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Verdict: 
Superb performance, whether as a windproof or rainproof, and tucks away easily in a pocket when not required
Weight: 
114g

Light, packable, windproof, completely waterproof and with superb breathability, Gore's C7 Women's Gore-Tex Shakedry Viz jacket works brilliantly on the bike, whether it's raining or not. It's not cheap, but with such impressive performance it really will earn its keep.

  • Pros: Waterproof, breathable, superlight, windproof
  • Cons: Expensive (but worth it), not stretchy

We've reviewed various jackets made with Gore's wonder fabric (incuding the men's Shakedry Viz), and it really is in a class of its own. The jackets are expensive, but if you consider that they can act as both a waterproof and a windproof, packable but protective enough for the wettest days, and light enough to take the place of an emergency showerproof in your pocket, it's all manner of garments in one.

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David Arthur has said it's the one piece of cycling kit he couldn't ride without, and I'd agree. On cool, dry days its windproofing keeps you warm, and if the sun comes out you won't overheat and get sweaty. It's thin, not insulated, but wear the right layers underneath and you'll be fine. The fabric has a pleasant feel against the skin, too, a kind of smooth, warm silkiness.

Gore C7 Women Gore-Tex Shakedry Viz Jacket - riding.jpg

If the temperature rises, it's small and light enough that you can take it off, roll it into its rear pocket and stuff it in a jersey pocket. And if (when) the heavens open, on it goes and out stays the rain.

Gore C7 Women Gore-Tex Shakedry Viz Jacket - folded.jpg

Last year, I tested the more relaxed-fit C5 Shakedry jacket, and you get the same superb performance here but with some improvements. I really liked the slightly more relaxed cut of the C5 ('form' fit in Gore parlance, as opposed to C7/slim and C3/active), but now I've tried the C7, that's where my money'd go.

Gore C7 Women Gore-Tex Shakedry Viz Jacket - collar.jpg

Although I had given the C5 what I'd thought was a thorough testing, it wasn't until I was wearing it in a mid-sportive monsoon that I discovered some shortcomings in the design. I hadn't fully considered how the length (not very long), combined with no gripper at the hem and overfull jersey pockets would leave you under-covered at the rear in torrential rain.

Gore C7 Women Gore-Tex Shakedry Viz Jacket - back.jpg

The C7 cut provides much better protection. It's longer (once you get the right size) and though it doesn't have gripper, the hem has some elastication to keep it wrapped around full jersey pockets and to stop rain/spray getting up underneath.

Gore C7 Women Gore-Tex Shakedry Viz Jacket - elastic detail.jpg

A note on sizing: Gore suggests sizing up if you fall between two. Slim fit garments have 'a tighter fit that hugs close to the body...If unsure you may want to take a larger size of these products than you would usually buy.' After consulting the chart (I'm an L in the hips, an XL in the chest, and we won't talk about the waist…), I sized up to an XL (in the pics I'm modelling a medium; below is a pic of me in the XL). It's comfortably roomy, and I suspect I could have got away with a large, so I'd just say stick to your usual size.

Tass in Gore XL

That said, there is no stretch in the fabric, so if you do like to carry lots in your jersey pockets it's something to bear in mind. I also prefer a slightly relaxed fit to skintight aero. (Roll on the Stretch version for women...)

As with the C5, the fit works better on the bike than off – it's quite tight across the chest until you're leant forward in a riding position, and the sleeves are pretty long but just about perfect when you're stretched forward, with a simple elasticated section to hold the cuffs around gloves/wrists.

Gore C7 Women Gore-Tex Shakedry Viz Jacket - cuff.jpg

The orange 'Viz' sections on the sleeves are as waterproof as the rest of the jacket, though they don't 'shake dry' as quickly. They do resemble big gauntlets somewhat, but I like the idea of being seen by other road users and they are pretty bright.

The logos at the rear are reflective, too, and the main blue fabric is an improvement on the dull brown of the C5, which Gore describes as black. There's also 'lava grey' in this C7 fit, along with black/fluoro.

Gore C7 Women Gore-Tex Shakedry Viz Jacket - tail.jpg

The single rear zipped pocket will take an iPhone 6 with a bit of room to spare, though the zip isn't the easiest to move up and down. There's also a strap for wrapping round the jacket once it's bundled inside.

Gore C7 Women Gore-Tex Shakedry Viz Jacket - strap.jpg

Although you can't really argue that £239.99 for a light, packable cycling jacket is a bargain, the Gore is worth the money for its performance. You can pay a lot less to keep dry – Sportful's Hot Pack NoRain Jacket is £130 and does a great job of keeping out rain but isn't as breathable; dhb's Aeron Lab Ultralight Waterproof is £150, currently reduced to £120 (Stu tested the men's version last year), and Lusso's Aqua Repel V2 is £134.99. But for top notch waterproofing and breathability, for riding whatever the weather, the Gore Shakedry Viz is nigh-on faultless.

> Buyer's Guide: 10 of the best packable jackets

The only limitation continues to be its potential fragility: don't wear this jacket it if you're carrying a backpack, and be aware of what's poking out of your jersey pockets that it might rub against.

Verdict

Superb performance, whether as a windproof or rainproof, and tucks away easily in a pocket when not required

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 Women Gore-Tex Shakedry Viz Jacket

Size tested: XL (M in photos)

Tell us what the jacket is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Gore says, "Training to compete at the highest level requires total commitment, whatever time of day your training happens. This jacket has been engineered to keep you visible and totally dry when you have to ride in less than desirable weather conditions."

