Published by Lyn on 2 December 2014
Richard Peace heads out in the rain wearing Endura's Luminite II unisex jacket. Here's what he thought of the jacket.
Endura Luminite II Jacket
Suitable for men and women
Available in XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL
Colours: Hi-viz yellow, hi-viz green, black
Also available from Chain Reaction Cycles and Evans Cycles
Billed as a commuter jacket, this sleek yet comfortable waterproof would be ideal for touring too. It weighs in at less than 300g and rolls up to a compact package about 16cm x 14cm x 9cm, so it's easy and quite light to store when not in use.
It's quite a tight cut (presumably to look sleek and be aerodynamic) but my medium fit jacket was very comfortable and not at all restrictive on my 38"-chested, 5' 8" frame – even with base layer and quite a bulky woolly jumper underneath.
As with many of these designs the sleeves seem a little long, but maybe this is deliberate to stop the cuffs riding up your arms when in use; in practice it didn't cause any problems.
It also kills two birds with one stone, coming with an integrated LED with a constant mode and several flashing modes. Several people commented how highly visible this was, and allied with the reflective bits on the jacket will ensure others will have no excuse to say they didn't see you coming, even on the darkest and rainiest of winter evenings. It is removable for washing though it does stick into your back when sitting in a chair – you could of course remove it but that's a fiddly operation every time you want a cafe stop.
The polyester fabric is very waterproof and nice and windproof in the wet November weather. Cord-adjustable hem and neck mean you can make it as windproof as you need to. Being so light it uses quite thin polyester-based material and you would have to be careful to keep it away from any sharp edge to prevent tears.
I didn't notice any sweaty buildup inside the jacket, though I am not the most hard-riding cyclist out there; those tackling Tour de France style cols might want to opt for something with a higher breathability rating than the Luminite's 10,000g (very respectable though this is).
Endura's Helium range is rated 15,000g. The waterproof rating of the Luminite is 10,000mm – again quite respectable, though the Helium range is rated 15,000mm and various other jackets go right up to 20,000mm. Still, it felt very waterproof in moderate rain.
There is no hood but there are two handwarmer pockets, a breast pocket and a rear 'banana' pocket – all extremely practical.
There are also Luminite overtrousers, thermal gloves and even hi-viz socks if you want to look truly apparitional.
It might look pricey but it's on par with other brands with similar weight and waterproof/breathability ratings. Other similar weight jackets I've had tend to get a very hard life and last around 2-3 years before falling to bits and/or losing their waterproofness, so it will be interesting to see how this fares over the longer term.
Watch this space!
Richard Peace is co-author of the official Avenue Verte guidebook for Sustrans. He has made several tours of France (including on electric bikes) and is author of Cycling Southern France (UK, US), Cycling Northern France (UK, US), and Electric Bicycles: The Complete Guide (UK, US). He is a regular contributor to bikeradar.com and A to B magazine.