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With its functional looks, close fitting collar and 'lab grey' colour, the Gore Tempest Jacket Women’s looks every bit the utilitarian cycling jacket. Rocking Infinium windstopper fabric and a DWR treatment against showers, it's designed for day-to-day winter riding in all but the wettest conditions. As always though, check Gore's new sizing charts carefully, and note that if you're long in the torso this might feel short.
The Tempest is one of Gore's two 'totally windproof' cycling jackets for women; the other being a removable-arms option to take you into spring and beyond. This one is the lighter and cheaper option.
The first thing to note is just how cosy it is. Its focus on keeping out wind becomes instantly apparent when zipping up – on a bitter day it feels a bit like shutting a fridge door – and while its not designed for serious rain, if you do get caught in a shower the DWR coating does a great job of beading water away.
The Tempest offers a pleasingly cosy 'slim fit' cut (the middle of three fit options) along with a mega-soft fleece interior. It follow body contours without being skin tight, and produces clean lines with decent space for layers. The arms are a bit on the roomy side for me, but then I prefer a race cut.
One potential issue is the length of the dropped tail: for me it's simply not long enough to achieve this. And while I have a long torso, it still errs a bit on the short side against my other kit.
As a result, the silicone grippers dotted across the wide base don't work for me since they sit a bit high.
But if it's the right length for you then the hem might just work its magic, as the similar Infinium Thermo did on the men's test last year.
The other potential issue is getting the right size. I tested an XS, equivalent to a 4-6 according to Gore's UK site. I'm a size 8-10, though, and it fits perfectly. I would usually suggest going by the tape measure, but the chart seems a bit off there too: my waist comes out as a M and hips XXS – something doesn't add up.
So here's the upshot: some XS kit is teeny-tiny, but this isn't, so size down and not up. Gore's sizes cover UK 0-22.
The collar is a real high point of the Tempest: it's wide, close-fitting and tall, without being too much of any of those things. The addition of a quality (and contrasting orange) zip finished with a zip garage – only serves to bolster the windproof feel. The result is excellent both on and off the bike, providing full coverage for a totally windproof ride, and a striking look, too.
Arm length is generous and the wide cuffs finish in just the right spot – there's nothing worse than a women's jacket with too-short arms (been there).
I tested the Tempest through the unpredictable mix of mild-ish to bitter temperatures that December has to offer, adding a single base layer above 7°C or so, and an additional jersey for colder days – which the cut of the jacket accommodates very well. The result was a comfortable ride even in harsh winds with very good breathability, although I did get little too warm on some climbs.
Luckily, that chunky zip runs easily to a one-handed pull while riding. Overheating might be an issue, though, for the wetter days where an additional hardshell is required. Still, it washes well and dries really quickly, which is important for mucky winter commuting.
The three rear pockets are thick material with a fleeced inner to keep everything dry. The outermost fits my iPhone 12, but on the bike it's not stretchy enough for easy access which means a bit of a fiddling to reach the centre pocket.
The zipped valuables pocket is easy to access with its robust little zip, and neatly finished with a tag featuring a subtle logo.
It doesn't have to be grey: it also comes in black, a very dark blue and yellow. In my opinion the neon yellow is by far the best choice for murky commutes and solo winter training rides (despite reflective arm bands on all options), but if you like hard-to-see you're well covered.
The Tempest combines quality design with high performance materials and a (mostly) pleasing fit to deliver a protected, comfy ride.
At £149.99 this isn't the cheapest windstopper out there, but the performance and quality mean it earns it. The Altura Endurance Mistral Women's Softshell is a third less at £100, for instance, but falls down a bit on its poor sleeve choice.
Stolen Goat's Climb & Conquer Winter Jacket matches the Gore at £149 (we tested the men's version here) and offers similar thickness, quality and function – but having tried both, I'd say the Gore has the edge on cut.
All of these are a long way from being the most expensive; for instance Castelli's insulated and wind-stopping Infinium jacket, the Alpha Ros 2, is now £240.
Put simply, the super-effective wind protection and attractive design of this jacket is easy to love. The fleeced inner is so plush that it serves up that bit of extra motivation for those cold, dark commutes – exactly what you want from a winter cycling jacket. If it were about half an inch longer, or I were about half an inch shorter in the torso, it'd be a firm favourite for me.
Excellent wind protection and a plush, high quality feel. If it's long enough for you, you'll love it
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Gore Tempest Jacket Women's
Size tested: XS
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. "Perfect for all winter rides from endurance training to commutes, this is designed to keep the wind out and your warmth in, with a close fitting fleece lined collar and soft lining it is cut to fit smoothly when in your riding position. This is an incredibly warm windproof winter jacket cut specifically for cycling."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
- GORE-TEX INFINIUM
- GORE WINDSTOPPER
- PFCec-free, DWR treated fabric
- Fleece backer
- Reflective details
One of the highest quality cycling jackets I have worn. I can't fault it.
This jacket looks set to stand the test of time.
It's not designed to be waterproof, but the DWR treated fabric goes some way to helping if you get caught out.
It's generally good, with a great contour-following fit yet space for layers. It feels a bit short though, and the arms are a little roomy.
It sizes up big.
At 368g it is lighter than Gore's other women's softshell, and some others on the market, too. It's pretty light for a substantial-feeling jacket.
One of the nicest-feeling jackets I have worn and effective against wind (in all but the midriff area, for me!)
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very easy to wash and fast drying.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Tempest combines quality design with high-performance materials and a (mostly) pleasing fit to deliver a very protected and super-comfy ride.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
The soft interior and protective (if a rather short) cut.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
The body needs to be a bit longer.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
At £149.99 this isn't the cheapest windstopper out there, but the performance and quality mean it earns it. The Altura Mistral Women's Softshell is a third less at £100, for instance, but falls down a bit on its poor sleeve choice.
Stolen Goat's Climb & Conquer Winter Jacket is also £149 and offers similar thickness, quality and function – but having tried both, Gore has the edge on cut for me. All are a long way from being the most expensive; for instance Castelli's insulated, wind-stopping Infinium jacket (the Alpha Ros 2) is now £240.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? If it were about half an inch longer it'd be a firm favourite for me
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
This is one of the cosiest and most protective softshell jackets I have tried, and the attention to quality and detail is obvious. I almost can't fault it – though it just a little bit short. I can't be the only cyclist with a longish torso, right? This may not be an issue for you though, and overall it's excellent.
About the tester
I usually ride: My Scott Foil My best bike is: Oldie but the goldie, CAAD 8
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb, Triathlon, Audax