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

Gore lists:

Back zipped stow pocket

Use with backpack not recommended

Face fabric wetting out allows to quickly flap the surface dry

Revolutionary membrane construction eliminates face fabric preventing a chilling effect

Sportive feminine cut

Minimal pack volume

Weight 95 gram (Size 38)

Visibility paneling for increased safety in low light conditions

GORE-TEX Active Jacket with new SHAKEDRY™ product technology

Lightweight, extremely breathable, waterproof and windproof

Cycling specific cut with draped back

Elastic hem

Zip tags for easy opening

Front zip

Ergonomically shaped collar

Reflective logo

Rate the jacket for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the jacket for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the jacket for durability:
 
7/10

You'll want to look after it and keep it away from sharp objects. And don't use it with a backpack.

Rate the jacket for waterproofing based on the manufacturer's rating:
 
10/10
Rate the jacket for breathability based on the manufacturer's rating:
 
10/10
Rate the jacket for fit:
 
6/10

According to Gore it's a 'sportive feminine cut'. The XL I ended up with is a little loose around the hem and cuffs, but there's enough room for the non-stretchy fabric to fit over full jersey pockets, and the length is much better than the much tighter medium size I'm pictured in. Large could possibly be spot on, although XL doesn't exactly feel 'small' across the chest, on the bike or off. I'm left thinking that, basically, the sooner the Stretch version comes out for women the better.

Rate the jacket for sizing:
 
7/10

It's listed as 'Slim fit' and the size guide says: 'With a tighter fit that hugs close to the body Slim Fit garments are designed to minimize air resistance and reduce bulk as well as maximize the material properties (e.g. breathability, moisture management, etc.) If unsure you may want to take a larger size of these products than you would usually buy.'

I began by trying on a Medium/38, but realised it was too tight to fit over even semi-full jersey pockets, so after checking the sizes it looked like I actually fell between L/40 and XL/42, so I plumped for XL... but L might have been better.

So essentially – follow your usual size.

Rate the jacket for weight:
 
9/10

You can get lighter windproofs, but the rain protection here is superb and worth the minimal extra grammage.

Rate the jacket for comfort:
 
7/10

It's not fleecey soft on your skin, but it's still comfortable in a soft and smooth way. Staying dry is a lot more comfortable than getting soaked...

Rate the jacket for value:
 
5/10

It isn't cheap, but it's what you'd expect to pay for the performance.

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

Very easy – just stick it in a normal wash. No DWR treatment to worry about, so no tech wash or reproofing needed. The colourful sleeve sections take longer to dry – they're not 'shakedry'.

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

It's superb. The waterproofing is excellent and it breathes better than me on some long climbs.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket

The balance of waterproofing and breathability, and the coverage of the rear.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket

I'm not totally sold on the shape/cut. If I'd ignored the sizing info and ended up with an L, it might have had the length and roominess at the rear for covering full pockets (and allowing access to them), but it's not as well shaped for curves as some jackets I've worn. Bring on the stretch version.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?

It's comparable to jackets using the same fabric, but higher than a lot of other options that don't offer quite the same balance of waterproofing and breathability. Some almost-as-good options are a lot less: Sportful's Hot Pack NoRain is £100 cheaper.

Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes

Would you consider buying the jacket? Yes

Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

The performance is exceptional, as long as you accept the limitations – it's not stretchy, you can't use a backpack when wearing it, and it's flippin' expensive.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 54  Height: 169cm  Weight: size 10-12

I usually ride: Vitus Venon  My best bike is: Paulus Quiros

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, sportives, general fitness riding

Tass is our production pedant, who boldly goes hunting for split infinitives, rogue apostrophes and other things up with which she will not put. She's ridden off-road but much prefers on, hasn't done half the touring she'd like to, and loves paper maps.

6 comments

Avatar
Mo1959 [8 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

I use it for running too. One of the best purchases I have made. Such a versatile jacket.

Avatar
alexuk [22 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

I'm gonna' say it. £239 for a plastic binliner ...really?

I bet it cost less than £5 a unit, to make and ship from China.

Avatar
Mo1959 [8 posts] 5 months ago
1 like
alexuk wrote:

I'm gonna' say it. £239 for a plastic binliner ...really?

I bet it cost less than £5 a unit, to make and ship from China.

Actually got mine on eBay for £90. Someone bought the wrong size........and I can confirm it isn’t remotely like a binliner. Lol.
Run in cold, wet and windy conditions and remained dry and perfect temperature.

Avatar
janusz0 [343 posts] 5 months ago
1 like
alexuk wrote:

I bet it cost less than £5 a unit, to make and ship from China.

Well in that case you'll be able to buy yours from Planet X, nextish Friday, for £5.50.

Avatar
Tass Whitby [85 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

Currently £145 on Wiggle... follow the link in the review.

Avatar
rhabb999 [6 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

Shop around and there are some bargains on Ebay to be had.  Purchased mine for £60 after looking like a drowned rat on a sportive and being borderline hyperthermic.

Lightweight, packs into a jersey pocket neatly. 

Breathable, so no boil in the bag effect.

Waterproof, haven't found a storm yet that has managed to get through.

Fabled holy trinity for a cycling jacket.