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The Gore Lupra women's jacket is excellent, a classic realisation of the company's design know-how, appreciation of functionality, and use of superior technical fabrics. Though it wouldn't make it into our selection of the best waterproof cycling jackets, or the best windproof cycling jackets, as a versatile outer you can use on the bike and off, it's near-perfect – off-roaders, gravel riders, bikepackers, tourers and commuters will all appreciate its protection, packability and subtle styling, though some might want another (brighter) colour option or more reflectives.
Coming from Gore's Trail collection, this jacket could quite easily have gone to the testers at our sister site off.road.cc. Luckily for me, it didn't. I guess 'trail' could be debated until the cows come home, so testing on a variety of terrains seems appropriate and, given I live in the UK, a variety of conditions get thrown in for free.
And in changeable weather, this jacket shines. Think autumn and spring when we can easily get four seasons in one day.
Strategically placed panels of Gore-Tex Infinium offer great protection against wind and rain without hugely compromising breathability. Intense uphill efforts might see you heating up and reaching for the easy-to-use zipper to get some ventilation if the ambient temperature is on the warm side, and in recent milder-than-average conditions I've occasionally resorted to taking the jacket off completely in between showers. But temperatures in the high teens aren't so average for November.
The lower back has a thinner panel to help prevent build-up of heat/moisture, and the shoulders, chest and head get extra waterproofing, along with taped seams in the hood and shoulder for further protection.
The Lupra protects very well from chilly winds and moderate showers. Prolonged, heavy rain will eventually penetrate the shell but I rarely found myself in this situation; this isn't a jacket for long training rides – the hood is the giveaway to that.
The hood is a super design with plenty of functional features. I'd say it's not so different from MAAP's unisex Roam Jacket's. There are bungee cords at either side to help anchor it, plus one at the rear to shorten it. Elasticated sides and a reinforced peak with a grippy silicone underside finish it off.
In my opinion, there could be a couple more centimetres' depth to it; it was at full stretch on some of the helmets I own and, given it's got a cord to adjust this depth, it's a shame not to have excess there. I've combined it with Cannondale's Junction helmet in the photo; if you have a bulky lid you might be left a touch short.
The hood's not detachable but you can at least use the adjusting bungees to minimise it when you aren't using it. I never had issues with it blowing down, and my vision was in no way inhibited – not easy to achieve with a hood that offers good coverage.
The fact that it adjusts means the Lupra doubles up well as an off-the-bike jacket (the hood can be made very small for a no-helmet fit), increasing its overall appeal if you aren't 'all about the bike'.
The material boasts four-way stretch, which improves comfort on and off the bike, and the elbows are shaped for a cycling position. Gore's sizing takes into account layers under the Lupra. I've been testing a small, and there's ample room for a baselayer and jersey without the jacket feeling in any way overstretched.
It's well proportioned, with plenty of sleeve length and a good drop at the rear. I genuinely wouldn't change a single thing in terms of fit around the shoulders, chest, torso or arms. Even if your proportions don't match the jackets perfectly, the fabric's stretch will ensure full freedom of movement on the bike.
The lower hem is adjustable via two bungees. Each cord stretches from the front zipper to the edge of the rear drop (rather than right around), allowing the drop to sit flush to your derrière and protect it well from spray.
Gore has opted for just two front zipped pockets on the Lupra, another toning-down on the cycling theme and extra off-the-bike convenience.
They sit higher than on many jackets so are well out of the way if you decide to use a rucksack or Camelbak with waist straps. This might not be everyone's preference, but it's a nice feature and certainly doesn't make access any more awkward than with conventionally low pockets.
I can just get a cased 6.2-inch smartphone in one; anything larger wouldn't fit.
If you're not one for riding round with a jacket flapping around when the rain stops and you need extra ventilation, it's good to know that the Lupra is a breeze to get off. The cuff design is simple and convenient; I've been able to pull it off over thin, full-fingered gloves, and it also sits comfortably over the cuffs of the the latter while you are wearing it.
The jacket weighs a mere 258g, impressive for the protection it offers, and packs down well. It's not rear-pocket packable, unless you have something like Cafe du Cycliste's Irma Audax Jersey, but stuffing it into bike-specific baggage is no problem.
