If you're looking for a mountain bike jacket that's ideal for the coldest, wettest, filthiest days, then the Endura MT500 II delivers
The MT500 tag represents Endura’s hardcore mountain bike range, aimed at being one of the best mountain bike jackets on the market, and this jacket is one of the heaviest on our scales.
It also features quite a stiff three-layer ExoShell40 laminate that uses a rip-stop face fabric, a PU membrane and textured inner layer to help draw moisture away from the skin. To further vent heat there are mesh sections on the backside of the pockets, as well as two lengthy pit zips.
Endura is a fan of features and the MT500 is loaded. It has an over-the-helmet hood with a stiffened peak and a single pull toggle – although we found this is not easy to adjust with winter gloves on. More stiffened material around the neck adds protection if you ride with the hood down.
There’s a wide internal storm flap on the front, complete with zip gutter, two huge side pockets (as big as those on the Altura jacket) and inside one is a leashed lens wipe. To stop abrasion wear from hydration pack straps, the jacket also features silicone ribs on the shoulders.
Although the ExoShell40DR has very good breathability and waterproof figures, the MT500 isn’t the coolest running jacket when you’re working hard. You can vent away some of the heat using the pit zips, but we’d really only start rides in this jacket if the thermostat was hovering around zero.
If you’re riding under the trees the MT500 is a bit too much, and if you just want something to shoulder on a showery day, we don’t recommend that either because it doesn’t pack down that small. A better bet would be last year’s test winner; the superb Endura GV500.
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However, it may still be worth having a MT500 in your arsenal, because the attention to detail is excellent and it is good value. A must wear on the coldest and wettest of days.