A rain jacket is a rain jacket right? Well yes, but there are rain jackets and there is “The” rain jacket.
For a long long time, we cyclists have had to endure materials for waterproofing to be either heavy, non breathable, light (but not waterproof), waterproof but cold or usually just water resistant. You know what I mean?
Particularly in the UK, with 4 seasons happening in 1 day, it can be very frustrating to work out what is needed on a ride, let alone fuel, tools, spares, garmin, etc…
I have tried the windstopper soft shell with DWR (Durable Water Resistant) membrane, but needs regular treatment to keep that water resistance working well, don’t even mention the use of fabric softener!
I have tried the old PVC jackets, which are incredibly waterproof if you kept it out of the sun, but is also quite heavy and non breathable. Therefore, on a long ride you end up tired and wet on the inside not due to rain but your own sweat!
Eventually I tried rain cape, which are designed to answer that stowaway in jersey pocket question, they are light or even super light. But usually still reliant on DWR layer meaning regular treatment, has limited coverage of the body, due to trying to keep material therefore weigh low and can be quite cold when the outside is wet.
So what do we cyclists need? That is a question I have asked for many years now.
Gore Bike Wear
GORE BIKE WEAR® has finally nailed it I think. From Gore is the company behind Goretex, Windstopper and other fabric materials. Their R&D and materials has been adopted by many clothing/apparel companies in many many sports, outdoor pursuit and heavy industry. So it was no surprise that eventually they will create, what I call, “the perfect” cycling rain jacket material.
Introducing the Gore ONE GTX Shakedry™ Jacket. There are several designs in the Shakedry material, designs for running, general sports and cycling. Also, good to see that there is women as well as men design cuts.
This jacket has been released only back in March, and generally not widely known. I managed to get the Gore ONE GTX shakedry jacket along with the Gore Power Trail GT AS jacket, for a comparison of 2016 and 2017 rain jacket design performance.
Needless to say they are both very good jackets, but the difference in weight is remarkable. The Power Trail jacket is already considered a lightweight jacket, with waterproofing that is hard to beat. The changeable summery UK weather has meant this Power Trail jacket has seen plenty of action and has performed brilliantly. Never got wet or cold. The hoodie fits well and doesn’t get wind affected.
So how does the Gore ONE GTX 1985 compare?
But the trully brilliant part if that this jacket is so light, it feels more than half the weight fo the Power Trail jacket, albeit this jacket does not have a hoodie. The feel of the material is even thinner but you notice quickly the quality of the construction of the seams and finish.
I only managed to use it on a very wet and windy morning this week, but it has done the perfect job of keeping me and my phone dry. I just had it in my jersey pocket underneath the ONE jacket.
Due to the lack of hoodie and the thinness of the material, this is the first rain jacket I have seen that can pack down to be stowed away during a ride in your jersey pocket. Not a cape but a jacket, meaning full functionality, full form and bags of performance. For all riders really, for the commute, leisure, weekend, sportive, gran fondo or whatever rides you’d care to think of.
The water beading on my ride was fun to see, and when I ride, I simply pull or flick my jacket arm and the water streams off, meaning my body temperature is not reduced by the standing water over my jacket and close to me body. Also according to Gore, because it is goretex, it doesn’t need regular treatment can can be washed easily (fabric softener!!!!).
Truly awesome jacket! The price for such brilliance is high at £240 RRP, but in this case I honestly think it is worth it. This jacket feels like it will last for years.