Haglöfs Endo Jacket

I’ve been using one of these on and off since last winter (two different ones, hence the two colours…), so I’ve definitely made my mind up about it, it’s the Haglöfs Endo Jacket,

328g for my dog-eared size large and it packs to nothing. I though there was a good chance all I would do waas carry it so I was quite happy with that, but the bloody thing is like a wind and water magnet and I’ve worn it just about every time I’ve taken it out.
The myth that winter needs big bad waterproofs is long dead for me, aye thinner fabrics will cool you quicker in an icy gale but dress accordingly underneath and you’re sorted. The old trouble is wher the weight gets cut. Pockets? Give me one and I’m happy. Adjustable cuffs? Don’t care as long I can get my gloves over or under it. Hood? Get it right or it’s going in the bin. Fabric? Well, that’s the story here as much as anything else.

Gore Tex Active Shell, the eVent and Paclite killer, the former target is by design and the latter by default.
Paclite is now a lifestyle and just-in-case-wear fabric and that’s where we’ll see it going, Active Shell just kills it at moisture management, sure you can manage Paclite with minimal under it layering, but Active Shell works with a base layer or base layer plus microfleece or light softshell. I’ve worn it for about eight hours in patchy rain conditions and been dry underneath at the end of it, it’s miles ahead of any other Gore Tex waterproof and I’ll tell you something else, I really don’t think it’s any step down in performance from eVent. I’ve ran, biked, walked and slept in both and I can’t tell the difference.
But, the Active Shell fabric is not going to last as long as eVent, it’s lightweight construction that breathes so well is paid for by durability. It’s not all bad news, I’m seeing some light wear areas on the inner scrim under pack buckles and that’s about it. Haglöfs are using a tougher polyamide face which should wear better than the more common polyester, so while Gore are telling everyone to only make top-end performance jackets out of the fabric, we’ll see that change in time, including Active Shell/Pro Shell hybrids for general mountain use I dare say.

There’s more than just fabric here, the hood above is a cracker. It’s got a big peak that’s protective even in the wind and is cinched down by front drawcords and the exposed crown bungee that Haglöfs use.
From under your nose runds finely toothed full length zip with a wide and channelled rain gutter/storm flap behind it. The zip’s a quirky design and the first time you use it is a learning experience.
The hem is nicely scooped, there’s no weight saving from the length of this jacket at all, it’s properly shaped even with the minmal seams used in its construction. The fit is slim though, nicely slim with totally free arm movement so it doesn’t ride upwhen I’m on the bike. The hem has bungee adjusters too.

The arms are long, and are a little bit different when you get to the end. There’s a thumbloop which when used protects your hand to your first knuckle, but on the palm side there’s a stretchy softshell fabric. This is genius frankly, handlebars, poles, axes whatever can be gripped easilywhile the back of your hand gets that extra bit of protection. The old Oz waterproof had thumbloops but the arms were way to short for them to be properly useful, here it’s a real useable feature which I do use all the time, it’s great even for a quick warm up of the hands.

Gore Tex doesn’t want the breathability of the fabric to be compromised by double layers so Haglöfs have stuck a stretch softshell pocket on the outside rather than have a mesh inner pocket bag. This will let the stuff in there get wet eventually, but with the slim fit of the jacket it’s the option that makes the most sense as the contents stretch out and not in which would be annoying. Remember the old days when pockets were stitched onto the outside of your waterproofs? It was simply for aesthetics that they moved them inside, it cleans the jacket up. Ah the old days…
Anyway, it’s neat enough and works fine, I can get a Buff, GPS and food in it.

328g is getting on for twice what the game changing Oz pullover weighed and if you’re going to use it rather than carry it it’s worth every extra gram. Carrying it is still no hardship, it’s a proper lightweight but it has features rather than cut corners, the hood, the cuffs, the active cut, it’s a proper users jacket with a fabric that brings joy when you find out at camp you’re dry under it.

It’s been good to have a proper long term test of the Endo, the green version of which is much more photogenic, and it’s not done yet as it’s currently my go-to jacket hanging by the door. It’s an outstanding bit of kit.

The longevity of the Active Shell fabric will depend on which version you buy, how you wear it, where you wear it, how you wash it and how you store it. I hope it’s a success, we need Gore chasing more peformance rather than kicking back now that eVent’s taken its foot off the gas.
eVent has both performance and durability, Gore’s finally got something that feels like it’s in the area, we just need them to make it badass tough.

13 thoughts on “Haglöfs Endo Jacket

  1. So how come eVent is so much better than Gore-Tex? Gore has been around for decades, and just a few years ago eVent appeared with something that Gore’s just now matched?

  2. Don’t worry about ‘how’ eVent was better, just mourn it’s passing.

    I pretty much agree with your ‘required features’ list Petesy, apart from the cuffs. For me they need to be adjustable to aid cooling/prevent overheating in the first place. This is certainly the case on the bike. Love the clever use of a non membrane material for the pocket so as not to inhibit breathability.

