The Gore C5 Thermo Jersey is perfect for those dry, cold rides. It manages to maximise warmth without unnecessary bulk, and performs excellently both on its own or with other layers. The quality, pockets and breathability are all top notch.
Gore advertises the C5 Thermo jersey as being for 5-15°C temperatures, which in the UK – let's be honest – is most of the year. Over the last month and a bit of autumn/winter weather, it's become my go-to jersey on any dry ride due to its excellent temperature regulation and versatility.
The brushed fleece lining might be thin, but it's more than comfortable enough without a base layer, and can indeed be worn in temperatures up to about 15 degrees. On chillier days a long-sleeve base layer easily slips underneath, and it's happy with a jacket over the top.
In fact, I've happily worn it on dry rides approaching freezing, and even on cold, wet rides the low bulk makes it a top choice as a layer.
The C5 Thermo is a polyester/elastane mix and impressively warm, especially considering the mere 285g mass (size medium). The side panels and backs of the sleeves (the panels with subtle pattern) are a lighter version of the same thing – breathability is very good, which is particularly welcome during hard efforts.
The thicker parts have a good degree of windproofing despite not being advertised as such, and I found it comfortable on some pretty blustery rides.
The C5 Thermo is part of Gore's 'slim fit' range so sits close to the body, but it isn't at all restrictive or as tight as an aero jersey. At 70kg and 6ft (it's not me in the photos) I found the fit perfect, but if you do have less of a hill climber build you might consider a larger size than you usual.
The sleeves are on the longer side of average, but again I found the fit great – comparable jerseys, for example the Castelli Puro 3, can sit slightly too short when not wearing gloves.
The Gore also has a dropped tail for extra protection. It not only has a silicone finish to ensure a tight seal from the elements, but also reflective accents to aid visibility.
Unlike the Pedal Ed Kobe thermo jersey, the Gore's collar is quite high – I've actually been leaving my Buff at home, without worrying about the chill creeping in. The zip garage ensures there's no discomfort, and is just one example of Gore's commendable attention to detail.
On the rear lie three gusseted pockets. The two outer pockets are slightly narrower than the centre one, which does limit what they can hold, though on the upside things like pumps and tyre levers sit more securely. I didn't find it an issue overall, despite being a paid-up member of the no saddle bag club – bigger items, such as a gilet, stow happily in the centre pocket.
Another nice detail is the mesh insert behind the pockets, there to ensure there's no excess material to trap heat; Gore also says it helps stop the pockets sagging, and this too seems to work. Despite me cramming them full.
For valuables there's a single zip pocket on the right rear, which I found perfectly usable while riding and large enough for today's super-sized smartphones. Once again, it's mesh backed, but while that keeps it breathable it does leave your phone to get sweaty during hard efforts.
At £99.99 the C5 Thermo jersey isn't exactly cheap, but you get a hell of a lot of jersey for your money. The quality is exceptional, as is its performance, while it's versatile enough to serve as an excellent standalone jersey or as one of several layers.
While we haven't reviewed the Castelli Puro 3 jersey I mentioned earlier, I've used both extensively and now much prefer this Gore offering – impressive, seeing as it's also £10 less.
If you want cheaper, the dhb Classic Long Sleeve Jersey is only £65 but not quite as warm, while many truly comparable jerseys – such as the Pedal Ed Kobe Thermo (£150) I mentioned above – are more expensive.
David did rate the Sportful Moire Thermal Jersey highly, though, and it's a bit cheaper at £90 too – but it's missing a valuables pocket.
The C5 Thermo jersey is an extremely impressive top, and I've thoroughly enjoyed testing it over the last month and a bit. It can be used in a large range of temperatures and, although not suitable for wet rides by itself, it can easily be paired with a shell whilst keeping bulk to a minimum. There are very few autumnal and winter rides I haven't found myself reaching for this jersey, and that's testimony to its exceptional versatility and performance.
Warm, versatile and high-quality long sleeve jersey
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Gore C5 Thermo Jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Gore says the Thermo C5 is an: "aero fit jersey for cold weather with thermal fabric in the main torso to protect and insulate your core, with a lighter version in the lower part of the sleeves and side panels. Three rear pockets securely hold your ride essentials. A functional cold weather jersey with clean, sophisticated look for dedicated roadies." The jersey is extremely versatile and can be worn from anything from freezing up to about 15 degrees with appropriate layering. This jersey is ideal for cyclists looking for warmth without bulk for use in dry conditions."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Fabric: 84% Polyester, 16% Elastane
Black reflective transfers
Ergonomically shaped collar
Front zip with logo transfer
Mesh insert to prevent back pocket from sagging when stuffed
Modern, aero road cycling fit: lengthened sleeves and dropped tail
Premium fabric feel providing thermal stretch comfort
Secure zip pocket on rear for keys or valuables
Zip with zip port
3-gusseted back pockets
Elastic grip on bottom hem
Mesh insert in back for optimum ventilation
Cool 5° - 15°C
Weight: 282 grams
Exceptional warmth and breathability, great for hard winter efforts.
No problems so far or reason to question it. Seems very well made: stitching is neat, and the materials and zips are high quality.
I really like the fit: close and aero, but not like a second skin and thanks to stretch room for thin layers underneath. Sleeves are quite long and body length is average.
Gore says it's slim fit, and it is. I have a climber's build and it fits well, but those with bulkier frames may need to size up.
The warmth to bulk is phenomenal.
It's cheaper than rival products of this quality and performance. Those that are cheaper still don't appear to be as warm or as well finished. Its versatility helps too: there aren't many spring, winter or autumn rides where I haven't considered this jersey, either on its own or with baselayers or shell jackets.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No problems, wash at 30C.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfort and warmth.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Performance, versatility and quality are all excellent. It's also cheaper than most jerseys of a similar calibre, which to me all adds up to exceptional, and a 9.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized venge pro 2019 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,