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Endura MT500 II jacket

A tough but lightweight all-mountain shell for serious weather protection.

ENDURA MT500 RANGE – Rugged Trail Performance

One of Endura’s first products was the MT500 short – a piece of clothing that bucked the trend. Back in the days before baggy shorts, Endura indentified that mountainbikers needed tougher and more specific clothing – not designs inherited from the road cycling world. They sourced more durable fabrics, used double layer side panels and flatlock stitching using aramid thread. Mountainbiking is hard on kit – especially for the year round rider – with mud, grit and water destroying all but the most robust equipment. Their kit was, and still is, built to last.

‘When you ride fast, sooner or later you’ll hit the ground’

The Endura MT500 collection embraces this reality and has durability built-in without compromising any of the function or freedom of movement.

With Danny MacAskill as brand ambassador, Endura and the man himself have got a lot in common. They both share a proud Scottish heritage and a constant but unassuming desire to improve. Danny is an ideal test rider and provides ‘real world’ feedback on their MT500 range of kit. Check out his latest ‘Wee day out’ video HERE.

MT500 II JACKET

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If you’re looking for full protection in all weathers then the MT500 jacket has always been a ‘go to’ option for us. The original jacket was a favourite of Dirt’s then ‘on-line editor’ James McKnight; here’s what he had to say about it:

“This one is just never going to fail me. It’ll keep out the heaviest of rain and retain warmth in the depths of winter. With zippers and pockets galore this jacket is also the most tailor–able and versatile out there. I love it.”

EVOLUTION AND TESTING

So what makes the MT500 jacket so good? What are the benefits of this premium shell over a budget option? Where have Endura made improvements over the original version?

This revised version of the original MT500 jacket sits at the top of Endura’s range – it packs all their knowledge of fit, fabrics and functionality into a garment that is focussed solely on mountainbiking. And we’re not talking just a steady ride round the blue route at a trail centre – Endura thoroughly test their kit in the Scottish mountains in all weathers, week in, week out. They don’t ‘fast forward’ the design process; their range evolves over time.

FIT FOR PURPOSE

A dedicated mountainbike jacket needs to be robust and durable, yet feel almost invisible when you’re pushing on hard.

It’s a tough call and here Endura have managed to produce a full coverage hardshell jacket with a great on-the-bike fit. Sure, it looks great off the bike, but with the carefully placed stretch panels, articulated sleeves and a versatile hood gives great foul weather protection without dragging you down like many jackets do. The pockets are well placed, the two-way venting zips are designed with a backpack in mind and the hood has plenty of adjustment. Endura have nailed the details on this Mk II version of their original.

FABRIC

Breathability – this is where Endura have stepped up the game, now choosing ExoShell60, a class leading material and a big improvement over the original version.

As before, Endura use a three layer fabric with the membrane being sandwiched between the tough but light outer shell and the wicking liner. This fabric is very light for a tough 3-ply material at only 105g/m². This material has an excellent waterproof rating at 18,000mm and ground-breaking breathability of 60,000g/m²/24hrs. (A typical £50 – £80 jacket would have a waterproofing rating of 10,000mm and breathability rating of 10,000g/M²/24hrs, for example.) This jacket is fully taped throughout for complete waterproofing.

The ExoShell60 fabric is accredited with the ‘Bluesign’ label acknowledging its low-impact environmental credentials.

Additional stretch panels are strategically placed to aid movement on the bike, reducing frustration in tight trail manoeuvres. The longer arms and a good shoulder articulation help when you’ve dropped the saddle and heading into the steep stuff. This is a jacket that seems to be thoroughly developed.

The roll away storm hood is restrained with this strap.
Captive drawcords adjust the hood.
Chunky waterproof zips keep out the water.

DETAILS AND FEATURES

The MT500 II jacket has features that set it apart from a road jacket – details that show it’s been designed for true mountainbike use.

Cordura reinforcements on the shoulders help reduce wear (on a typically high abrasion area) with additional silicone grippers to stabilise the movement of your backpack straps.

The jacket has an articulated hood that covers a proper trail/enduro helmet, giving you full cover in high mountain situations. This hood has 3D adjustment (via captive elastic and toggles) giving all-round visibility and movement when on the bike. It’s not often you’ll need a hood, but this one will work well when you do.

The high breathability rating is aided by two huge side vents (with 2-way waterproof zips), which are well placed and will operate with a backpack. Front hand warmer pockets are great off the bike but when opened will add further ventilation if needed. A further roomy chest pocket also has a handy ‘goggle wipe’, a neat detail, as is the internal stretch cuffs for added weatherproofing.

Reliable waterproof YKK front zipper has chunky teeth to resist clogging from grit and mud.

SUMMARY

An evolution of the original jacket, this version 2.0 has a superb fit, class leading breathability and just the right number of features. With great four-season wet weather performance, the MT500 II jacket remains a go-to favourite for wet or cold days on the mountainbike when nothing short of the best in protection will do.

SIZES: XS – XXL

COLOURS: Black or Navy

PRICE: £179.99

The range is growing – Check out Dirt’s first look on the Endura MT500 backpack HERE.

endurasport.com

MT500 Riding

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