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Endura Pro SL 3 Season jacket review

Endura has literally added an extra layer to its new flagship winter road jacket, but is this heavily vented combo really all you need for everything but summer?

Endura Pro SL 3 Season Jacket review
(Image: © Guy Kesteven)

Our Verdict

Endura’s Pro SL 3 Season is a seriously snug and practical feature loaded performance jacket with extra vented versatility and a ‘free’ core warmer that makes it really good value. Sizing and fit needs checking though and the eco DWR doesn’t last long

For

  • - Excellent vented versatility
  • - Effective wind and damp proofing
  • - Separate fleece core for sub zero warmth
  • - Particularly cosy collar
  • - Loads of rear pocket capacity
  • - Reflective detailing
  • - Good combo value
  • - Big chunky zips
  • - Decent breathability and fast drying
  • - Syncs with Endura’s spine vented jerseys and base layers
  • - Stand out or stealth colours with reflective details

Against

  • - Potentially tight yet wrinkly fit
  • - DWR rinses off very quickly
  • - Spine syncing can be too breezy

Endura has a long history of creating some of the best winter cycling jackets and the Pro SL HC was already one of our favourite failsafe choices for properly cold and/or damp rides. The Pro SL 3 Season adds vents for warmer days, membranes for wetter days and an extra fleece gilet for when it’s proper icy out. That makes the initial price a smart investment if you want one jacket that works either side of freezing point, but make sure you check the snug sizing and be prepared to play with the zips to make the most of it. 

Design and aesthetics

Endura’s Pro SL 3 is not just loaded with features, it’s also a seriously complex jacket in terms of cut. The majority of the panels are a slightly stretchy mid-weight windproof shell fabric with a shallow wavy wicking/thermal backing pattern. A lighter weight, stretchier windproof material is used for the centre spine strip, the lower ‘belt’ of the jacket and the rear quarter of the sleeves. The tall two-piece collar is extended at the nape with a thermal fabric similar to PrimaLoft Transloft for extra warmth, and a rubbery backer strip for the full length main zip folds over at the top to create a beard guard ‘garage’. 

The mid-weight windproof fabric (without the backing so it’s stretchier) is used to build a twist on the classic three-pocket design, with a larger centre pocket, an additional zipped pocket for valuables, and two stretch mesh snack/wrapper pockets on the haunches. An extended waterproof tail scoops round your buttocks to help keep weather out of your nethers, too.

When you need to add some air con, double ended zips open two stretch mesh backed collarbone-to-hip vents that feed round to a scoop Venturi vent between the shoulder blades. There are mesh backed zippered vents up the inside of the forearms from cuffs to elbow, too.

Whether you get the naturally visible Pumpkin colour or the stealthy all-black version, there are reflective details on the tail, flanks and the cuffs for signalling. The main zip and front vent zips both get big plastic pullers you’ll be able to find with fat gloves or numbing fingers.

As well as the main jacket you get a very light but fluffy (think that weird shredded paper stuff you used to get in old padded postal envelopes) PrimaLoft Active Evolve gilet that triple-press studs into the collar and then zips up the front. This also has a lightweight mesh up the centre and lower back as well as front strips that line up with the front zip vents.

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Endura Pro SL 3 Season Jacket review

Large mesh vents from the collar bone to hip help with temperature regulation (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)
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Endura Pro SL 3 Season Jacket review

Endura's take on the traditional three-pocket system is clever and provides ample storage (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)
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Endura Pro SL 3 Season Jacket review

Forearm vents provide a surprising amount of cooling air when you overheat (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)
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Endura Pro SL 3 Season Jacket review

Inside the fleecy gilet affixes to the outer layer via three press studs (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)
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Endura Pro SL 3 Season Jacket review

The gilet can be worn alone for warmer rides (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)
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Endura Pro SL 3 Season Jacket review

The gilet syncs with Endura’s spine vented jerseys and base layers (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

Performance

The multiple panels build into a structured fit that’s definitely closer than the Endura FS-260 Jetstream jersey I tested recently, so I felt well cocooned from the start, but it also creates some issues. It was okay while I was standing around or sitting up cruising, but when dropping into a full racing/headwind-battling tuck it felt tight around the forearms, elbows and under the armpits, and there was a lot of wrinkling going on elsewhere. The possible answer is to go a size down to stretch the fabric enough to make it aero, but at this point the sleeves and hem may well be on the short side. Obviously fit is a personal thing and you might not have the same issues I did but I’d definitely recommend trying the jacket on for real in a shop, not ordering online. 

Presuming you can get the correct fit, the Pro SL 3 Season can bounce off a serious amount of sub-zero cold and wind chill without it getting through to your core. The extended cuffs and deep fleecy collar are a disproportionately big part of how cosy and non synthetic it feels and it’s relatively quiet, too. Thanks to the liner spreading perspiration over a wide area, it does a decent job of wicking away sweat even when it’s closed up, but its party trick is obviously being able to open various vents. 

While it’s tempting to only use the main vents, flushing cold air over the arteries of the forearm is a really effective and subtle way to regulate body temperature. It doesn’t blow the jacket up like the main vents can either. That said, if you do need to dump a lot of heat in a hurry, the front zips work really well and body position doesn’t alter their effectiveness. That means while it’s definitely more jacket than you’ll need at 10 degrees C (50 F) if you run the jacket fully open over a really light base you won’t melt. 

It’s a nice touch that the vents are still effective even with the fleecy waistcoat underneath too, as it adds a serious amount of warmth to the ‘system’ considering how light it is. As a result the combo takes comfort well into the sub-zero zone as long as you’re working reasonably hard. If it gets warmer mid-ride then the liner scrunches up small enough to fit into one of the mid-sized back pockets too. This makes it much more versatile than a fixed thermal liner on long and/or variable temp/effort days, although you could obviously create a similar effect with a well chosen base layer.

On the subject of base layers, combining it with the Jetstream jersey and/or Endura’s Transloft base layers gives you a full sync of skimpy super breathable/wicking back panels from your skin right through up to four layers. That’s great if you’re working hard in dry or just damp conditions, but it can actually be a bit too breezy in contrast to the rest of the outfit if you’re moving slower or it’s raining hard enough to rinse straight through. 

The waterproof coating on the windproof sections doesn’t hold off rain for long either and essentially vanishes after the first wash. Level up the insulation though, and you’ll still be more comfortable on a longer day in the wet than a lot of hardshell waterproofs that are less breathable and vent-variable. If you get a break from the weather it dries fast too, and again being able to separate the gilet out helps here if you’re riding back to back bikepacking days without drying facilities.

Verdict

Sticking vents in a jacket could be seen as a lazy way to control core temperature, but Endura’s Pro SL 3 Season does it so well it’s a definite versatility win. The fleece gilet is a useful addition for freezing or cruising days and boosted pocket capacity adds extra range to your rides. Multi-panel cut, reflective and zip-puller details are all excellent and it works very well (potentially too well) with Endura’s other sub layers.

 Given that it’s not claimed to be a specific waterproof and stays comfortable when wet anyway, the short-lived DWR is only a minor rather than major disappointment. Make sure you try the shaping and sizing before you buy to make sure you can get an accurate, aero but non-restrictive fit.

Tech Specs: Endura Pro SL 3 Season jacket

  • Price: £179.99 / $224.99
  • Colours: Pumpkin (tested) or Black
  • Sizes XS-XXL

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