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Gore One 1985 ShakeDry Gore-Tex jacket review

17 Jan 2018

An impressive piece of technology directly from the world-famous waterproof innovator

Cyclist Rating: 
Unbeatable water-resistance and breathability, highly technical for a packable jacket
Bland looks, pricey

Gore Bike Wear was the first brand to make cycling in the rain palatable. In 1985 they released the first veritably waterproof yet breathable jacket - the Giro cycling jacket

Gore’s wider parent company is responsible for much of the most innovative tech we’ve seen in other brands, such as the wet-weather hit the Castelli Gabba.

Gore-Tex is a household name these days, so much so that it’s easy to forget how exceptional it is. Gore-Tex (technically expanded Polytetrafluoroethylene) allows air to travel back and forth through a membrane but blocks the flow of liquids like water.

For cycling, it means water-repellency without losing breathability.

With the Gore One 1985 ShakeDry Gore-Tex jacket there’s a significant difference to the traditional use of the material (dating back to the original 1985 Gore-Tex jacket for which this jacket is named).

While that jacket used three layers – an inner shell, a waterproof membrane and a face fabric with a DWR spray treatment – this jacket has only a waterproof membrane that doubles as an outer layer as well as a super thin polyamide inner shell. 

That matters as it hasn't been possible before and it substantially cuts down on weight and bulk. Where once a fully Gore-Tex jacket was a real battle to fit into a back pocket, the One 1985 folds down extremely small, perhaps half of a big rear pocket, and weighs only 120g. 

Pocket rocket

A packable jacket has historically represented, at best, a wind-shield, partial water repellency and a boil-in-the-bag lack of breathability.

Buy the Gore Wear C7 now from Amazon

The fact that the Gore One is capable of offering breathability and a miraculous ability to protect from rain while also being so easily stowable is a big accolade. 

As a result, the Gore One has become my reliable back-pocket companion for months now. It’s rescued me from severe mountain downpours and commutes home in freezing windy conditions over the winter.

I recall one wet commute in the sort of rain that seems to fall only a few times a year. A heavy, immersive and thoroughly wet onslaught of precipitation that had me worrying about items deep in my rucksack.

I arrived home with a soaking set of shoes, freezing calfs and drenched hair, but my upper body was almost totally dry.

The rain had simply beaded on the One’s exterior. Importantly, I was also warm. 

As an added bonus, the ‘ShakeDry’ component of the technology meant that arriving home I just had to whip the jacket over the sink to get rid of all the rain droplets that had beaded on the jacket. I had a dry jacket ready for tomorrow.

Devil’s in the detail 

Impressively, the Gore One features quite a bit of tech for a packable jacket. It has a zippable rear pocket, a taped front zip and a neat velcro seal for the neck collar.

These are all features that allow it to bridge the gap between packable pocket and a more permanent and reliable wet-weather companion. 

This also slightly marks the Gore One up against competitors using the exact same Gore-Tex technology this season. The 7mesh Oro and Castelli Idro, for instance, both use the same GoreTex ShakeDry fabric but have a more simplistic design without a collar or rear zip pocket.

Indeed, that’s an important part of the One’s story. The technology within it is so successful that it’s been licensed for use by numerous competitors.

Some will prefer the look or branding of those designs, but it’s worth remembering that the One is the innovator.

Of course, there lies one issue with Gore’s new jacket – it looks like a bin bag. The colour of the jacket sets it back.

Buy the Gore Wear C7 now from Amazon

Yes, of course I appreciate that the two-layer nature of the jacket prohibits transfer printing, and Gore has made the effort of including reflective strips.

But as the jacket offers a little more than a purely packable number, I’d personally like to wear it more in day-to-day riding and the dark colour slightly discourages me from a safety perspective.

With that in mind, despite being bulkier and more expensive for lesser tech, Assos’s fluoro Sturmprinz appeals more to me for a long ride beneath the rain.

That said, in pure performance terms against the rain, the One 1985 undoubtedly keeps me drier. 

The Gore One, then, is a rare example of a leap forward in clothing technology that definitely allows riders to go through weather changes that would have previously spelled disaster for a ride.

It’s not cheap, and lacks a little colour, but it’s simply the best at what it sets out to do.

Header image: Mike Massaro


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