Winter is coming guys, and here’s a brand new jacket from Gore that could be the ultimate top for dealing with wet and cold weather. It’s the Gore C5 1985 Gore-Tex Shakedry Insulated jacket which combines a waterproof outer shell with a Polartec Alpha insulation layer.
Shakedry was introduced in 2015 and, in my view, has been the single best innovation across all product categories. In terms of letting you ride in torrential ride whilst remaining completely dry and avoiding the dreaded boil in the bag scenario, the Shakedry is without rival.
Gore has been quick to expand the Shakedry range, adding colour (still not enough though) and stretchy versions, and now it was added an insulated version. For those times when you want rain protection and warmth but don’t want the fuss of wearing multiple layers.
The idea is to provide not only rain protection but also insulation on colder rides. That’s the thing about riding in the rain, it’s not just the issue of getting soaked through, it’s the cooling effect your gradually dampening clothes has on your temperature.
It’s not a new idea. A couple of years ago the Gore Thermium jacket combined a windproof and water resistant shell wrapped over a PrimaLoft Gold insulation to keep the wearer warm as well as protected from the wind and light right.
The Gore C5 1985 Gore-Tex Shakedry jacket is the next step. A 100% waterproof jacket with class-leading breathability but warmth coming from Polartec Alpha, a synthetic down material that I’ve tested in other brand jackets and found it to be exceptional at providing warmth but ensuring adequate breathability.
Alpha is a synthetic down material with a high warmth-to-weight ratio. Air gets trapped in the insulation providing a warm layer around your body, but critically breathability is sufficient to prevent overheating. It’s ideal for typical British winter cycling when you build up the heat on the climbs but cool down at the cafe stop, as it handles this temperature variation well and remains dry.
It’s all cut into a nice fitting jacket (size small in the picture folks) with a full-length zipper, tall collar with velcro closure and neat elasticated cuffs. The tail is dropped for extra coverage and there’s a small zipped pocket. The contrast logos add a bit of colour and are reflective.
“We chose this versatile insulation material because it is unbelievably light and dries incredibly quickly. Also, when it's paired with Gore-Tex Shakedry, its high level of breathability really comes into its own,” says product manager Jürgen Erd.
“The huge benefit for riders: they will not experience that chilling effect. Even on those strenuous uphill climbs or longer rides, moisture is reliably drawn away from the body – and cannot penetrate from the outside. This eliminates the need to layer and shed as the day progresses.”
“This jacket is the perfect enhancement to the Gore-Tex Shakedry technology. Even on winter rides, it keeps me dry and well protected,” adds Gore ambassador Fabian Cancellara.
The only slight downside is the price. Are you sitting down? It’s £320…
To find out if this is indeed the ultimate winter jacket, and worth the huge price tag, we’re going to put it through its paces in the coming weeks so fingers crossed for some horrid weather to test in it. Stay tuned.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.