Sign up for our newsletter


Gore Element Windstopper jacket review

Ortlieb Back Roller Classic reflective pannier review
10 Feb 2016

Gore is the king of technical garments but can it turn its hand to stylish pieces too?

Military style is in they* say because of the current trend towards adventure, escapism and a more outdoors lifestyle. I would say historically style has never really had much of an effect on cycling clothing – I mean, just look at us in our tight jerseys and short shorts – but now there are camo helmets from Lazer, camo seatpacks from BigTop and this, a camo Element Windstopper jacket from Gore.

As the name implies the Element jacket is made from Windstopper Softshell material, so it’s totally windproof. I’ve been out in some hefty gales in this jacket and it’s kept me toasty warm. It’s not especially thick though, and so not very insulative, so if you stand still in the cold you’ll quick cool down. The whole jacket has a DWR treatment but, with the exception of some patches on either forearm, the material is textured so it’s not really conducive to beading. That said, I’ve been out in some fairly prolonged drizzle and nothing much has ever seeped through to my clothing underneath.

Built in storage

All good jackets need good pockets and there are three zipped ones on the Element: two obvious ones up front and a ‘concealed’ one behind a magnetic chest flap. The concealed pocket is nice for keeping cash or train tickets in but sweat does soak through easily, so I’d recommend keeping anything precious in a plastic bag. Although we’re entirely of the road persuasion here, there’s also a lightweight hood that’s small enough to go under a helmet, which we think is pretty perfect to pull up if you’re stood around in the rain.

Now, before the camo sends you running there are some high-vis features to save you from a SMIDSY. There are high-vis cuffs on both arms, with thumb loops if that’s your style, and a fluoro tail flap that’s handy if you’re risking the rain without mudguards. Combined with the odd reflective print on the back, you’d be trying hard to go unseen.

Any there any downsides to this jacket, you ask? Well yes there are a few. The tail could be a little longer, as it has a tendency to ride up and expose the top of trousers (such as the smart Swrve softshell numbers I’m sporting in the photo). I also found the magnetic cover for the concealed pocket was bulky underneath the neck, especially if you leave an inch or so open for ventilation.

All things considered though, it’s a really well put together jacket that’s an ideal touring companion.

Images courtesty of - You can read more about the trip these photographs were taken here: Pannier Kielder Weekender

*I have no idea who they are.


Read more about: