I’ll admit I was a tiny bit dubious when the Endura Gridlock II first arrived at my desk. Firstly, I’m not really a winter jacket wearer – I get warm pretty easily and my winter attire consists of a good baselayer, long sleeved hincapie jersey and a rain cape in case of downpour. When it’s really cold I usually add an extra thin jersey underneath.
Secondly, this jacket I received is immensely pink. If I’m looking for high viz, I go for white – flouro isn’t really my style and this piece might be better suited at a neon themed clubbing event. But bear with me – because sometimes the unexplored or unfamiliar can transpire to be excellent.
Designed with a focus on catering for commuters, the Gridlock II is a waterproof but breathable jacket. It does come in blue and yellow, too, so don’t stop reading if, like me, pink turns you off.
At about £60, this isn’t a ‘buy it and see’ purchase, it’s a thought through decision for most people, but it’s also not in the region of the scary £150 jackets that you might expect to come with added taxi-driver-appears-on-whistle-blow or magical invisible umbrella features, either.
What’s it like to wear?
Endura have used their own two-layer ‘ribstop’ fabric and a mesh lining to help stop wet damp material getting close to skin. I tested the jacket in heavy rain, and I can confirm no water got to my skin, so far as I could tell without very careful inspection.
I wore the jacket on a couple of 45 – 60 minute, fairly hilly rides to work, and a couple of short 20 minute scoots back. I’d say that for the longer journey, where I was working hard on the hills, the Gridlock didn’t quite provide the sort of wicking I might like, and even with the ingenious little ‘pit zip’ under my arm open, I still felt a little stewed on arrival.
On the return journey, however, I was perfectly comfortable despite driving rain on one occasion. I stayed dry both outside and in, with air circulating freely around my body and the external shell blocking out the rain.
If you do foresee many wet commutes in your future, check out our tips on riding in the rain here.
The neon helped improve my visibility. The pink is particularly good early in the morning when it’s neither dark nor light, because it’s this time when lights can be less effective and the shocking hue of this attire should wake up any drowsy soul behind the wheel.
Not only is the bulk of the material glow-in-the-dark, but high viz silver strips on the shoulders and pockets provide an extra warning light to drivers.
On top of all that, you’ve got a neat light hook below the rear pocket for an extra safety feature if you choose to use it.
Attention to detail
Edura haven’t just designed a lock-you-in waterproof that keeps the water out, they’ve thought very carefully and paid attention to detail.
A covered, waterproof zip at the rear will keep your essentials dry in your journey, and there are pocket zips as well for extras you want close to hand.
Endura know that where there are gaps, water gets in, so the main zip is covered with an extra flap and Velcro fastenings come right up to the collar and feature on the cuffs as well.
Drawstring elastic allows you to tighten the hem and also the collar, which on a truly breathtakingly cold day would be a lovely snug addition.
There is an extra luxury lining on the collar that feels soft against the skin and also adds a warm fuzzy glow because it seems Endura have really paid attention to these additions.
Look and fit
In terms of fit and visual appeal, this is a relaxed fit commuter jacket and it’s not designed to fit close to the skin (or provide any aerodynamic efficiency – there – I couldn’t not say it).
I wore the small, and for a size 8/10 female there was a fair amount of breathing room. If I were leaving work wearing a jumper and extra layers, of course this would be welcome, and I can see the simplicity of just popping the jacket over a base layer and jumping out the door, rather than my usually layering of lycra approach.
For relaxed commutes, when you want to stay dry and are riding fairly easily, this jacket is the perfect solution. I loved the ease of a one layer serves all jacket, and this Endura piece of kit provided a great reminder for me that sometimes a loose jacket you can shove over anything to stay dry works just as well as a multi pronged attack of jersey, jacket, waterproof.
The Endura Gridlock II Women’s jacket can be purchased from retailers such as Evans Cycles for £59.99.
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.