Unprecedented and unusual storms in the Pacific Northwest have cyclists thinking and reconsidering their winter and rainy season gear. As shared in the current issue of our magazine, for the cold I’m wearing a fleece-lined soft-shell from Nalini. Depending on the rain and storm patterns, for the wet it’s a trusty old Gabba, or a wool liner and ShowersPass’s shell. Freezing fog is whole other thing that requires fleece softshell, a outer shell, and pairs of gloves, and bootie boots.
Of interest for this season, is the Pro Team Softshell Jacket from Rapha. As their marketing says, it’s the definitive technical garment for changeable conditions.
When Rapha began working with Team Sky, riders requested a wet-weather shell that protected them from the elements but also breathed well and didn’t cause them to overheat when going flat out. The result was the development of the Rapha Pro Team Softshell Jacket that we’ve now updated as version II with Polartec’s innovative Power Shield Pro fabric. The seams are fully taped, and laser cut ventilation holes under the arms allows air to circulate. Zips on the cuffs and an oversized puller make the jacket easier to put on – and remove – with gloved hands. The fit is in line with the Pro Team collection, with a slim and close fit suited to a low riding position. $295.00
Also, Gore has again stepped their game up again–taken on our Tortilla Test– and made an all-new Gore-Tex Active, which is lighter and more breathable than ever. It’s just the Gore-Tex membrane that’s mechanically waterproof with no outer face fabric, making it permanently water repellant with no use of a DWR coating. I’m hearing the results are amazing and as I say to all the product managers, “Uh huh, well send it out and we’ll see, cause of the rain here, ya know.” Also, no DWR should help resolve that sad moment, when even the most technical of fabrics soak through.
With no outer fabric, is it clammy? Will it moisten an stale tortilla? Too early to know.
So far, Gore hasn’t disappointed, not with their Active Shell, or the Gabba. Not sure why Gore is teasing the new jacket and not just releasing it, but here’s their microsite and see the video above. Let’s hope they’ve developed a glove to match, maybe that’s still not too much to ask?…