The Core Tee II is a simple, back-to-basics design from a brand with a reputation for durability.
Scottish brand Endura has built a reputation for reasonably priced, well-made kit over the last couple of decades.
More recently, it’s also become well known for its commitment to reducing environmental impact, and one look at its ‘sustainability’ page tells you it’s doing way more than most brands in this area – whether that’s planting millions of trees, developing and using PFC-free DWR coatings, or employing majority recycled materials like in this Core Tee here.
Alongside a focus on eco credentials, Endura involves its sponsored riders – such as Danny MacAskill and the Athertons – in design collaborations to ensure excellent function. These riders use this kit day in, day out, in the harsh environments of the Scottish Highlands and North Wales, so it has to perform.
That said, unlike Endura’s more technical kit, this simple Core Tee II is very much back-to-basics. As such, it’s just a t-shirt-shaped riding top with the added ability to wick moisture, dry fast and breathe better than a standard cotton jersey fabric.
A polyester perforated fabric helps achieve this, sourced from 80% recycled materials and woven with a kind of micro mesh/tea bag style weave that’s more permeable to allow air in and out to cool the rider and evaporate sweat. The sizing is pretty generous, with the large sample shown here being bigger than most others we tested, and there’s plenty of room across the shoulders and lats. The fit isn’t really tailored or fitted to the body with extra panelling, but there is a double layer behind the nape of the neck to make it sit better.
The Core Tee II runs pretty cool while riding along and there’s good air flow, but it’s less breezy than some and can get a bit soggy and saturated with sweat when working hard. We ended up with sodden patches under pecs and at the small of the back faster than the best jerseys here, and the Core Tee also doesn’t dry as quickly when wetted out, so can stay feeling a bit sticky and clingy against skin when you’re really sweaty.
Endura charges a reasonable price for the Core Tee, but there’s not that much special on offer here in terms of mixed fabrics, materials and cut. In fact, many technical sports t-shirts – for trail-running or gym work – are cheaper and as effective if you can live without Endura’s cycling-specific brand association.