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Gore Ambient Jacket Women’s



High-quality jacket offering good protection and breathability, but the cut and ineffective gripper could be issues for some
Good shape for performance riding
Comes up small, even taking 'slim fit' into account
Hem gripper is ineffective

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Gore Ambient Jacket Women's is ultra-light, packable and breathable, and offers good protection from the weather. The cut suits performance riding, but it comes up small, even taking into account the 'slim fit', and the hem gripper isn't very effective.

The Ambient jacket is designed with performance riding in mind, with its low weight, compact pack size (it packs down into its own pocket), stretchy breathable panels, and a shape tuned to this purpose.

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It's a 'slim fit' according to Gore's website, and it certainly is that across the chest and shoulders, fine-tuned to a stretched forward riding position, with extra length in the sleeves and torso.

2021 Gore Ambient Jacket Womens - cuff.jpg

I was still rather disappointed to find that the size L/EU42 (the largest available) that I tried – which was marked up on Gore's sizing chart as being suitable for a size 16/18 – was barely suitable for a UK14. Being pear-shaped, I'm used to cycling garments often being snug around the hips, but I was surprised by how neat the sizing on this was, both at the hips and also at the chest and back.

2021 Gore Ambient Jacket Womens - front.jpg

The stretch panels meant it was perfectly wearable without fear of seam failure, but a little more room would have been good – or the option to size up.

2021 Gore Ambient Jacket Womens - side panel.jpg

It's designed to be a wind-resistant and showerproof jacket for all-season use. The fabric is extremely protective, keeping the wind out nicely and also doing a great job in persistent and fairly heavy showers. It also packs down small enough to fit in a jersey pocket.

2021 Gore Ambient Jacket Womens - packed up.jpg

Impressively, the breathability of the main windproof fabric combined with the even more breathable stretch panels meant I didn't overheat too badly at all, even on a hilly ride working hard, nor did the jacket get too damp and clammy on the inside. Any rain on the outer surface dries quickly too.

2021 Gore Ambient Jacket Womens - back.jpg

I did find the gripper at the rear to be slightly lacklustre, and the jacket suffered a little migration in wear as a result; another tester who tried the jacket and got on better with the cut found its lack of grippiness less of an issue, as the jacket stayed in place on her. Arguably, the hemline should still have been grippy enough to stay put on me even though snug, since Gore does recommend sizing down for a race fit.

2021 Gore Ambient Jacket Womens - gripper.jpg

Other features

The front zip has a flap to prevent the zip from catching on delicate technical fabrics underneath. It's not the easiest to use single-handedly because of the fairly small zip pull, but it moves freely enough.

2021 Gore Ambient Jacket Womens - zip buffer.jpg

The zipped side pocket, which doubles as a stuff-sack for the jacket, is large enough to take a medium-sized smartphone (my iPhone 7 had plenty of space) in a case, and the pocket is positioned to sit on the lumbar area to help keep things from moving about.

2021 Gore Ambient Jacket Womens - zip pocket.jpg

Although the jacket does feature reflective logos and dots along the hem, I'd have liked a bit more in the way of visibility, given the dark colour. It's available in brighter colours too, but the black and navy options could do with a bit of extra bling.

2021 Gore Ambient Jacket Womens - tail.jpg

Value and conclusion

At £149, the Gore jacket is a bit pricey compared with similar jackets. If the cut suits you, then given the quality and effectiveness of the fabric it's worth considering, but you can get lightweight windproof jackets for a lot less, such as Endura's Women's Pakajak (now £45.99) and the Liv Cefira Superlight Wind Jacket at £64.99.

Even spending a little more, the Pactimo Women's Divide Wind Jacket at £92 and Santini's Nebula Storm Women's Packable Wind Jacket at £119 are still less expensive.

> Read more reviews of women’s cycling jackets

The Gore jacket may have a slight edge over some in its combination of protection and breathability, and if the cut suits you then it's worth a look – it's a well-made, high-quality jacket. But that ineffective gripper tape at the hem could be an issue for some, and it could really do with more reflectivity.


High-quality jacket offering good protection and breathability, but the cut and ineffective gripper could be issues for some test report

Make and model: Gore Ambient Jacket Women's

Size tested: L/42

Tell us what the jacket 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 says: "Designed to always be in your back pocket. With its low weight and small pack size there is no reason to ever get caught out by wet or windy weather.

Back-pocket emergency weather protection is seldom something you want to ride in for long, we wanted to do better. This jacket has all the details, style and performance of a jacket you can ride in all day, yet packs small enough to carry on every single ride."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?

Gore lists:

Partial GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ garments with GORE® WINDSTOPPER® product technology: totally windproof, extremely breathable and durably water resistant, lightweight protection

DWR treatment of the fabric

Extremely lightweight

Cycling specific cut with lengthened sleeves and dropped tail

Stretchy mesh panels for ventilation and freedom of movement

Grip elastic at waist hem for snug fit

Concealed back zip pocket

Lightweight, full length reversed zip with mesh tape

Reflective logo

Slim fit

Available in sizes EU34-42

Rate the jacket for quality of construction:

Very well made and good quality fabrics and components. The zip pull could do with being larger, and the gripper tape more grippy.

Rate the jacket for performance:

Fabric performed really well – it's breathable yet protective in a variety of conditions. The gripper tape could do with being more grippy to keep the jacket truly secure, though.

Rate the jacket for durability:

All fine so far. No reason to think the fabric shouldn't last well, particularly with application of wash-in products to maintain the water repellency.

Rate the jacket for waterproofing based on the manufacturer's rating:

Rated by Gore as showerproof and it coped really well with heavy showers. The surface water dries off really fast, too.

Rate the jacket for breathability based on the manufacturer's rating:

Very breathable, especially given how windproof and water repellent it is.

Rate the jacket for fit:

Designed to be slim fit, and it delivers on that. The stretch panels do mean there's some scope for different body shapes, but the relatively gentle gripper at the hem only really suits the intended athletic body shape.

Good length in the sleeves and torso, and the stretch panels across the back make it comfortable when in an aero position.

Rate the jacket for sizing:

The sizing chart states that a size L/42 is suitable for a 16/18. As a UK14 this was acceptably "slim fit" but definitely not suitable for the stated 16/18. It's disappointing that this is the largest size available, too.

Rate the jacket for weight:

Extremely light and packable. Fits easily into a jersey pocket.

Rate the jacket for comfort:

Good length in the sleeves, the stretch panels at the dorsal area and the hips help, and the fabric is breathable and comfortable to wear.

Rate the jacket for value:

Looking expensive in comparison with others.

How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Washed very well and easy to look after.

Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose

The actual performance was very good; the fit wasn't ideal for me, but more effective gripper would have helped, and better reflectives would be appreciated.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket

The fabric: protective, breathable, lightweight, packable.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket

The sizing – supposedly big enough for a UK 16, but tight on my UK 14 body; the gripper wasn't grippy enough to hold the jacket in place, and it's quite an expensive option.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on

It's expensive compared with many lightweight windproof jackets: Endura's Women's Pakajak Jacket (£45.99), Liv's Cefira Superlight Wind Jacket (£64.99), Pactimo's Women's Divide Wind Jacket (£92), and Santini's Nebula Storm Women's Packable Wind Jacket (£119). Those aren't necessarily without issues, but they're quite a saving.

It is £25 less than Sportful's Hot Pack Norain jacket, though, now £175...

Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes

Would you consider buying the jacket? Probably not, as the cut didn't suit my shape.

Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Probably, to one with a less pear-shaped body...

Use this box to explain your overall score

A really protective and breathable performance-focused jacket that delivers on almost everything as long as the cut suits your body shape. Overall, I'd say it's quite good: it's a bit expensive, could do with better reflectives, and the cut and sizing will be issues for some.

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 48  Height: 1.65m  Weight: 77kg

I usually ride: Liv Invite  My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite

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: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,

Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling. 

Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other. 

She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting. 

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