“The durable construction and quality components will keep the GPX 5.5 Enduro a valuable part of your riding wardrobe for many winter seasons.”
Riding jackets are a relatively long-term investment for the riding enthusiast. Cold weather is truly seasonal, and, unlike boots, an extra upper body layer isn’t required year-round. Winter jackets are typically tough and don’t usually come in contact with sharp or hot surfaces of the bike, allowing for a long life span. The odds are that what you purchase in 2017 will likely be something you can still sport well into next decade. With that in mind, it’s best to consider all of the factors that make up a great riding jacket now and in the years to come. Here’s what you should know before you drop a few hundred dollars.
The Leatt GPX 5.5 Enduro jacket is made with a water-repellent shell, pre-curved zip-off arms, and a plethora of pockets. It’s available in three color schemes (black/gray, black/white, black/khaki) and ranges in adult sizes small through XXL. The style is sharp but subtle enough to not be gaudy. Every time out with this jacket someone in the riding group made an unsolicited comment about how nice it looked. The GPX 5.5 Enduro has longer arms than the typical jacket. The benefit is that it won’t allow for exposed skin at the body’s most extended positions, sealing in valuable heat.
The YKK zippers are well designed and manufactured for consistently smooth and easy operation even after being exposed to several rides in a slurry of muddy conditions. The last thing nearly frostbitten fingers can do well is open or close a tiny stubborn zipper! There are also a lot of pockets for people who like to have a separate compartment for everything. The large pouch on the back will accommodate up to a 2-liter bladder. That feature, combined with the pockets, can allow for a ride free of a separate tool/hydration pack. The GPX 5.5
Enduro’s fit is extremely adjustable and, utilizing a system of snaps and elastic fasteners, easily expands or contracts to different body shapes, body armor, and of course neck braces. Ventilation is on point, with plenty of openings to let out the heat when you want to. What makes the GPX 5.5 Enduro a good cold-weather jacket makes it less suitable when the temperature rises. Although the sleeves zip off to form a legitimate vest, the jacket itself is not packable.
The only feature that lowered the score in the “Function” category was the design of the bottom. It is adjustable but will not cinch tightly around the waist. This may be fine in dry weather, but at the end of a very muddy ride the back of my jersey showed that a lot of mud had gotten through from the bottom. The right jacket has the ability to transform a frigid ride into a good ride. The Leatt GPX 5.5 Enduro is great at cutting out the cold and will allow you to pack the things you need for the day. Every time you slip it on it looks like you’ve brought your A game, and it still pops after many uses. It allows for a comfortable range of motion and protection against the winter elements. The durable construction and quality components will keep the GPX 5.5 Enduro a valuable part of your riding wardrobe for many winter seasons. —Ben Baucum
LEATT GPX 5.5 ENDURO JACKET $299.99