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Leatt Jacket MTB Endurance
2.0 190g Large (as tested) £118

The Leatt  Jacket MTB Endurance 2.0 is aimed at mtb audiences but in my experience, lends itself very nicely to gravel and indeed general riding. It's highly water and wind resistant, packs compactly when not needed and has a decent rear pocket for stashing lighter stuff. 

Pros: Highly wind and rain resistant, great breathability, lightweight and packs exceedingly small. 

Cons: Minor point but bigger zipper tags would be welcomed.

Specification 

Reassuringly high, in a nutshell. It’s made from a “super lightweight” ripstop nylon/elastane weave and features a durable, water and stain repelling, fluorocarbon (PFC) free coating. A low profile-collar with soft backing fabric keeps things packable and unobtrusive, while keeping drips and more substantial rain from sneaking inside.

Pre-shaped elasticated, stretch, hemline (with silicone gripper), cuffs welded front zipper and inner flap continue the weather cheating theme. 

test review cycling gear
test review cycling gear jacket MTB

Knitted mesh panelling at the rear and under arms promise targeted and efficient ventilation-there’s no laminate, which some suggested may affect the garment’s longevity but I’m not convinced that’s so, or practical on a garment designed to slip into a jersey pocket.

test review cycling bicycle gear jacket MTB

Simple but carefully positioned retro-reflective logos offer some subtle presence and there’s a decent size “poacher” type rear pocket for stowing stuff and indeed, packing the jacket into, when not needed. Oh, talking of which it also features a storage strap, so it can cadge a lift on the top tube, should you prefer. There are three colours, I opted for the blue, but there’s a very fetching “rust” or time honoured black, should you prefer.

Sizing/Fit 4/5

Leatt describe this as “next to skin”. In marketing terms, I can see why. However, I’d describe it as snug. No danger of it billowing like a builder’s tarp down an exposed mountain descent. However, I’m pleased to report, no issues with bunching with long sleeve winter jerseys, including the jersey cum jacket genre when temperatures have struggled to 3 degrees, or so.  The tail isn’t as long as some but still offers decent protection from water and spray.  

 

I went for large, which was by far the best fit for me since I am broader across the shoulders, shorter in the torso and longer in the arms than my height and build would suggest. I tend to be medium by most brands’ charts these days, but I can also confirm Leatt’s is very precise, so no lottery when buying online.

Performance 4/5

Let’s start by saying I’ve only noticed its positive qualities in five weeks and upwards of 650 miles. Our test period has been defined by wet, chill, biting winds and milder, moderate spells. The first outing was very bright but equally chill February morning with a bitter cross wind. I was immediately struck by how well the Endurance 2.0 shell

cycling jacket test review

blocked this. Being around 3 degrees, I was wearing a faithful, winter weight jersey cum jacket but this would’ve struggled to insulate in these contexts. 90 minutes later, I was perfectly temperate. A narrative that has remained consistent throughout.

The elasticated cuffs also make for a superb, weather cheating seal with most gloves. Same story at the back- the silicone grippers and light elastics doing their thing handsomely. Though snug, the fabric and cut ensures excellent give, meaning effortless switching between hoods, tops and drops - say when hunkering down and battling a head wind.

cycling test review gear jacket bars

No hint of gathering or bunching, whether I’d been out for an hour, or four.  Water repellence isn’t comparable with a 3-layer laminate in persistent, moderate to heavy rain. However, I’ve gone 90 minutes in persistent showery stuff with heavier interludes and only been conscious of some dampness creeping in after 90. Thanks to the venting and lightweight fabric this evaporated very quickly given a break in the cloud and moderate breeze. Suffice to say it didn’t linger long enough to distract from the ride. 

Same story with wintry, sleety stuff. The collar, although low cut also proved a reliable, comfortable seal against the elements. However, riders with shorter, or might be inclined toward a buff  or similar tube type neck-gaiter garment when the wind’s dragging temperatures round. Wicking and comfort have been similarly impressive when temperatures have climbed to mild, spring-like mid-teens. 

Obviously, base and mid layer quality/materials play their part but the endurance 2.0 has kept pace with my efforts, responding expediently to my efforts- no tangible lag in wicking when I’ve been on the fixed and accelerating hard on a steep, unexpected climb, or a steady 20mph. 

