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Gore Race Shakedry jacket review

27 Sep 2021
Verdict:

Lightweight, form-fitting and utterly weatherproof

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£299.99
For 
Waterproof • Windproof • Breathable • Tailored • Understated • Packs down tiny • What else do you need?
Against 
Roomy cuffs only work with gloves • Only available in black • It's not at all cheap

The Gore Race Shakedry is a waterproof, highly packable riding jacket from the clever membrane specialists. It's expensive, but its exceptional performance makes it easier to justify than you might imagine. 

Given that it’s the year 2021 and technology has progressed to a point where you can actually fly into space (if you have the cash), you’d fully hope and expect that it’s possible to create a totally weatherproof and breathable cycling jacket.

Well, after decades of sweat-stuck carrier bag-alike attempts, it’s finally been done. The Gore Race Shakedry jacket pulls off the many feats of being utterly impervious to both rain and wind, fitting supremely well and spriting hot air and moisture away from your body.

But, like the billionnaire space race, there’s a catch – it costs one British penny short of £300. Is it worth that kind of outlay? On balance, it’s certainly an investment that can only appreciate…

 

Everywhere you go…

…you always take the weather with you. Even in the closing months of summer, I seem to be riding around under the permanent threat of rain. Great for jacket testing, not so perfect for my fading tan. However, the predictably unpredictable climate of this sceptred isle has proved to be the ideal testing ground for the Gore Race Shakedry jacket.

Before we go into how it protects from the weather, it’s worth noting that one of its key attractions is its portability. Unlike a softshell jacket, it easily rolls up small enough to fit in a jersey pocket or handlebar bag (by packing into its own rear pocket), meaning it’s versatile enough to be taken on any ride, rather than you requiring a degree in meteorology to assess its suitability for each venture out of the house.

Gore Race Shakedry sizing

Also unlike many other jackets which claim to protect from more extreme weather conditions, the Gore Race Shakedry jacket fits close to perfectly. The size small jacket I’ve been testing is a tailored fit on my 36-inch chest, but not in the slightest bit restrictive. The stretch body fits close enough to retain heat, the arms are actually surprisingly roomy, and the high neck creates a comfortable weatherproof seal.

 

A few things to note about the fit, however… Number one: the cuffs are not close-fitting, which means gloves are the order of the day if you don’t want chilly breezes travelling up those sleeves. Number two: Gore states that the Gore Race Shakedry jacket isn’t compatible for use with a backpack. There’s a good reason for this, given that the expansive breathable stretch panels at the side and rear would be covered by any luggage you’re wearing.

Buy the Gore Race Shakedry jacket now from Wiggle

Gore Race Shakedry performance 

Beyond its fit and versatility, the obvious MO of the Gore Race Shakedry jacket is its weatherproofing. The membrane applied by Gore to the polyamide fabric allows water to bead straight off the jacket (and you will definitely be running it under the tap to demonstrate this to your family), and – as the name suggests – it’s totally dried by simply shaking it out (do this in the garden, though, yeah?).

 

Taped seams throughout ensure the stitched panels don’t leak a drop of water inside the jacket, and the Gore-Tex material also presents a thoroughly windproof barrier. A sufficiently dropped rear hem also keeps road spray at bay, until October brings with it the fitment of full mudguards. Taped zippers at the front and for the rear pocket have remained totally unaffected by rain, too. And breathability has been incredible even when I’ve worn the jacket for a two-hour hilly ride with spirited intentions, on damp roads, in 20° heat (welcome to the UK).

Gore Race Shakedry overall

The Gore Race Shakedry jacket is one of the most versatile, light, packable, and devastatingly effective cycling jackets I’ve ever worn. But it’s not without its tiny niggles. It comes down to personal choice, but I don’t wear gloves until the weather’s cold enough to numb my fingers. Until then, I’ll be enduring a certain amount of ballooning of the arms in this jacket in strong winds.

It smells a bit ‘plasticky’ and looks a little ‘sex club’, too (not necessarily a negative if that’s your thing). But, above all, I have to ask ‘is it worth £300?’.

Buy the Gore Race Shakedry jacket now from Wiggle

As an investment in year-round riding, and being potentially the only jacket you’ll ever need, I’d say this is one of those rare items of cycling kit I’d not hesitate to recommend, whether that means dipping into your savings or putting the pennies away.

There’s even a matching Gore Shake Dry cap available, at a very palatable £39.99 (treat yo’self). What would make it even better, however, is some solid bright colour options for added impact and year-round visibility…

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