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Verdict: 
Great fit from a totally waterproof jacket that breathes brilliantly – worth the cash
Weight: 
160g

The Gore C7 Gore-Tex ShakeDry Stretch Jacket provides total rain protection with incredible breathability. The stretch panels help to give a perfect fit that lasts through machine washing and tumble drying.

  • Pros: Total waterproofing combined with excellent breathability and a great fit
  • Cons: Price

This jacket is packed with tech features. The Gore ShakeDry fabric that made the last iteration so good is still present, and it works really well in heavy rain. Put simply, nothing gets through.

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Added to this latest edition, which we first looked at in May, is Gore's new Stretch technology. It was developed with the military for use with body armour and is also windproof and completely waterproof.

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These Stretch panels require extra stitching but these have all been taped internally. This stops any water ingress, but also gives a very clean look. The taped seam joints have an additional piece of tape for extra durability. 

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There's a rear pocket accessed via a zipper with an overhang of Gore-Tex material. It's the only non-taped bit of the jacket, but I've noticed no water ingress. The pocket is large enough for a couple of bars and a gel and it's a better place to store food when you know it's going to be raining all ride, as you don't need to pull the hem up to access food.

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I've been wearing the jacket since May, and I've had plenty of unpleasant weather to test it in. In fact, my first ride in this jacket, at the Wiggle Ups & Downs Sportive, gave the perfect conditions for testing. It was 8°C, damp and windy, and the rain and road spray mix quickly covered the jacket. With a decent pace to our ride, this is where I usually find myself boiling in my rain jacket bag. The absence of that damp feeling was very welcome.

Back on home roads, I headed out for some chaingang rides that take in a few Mendip hills. The jacket continued to perform perfectly, even when climbing.

> Buyer's Guide: 20 of the best waterproof cycling jackets

After a more prolonged break than I'd anticipated, with not a cloud in the sky, more recently we've had wet weather along with relatively warm temperatures of 17-20°C. The only time that I felt too warm was when I mistakenly wore a winter jacket underneath: at 17°C with high humidity, this caused a lot of sweat buildup so I went for the jacket only on the next ride and the problem was solved. With just a breathable jersey underneath, I was dry and comfortable, showing that the C7 will breathe really well, if you let it...

The fit is designed to be close, with the stretch panels allowing total freedom of movement. I'd usually take a small for the closest fit, but I've found this medium a great option for layering underneath the jacket. If you're intending to wear this in cooler conditions, probably over a few layers, it's a sensible option for most of us to go for a larger size. If you're going for the racer's aero fit, go for your normal jersey size.

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The sleeves are well proportioned with good length. At the start of the test period I used these with my Shimano winter gloves with no issues around the cuffs.

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The collar is also nicely cut with good height. The fit here is close but doesn't irritate, and there is space underneath for a jacket or jersey that also has a high collar.

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The hem is cut higher at the front with a tail that is long enough. On the bike, it's the perfect fit and everything is held nicely in place by the gripper section. One of the main reasons the Stretch fabric was added was to aid the fit over full pockets, and they work as planned. You can still pull the jacket up to access your jersey pockets, although as with other jackets, I find the two-handed method works best.

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While the ShakeDry feature lets you remove excess water (by shaking, as it happens), washing is needed for bacteria and mud residue. When I saw the washing instructions I must say I was concerned: wash at 40°C and tumble dry. Reading this, I was convinced the jacket would disintegrate, or at least lose its shape. My concerns are unfounded; the jacket is still performing perfectly, making it one of the easiest bits of kit to care for that I've come across.

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This jacket is pretty much perfect; the only thing it is currently lacking is strength in the fabric at the shoulders for carrying a backpack, but commuters fear not, Gore hasn't forgotten you and is working hard on a version that will work with a rucksack. It will then, surely, be the ultimate all-round jacket.

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If you're considering this jacket then the price is probably the only drawback. Even at £275, this is still cheaper than the Assos rS.sturmPrinz EVO jacket. It's not an unjustifiable price but that doesn't change the fact that you're paying a premium. Thankfully, the performance is also premium so at least you get what you pay for.

> Essential wet weather cycle clothing and gear

This jacket represents a solid investment for UK conditions. You can race in it, and warmer weather isn't a problem. When worn in the heaviest rain, it didn't flinch and has kept me perfectly dry. If you regularly ride through poor weather, this is well worth the money.

Verdict

Great fit from a totally waterproof jacket that breathes brilliantly – worth the cash

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Gore C7 Gore-Tex ShakeDry Stretch Jacket

Size tested: Medium

Tell us what the jacket is for

From Gore: "This close fitting and sculpted jacket combines the fit of your favourite jersey with the protection of GORE-TEX® material. Reducing the bulk of the jacket results in higher comfort while riding, allowing unrestricted movement while cycling."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?

From Gore:

MAIN FABRIC: GORE-TEX®MEMBRANE

SHELL INSIDE: 100% POLYAMIDE

STRETCH FABRIC: 37% POLYAMIDE

44% POLYESTER

19% ELASTANE

GORE-TEX®MEMBRANE

Rate the jacket for quality of construction:
 
10/10

The fabric that Gore used before is back but the main new feature is the stretch panels. These are also waterproof and provide stretch just where you need it. The way they have been joined with the main fabric is impressive. The seams are taped with extra taping at the seam joints.

Rate the jacket for performance:
 
10/10

Totally waterproof and windproof while also being amazingly breathable.

Rate the jacket for durability:
 
7/10

It will go through the wash with no issues, so should stand the test of time in that respect, but it is a very thin fabric, so don't go crashing in it.

Rate the jacket for waterproofing
 
10/10

Nothing gets through. The taped seams are perfect and the water really does just run straight off.

Rate the jacket for breathability
 
10/10

Top marks. The only place I could get a little moisture buildup was when climbing hard in muggy conditions. Then I just unzipped it.

Rate the jacket for fit:
 
10/10

It's designed as a racing coat so it is cut pretty slim. The sleeves are nice and long and the hem is front hem is high so you avoid bunching when on the bike.

Rate the jacket for sizing:
 
8/10

I think the sizing is spot on, but you do have to consider your intended use. It's designed as a race jacket, but most of us will have other intentions.

Racing - Pick your normal jersey size.

The rest of us - Size up to leave room for warm layer(s) underneath.

Rate the jacket for weight:
 
9/10

Slightly heavier than the previous versions, but still super-lightweight at only 160g, so it won't be this that's holding you back.

Rate the jacket for comfort:
 
10/10

It doesn't restrict movement or make you feel sweaty. I was comfortable on all the rides I did.

Rate the jacket for value:
 
8/10

Gore has worked hard to develop a jacket that works perfectly and it's charging a pretty fair price. It's still cheaper than Assos' jacket, and for the performance it's very good value.

How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Super-simple. It can handle machine washing and a tumble dry.

Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Really well. Totally waterproof with excellent breathability.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket

Grotty conditions are easy. The combination of waterproofing and high breathability is just excellent.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket

I'd like some more colours but Gore says that science is getting in the way.

Did you enjoy using the jacket? Very much so. I love that a threat of rain is no worry now.

Would you consider buying the jacket? Yes

Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yep. I predict that rainy club runs in January will produce some envious looks towards this jacket.

Use this box to explain your overall score

Yes, it is expensive, but it isn't the most expensive and the performance is perfection. Gore has improved a near-perfect jacket. It's good to see a company listening to feedback and using it. Now can the price come down please?

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 24  Height: 177cm  Weight: 62kg

I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!

Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. Liam spends his time plodding his way through cyclocross races, very busy not winning. As an advocate for perfectly clean chains, he can be found cleaning his bike instead of training. A shop mechanic, Liam has many helpful skills, such as being able to identify 'cross tubs by the tread pattern alone. If you bump into him, he'll probably be eating.

15 comments

Avatar
gary p [16 posts] 7 months ago
1 like

Spendy,  but if it's warm, waterproof, and breathable, it very well may be worth it.  But why does it only come in black or dark gray?  If the rain's coming down, visibilty for motorists is reduced.  I'd really prefer my rain jacket to be a brilliant, high-vis color.  

Avatar
andyp [1599 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes

Christ on a bike, how much? that's nuts. Good to see the predictable moan first up in comments though. In these chaotic days, it's nice to have some stability.

Avatar
Callum Nicklin [5 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes

"Worth the cash".

How, then, can you then give it marks down for price? Very bored of things being marked down for pricing if they're worth it. Some things do actually cost quite a lot to make, likewise some things don't but they're usually obviously ostentatious.

Constantly pushing for lower prices isn't necessarily a good thing particularly when they're quality things. Fair enough if it fits like a boiler suit and doesn't work. But in this case, and like many other products on here, its performance is top-tier and there is an associated cost to that.

Avatar
vonhelmet [1350 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes

If it actually breathes as well as they say it does, then great.

