Okay, so this isn’t an actual shootout. There will be no gunplay or violence. However, after landing the newest kits from Endura and 45NRTH, two of the biggest names in the biz, I thought it makes sense to line them up side by side for you.
Last Spring Endura sent us a set of the MT500 Freezing Point jacket and pants. I didn’t get too much ride time with the jacket-pants combo as temperatures warmed up quickly after arrival. In early December of 2022 the re-issued Naughtvind kit from 45NRTH hit my doorstep. I’ve been riding both sets this season so let’s take a look at what they both have to offer.
I’ll get this out of the way early…both of these jackets are extremely well-made and worthy of your hard-earned dollars. What it really comes down to is features and price point. Everyone has their own riding style and budget, so match your needs to the features and price point that best align with your needs.
Here’s a little table to outline features from each brand:
|45 NRTH Naughtvind||Endura Freezing Point|
|Temperature Range||0-25 F||NA|
|Men’s and Women||X|
Both jackets feature high-quality construction–and to be clear, we are not comparing apples. These jackets are very different. One feature that separates these two jackets is how they use insulation. The Endura Freezing Point jacket features Primaloft Gold insulation in the main body and arms. Depending on your riding style this can be a great feature.
If you run hot or find yourself riding hard, prepare to employ the full-length zippered pit and front pocket vents. This jacket is extremely warm once you get moving. You have to choose your layers strategically with either jacket, but the Endura Freezing Point will warm you up faster with its layer of insulation.
Both jackets feature storage options, but one feature lacking on the Freezing Point jacket is external rear pockets. I like being able to grab a snack or store an extra bottle without having to dig inside my jacket to reach my jersey. The rear pockets on the Naughtvind Jacket sit low on the rear hem making for easy access without having to contort yourself like a pretzel.
Another definitive separation between these two jackets is the hood. The Naughtvind does not come with a hood, while the MT 500 Freezing Point Jacket features an insulated hood for additional weather protection.
To be fair, the Naughtvind Jacket is described as a soft-shell jacket to integrate with other 45NRTH winter riding apparel items like the Naughtvind Vest and/or Last Light LS Jersey. While the jacket features a little fleece lining in key areas, I do recommend adding a vest or additional layer with the Naughtvind if you want the same level of warmth found with the Freezing Point jacket.
This season has afforded a variety of riding conditions including some very wet weather. Each jacket features a water-repellent finish. Both jackets have performed as advertised, repelling water and keeping me dry during snowfalls and misty conditions. Neither brand boasts full waterproofing, so take that under advisement.
Both jackets offer an athletic fit. I’m 6’ and weigh 165-170 pounds depending on the season. Holiday cookies and general excess this time of year, coupled with reduced miles on the bike is pushing me on the higher end of my weight spectrum. However, I wear a Medium comfortably from each brand.
Each jacket is designed for cycling so expect a longer tail to keep the spray off your tail end and longer arms to keep things covered up when you’re reaching for the bars. Expect freedom of movement from either jacket due to fabric construction. The Naughtvind is a little looser fitting than the Freezing Point jacket, accommodating holiday pounds and extra layering.
Over the years I’ve tried a variety of setups to protect my lower half from the elements. Bib shorts with leg warmers under soft-shell pants have evolved into my preferred setup. The Naughtvind and Freezing Point pants meet that criteria, yet they are very different.
|45 NRTH Naughtvind||Endura Freezing Point|
|Mens and Womens||X|
The Endura MT500 Freezing Point Pants share a number of features with the MT 500 Freezing Point Jacket like multiple zippered venting options, and PrimaLoft Gold insulation. The Freezing Point Pants feature a button enclosure, zippered fly, angled zippered pockets, an adjustable waist, and rubberized piping along the interior of the waistline to keep the pants from sliding down. The ankle features a zipper to widen the pant leg. Endura utilizes a water-resistant DWR finished nylon fabric for the construction.
Jumping over to the 45NRTH Naughtvind Pants we find a contrast to the Endura pants. Insulation is met with a fleece lining in the thighs. Also–zippered vents to modulate temperature. The Naughtvind’s ventilation is subtly regulated by breathable fabric panels. The waist is secured by 2-snap enclosure, a zippered fly, and adjustable with velcro waist straps. Ankle enclosure is met with velcro tabs and snaps to comfortably cover the top of your boots. Storage is available through front pockets, and a zippered rear pocket.
I opted for a Medium from both brands. It’s always interesting to see how different manufacturers handle their sizing. I found length to be similar in both the Endura and 45NRTH offering, but the waist is very different. The Medium Endura pants fit my 33” waist better. The Naughtvind pants were a little snug even after using every inch of the adjustable waist.
Last week I matched up both jackets with identical layers under similar temperature and wind conditions. Both jackets performed well with a medium-weight base layer and long sleeve merino jersey. The Freezing Point jacket warmed up quickly due to the Primaloft Gold insulation. After about 7 miles I was able to use the front zippered pockets that serve as vent zips to regulate my core temp to avoid overheating. The Naughtvind jacket has a ventilated side panel(s) and a rear vent. There are no zippered vents to manage core temperature on the Naughtvind.
Each brand offers a great option for your winter riding needs. On the upside I found both brands to provide comfort, warmth, good movement, and just enough water repellency for snowy rides. Between the two sets, I found the Endura Freezing Point kit warmer on really cold days. This is to be expected given the Primaloft insulation. This was true for both the pants and jacket from Endura. I think the pants would be better served with less insulation. However, I appreciate the jacket’s warmth for temperatures below 20 degrees F.
The 45NRTH kit is solid. But let me share one somewhat subjective complaint. I was happy to see a new color option so I wanted to see the slate color in person. Once you get it out in the sunlight it leans further into the blues than the grays. But If you like a little more pop with your stylings, I think you’ll like it. I found it to be a little strong for my tastes. In retrospect, I wish I would have requested them in black. Color aside, fit and performance are right where they need to be. You won’t be disappointed.