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If you're after a lightweight weatherproof jacket, the Gore Power Gore-Tex Jacket offers real performance, keeping you dry and comfortable in a range of conditions and temperatures.
Central to the jacket is Gore-Tex Active technology, which forms the membrane against which water is repelled, yet moisture is allowed to escape. Gore-Tex – in all its forms – has more or less been an industry standard fabric technology for the past couple of decades, and it's put to excellent use here.
No, the jacket isn't ShakeDry thin (and therefore as packable as that latest iteration), but it remains very lightweight and feels more like a shell than a hardshell outer later, weighing in at 257g in a medium on the road.cc office scales. The thing is, it performs like a hardshell, so you can forgive it for not packing down too brilliantly (although you can if you have particularly large jersey pockets).
It's fantastic at repelling water, even in heavy downpours, and has an uncanny ability to regulate your body temperature thanks to excellent breathability. Gore itself doesn't quote figures, but I've ridden in plenty of other Gore-Tex Active-membraned jackets before now, and it's arguably the best of the bunch.
You never feel the need to take it off, even when the sun does poke its head out to add a little warmth to your ride. The Power jacket really is a flexible piece of kit, and can be worn over thermal layers in close to freezing conditions as well as into the low-mid teens without being overcome.
Of course, you'll need to look after it – so minimal washing and hang drying is required, and if you do wash it, it should be with technical washes. I use Nikwax Tech Wash as my go-to technical clothing wash, and it's worked a treat on the membrane. It performs (and looks and feels) just like it did when I first wore it.
It's well thought out in the cut, too, with a slim yet unrestrictive fit that means you maintain a fairly streamlined profile on the bike, but have the space to add a couple of layers underneath if the order of the day is particularly cold weather.
It does lack a long storm guard which is a shame – I always like to have a flap covering my rear in wet weather – but it's long enough to not ride up much, and features a narrow elastic hem for retention. I found my large Rapha Brevet jersey poked out the bottom on occasion, for the record.
The cuffs are elasticated to stop water ingress, with a little extra space in the bottom section to house watches (if you wear one while riding) and, potentially, cuffs of winter gloves if you wanted to tuck them inside. The sleeves are handily long too and don't pull when tucked on the bike.
There's also a large zipped cargo pocket with a net backing in the rear for handy storage of spares.
Inside there are flat taped seams, which added to the svelte feel, while other useful features include a high collar to help keep out draughts, which – joy of joys – I can zip all the way up even in the medium size on test. It fits my wide shoulders and neck very well, so those with generous proportions should get on well with it too. For the record, it also zips up and down with one hand very easily.
In this colourway, with the black body, it's a stylish-looking jacket, while the fluoro arm-ends add a little extra visibility while indicating. Additionally, you get some small reflective strips, and the fairly prominent Gore branding is also reflective. Every little helps, and displaying the Gore-Tex branding could be considered a positive: you've paid for it, so why not show it off?
Speaking of which... At £179.99 it's towards the higher end of the market, but as with the vast majority of technical jackets like this, you do tend to get what you pay for. In this case, that's an excellent cut and fit married to proven waterproof and breathable technology. It's also not the most expensive, and considering the performance you're getting it's pretty good value.
I do think it could be improved upon – a slightly longer back or dedicated storm flap would be nice – but other than that it'll keep you dry when it's very wet, and cool when the temperatures do rise.
A great lightweight winter jacket that performs more like a hard shell than an emergency rainproof
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Gore Power Gore-Tex Jacket
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Gore says: "This very lightweight, durable wind- and waterproof GORE-TEX® Active Road jacket provides perfect protection in changeable weather conditions. Enjoy an optimised fit and stow necessities in the convenient back pocket."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Features [from Gore website]:
- Back zipped stow pocket
- GORE-TEX® Active Product: Lightweight, extremely breathable, durably waterproof and windproof
- Reflective print on sleeves, sides, and back
- Elastic hem
- Zip tags for easy opening
- Zip-underflap and zip-port
Great quality, with flat taped seams. It's light, but not weak.
It would be a 10 with more rear protection via a storm guard or longer back.
It's held up very well so far this winter, and it's been fully tested on rides and commutes. Only a tiny amount of discolouration/greying in the fluoro cuffs has occurred, but casual observers won't notice.
I really like the slim fit. It's form fitting, yet allows space for layers should you need it.
A medium fits me perfectly, and I normally size between medium and large depending on the cut.
At 257g it's closer to shell-like than heavy hardshell-like.
You're normally going to be wearing long-sleeve layers underneath, I'd suspect, but if you don't it's still very comfortable against the skin.
You pay for what you get, and you get a lot of performance for £179.99. It isn't cheap, but you can certainly pay more, and here that price tag is certainly a justified investment.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Easy enough, but I recommend washing with technical washes to maintain its effectiveness.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Gore-Tex Active fabric, the fit and cut, and the look.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Only one thing: the lack of longer storm guard.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, absolutely.
Use this box to explain your overall score
Gore strikes again with its expert use of Gore-Tex Active technology. It's a well-rounded weatherproof jacket otherwise, too.
About the tester
I usually ride: Canyon Ultimate CF SL 9.0 SL (2016) My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding