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The Gore Progress Thermo Grid Camo Men's Jersey has a snug yet comfortable fit, is warm yet very breathable and feels built to last. While the absence of windproofing or water resistance isn't that unusual, that – along with small pockets and rather low-key visibility – limit it as an outer layer slightly. As a mid-layer it's excellent.
A stormy test period has seen this spend most of its time between a long sleeve base and a waterproof shell, and despite such a jacket's relative lack of breathability, the Progress Thermo has been excellent.
It's kept me warm without overheating under hard efforts, while the tail and sleeves are perfectly judged for good, secure coverage. It wicks away sweat very efficiently too, and I never ended up soggy.
The fit is slim and the lovely soft-backed fabric is reasonably thin, and these things – along with the smooth, shiny outer face – make it easy to get further layers on and off.
The collar is quite tall for effectively shutting out draughts, and there's a zip garage to protect your neck. The whole zip gets a substantial (and soft) baffle behind it too, so if you want to wear this with no baselayer it's very comfortable.
I do find the zip pull a little hard to grab in winter gloves, though, despite its plastic cover. It could do with being bigger.
You could say the same for the pockets. You get the usual three plus a zipped valuables one on the right, but only the centre one is what I'd call full size (i.e. I can get a hand in without forcing it).
The stitching between the three main pockets isn't actually vertical – it angles outwards as it goes up, making the two outer pockets bigger at the bottom than the top. In combination with a chunky seam at the top, this makes them very secure for whatever will fit through their 9cm mouths.
My phone slips in neatly on its own, but once it's in a waterproof protector I found it too much of a struggle to bother with, despite the pocket tops stretching to around 12cm. Instead I used the centre one, which is wider at the top (16.5cm) but still perfectly secure. You'll need this pocket for anything bulkier than a gilet or warmers.
I can't get my phone through the little zipped pocket's 9.5cm opening at all – it will take cards, wallets and keys, but little more.
If the pockets could be better for using this as an outer layer, so could the reflectives. The Gore logos (tail, chest and both shoulders) shine well under lights, but are hardly huge. And coming in either this dark blue or beige, the Progress Thermo isn't one for riders who like to stand out.
The £89.99 price is middling for this kind of jersey. The recently tested Santini Colore Pure Men's LS, for instance, is £99, while the Altura Endurance Men's Long Sleeve is £80, and the Shutt VR Tourmalet Jersey is £120.
Ironically it's the cheapest of those three that offers water resistance and windproofing, and though its DWR coating isn't actually that effective, the wind-blocking ability of the chest and arms is.
This is a stylish jersey with a great shape and fit, and makes an excellent winter mid-layer and autumn/spring outer. While the pockets could be more accommodating, it's still a very useful top that promises to last for plenty of seasons to come.
Warm yet breathable and very comfortable, better as a mid-layer than outer
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Gore Progress Thermo Grid Camo Jersey Mens
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Gore says: "Designed for winter rides with a traditional road cycling collar and close-fitting shape. The brushed jersey interior helps you to feel cosy whatever the weather is doing."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Thermo-stretch functional fabric
Partially elastic hem
Full length zip with underflap and zipper garage
Grip elastic at waist hem for snug fit
3-gusseted back pockets
Secure zip pocket on rear for keys or valuables
Big tonal logo on sleeve
Excellent as a mid-layer or a bit more warmth on coolish days, but lack of windproofing limits it as a serious outer.
Slim and comfortable.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
It's strongly resistant to getting smelly, so doesn't need washing every time, but washes without issue.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well – it's warm and comfortable.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Great fit, breathes well.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Lack of windproofing limits its usefulness as an outer (though many thermal jerseys are the same).
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
At £89.99 it's middling. The recently tested Santini Colore Pure Men's LS, for instance, is £99, while the Altura Endurance Men's Long Sleeve is £80 and the Shutt VR Tourmalet Jersey is £120.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's very good: usefully warm, breathable and comfortable, with a good slim fit and a really solid build. Its ability to resist smells is useful for multi-day rides (or eco-friendly washing machine avoidance...) as well. While it has decent pockets and a few reflectives, the lack of windproofing or striking colours will limit its outer-layer use for some, though that's true of many – though by no means all – of its rivals.
About the tester
I usually ride: Vitus Zenium SL VR Disc My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: general fitness riding, mtb,