For those out there braving the commute over winter and early spring, like me you’re sure to get caught out from time to time by the elements and ensuring you have the correct clothing is key to help you keep warm and safe out there on the roads. Being a stereotypical Yorkshire man, I’ve tried my fair share of entry level & budget jackets and while some of these keep you dry in light showers, I’ve found that while wearing a back pack you end up being more wetter on the inside as a result of the boil in a bag scenario, due to the material not being breathable.
I’d seen the Gore jackets in the shops and out on the road and although the quality & style of the jackets looked great, I couldn’t get my head around the price tag which I assumed was £200+ for all of their jackets. However, after browsing the sale over the Christmas period I stumbled across their Active Shell jacket which luckily in the size and colour I was after was on offer at £89.00. I decided to give it a go and I’m very impressed.
The fit is good and the longer back keeps you warm and your lower back covered up while down on the bars. The Velcro cuffs are great and allow for a nice snug fit over your gloves to make sure there’s no exposed gaps for wind to blast up your arms. There’s some nice soft material on the interior that protects your chin\neck from rubbing on the zip and the collar is just tall enough to keep your neck warm. I do also use a buff in colder weather for added warmth too.
The rear pocket is a good size and there’s plenty of room for gear and snacks, although having mainly used the jacket for commuting I’ve not used it a great deal as I’ve had a back pack, but what I can say is that a back pack sits comfortably over the top of the zip (I’ve had issues with other jackets where the zip pocket digs into your back when wearing a back pack). After my usual 15 mile commute I could certainly notice the difference in how dry I was on the inside of the jacket, which is a result of the improvements of the breathability of the Gore-Tex material against other products.
The material is durable and I’ve been out in some heavy downpours and it’s not let me down. I’ve also washed the jacket a couple of times in the washing machine and there are no issues using a cool wash and mild soap… I’ve used other Gore-Tex products in the past and it is recommended that after a heavy downpour or wash that you dry them off in low heat in the dryer as this increases the life span of the Gore-Tex fabric.
One down side I would say is that the official write up claims that there’s numerous reflective properties (piping, logo and prints). While this is true it doesn’t seem that affective, so I would make your colour choice wisely if you intend to by cycling in poor light.
All in all I would say this is a fantastic jacket and I’m sure it will last me many years. Would I be happy paying the full RRP for the jacket? It would have certainly taken me longer deliberating forking out £149 pounds for the jacket (there’s the Yorkshire man talking), but now I’ve experienced the difference in quality compared to an entry level jacket I would certainly not go back and it would make my decision a lot easier when it eventually comes to replacing this one… I’m hoping this is a while of yet though. So get yourself a bargain while these are still on offer!!