A lightweight packable waterproof jacket is an essential tool for any keen cyclist who wants to brave the elements. The Gore One 1985 Goretex Shakedry Jacket is the latest innovation from Gore but with innovation comes a hefty price tag. Is this jacket worth the money and is it the jacket for you?
Does this product meet your needs?
Waterproofing can be achieved in different ways. On many jackets a water resistance coating is applied to the surface of the item, over time though this can wear off and lose the jackets water resistance. Goretex uses 3 layers, a water repellent laminate outer, a breathable waterproof windproof membrane in the middle, and the inner lining. The Gore One 1985 uses the new Goretex membrane which eliminates the need for the outer layer of fabric from the previous Goretex product, by removing this layer the product no longer absorbs any water. This is why with this jacket you no longer experience the cold damp feeling of the fabric against skin when the jacket gets wet. The new Shakedry surface means water sits on the surface and beads off with a few quick shakes. Although the weather is only just changing at home I have been caught in a few heavy prolonged early autumn rain storms and the Gore One 1985 jacket remained completely watertight.
How breathable the jacket is is an important consideration but difficult to judge. A jacket that makes you hot and sweaty is definitely not desirable. The numbers from manufactures shouldn't always be believed or used to compare products as different testing methods can be used. If you think you don't need a fully waterproof jacket but just a showerproof jacket then a hard-shell windstopper jacket will often offer more breathability.
Breathability is far superior on this jacket compared to the Goretex used on other jackets including my Gore Oxygen Jacket. I've used the One 1985 in warm sunny conditions up to 15 degrees centigrade and remained comfortable with a baselayer and short-sleeved jersey underneath. Only when temperatures really rose did I experience any kind of clammy sweaty feeling against the skin.
Fit on this jacket is reasonably relaxed, I've been using a small like I do with all other cycling tops and the fit is still loose around the chest and waist. It's definitely worth considering sizing down but also think how many layers you'll wear underneath during the winter. If you want a more fitted jacket the standard Gore One Active Jacket is supposed to be a slimmer race fit.
A jacket needs to be lightweight and packable. You might need it to fold up into your jersey pocket, or into a hydration backpack or commuting bike. With the reduced thickness of this Goretex material the Gore One 1985 weighs a feathery 133 grams and folds up neatly into its back pocket when you want to store the jacket.
This material can only be manufactured in black but the jacket does have reflective text on the arms and front, plus a reflective panel above the pocket on the back. This will put some people off but for me this small negative is far outweighed by the many positives.
Other features of this jacket include handy tabs at the wrists which make it easier to remove the jacket, a two way front zip, an adjustable velcro collar, elasticated sleeve cuffs, and a zip rear pocket. You should consider if a minimalist jacket like this meets all your needs. Do you need other features such as extra pockets, a hood, etc. Bear in mind though that the more layers of material you add to the product the less breathable it is, for example a pocket will need 2 layers of material.
Should I buy this product?
At £250 you’d expect something special with all the bells and whistles, the Gore One 1985 fits the bill. My only concerns with this jacket is how long it would survive offroad, if you snagged it on a rock or branch would it be strong enough? The Goretex material is so thin I wouldn’t risk mine offroad. I would also prefer a slightly slimmer fit but this wouldn’t suit everyone.
Otherwise this jacket is a joy to use, an innovative masterpiece, worth every penny. It will replace every waterproof jacket, windproof jacket and gilet in your wardrobe. The Gore One 1985 isn’t just a winter essential, it’s an all year round essential.