    I suppose it doesnt really matter, but do you think Active Shell is actually ‘breathing’ as well as eVent does? Or is it just very good at managing the moisture?

  3. Breathability is everything. My paclite is the equivalent of wearing a crisp packet. I love eVent purely for that breathability. If ActiveShell can get close to that, Gore is back in the game.

    Liking the look of the Endo.

  4. Been reading a few reviews of Active shell and it sounds like Gore have actually woken up and smelt the coffee at last. Over the last few years Event seems to have been the go to fabric for breathibility (although not tried it myself) all the reviews i have seen have only praised it. I think when my current jackets finally bite the dust i will look at just one jacket for everything. Like the look of the ME firelite & firefox and prefer the 2 hip pocket option tbh. What do you think of the Endo in comparison to the OMM cyphers, as i like the look of them as well.

  5. Panavia. They’re both made of PTFE material but it’s constructed in very different ways. If you search about you might find some microscope type shot of them, one’s like a crochet blanket, the other’s abit more random and stretched lookingt.
    There’s chemical teatment stuff as well, eVent is more raw from the press as it were and Gore uses a PU coating on the laminate which protects if from sweat.

    Mr Kobayashi. I do like cuffs on a heavier jacket, my temperature rises fast when I’m working hard!
    It’s a good point that about the breathability, I did wonder if the inner scrim was just really good at soaking up the sweat and hiding it, but I find it hard to overload the inner face so it must be shifting the sweat to the outside to a reasonable degree, certainly better than ProShell.
    Always difficult to be exact with this stuff.

    Michael. It is a good jacket on its own merits without the new fabric, the fit and functionality are spot on for me. It’ll be interesting to see how I get on with it in harder winter conditions as the original black version came through in March when it was getting milder (that version went back to go on a racer somewhere?!).

    Coops, the Montane Air is the eVent version of the single pocket shell ME had out last winter if you do go down that route.
    The Cypher is fine, I saw OMM last month (need to write that up…), basically a Haglofs Oz in eVent and it is a bit lighter than the Endo. The fit is different, the Endo is slimmer, better hood, full zip for getting it off easy in a tent.
    It’s always tricky nailing down the single ideal item, I wonder what I would chose? I should do a post on my desert island gear.

  6. “The old Oz waterproof had thumbloops but the arms were way to short for them to be properly useful,….”

    Ha, so either that makes you ‘gorilla arms’, or else my Yorkshire ones are indeed genetically shortened to keep them away from all that loose change in my pockets! ;O)

  7. Must admit i really like the look of that Montane Air now you mention it, just read your review too. The only thing that could be a negative is it looks a bit short at the front, but until i try it don’t know. One thing with these lighter jackets why don’t they design them so they all pack into the pocket instead of a stuff sac. How much kit to choose from, lol

  8. They’re fine if I keep my arms at my side Matt :o)
    Cuff to cuff the Oz was inches shorter than other jackets with a similar chest size, it’s fine for me without using the thumbloops but biking or scrambling with my thumbs in the loops wasn’t on. Mine is still in good nick, including the stuck-back-on chest pocket. A classic for sure.

    The Air’s great coops, it’ll be back out this winter too. It is short at the front, it’s a Montane thing, but it doesn’t seem to pull out of my pack hipbelt which is the biggest pain with short jackets. Layering it with shell pants is fine too, a good fabric over lap so no wet crotch.
    There is a lot of good kit to chose from :o)

  9. And I thought my Paramo Smock was lightweight. That is incredibly light.

    Thanks for doing a long term review, its useful to know how this sort of thing lives up in the real world.

  10. Well more like average light really :) Properly minimalist though.

    Have Gore quantified the ‘less durable’ thing at all? It can’t be the usual thing with face fabrics, so is it just not liking being folded/unfolded too much or something else?

  11. Recently bought one of these after checking forums on outdoorsmagic and getting advice from the reps who train us in the shop – one of who suggested this blog. Thanks!
    Its a great piece of kit. Had Montane before now. Not going to be as durable as a pro Shell, that much is obvious as soon as you pick it up. But event jackets mentioned above are not exactly bullet-proof judging by how many returns Rab get

  12. It’s always nice to do a really long term review. The danger is that if you do that all the time, when you finally do a review the kit’s been discontinued. It’s happened to me before…

    General lightness of inner, outer and membrane seems to be the reason for the durability issues.
    I’ll tell you what though, the amount of bitching between the brands about they way they’re all using Active Shell is hilarious, accusations, official complaints and whatnot.

    I remember the Rab waterproof woes of recent times, they were all delaminating. That was supposed to be fixed by eVent taking tighter control of all the fabric production, I wonder how that’s working out?
    I’ve worn their Demand smock an awful lot and s been fine. Talking of which, the Endo has kinda replaced the Demand, they’ve got a similar sort of remit.

  13. Pingback: PTC* » Haglöfs 2012 Winter Kit Review #3 – Endo II Pull

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