Avatar
philhubbard [180 posts] 7 months ago
2 likes
gary p wrote:

Spendy,  but if it's warm, waterproof, and breathable, it very well may be worth it.  But why does it only come in black or dark gray?  If the rain's coming down, visibilty for motorists is reduced.  I'd really prefer my rain jacket to be a brilliant, high-vis color.  

 

Unfortunately the fabric is still too new and thin to be dyed so it loses the breathability according to Gore. They're hoping for colours mid to late 2019

Avatar
Liam Cahill [153 posts] 7 months ago
1 like

gary p wrote:

Spendy,  but if it's warm, waterproof, and breathable, it very well may be worth it.  But why does it only come in black or dark gray?  If the rain's coming down, visibilty for motorists is reduced.  I'd really prefer my rain jacket to be a brilliant, high-vis color.  

Gore are working on that. I always run lights when it's raining so that takes care of visibility.

Avatar
Liam Cahill [153 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes

Callum Nicklin wrote:

"Worth the cash".

How, then, can you then give it marks down for price? Very bored of things being marked down for pricing if they're worth it. Some things do actually cost quite a lot to make, likewise some things don't but they're usually obviously ostentatious.

Constantly pushing for lower prices isn't necessarily a good thing particularly when they're quality things. Fair enough if it fits like a boiler suit and doesn't work. But in this case, and like many other products on here, its performance is top-tier and there is an associated cost to that.

It isn't marked down for the price. An 8/10 is 'very good'. A 10/10 is 'exceptional'. To get that mark it would have to have been made cheaper than the previous jacket.

Avatar
KiwiMike [1407 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes
Callum Nicklin wrote:

"Worth the cash".

How, then, can you then give it marks down for price? Very bored of things being marked down for pricing if they're worth it. Some things do actually cost quite a lot to make, likewise some things don't but they're usually obviously ostentatious.

Constantly pushing for lower prices isn't necessarily a good thing particularly when they're quality things. Fair enough if it fits like a boiler suit and doesn't work. But in this case, and like many other products on here, its performance is top-tier and there is an associated cost to that.

Um...

"This jacket represents a solid investment for UK conditions. You can race in it, and warmer weather isn't a problem. When worn in the heaviest rain, it didn't flinch and has kept me perfectly dry. If you regularly ride through poor weather, this is well worth the money.

Great fit from a totally waterproof jacket that breathes brilliantly – worth the cash"

AFAIK, it wasn't 'marked down' for price - it was even noted that it's cheaper than similar offerrings. It just wasn't perfect. 

Avatar
peted76 [1320 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes

Owning a prior version of this jacket I concur the improvments make it well worthy of it's 4.5 out of 5 rating! (personally I've have given it 5/5... unless there is something better on the market?

Avatar
therevokid [1023 posts] 7 months ago
1 like

I've the C5 variant and it's breathability / waterproofness (!!) are amazing.

Compare it to my Muur which was the other go to wet weather jacket and the difference is night and day. Can't wait for the rucksack friendly version  1

Avatar
fenix [1145 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes

I've last years version but it was less than half the price of this in the sale.  On the few occasions I've used it it has been great but it's main purpose has been to stop any rain falling. 

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Prosper0 [186 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes

Is it just me or does the fit look baggy on this guy? Doesn’t look like a perfect fit at all. 

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lbalc [18 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes

Has anyone owned a Gore Tex Active shell that isn't Shakedry? Interested in the differences in breathability? Apart from Shakedry being half the weight I'm a fan of the Oxygen 2.0 or now Gore Tex C7 Jacket. This having zips on the forearms and back in particular really helps with ventilation and forms a a draught effect for air to run through. And stops the parachute effect of air rushing through (when front zip is down) and hitting the back of the jacekt. I would like to see this on the Shakedry jackets. Obviously down side is more zips and therefore more weight. Also all the windstopper jerseys I have I favoured the ones with mesh vents around the armpits and back. I.e The Oxygen Jesery L/S and S/S and Alp x Zip off as they encourage a good draught over say a thicker fleece lined Oxygen Jacket of previous Power Jersey with no zips or mesh. Anyone know what I mean?

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Geraldaut [63 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes

I have the original version that looks much sleeker and cost me half this price. 

A question though, holding against the sun I see more and more micro-holes. They are not visible when wearing the jacket but I wonder if I can get some stickers or something to fix them from the I side?

Avatar
philhubbard [180 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

Get a roll of tenacious tape to cover those holes. I worked for an outdoor manufacturer and we recommended this for most repairs including tents and waterproof jackets