The concept of a one-piece waterproof is sound – no gap for spray to enter up your back, and a lower half that won’t fall down however waterlogged it gets.
The Endura SingleTrack One Piece is one of the best examples yet. It’s designed, says Endura, to keep you dry on wet days in the forest or on the mountain, as well as being an affordable option for the winter commute.
The SingleTrack One Piece uses Endura’s Exoshell20 material, with a 10k waterproof rating and 20k breathability rating.
It is a relatively simple garment with two hip pockets and a chest pocket, sturdy main zip on the jacket portion, ankle zips to aid getting it on and off, Velcro straps around the wrists and a pop-button and zip fly.
Around the seat is some reinforcement. There’s a generously sized hood included, while the waist is elasticated. Under-arm vents aid ventilation, though there aren’t any thigh vents.
Endura SingleTrack One Piece performance
The SingleTrack One Piece differs from one-piece items from Dirtlej in that it’s separated across the front of the waist. In effect, the front portion looks and acts like a regular waterproof jacket and trouser combo, while the rear features continual coverage from head to toe.
The jacket portion has a reasonably sized chest pocket, while the trousers have two regular zipped pockets, big enough for a large phone.
At the top of the garment is a hood that’s big enough to fit over a helmet when riding – just. This does a very effective job of keeping rain out, and also helps keep you warm when it’s cold, because heat rising from your body stays within your clothing that little bit longer.
Elastic pull tabs keep the neck and hood area cinched in when needed.
In the middle, the waist has an elasticated band to help keep everything in place while you’re pedalling, though the vast bulk of the job of keeping the jacket and trousers where you want them is done by the overall head-to-toe structure of the garment. It does, however, help keep it from being a shapeless item of clothing.
There are no leg vents, but there are zips at the bottom of the legs to help get your feet through the trousers. I didn’t find it particularly easy to fit or remove the garment with riding shoes on, though.
The zips are all heavy-duty, featuring pull tabs that are fairly easy to grab with gloves on, and there’s a storm flap behind the main jacket zip.
The ExoShell20 fabric has 10k waterproof and 20k breathability ratings – neither the highest around, but both good enough to keep you dry in all but prolonged rain, or on particularly sweaty climbs. The seat of the trouser portion is reinforced.
Waterproofing and breathability
On balance, so long as the fit is good, the SingleTrack One Piece performs well on the trail, in rain, drizzle and splashy conditions.
The fabric doesn’t have the highest waterproof rating around, at 10,000mm hydrostatic head, and as with most waterproof fabrics these days you’ll have to wash and re-waterproof it regularly to ensure the DWR (Durable Water Repellent) coating remains effective, which helps water bead on the surface.
Only prolonged, heavy rain resulted in me getting damp and clammy on longer rides – something I’ve found with many waterproofs anyway. Even when this did happen, I rarely found myself getting cold on said rides.
The material’s breathability is also good, if not outstanding. However, the structure of the SingleTrack One Piece allows for plenty of upper-body ventilation.
I found it perfectly possible to climb with the jacket zip fully undone, with the front of the jacket open, letting plenty of air in, while my back remained protected from the rain.
In windier conditions, keeping the zip done up prevents rain getting blown on to your chest.
There are long underarm vents, which also help regulate temperature, and have zip-pulls that are easy to grab with gloves on.
Previous experience of the more expensive MT500 One Piece suggested that the arm and leg volume might be too great, but the SingleTrack garment’s arms and legs don’t billow out.
This is probably aided by the slightly heavier-weight material, which flaps less in the wind and doesn’t get clingy when the inside is damp.
As alluded to, the join between upper and lower portions of the garment does an incredible job of keeping water and mud splashes from the rear wheel at bay.
In the most unpleasant conditions, there are no unwanted splashes up your back, or down your trousers. This keeps you clean and comfortable, even if water or sweat eventually permeate through.
Endura offers the One Piece in M, L, XL and XXL. I’ve found that Endura’s sizing can be a little inconsistent, and so I would recommend trying this garment on in a shop before buying, if you’re not sure.
I’m 6ft (182cm) tall and found the fit of the size medium the best, but still not perfect. I have a 31in (79cm) waist and 42in (107cm) chest, with a 32in (82cm) inside leg.
The medium One Piece (the smallest offered) has a 33-35in (84-89cm) waist, and 99-104cm chest (no inside-leg measurement is given).
As such, the waist, while very comfortable, was too big, while the chest was too small. The extra material around the waist isn’t really an issue, as the connected jacket prevents the trousers from falling down.
However, the tight chest measurement meant there was pull on the shoulders on longer, more aggressive bikes, or on descents. This was exacerbated when the hood was up – while it’s possible to ride with the hood up, head mobility is a little compromised.
Given the arm and leg length, and their volume, as well as the already generous waist sizing, I don’t think a large size would fit me properly. The tightness across the shoulder is a compromise I’m happy to make.
How does the Endura SingleTrack One Piece compare to the Endura MT500 One Piece and Dirtlej Classic?
Though the Exoshell40DR fabric of the MT500 One Piece is theoretically of a higher quality, with better breathability and a lighter weight, I prefer the feel of the SingleTrack’s fabric. It’s a little heavier, and thus flaps and rustles around less. It also sticks to clammy skin less than the lighter fabric.
Though less breathable, the SingleTrack felt more comfortable, as neither garment prevents sweatiness entirely.
I also found the fit of the SingleTrack better than the MT500. The MT500 seemed to have excess leg and arm material, which led to flapping in the wind because of its lighter weight, and exacerbated its clammy feel.
The SingleTrack’s fabric also needed less attention when it came to ensuring the DWR coating remained effective – I’ve had to reproof it less frequently.
I’ve not ridden the latest Dirtlej outfits, however the material of the SingleTrack feels a touch lighter, and uses a finer thread. While it avoids the issues highlighted with the MT500, the SingleTrack’s material feels superior.
Fit on the Dirtlej was similarly tight across the shoulders, and sizing a touch tricky to get right. However, this is based on the original Dirtlej suit I tested, and may have since been rectified.
Endura SingleTrack One Piece bottom line
I’m sold on the performance of one-piece waterproof items – they keep you drier and cleaner than separates.
The SingleTrack One Piece is one of the better one-pieces out there, thanks to the non-clingy, fairly heavyweight material that’s supported by good ventilation and reasonable waterproofing.
The fit could be improved, though. The waist is too big for a given chest measurement, though arm and leg lengths and volumes are appropriate. As such, I’d recommend you try before you buy.