There are two sides to this clever cycling jacket, finds Neil Braidwood.
Scottish cyclewear company Endura have done a very clever thing with the FlipJak. It is reversible, thereby solving the conundrum that many commuting city cyclists have when they want to go to the pub with their workmates. Instead of turning up in a hi-viz reflective top â€“ they simply turn it inside out and blend in to their surroundings by turning to the dark side.
Endura Urban FlipJak features:
- Primaloft insulation
- zipped chest pockets on both sides
Iâ€™ve been trying this jacket out for about six months, and I love it, but I also hate it. Let me explain.
There are a couple of silver reflective logos on the acid green side (on the back, arm and chest) with just one on the black side, on the shoulder. After testing this jacket for a few months, Iâ€™ve noticed that they are starting to peel away from the fabric.
The black side looks like a quilted jacket, with horizontal stitching, but on the hi-viz side, it is smooth. It is not too puffy, with quite a low profile â€“ great for cycling and also good for packing.
It fitted me well, and the arms are a bit longer, as with most cycling jackets, while there is a ducktail at the back, to keep your bum warm (or clean, if you donâ€™t have mudguards).
I have mainly been using this for my six mile commute every day, and on colder days, it feels instantly cosy, and keeps out the wind effectively. I have never been a fan of hoods on cycling jackets as I always thought they would impair your vision if you had to turn to see what was behind you. Then one day I forgot my hat, and I was very happy to have the hood. Compact enough to be worn under my helmet, and tight enough that it didnâ€™t get in my way when checking traffic.
My main issue with the jacket is that it does indeed keep you warm and cosy, due to the effective yet lightweight Primaloft insulation, but it is not very breathable, so you do arrive sweatier than when you started. The jacket gets quite wet inside depending on how hard you are cycling, so this was a downside for me. Another negative is that it is only showerproof, not waterproof. I have been caught out on a couple of occasions, when I got absolutely soaked to the skin. However, I took it with me on a longer bikepacking trip where it was stuffed in my saddlebag, and it was perfect when I stopped to make camp, and I needed to keep warm.
Thereâ€™s a baffle on the zipped handwarmer pockets, and the zip kept getting stuck on this, which I found a bit annoying. Personally, I am not sure the baffle is needed, but thatâ€™s just me.
Iâ€™ve even come off my bike while wearing the jacket, so I can attest to the durability of the fabric (hi-viz side only!). I landed pretty heavily on my shoulder, on wet, muddy cobbles, and there were no tears in the rip-stop fabric.
This jacket is pretty perfect when tootling along on a crisp, cold winterâ€™s day, or for having in your rucksack when you need to keep warm. I just wish it was more breathable and waterproof â€“ then it would be the only jacket Iâ€™d need.