My only gripe with the jacket from a commuting/touring perspective is the minimal reflective detailing. There are flashes on the sleeves, not so dissimilar to Rapha's arm bands, but not much more. With just a single bright colour on offer, this might put off those who like their kit to stand out. It comes in three colours: this 'Utility Green', yellow (‘Uniform Sand’), and black.
I'd say that the Lupra boasts the quality construction and functionality of any decent premium brand jacket, more so in some cases, so justifies its £179.99 price tag.
Pas Normal Studios offers a similar jacket for a tenner less, the Escapism Stow Away, but there's no Gore-Tex to be seen. And 7mesh's Skypilot Jacket, which Anna reviewed earlier in the year, is an eye-watering £300 and doesn't sound like it offers much more than the Lupra.
Overall, if you are looking for a versatile jacket to handle the changeable weather on a commute, a multi-day adventure, or simply out on the trails, the Lupra is brilliant. It may be a rather 'stripped-back' design but there are no compromises where quality and performance are concerned. It functional and versatile, so should serve you well across a multitude of disciplines and works well off the bike, too.
Excellent jacket for a variety of riding – practical and well made – there's very little to fault here
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Gore Lupra Jacket Womens
Size tested: 38
Tell us what the product is for
Gore tell us that the Lupra is: 'A lightweight, highly breathable jacket, that uses a partial GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ WINDSTOPPER® construction to be windproof and water-resistant in critical zones and provides optimal freedom of movement – with an over-the-helmet hood.
'The partial GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ WINDSTOPPER® construction is in tune with demanding trail conditions. Frontal protection from wind and light rain is mixed with a highly breathable and quick-drying stretch material on the back. Your new favorite companion – on or off the trails and on any terrain.
'We wanted to create a MTB jacket, that can be used in versatile terrain. The selective placement of material technology creates an ideal balance of protection, high breathability, and optimal freedom of movement. It helps to avoid overheating on the climb, while protecting from windchill on the descent – this gives the Lupra Jacket outstanding versatility.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Gore lists these features:
Highly breathable, quick-drying materials
Taped seams in the hood and shoulder area
Pre-shaped elbows in a cycling position
Partial elastic sleeve cuff
Slightly longer back
Adjustable hem with drawcords
Reflective details on upper arm, back and chest
Weight: 280 grams
Main Fabric: 100% Polyamide
Panels: 100% Polyester
Perfect for unpredicatable weather throughout the year.
With just a four-week test window, it's tough to judge this. The construction shows no weak points so this bodes well.
Very good, but not quite Shakedry.
Really good, given its level of protection against rain.
Felt like it was made to measure for me – obviously this won't be the case for everyone, but for me it's great.
Follow Gore's size guide – especially if you hope to fit winter layers under it.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
The advised 'cold short machine wash' takes off the mud splatters. The 'utility green' I've been testing hides those well anyway.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Brilliant, protects well from chilly winds, showers and wheel spray.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Fit, styling and protection.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's very well priced for the quality and performance. Pas Normal Studios offers a similar jacket for a tenner less but there's no Gore-tex to be seen, while 7mesh's Skypilot Jacket is an eye-watering £300 and doesn't seem to offer much more than the Lupra.
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
Superbly made jacket with a cut that genuinely accommodates layers underneath it, and a hood that protects as well as stays put. Protection from the elements is excellent, and it packs down well for the times when the rain stops.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road My best bike is: Carbon road.
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, Getting to grips with off roading too!
Emma’s first encounters with a road bike were in between swimming and running. Soon after competing for GB in the World Age Group Triathlon Championships in Edmonton in 2001 she saw the light and decided to focus on cycling.
After a couple of half decent UK road seasons racing for Leisure Lakes, she went out to Belgium to sample the racing there and spent two years with Lotto-Belisol Ladies team, racing alongside the likes of Sara Carrigan, Grace Verbeke, Rochelle Gilmore and Lizzie Deignan. Emma moved from Lotto-Belisol to Dutch team Redsun, then a new Belgian team of primarily developing riders, where there was less pressure, an opportunity to share her experience and help build a whole new team; a nice way to spend her final years of professional racing.
Since retiring Emma has returned to teaching. When not coercing kids to do maths, she is invariably out on two wheels. In addition to the daily commute, Emma still enjoys getting out on her road bike and having her legs ripped off on the local club rides and chain gangs. She has also developed an addiction to touring, with destinations including Iceland, Georgia and Albania, to mention just a few. There have also been rare sightings of Emma off-road on a mountain bike…