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Gore Power Gore-Tex Active jacket review

19 Mar 2018
Verdict:

An excellent all-rounder that is a perfect match for the all-weather cyclist

Cyclist Rating: 
For 
Waterproof and breathable, Cuffs accommodate winter gloves, Handy rear pocket
Against 
Relaxed fit won’t suit racier positions

Buy the Gore-Tex Active jacket from Wiggle

After 30 years of designing cycling clothing, Gore knows a thing or two about tackling the worst weather that the UK can muster. So, with another icy British winter serving up a seemingly interminable barrage of rain, snow and arctic blasts, Gore has another piece of all-weather armoury to add to your wardrobe: the Power Gore-Tex Active jacket.

For the uninitiated, Gore’s Power family of garments are the slightly more sensible cousins to the race-ready Oxygen range. In short, that means aero-obsessed racing whippets need not apply – the Power range is purpose-built for riders who prefer garments which provide a little more room to breathe.

The difference between the two ranges is clear from the off: where my 6’4” 110kg frame takes full advantage of the inherent stretch in Gore’s XXL-sized Oxygen 2.0 GT AS jacket – and keenly alerts me to any overindulgence during the cake stops – the Power is a far more relaxed affair.

Gore has also done away with the exaggerated drop tail and high front of the Oxygen jackets for much more, dare we say, traditional cut. The front of the jacket reaches down nice and low at the front, and there’s a much less pronounced drop at the rear.

And in contrast to its racier cousins, you'll find a zipped pocket out back big enough to accomodate a phone and a few credit cards – maybe a couple of Co2 canisters at a push. One word to the wise, though: the pocket’s mesh inner lining means that you’ll want to make sure that what’s inside isn’t going to suffer from exposure to sweat, or any water that might possibly flick up from the rear.


There are other practical reasons to prefer the Power to its racier Oxygen cousin. Where the Oxygen’s flat, elasticated cuffs and tighter arms don’t always play nicely (or look quite right) with bulkier gloves, the Power’s more generous cut and thin elasticated cuffs stretch over the top of winter gloves to keep the cold and wet out even more effectively.

For many riders, I suspect the Power’s more relaxed fit will reap benefits once the temperature disappears into the low single digits – I was certainly glad of the ability to add an extra merino buffer on top of my usual Craft winter base layer on colder days.

The Power’s less form-hugging cut also gives more room for you to stuff jersey pockets with snacks, tools, gilet, arm warmers and minipumps for longer, all-day jaunts – something which the Oxygen’s skinner cut doesn’t always allow.

If you have a more upright riding position, the Power will be perfect, but if you’re one of those flexible, flat-backed riders who spends a lot of the time in the drops – and you don’t run a mudguard – you’ll find that the Power’s tail exposes the lower strip of your jersey, and your lycra-clad bottom, to the elements. I regularly ended up with a slightly soggy derriere as a result, even with an Ass-Saver in place.

Whatever your riding style, though, it’s when the heavens open and the tempo rises that the Power’s sheer class comes to the fore. If you’re used to getting soaked from inside and out with cheaper jackets, then the Power will come as something of a revelation.

Rain just rolls off the jacket, hour after hour, and even once your heart rate starts ticking into the upper zones, the Gore-Tex Active membrane does a sterling job of keeping the wet outside and the inside dry – or at the very least, far drier than other jackets I’ve ridden in.

If there’s a downside to the Power, it’s that it’s not that pocketable – nor record-breakingly light at 300g in the size XXL I had on test. Where Gore’s own Shake Dry jackets and Assos’ excellent Equipe RS combine waterproofing with impressive levels of packability, the Power requires a fair amount of persuasion to fit in a jersey pocket.

With a suggested retail price of £180, however, the water-repelling, sweat-dispelling talents of the Power do come a little cheaper than those more packable alternatives. And, what’s more, with Gore’s new ranges of all-weather gear currently rolling out, there are some serious bargains to be had. Shop around and you’ll find the Power in a range of colours for as little as £105.

If you’re a true all-weather cyclist, and the the more relaxed fit suits both your physique and your preferred type of riding, then there are few jackets that are as good an all-rounder as the Gore Power. Snap one up while you still can.

Buy the Gore-Tex Active jacket now from Wiggle

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