BIKETART REVIEW: ENDURA PAKAJAK
Sure, the British summertime is rolling ever quicker towards us. But does that mean you should pack away your wet weather riding kit? For anyone who’s lived in this Hemisphere for more than a year, you’ll know that the conditions out there can change in an instant. I finished a hard block of training recently which was cut short due to a chill I picked up during a 5 hour ride. I’d headed out in a jersey and shorts and the forecast was clear for the day – about 3 hours in the rain poured down and the temperature was dropping significantly. As many riders will be familiar with, by the time you get home you’re exhausted, ridiculously cold and wet. Luckily, I’ve been given a piece of kit to test which combats the “middle of the road” category of jackets, the Endura Pakajak.
The Pakajak I’ve been riding and training with is Red in Large. I’m 6″2 and I find the fit to be extremely true to size, with the jackets close race cut seams comfortable in the wind. The jacket features a drop tail back to keep your undercarriage dry on longer rides, allowing moisture to drop off. The underarm has vents for breath-ability which I found particularly efficient on the longer climbs. The dual bonded body is laser cut for a comfortable fit and the dimensions of the jacket perfectly suited my needs on the ride. Even in a tough headwind, the jacket did not allow for nearly as much wind to penetrate unlike other jackets I have tested.
Now, anyone who is interested in product descriptions will notice that Endura market this product as “showerproof”. This is because the jacket does not contain the material enhancements required to completely fend off rain. On a weekend group ride I encountered drizzle and the Jacket was fairly good at keeping this off. Towards the end of the ride, the rain had dramatically increased and bits of my under jersey and shoulders were wet under the jacket. Of course, we can’t give Endura too much of a hard time because they do not market it as “fully waterproof”, but those looking for a fully fledged rain jacket may be disappointed. The zip is comfortable and re-enforced to the jacket body with velcro straps to keep the jacket outer tight.
The jacket has attractive and well thought reflective hems to keep you visible, something I found to be invaluable in misty conditions. The jacket fits away (hint into the name) into it’s own sleeve. I have to say, If you’re looking for an easy to roll up design, this may be a jacket you have to pack back up at home. It took me several configurations to roll the jacket into the optimal shape just to fit it back in it’s case. Once in, the jacket is snug and compact, and I found that even testing the comfort of it in my jersey on normal days – it was barely noticeable.
All in all, the Endura Pakajak is an incredibly lightweight jacket with genuine wind and shower protection – that being said, this jacket is not heavy duty. It’s the sort of jacket you would wear on a descent of a mountain to keep the cold off, not those long winter rides. However, this review is for the purpose of riding in showers and spring conditions, and for that, the Pakajack fits the bill pretty well. The jacket comes in a range of colours and sizes – as well as support for Women’s designs, so truly an invaluable piece of kit for April showers.