The Gore Bike Wear Oxygen GT AS Jacket is Gore's lightweight sleek waterproof and breathable jacket for proper riding in the proper rain.
Made from Gore-Tex Stretch Active Shell the Oxygen jacket is designed to fit close to the body and stay there; the cut is certainly Spitfire thin, so if you're carrying a few extra pounds look elsewhere or maybe go up a size, in fact the fit is so athletic that if your back pockets are bulging with tubes, tools and energy bars you'll have trouble zipping the Gore up without breathing in a lot. But thanks to this the Oxygen is perfect for cycling in, and cycling fast; the arms are tailored with a curve so they fit the arm perfectly when in the drops and the jacket is cut extremely high on the front and very very long at the back with a wasp-tail so it covers the torso perfectly when you're stretched over the bike, with no bunching in the front and no gaps or riding up round the back, even if you do look a little silly off the bike when you're wearing it.
To keep the weight down details are few but essential, no pockets in the back, not even the mobile and keys pocket that most jackets feel they need these days, no headphone loops either, nor ventilation flaps, no flim-flam. The sleeves are however zipped at the cuff for ease of pulling on/taking off and ventilation if needs be, and the zips are gusseted with mesh to stop them flapping about in the breeze if you need to open them up a bit for air. Unfortunately this mesh triangle gets caught in the zips and ladders really easily so it doesn't take too long for them to look tatty. Those cuffs are made from a light soft micro-fleece material that's tailored to be longer over the wrist and to seal the arm against the weather.
The neck is cut protectively high and has a extra strip of light Lycra material at the rear so it doesn't rub the nape - while at the same time stopping errant rain-drops from trickling down the back. Like.
There's the must-have zip-dock at the top and a leatherette tab to further prevent chin chaffage and to hold with the teeth if pulling on the zip when on the hoof. There's a silicone gripper just on the rear section of the hem where it's needed to keep it snug. Reflective piping and logo decorate the rear of the jacket and both arms for stylish safety, and if you don't fancy this stealth/invisible little black number Gore offer more visibility friendly blue, red or green bodied versions.
Although Gore say it's super-lightweight it's not the lightest jacket out there and it's quite bulky in comparison to some others, which is actually a good thing, but it does come with its own little zipped bag so it can be squashed down into that and then stuffed into a rear pocket. Made from a noticeably tougher material than other lightweight raincapes this is more than just a quick protection from the rain layer, it's a serious all-day-in-the-wet jacket, and that's a job it does incredibly well.
The Gore Oxygen proved itself on a multitude of long wet and horrible rides, providing both outstanding waterproofing and unclammy breathability in equal measure. Even after several hours of drench it didn't roll over and give in, and the seams on the Oxygen are fully taped internally so there's no leakage through there either. Excellent. The slight stretch of the Active Shell fabric means the jacket hugs the body in a waterproof embrace with no annoying flapping in the breeze or crackling every time you move and the soft neck and cuffs provide a snug barrier against the elements.
When the rain's stopped but you still have to keep on riding through damp lanes and might not quite want to take the jacket off just yet, just to keep cosy, the Oxygen jacket doesn't overheat and treat you to a sweat bath. It does get a little warm inside but you never get wet from the inside even climbing hills that would have other jackets dripping like the inside of a tea-shop window on a winter club-run. Opening up the sleeves helps with cooling, and the mesh gussets on the sleeves makes sure that they don't open up too much and catch the wind like a wizard's sleeve.
This isn't really an emergency back-pocket jacket, although it can do that if you want, you just won't be making the most of it, the Gore Oxygen is a jacket for when there's no avoiding the fact that you're going to have to spend a large amount of saddle time in the rain. I've worn it on soaking rides that have made other people cry and I've been fine, I've worn it on solo multi-hour rainy rides that would usually have me crying and I've been quite smiley. And as anyone who knows me will attest I'm not averse to having a cry on the bike.
It's properly waterproof, actually breathable, properly sturdy and the fit is fantastic, snug and comfortable with no rustles or annoying niggles that can sap the will to carry on halfway through a miserable wet ride. Yes, it's on the pricey side but it's saved me enough times to be worth every single penny. For anyone that wants to ride quickly and has to ride frequently in the rain then this is the jacket to own.
Exceptional lightweight jacket for when the elements really take it out on you.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Gore Bike Wear Oxygen GT AS Jacket
Size tested: M
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Gore say their Oxygen GT AS jacket is tight fitting, aerodynamic and super-lightweight, the ideal jacket for the all-weather road biker. Extremely breathable thanks to GORE-TEX Active Shell and stretchy thanks to GORE-TEX Stretch with fantastic next to the skin comfort.
I'd agree with all of that, apart from the super-lightweight bit, it's not light, but it's not heavy either despite being more heavy duty than other packable jackets, and that's definitely a good thing when you need long-term protection from the rain. Otherwise their claims of fit and breathability are spot on.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
202 g / 7.13 oz. (size L), partial GORE-TEX® stretch inserts, Raglan cut with long back. Small underlayer for zip on collar with zip-port, and zips at the forearm with mesh insert for easy changing and for ventilation. Ergonomically shaped collar, partially elastic hem, reflective print on sleeves and reflective logo on front and back.
GORE-TEX® Active Shell provides extreme breathability and durable waterproof and windproof protection for optimum comfort. Featuring a lighter weight, streamlined 3 layer construction, this completely new class of waterproof garments is ideal for all weather fast forward athletes seeking durable protection and comfort during highly aerobic activities.
On the whole really well made, but marked down for those mesh vents arguing with the zips.
The best waterproof I've ever worn, period.
It's wearing well so far, surviving multiple rear-pocket stuffings and washings without a drop in performance.
Even though it squashes down to fit into a back pocket it's no lightweight jacket, but all the better because of it.
Extremely comfortable, not just for its lack of boil-in the-bag tendancies, but also because it's so well tailored and little touches like the cuffs and neck tab.
Tricky one this, some would see it as silly money for a waterproof jacket, others that spend a lot of time riding in the rain will say it's worth every single penny.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The fit, the water resistance combined with the breathability.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The price, although after three hours of thick perma-drizzle that was mostly forgotten.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes!
Would you consider buying the product? Yes. Even if it meant living on beans on toast for a month.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 42 Height: 180cm Weight: 73kg
I usually ride: It varies as to the season. My best bike is: The one I\'m on at the time
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Fun
Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he's not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he's not doing either of those he's pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he's agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours don't He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.