Over here in our the neck of the states, skies wait for months on end to rain, and then decide to pour out all at once over a few weeks. We’re currently in that storm cycle, so the timing couldn’t be better that we started testing Gore Wear’s (aka Gore-Tex) new Gore C7 Shakedry Viz Cycling Jacket.
While the wind and rain and fog leaves our roads cold and sunless, my small ray of sunshine remains the Shakedry jacket. It almost makes working out in the rain enjoyable–keeping my core completely free from infiltrating droplets.
If there ever was a product that lives up to its claims, the Gore C7 Shakedry is it. This jacket is like nothing I’ve ever tested. Super compact and ultra lightweight, it’s one of the coolest products around. And all of the claims they make about its waterproof ratings are true. Not a drop of water gets inside this jacket, yet it still maintains its breathability.
GORE C7 SHAKEDRY VIZ GORE WEAR JACKET REVIEW
Version Tested: Women’s Gore Wear C7 Shakedry Viz
Weight: 108 grams by our scale
Colors: Storm Blue/Lumi Orange, and Black/Neon Yellow
Shakedry shells are also available in several other iterations for men and women, with a Shakedry Stretch version available later this month. Get the full line info at gorewear.com
WHAT SETS THE GORE C7 SHAKEDRY VIZ APART
Perhaps the most unique thing about the Gore Wear C7 shell is its material. As thin as an outer shell gets, this jacket is permanently waterproof and surprisingly durable. When the rain starts pouring down on you, droplets bead up all over the outside of this jacket and tend to stay put. In name-like fashion, shake it quickly once or twice, and it’s completely dry again. A feature that means your jersey pocket won’t get soaked when you decide to stow your C7.
Inside the jacket has flat seams that are almost imperceptible when it’s on. And a crazy awesome plus is that I found I couldn’t stain the main fabric–mud, grease, road grit just wiped off (not tested on the hi-viz fabric). But the jacket is also machine washable, though I’m not sure that using our go-to grease remover would jive with the high-tech construction of the C7. Be sure to check with the manufacturer before using any detergents or additives with your wash.
Beyond simply being waterproof, I found this jacket to also make an excellent windbreaker, which was fantastic for those chilly days out on our windy roads. Adding an extra checkmark to the “all-around versatility column” of the C7’s list of can-do’s. Rated for temps as low as 41 degrees, a baselayer and long-sleeved jersey kept me pretty warm on even our coldest rainy days here.
At the wrists, a simple stretch on the inside of the cuff keeps water out. Plus it makes for an easy slide-on over gloves. The orange detailing at the forearms makes for a cool look that is totally pro, even for a high-vis jacket. No fear of looking stupid here.
Of course, the biggest detractor to the shell is its $279 MSRP price tag that could be a budget breaker for many cyclists.
ON THE FIT
I’m normally a Medium, but I tested this in a women’s large–because I like to have a little extra room in jackets in case I want to layer. While I found it fairly roomy in the shoulders and upper body, it did fit tighter around the hips. It did tend to ride up a bit instead of sitting low across the hips as I’m used to. Of course, winter hibernation most likely had something to do with the ill-fit for me. As spring training and racing wears on, I find the jacket fits better and better.
Labeled by Gore Wear as a “slim fit,” I’d say you should definitely size up if you’re looking for roominess–especially if you consider yourself to have an hourglass figure. Since I can’t comment on the men’s fit, you’ll definitely want to check the sizing chart carefully before ordering.
WEIGHT, FEATURES, AND OTHER FACTORS
Weighing in at a feathery 108 grams, this is the lightest shell I’ve ever worn. The ultra-thin size of the jacket means that stuffing it into jersey pocket when you get too warm is super simple, and you can ride around without it feeling like it’s adding too much bulk.
A single, right-side, zippered pocket at the back, is great for storing an extra energy bar or other accessory. It was even big enough to carry my iPhone 7+. The main zipper features a long, grippy tab that is easy to zip and unzip, even in full-fingered gloves. And a full neck collar means that none of that dumb, chilly air gets in. Pretty sweet.
Overall, I am thoroughly impressed with how well the Gore Wear C7 Shakedry Viz Jacket stood up to my tests. At first, it seems impossible that such a thin and slick shell could pack such a powerful punch. But it keeps you warm without compromising breathability. It keeps you dry without effort or leaking. And it keeps you visible without ultra-bright ovations. This is a cool jacket.
Grab more info at goreapparel.com