Softshells – Endura/Altura…what's good?

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  • Softshells – Endura/Altura…what's good?
  • Premier Icon stabilizers
    Subscriber

    I have had an Endura Convert for a couple of years now. A very good, versatile piece of kit.

    stevede
    Member

    Gore Phantom Andy, save a bit longer, it’ll be worth it. Picked mine up 2nd hand off here last year, wear it loads more than my waterproof jacket as it’s more comfortable, less boil in the bag and keeps me dry enough to not get cold. And go a size up as Gore seem to think everyone is built like Bradley Wiggins!

    Premier Icon orena45
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    Gotta be bought via Cycle2Work (and Clive’s) Steve so I think that’s Gore out of the equation

    toxicsoks
    Member

    + 1 for the Convert.

    (LBS stocks mainly Endura and Altura, hence focussing on those brands!)

    Oh, you can try on in the LBS then buy, cheaper, off the web. *runs away* 😉 😉

    Premier Icon orena45
    Subscriber

    I had completely settled on getting a good proper waterproof jacket for commuting on C2W (Endura Flyte), but…I’m now thinking a good softshell might be a better use of the money (still waterproof enough for a 20min commute but warmer in the winter and more breathable).

    Jacket would mainly be used for commuting but also some road riding as the winter creeps in and maybe also MTB once I get over the ‘it’s too new to get filthy’ feeling.

    The Endura Stealth II is way expensive but the Altura Varium seems similar but cheaper. Anyone got one?

    Or how about an Endura Convert II softshell for maximum versatility?

    (LBS stocks mainly Endura and Altura, hence focussing on those brands!)

    I bought one of these

    http://www.intrepidapparel.co.uk/ultimate-mtb-softshell-jacket

    A couple of people I ride with recommended it and when I compared it to the Enduras (at my LBS) it seemed better made and had cooler features.

    So far it’s not been cold or damp enough to use it 🙁

    Premier Icon kcal
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    I have a Convert (might be an old I version, got it cheaper than RRP, for about £70 IIRC).

    Like it a lot, in winter the sleeves will stay on but on a variable weather day it’s good.
    They do leak in heavy rain.

    Mine is in Kelly Green so good visibility. My wife has gone from “another jacket” to “can I borrow that for today’s spin” in short order I notice.

    I have an Endura Luminite which is total rubbish, the whole lining has fallen apart and taking the jacket off results in a small snow fall of white plastic everywhere i go (just in case you were considering one)

    mulv1976
    Member

    I’ve got a convert (£99) and an aldi version (£16).

    The only real difference is that the convert has an inside breast pocket for an iPod/phone.

    I’m not sure the endura is worth the extra, in fact it can be annoying as the elasticated back can ride up a bit.

    titusrider
    Member

    worth looking at the mavic soft shells nice material and well put together (roady(ish) cut)

    Premier Icon mrblobby
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    I have an Endura Luminite which is total rubbish, the whole lining has fallen apart and taking the jacket off results in a small snow fall of white plastic everywhere i go (just in case you were considering one)

    What is up with Endura? Quality seems very up and down across their range. Some of their stuff is really well made (like IMO their bib shorts, though the logo has come off, and their short liners.) Other items seem very shoddy and fall apart after not very many rides (a couple of pairs of their gloves for example.)

    justatheory
    Member

    Rab and Montane are worth a look if they stock these brands. Not bike specific but really good quality and are usually low key enough to wear off the bike.

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg
    Subscriber

    i’ve got a varium, it’s not as warm as my old stealth, but this means i wear it more as the steath was only used when temps dropped below freezing and invariably it wasn’t raining at those temps, varium is water proof and a more athletic fit which certainly helps aerodynamically or when its howling a gail, it has a fleecy neck but i’d prefer the neck to be snugger as drafts can get down there, but with a buff/scarf it’s ideal

    steve_b77
    Member

    I’d say the gore too, sizes are normal in my mind 😉

    robbo76
    Member

    I use a aldi waterproof cycling jacket for work i have been using it every day for the past four years and it still doesn’t leak in. Not bad for 20 quid

    matther01
    Member

    Endura windchill and a recently acquired intrepid at massively knock down price from brum bike show. Never really get on with hardshells.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
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    Altura Transformers are, different.

    I wear mine for the road bike, but have considered going one size up to replace my aging Phantom. Thinner material, seems to maintain a lower (yet comfortable) temp than the Phantom, althought the quality isn’t quite as good. However, currently on sale for £35….

    fhendry1
    Member

    currently on sale for £35

    Might I ask where?

    Premier Icon stratman
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    Another one for the gore phantom, is there something else that can form part of the c2w budget – helmet, lights, panniers etc

    Premier Icon iainc
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    Endura windchill is great from 10 deg down to around 4. Below that I wear a stealth. Both great IMO

    Premier Icon orena45
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    Cheers all.

    Am going down the accessories-only C2W route. Genuinely need some new commutery-type kit so got some things on my list to get. LBS are a good bunch so I’m not trying and buying elsewhere!

    I’ve had a waterproof Convert for a few years so appreciate the sleeves off thing therefore the softshell version does appeal. Will take a look at the Wind chill too…

    Premier Icon adsh
    Subscriber

    Endura windchill is great from 10 deg down to around 4.

    I sort of agree except for me it’s 4 degrees down to about -10. The fact that it really needs a baselayer makes it pretty darn hot.

    In fact for changeable weather soft shells are a pain. They don’t pack down well they’re bloody hot and though the windchill is very well designed they’re still not that breathable. It’s possible to be hot on the bike, sweat then get sodding cold off it.

    note I feel the cold but get very hot when riding so am hard to please.

    stevede
    Member

    Andy – I think Blackburn has the convert and if its still in one piece after 12 months or so of his ownership I’d consider it a jacket for life for a normal human 🙂

    I’ve had two Altura Nitevision jackets, partly because you can buy a hood for them. I got the more expensive one second time round. The first must have lasted 4 years. The second is still going after 3. Not super breathable but they do have big zip holes in the sides.

    Premier Icon variflex
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    Worth having a look at howies activeshell.
    Last night was down to 8-10 degrees my way with a brisk breeze and it was perfect with a short sleeved base layer underneath. It can take a reasonable sprinkling or rain too.

    I also have a gore phantom which is very good for proper minus figures, but for the money the howies jacket is excellent. Wiggle were knocking them out at £30, howies rrp is 40.

    Premier Icon andysbikeclinic
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    Endura Stealth here…really good for winter riding. If it suddenly warms up on the day, there are plenty of vents that allow you to blow off some steam too. No issues with quality thus far, very happy owner.

    Premier Icon orena45
    Subscriber

    Steve – PB’s got the same waterproof Convert as me. I keep mine for MTB and rarely wash it, so it doesn’t get used for commute! Good jacket though, hence why the softshell appeals.

    Woodlikesbeer – My current commute waterproof is a Nightvision. Again, good jacket and mine’s lasted about 4 years but it’s lost its waterproofness now (re-proofing only lasts a heavy rain shower or two) and I fancy/need something different

    Variflex – I’ve got the Howies Dyfi. It’s alright but not waterproof enough, even for a light shower (though admidetly some Nikwax would probably improve it). Living in Cornwall and reasonably high up means short, sharp, heavy showers are pretty common! In contrast, I wore an old hiking softshell riding home this week in a heavy shower and kept me dry, but was too warm.

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