The Altura Endurance Mistral Softshell Jacket forgoes some of the warmth and weatherproofing of more expensive jackets – you’ll want to pair it with a good quality baselayer when the temperature drops and a hardshell jacket if you’re riding in proper rain.
Storm flap makes rear pockets hard to access
For riding through the transitional seasons, a softshell jacket represents a highly versatile piece of kit. The aim is to be water repellent enough to shrug off the odd shower, while still being sufficiently breathable so that you don't feel clammy when it's dry.
Altura Endurance Mistral Softshell Jacket construction
The Endurance Mistral employs a lofty-fleece backed fabric across most of the jacket and has been given a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) coating to help protect against showers and road spray.
A thinner fleecy material is used for the underside of the arms and on either side of the torso to help aid breathability, while the stretchy fit of the cuffs is designed to block out draughts.
Although this jacket might look quite dark, there are large reflective panels across the back and along the arms to boost visibility considerably at night. Altura also produces the jacket with the sleeves and back of the jacket in either red or yellow, for a brighter look in the daytime.
Of the three rear pockets, the central one has been made a bit wider so as to better fit a hard shell rain jacket or gilet – although that has sacrificed some of the space in the side pockets. They'll still fit a phone quite easily, but do struggle a bit when combined with a bulky case.
There's no zipped pocket for valuables, but an extra flap of material does cover the top of the three main pockets, keeping the contents a little more securely inside and offering a bit of protection from the elements.
Altura Endurance Mistral Softshell Jacket: the ride
Although the gridded fleecy fabric does extend around a large portion of the jacket, it's not as thick or warm as softshell jackets from other brands.
That's not really a criticism – being able to wear the jacket for a greater portion of the year is even a plus – but it did catch me out on a ride with long descents and the temperature hovering around seven degrees Celsius.
The fit isn't super tight, though, so it's been easy to pair up with baselayers on cooler days since.
In terms of breathability, the Endurance Mistral really impressed. It didn't feel much different to wearing just a standard fleece-y jersey when hauling up the climbs. But once on top of the hills and exposed to the elements, I was very thankful for the extra windproofing
I found the DWR coating was effective for short showers and light mizzle, but anything more sustained or a little heavier and the water would start to soak through.
Some of the best softshell jackets can completely obviate the need for a rain cape, but then they are much more expensive than the Endurance Mistral. For the price, I felt the balance between breathability and waterproofness was quite reasonable.
Although the rear pockets were a good size and coped commendably when filled with food, tools, and spare tubes, the storm flap above them proved quite a nuisance for accessing them. The side pockets were particularly tricky. Already a smaller width than standard, the corner of the storm flap made the entry narrower still and items at the bottom were essentially unreachable.
Altura Endurance Mistral Softshell Jacket value
The Endurance Mistral Softshell doesn't use such fancy fabrics, meaning it's not as warm or as weather proof. But if you already have baselayers and a hardshell rain jacket to pair with it, the Endurance Mistral is a good value option.
Altura Endurance Mistral Softshell Jacket verdict
The Altura Endurance Mistral Softshell Jacket forgoes some of the warmth and waterproofing available in more expensive jackets, but paired with a hardshell and baselayer and it can be used for much of the year.
- Sizes: S – 2XL
- Colours: Black, Black/Red, Navy/Lime
- Weight: 310g
- Contact: www.Altura.co.uk
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Starting off riding mountain bikes on the South Downs way, he soon made the switch the road cycling. Now, he’s come full circle and is back out on the trails, although the flat bars have been swapped for the curly ones of a gravel bike.
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