Endura has been producing cycling clothing for over 30 years, so it comes as no surprise that it has worked with riders as diverse as UCI World Tour teams to trials superstar Danny MacAskill and everyone in between. Its MTB clothing, such as the MT500 Freezing Point II has been the go-to for wet and cold off-road fun for many riders. But does the GV500 gravel specific waterproof jacket deliver on Endura’s promise of adventure specific, no-nonsense clothing?
Design and Specifications
Constructed using Endura’s own ExoShell40 fabric throughout, this jacket is designed to be waterproof, breathable and packable. The fabric features a PFC-free DWR (Durable Water Repellent) finish, which doesn’t contain toxic PTFE, so it’s environmentally conscious as well. Good quality YKK zippers are used and, while these are not waterproof themselves, there is a storm flap which is designed to keep water off the zip. Sealed seams further reduce the risk of any rain entering the jacket.
For a jacket that’s touted as being super light, I was impressed by the number of small but thoughtful features. Elasticated cuffs with an extended top sleeve should discourage any water or wind ingress up the sleeve or into your gloves, while an elasticated lower back will protect jersey pocket contents from wheel spray. There is reflective detailing on the front and back of the shoulders to help offer some low-light visibility, and the whole jacket packs down into the small chest pocket on the front. There is also a generously sized, volume adjustable hood and there are strips of silicone on the tops of the shoulders, presumably to help hold a backpack in place when riding off-road.
Living in Scotland, I didn’t have to wait long to test the waterproofness of this jacket and I quickly found myself unpacking it from its own pocket. During a wet and windy two hour gravel ride the jacket held up very well. I stayed dry during a fairly decent shower, and didn’t feel as though I was going to overheat at any point – a testament to the ExoShell40 fabric used on this jacket which also seems to block out the wind effectively.
The hood is a welcome addition as it offers some extra protection from the wind and rain, as well as helping to keep in the warmth. My only quibble with the hood would be its size. Personally, I felt it was too big for my head, yet too small to be worn over my helmet. This is a minor niggle, however, as there’s a drawstring on the hood which I could tighten to prevent it from getting in the way and obstructing vision.
At 188cm tall, the medium size jacket fitted me very well. The back was just the right length to cover my jersey and the arms were long enough not to ride up my arms when stretched out on the hoods or in the drops on my bike. The fit on the torso was also good; tight enough so it wouldn’t flap around if worn over a summer jersey, and loose enough that it could be worn over a heavyweight winter jersey. There was a little bunching of the fabric near the chest when riding, but I think this is due to the stiffness of ExoShell40 rather than the fit of the jacket.
Some may find it nice to have a way to access jersey pockets easily while riding, such as a zip on the rear back or a two-way zipper on the front, but I appreciate that these features would add bulk and weight, something that Endura set out to minimize when designing this jacket. While the ‘Packs into Pocket’ feature is great for popping the jacking into a backpack or frame bag, it’s worth noting that it will probably be too big to fit into a jersey pocket. You can, however, roll the jacket up in the traditional way, which will fit into a jersey pocket.
The Endura GV500 Waterproof Jacket is a well-constructed and thought-out piece of wet weather wear, which packs down well and comes at a good price point. For longer rides in more sustained rain and winter temperatures, a more heavyweight jacket might be more appropriate. But for short, cold rides, or all-day rides during the warmer months, the GV500 jacket is a great choice for gravel riding in changeable conditions.
Tech specs: Endura GV500 Waterproof Jacket
- Price: $195.00 / £159.99
- Materials: Nylon (ExoShell40)
- Colors: Black, Olive Green, Paprika
- Sizes: XS to XXXL