It’s 60 degrees and pouring rain in Seattle. A record-setting, climate-change rain and winter jackets are too warm for a tempo ride. That’s because you’ll sweat out and risk getting cold if the wind comes up. So what am I wearing?
The ONE GORE-Tex Active Bike Jacket. It totally works. And, feels like a latex glove.
Wearing it is like stretching a sausage casing over your body and it performs like an exo-layer. I’ll head out into the nastiest weather mother nature throws at us here in the Seattle area, but I’m not gonna walk through Safeway wearing the ONE to grab a gallon of milk. It’s too revealing and under it I layer the thinnest wool Ibex (on Amazon for ~$50.00) makes.
Setting aside the sausage-casing fit, the fact I’m wearing just a membrane is the most remarkable aspect of the jacket. Up until now, in the short history of technical fabric for outdoor actives, GORE-Tex was a leader in laminates. But for the typical balmy conditions in Seattle, unless the water is near freezing, GORE’s kit is too hot.
Yes, it breathes. They invented that. It’s what they do, but when it comes to the microclimate created by your body as you’re working out, things can get steamy or clammy real quick. How fast moisture passes through the membrane is the secret sauce for the best performing jackets in conditions like today.
To address performance and comfort, GORE and they’re competitors weld an outer, treated fabric, to the porous membrane, and an inner-fleeced layer. It’s a 3-layer fabric sandwich.
Responding to pressure from better-breathing and competing tech, GORE went straight membrane with this jacket. That’s even more extreme than their most breathable laminate for cyclists. I imagine this is the same membrane that’s inside gas tanks maintaining pressure and in other places people don’t think about, like electronics.
Maybe, but what matters is how well it works. And, I arrived home with a dry base layer after 2 hours in a downpour. I wasn’t going hard so that’s another test, but for tempo, on a Saturday it performed in a next-level category.
For colder days and a jacket you can wear also out on the town, I’ll choose the Rapha Classic Winter Jacket because it’s a functional fashion piece. It won’t draw so much attention if you stop at a store during a ride.
The latest from GORE is all tech. If you can get past how it feels and fits.
Find the ONE GORE-Tex online or at a retailer near you for $299.99. If I’m not wearing it, then I’m packing it with me wherever I ride during the rainy season. I know I got another layer for protection and this layer is just the membrane.
That’s why GORE calls it ONE.