Review: Polaris AM Enduro Windproof Jacket

Windproof jackets have become one of my most treasured pieces of kit. For commuting, they can be worn day after day with a fresh base layer underneath; for mild rain they are enough to keep you warm and dry without the sweat factor of a waterproof, and for cold weather they form the ultimate outer layer to combine with other thermal layers for warmth.

The AM Enduro jacket from Polaris is designed for mountain bike riding, with their Niteride Jacket intended for road riders (being a bit closer fitting). I have primarily been using the AM Enduro jacket for commuting, which for me involves many aspects of mountain biking; such as wearing a small rucksack, wanting a comfortable layer with a bit more freedom of movement, and needing durable materials. I've been impressed with it so far...

The jacket is a great high-visibility electric blue, with reflective detailing on the sleeves and back, making it ideal for the commute. It uses a dual fabric mix; the X-Wind Windproof fabric on the blue areas does an impressive job at shielding the winter gales, and a more breathable and stretchy thermal Lycra on the black areas (including the sleeves and back) improves breathability and movement, especially when wearing a rucksack. Both fabrics are backed with a super soft and warm micro fleece, which provides great insulation and is comfortable on the skin if you opt for just a short sleeved base layer underneath. 

The fit of the jacket is close enough to avoid annoying flapping in the winter gales, but roomy enough that you could wear this all day long. This is helped significantly by the stretch in the material, as well as the elasticated cuffs and hem. The high collar and zip baffle all help to keep the chill out and the warmth in, making this suitable for even sub zero temperatures (when coupled with a few extra layers). 

Pocketing comes in the form of a chest Napoleon pocket (zipped), and a angled larger zippered rear pocket. Because this is aimed at the mountain biker, who usually wears a hydration pack, there is no need for three large traditional jersey pockets; and the lack of them increases breathability and improves the comfort when wearing a rucksack. 

After a good few weeks of use, and multiple machine washes the AM Enduro still looks like new, and the windproofing hasn't suffered at all from the machine treatment. The X-Wind fabric seems to be more flexible and therefore more adept at dealing with heavy use than some windproof materials I have tested, making it ideal for the rough treatment of mountain biking. It also has a softer feel than others, with the fleece backing makes it a pleasure to wear.

This isn't the warmest of windproof jackets on the market, but it is roomy enough that you can easily layer up underneath, and the windproof fabric will help to protect from the windchill and light rain. It is therefore a very versatile option that could take you right through from autumn to spring with tactical layers underneath.

The price of the AM Enduro is also within most comfort zones; coming in at £89.99 RRP (significantly less on Wiggle at the moment), that's a great value jacket by any measure. This is a really great option for those that want a comfortable, effective piece of kit that will last, whilst not costing the earth.


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