, Endura is making more of its clothing in Scotland than ever before and it's passionately committed to environmentally sustainable and ethical products using recycled and Peta-approved materials wherever possible. It's been PFC free since 2018, its packaging is 98% recyclable and it's committed to planting a million trees a year from 2020 onwards to offset its carbon footprint. Endura also offers a repair service on all its gear as well as a 90-day returns guarantee if you aren’t completely satisfied.