The Endura MT500 II jacket offers protection in really foul weather, with a great hood, plenty of ventilation and loads of stretch in the fabric.
Editor’s Choice 2020
Endura may have updated the classic MT500 with a new fabric for 2021, but it’s gone right back to its usual spot at the top of our favourite jacket list with a win in December’s grouptest. Improved durability and a more environmentally friendly waterproof coating are the headline changes, but we also loved the capacious hood, perfect water beading and useful features such as the lift pass pocket on the sleeve.
At first glance, the new Endura MT500 II jacket looks pretty similar to the current MT500, but it’s built using the company’s new ExoShell40 DR three-layer waterproof fabric. This material has a 40,000g/m²/24hr breathability compared to the 60K fabric used for the MT500, but the Nylon face material is rated DR (extra durable). The fabric is pretty waterproof too (20k versus 10k) and comes treated with a PFC-free DWR (Durable Water Repellent) coating – rain and spray pooled easily on this jacket and then raced off the fabric’s surface.
To stop water ingress, all the seams are fully taped and the jacket has a water-repellent zip backed up by an internal storm flap. It also gets a high collar with extra perforations on the front to vent vapour when riding hard. The adjustable hood is an over-the-helmet design and features a stiffened peak and adjustable draw-cords. We couldn’t seem to get the ones on the chin to hold, but it didn’t really matter because this hood easily had the most coverage of any tested. It also fits close against the neck and wasn’t that muffled when riding.
Like most three-layer jackets, the Endura MT500 II jacket has a ton of features including a new lift pass pocket on the sleeve, two massive chest pockets, that also double as forward vents, Velcro tags on the cuffs and secondary cuffs inside to keep the wind out. Like the Madison DTE jacket, there’s silicone grip on the shoulders to stop your pack sliding about and abrading the fabric.
At 537g the MT500 II is a weighty jacket, but that’s partially because it does come up big – we’d definitely recommend down-sizing with this one. For full days in the wilds or adding some extra warmth on an e-bike ride, we really can’t fault the MT500 II. It has the best fitting hood on test, some excellent details, a quality build and it’s harder wearing that most. It’s a close call between this and the Gore, but the Endura MT500 is tad more versatile.