Dropping the zipper will obviously prevent any potential over heating- it's a good quality, dependable example, although I found the tag a little tricky in full finger gloves-even designs like Madison Roam. Mind you, I should point out, I have compromised feeling in my dominant hand’s index finger, and I solved the problem with a thin zip tie. 

gear test review clothing cycling

Same story with the rear poacher pocket. This too seems to keep cargo dry and though not something I’d want to over burden, no issues with a tube and some snacks.

Again, even when relatively full, it didn’t cause gathering, or bounce. I’ve done a fair bit of trail and gravel-type duties and despite the inevitable encounters with thorns and other foliage haven’t made any impression on the fabric. The stain resistant component also seems to do a decent job of ensuring mud and other organic gunge doesn’t stick and that which does is easily dismissed with a quick hand, or machine wash.

Durability/Care 3.5/5

There are the usual caveats here. Hang it out to dry come the close of a wet, or changeable ride. Don’t scrunch it into a ball and leave in the bottom of bike luggage, wash basket etc. Otherwise, its proven very rugged and equally easy to live with. Despite being relatively thin, The Endurance has certainly lived up to its name, shrugging at the usual road, gravel and trail shenanigans.

The DWR (Durable Water Repelling) stain repelling coating has done its thing admirably keeping mud, spilt drinks and muddy, organic spatter from clinging on. I’ve not run it on a wash cycle with reproofing agent, nor would I expect to this early on. However (and this is in part, testament to the tenacity of modern chain lubes) there has been some trace yet tell-tale oily taint around the cuffs, where I’ve tackled a flat, or drivetrain issue mid ride. 

test review bicycle gear jacket

No worse than on other jackets I’ve tested and indeed, used long-term. Otherwise, it responds well to machine washing AT 30 degrees with minimal detergent, or soap flakes. No signs of deterioration anywhere, not so much as a loose thread or peeling retro reflective. Drying times vary- bargain on 15 minutes, line-dried on a mild, breezy day, closer to 40 when hung on a clothes horse/airier indoors.

Value 3.75/5

£118 is arguably at the higher end of the market but there are a lot dearer and a fair few cheaper, too. At the lower end. We have Madison Road Race Super Light Men’s Waterproof Softshell Jacket  £79.99, which boats waterproof and breathability ratings of 20,000 apiece and continues to impress me now. It’s a little more tarmac specific and doesn’t pack quite so compactly but nonetheless, still a very worthy contender if you’re on a budget. Albion All Road Pertex Sheild is £195. It's a three-layer design with 20,000mm ratings for waterproofing and breathability, triple zip, which keeps the elements out, while allowing easy access to a jersey pocket. Rapha Men’s Core Rain Jacket 2 is £140, available in 6 colours, has excellent waterproofing and fit. However, it doesn’t pack into its own pocket, and some say the lighter colours stain quite readily. Gore Torrent Men’s Jacket. It’s a lightweight three-layer model made from polyamide. Water resistance is superior to the Leatt (although I’d expect so, given it was £229 back in 2021) and the medium tips the scales at 190g. 

 

Fit is decidedly snug, but sizing is perfectly accurate. I should also point out, it’s a road rather than gravel, or trail garment and, it's also less packable, which may also be significant in the latter riding contexts. 

 

The 7Mesh Cypress Hybrid is a more packable design, much closer to the Leatt in this respect and indeed, at £131.25. The 7Mesh is made from Gore Tex Infinium, the body being 50d polyester, the back body is 78% polyester and 22% elastane. Really close fit eliminates flutter and similar distractions, while the dual zippered side vents allow more tuneable airflow, while simultaneously improving access to jersey pockets.

Summary

The Leatt Endurance 2.0 has proven itself a very versatile and competent packable model. One that I have largely defaulted to thanks to its weather cheating, highly breathable and unobtrusive characteristics. I haven’t missed a hood and found this added to its chameleon charms- it looks and performs equally well on road, gravel and trail- great news if you wanted a single packable jacket for all disciplines.

Verdict: 4/5 Extremely competent packable jacket for all seasons and riding genres.

 

Michael Stenning

 

Leatt®: The Science of Thrill | Protective Sports Gear & Apparel 

    

PUBLISHED MARCH 2024

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