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The Gore Power Trail Thermo Jersey is a cold weather model supposedly designed for cross-country mountain biking or road cycling, and it performs very well in both contexts.
As well as our bright green sample, the jersey also comes in other colours, including blue, black and red, which some might prefer. Aesthetics aside, it's made from a polyamide/elastane mix – essentially a sophisticated, stretchy synthetic weave that retains its original shape very convincingly.
Water-repelling silicone grippers at the sleeve and base mean there's no risk of it riding up or allowing Mother Nature to sneak inside either. The outer shell has a slightly unusual though not unpleasant texture that will resist damp, misty weather and spray, but anything showery calls for a micro jacket.
Accompanying the usual splashes of Scotchlite, the colour co-ordinated decals turn luminous, which is a nice, subtle addition. However, I would have liked the option of tethering a little flashing light aboard the rear pocket on overcast rides.
While we're on the subject, this is a really big poacher's type capable of gobbling multi-tool, spare tubes, tyre levers, CO2 cartridges, mini pump, patch kit, energy bars, keys and even a banana without obvious signs of indigestion. Really efficient packers might even squeeze a micro jacket inside.
Access is via a side zipper, which prevents valuables bailing come the first bump and seems reasonably user friendly in gloved hands. However, it's less convenient when foraging for door/lock keys, or for stowing a 700ml bottle on longer rides.
Up front we have a 'media' or nelson type pocket designed to harbour phones, MP4 players and similar tech. It's drilled for headphone cabling, if you like some musical accompaniment as you ride or to chat hands-free.
I'm pleased to report it will also cope with long zoom compact cameras pretty convincingly. And another small but useful feature is an integral lens cloth for keeping glasses and other optics mist and smear free.
Gore describes the fit as 'Comfort' and our medium sat just the right side of snug, with sufficient length in the arms and tail when hunkering low on the drops. Ditto the soft, fleece collar, which keeps cold and wet from sneaking inside.
Alternating between wearing it over merino and polyester baselayers, the jacket's moisture management proved noticeably superior to cheaper yarns, especially at higher speeds in milder weather. That said, dropping the zipper a few inches proved a godsend when temperatures climbed into the low teens, but that familiar warm glow around my armpits and lower back was the soggiest I got.
At the other extreme, the weave retained a consistently ambient climate when the mercury struggled beyond 4°C during some 4am blasts.
Scenic short cuts through overgrown singletrack and bridlepath have made negligible impression on the fabric, and generic road/trail spatter has vanished in low temperature machine washes.
Overall, the Power Trail Thermo Jersey seems a very competent bet for road, cross and mountain biking and fits beautifully. Which is precisely what I'd expect from this end of the market – it's certainly worth the money, but not quite a bargain.
Comfortable and generally well designed cold weather jersey that copes well on or off road
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Gore Power Trail Thermo Jersey
Size tested: Medium, Fresh Green
Tell us what the product 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: "This will quickly become your favorite go-to! Versatile Thermo-Stretch jersey that looks great on and off the bike. The blend of fabrics combines function with style and comfort. And lots of little extras make this a truly multi-talented piece."
Good fit, comfortable and with some nice touches.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Zip pocket on back
Integrated lens cleaning cloth
Reflective piping on back
Thermo-stretch functional fabric
Wear-resistant elastic binding on sleeve hem
Gripper elastic on bottom hem
Concealed front zip pocket
Media pocket with cable outlet and cable guidance at collar
MAIN FABRIC: 83% POLYAMIDE, 17% ELASTANE
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Ultimately, the Gore Power Trail Thermo Jersey is a nicely made and high quality option for cold, dry weather and perfect for those who like some dirt in their riding diet. Breathability, fit and climate control are similarly good but I found the large rear 'poacher's' pocket both blessing and curse in equal measure.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Lovely fitting garment with some nice detailing and very comfortable when the mercury dips to single figures.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Poacher's pocket was blessing and curse in equal measure.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? In the main, yes.
Use this box to explain your score
Well-made and generally comfortable jersey with some lovely features, but while the large rear pocket has some definite benefits, I like the option of segregating stuff, so would have preferred the traditional terraced pocket layout with a zippered, coin/valuables stash.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough stuff tourer based around 4130 Univega mountain bike frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
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: cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)