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review

Gore Race Shakedry Jacket

9
£299.99

VERDICT:

9
10
Top wet-weather performance from a very lightweight and breathable waterproof
Best-in-class waterproofing performance
Easy to care for
Still predominantly black
Expensive
Weight: 
174g

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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Gore's SHAKEDRY™ fabric is class-leading in its ability to keep you dry both from water coming in and water that wants to get out. The Gore Race SHAKEDRY™ Jacket combines the material with stretch panels for a closer fit. If you want to go fast and stay dry, this is the jacket for you. Assuming you can afford it.

SHAKEDRY™ (that's the last of the mandated capitals and trademark) has been around for a while now. Membrane fabrics have been around a lot longer, and usually they're a hydrophobic, breathable membrane sandwiched between two layers of textile. The difference with Shakedry is that there's no textile outer: the surface of the jacket is the membrane.

This has two distinct advantages. Firstly, it makes the jacket lighter and more packable: at just 174g this jacket will easily fit in most jersey pockets with room to spare. And secondly, the surface of the membrane is naturally hydrophobic. It doesn't require any treatment to keep water beading on the surface, and having the water bead is what maintains the performance of the fabric.

2021 Gore Race SHAKEDRY Jacket Mens - sleeve logo.jpg

If the surface is fully wetted it's impossible for vapour to escape; for this reason waterproof jackets generally have a water-repellent coating that can be renewed over time with something like Nikwak TX. With Shakedry there's no need for that, so the performance of the jacket doesn't degrade over time, and water beads so well that a quick shake of the jacket after a shower renders it basically dry. Yes, hence the name.

It also means that if you get caught in a shower and then have to stow your jacket in a pocket or bag, the next time you need to get it out it's ready to go again. That's often the problem with a traditional membrane fabric: it'll be damp when you stash it, and the next time you wear it the water won't bead on it and the performance will fall off.

When Shakedry was first introduced there were plenty of questions about its longevity, and sure: you don't want to be riding through a bramble patch too often as the jacket can catch and there's nothing protecting the membrane. But for road riding, so long as you stay rubber side down, you should be fine. It's proven to be hardier than it looks. Care is easy too: just wash at 40°C on a delicate cycle.

The only major downside is that the membrane is the colour that it is, and that's a dark grey. If you like a bright rain jacket, this isn't the one for you. There are some reflective details for riding after dark, but that's really it for visibility.

Shakedry is not stretchy, at all. So sizing is really important, and this is a race cut so it sizes up reasonably small. It used to be even more important when the jackets were made entirely of Shakedry, but this Race jacket uses panels of stretchier Gore-Tex down the sides of the back, on the cuffs, and at the bottom hem to add a bit of give.

2021 Gore Race SHAKEDRY Jacket Mens - hem.jpg

That means you can get a nice snug fit, and the fabric doesn't flap about when you're riding fast. The fit is good: long arms, generous dropped tail and high collar for maximum coverage when you're in a racing position.

2021 Gore Race SHAKEDRY Jacket Mens - collar.jpg

I've been out and about on the road bike in this jacket when it's been properly filthy out, and it's exactly the kind of thing you want to hand when you've got some proper weather to contend with. The waterproofing and windproofing is right up there with much heavier jackets, and it's combined with a breathability that's genuinely best in class. This Shakedry jacket really does shift an awful lot of moisture when you're working hard, so much so that when you're out on a ride that's showery there really isn't any need to take it on and off most of the time.

2021 Gore Race SHAKEDRY Jacket Mens - taped seams.jpg

It works best if you don't layer up too heavily underneath, and with just a long-sleeve baselayer underneath it works well for fast riding even down to fairly low single-digit temperatures. Should it really hot up and you want to, there's nearly always space for it in a jersey pocket. It's not particularly easy to get on and off when you're riding, as the sleeves are pretty tight and it's snug to zip up, so it's one to stop and stash.

2021 Gore Race SHAKEDRY Jacket Mens - chest.jpg

There's space in the zipped rear pocket for a bit of food so you can keep it on for longer; it's not that easy to access your jersey pockets when you're wearing the jacket.

2021 Gore Race SHAKEDRY Jacket Mens - pocket.jpg

No two ways about it, this is an expensive jacket. There aren't that many jackets out there that are more expensive, and as often as not – like the Castelli Idro 3 – they're made from the same material.

> Buyer’s Guide: 37 of the best waterproof cycling jackets

If you live in the UK and you're committed to going out in all weathers and riding hard, then you'll get your money's worth here. It's a brilliant jacket for fast riding and it'll do more for you over a season than a whole host of other ways you could spend the same money.

Verdict

Top wet-weather performance from a very lightweight and breathable waterproof

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 Race SHAKEDRY Jacket Mens

Size tested: Large

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:

"Prepare to ride fast and maximise your efforts in even the worst conditions, with our lightest and most breathable jacket, made with revolutionary SHAKEDRY™ fabric.

Ergonomic design for riders who seek speed and prioritise aerodynamics, stretch panels enhance the form fitting cut and ensure no watts are wasted.

You are committed to your performance regardless of the weather, we designed this jacket with SHAKEDRY™ to be incredibly light and durably waterproof with a persistant beading surface, to allow you to shake off the rain and focus on your ride."

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

Gore lists:

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS

Durably Waterproof

Totally windproof

Extremely breathable

All weather conditions

Engineered for Cycling

Not suitable for use with a backpack

Weight: 174 grams

Product Details

GORE-TEX product with SHAKEDRY™ product technology

GORE-TEX material with stretch technology to provide freedom of movement

GORE-TEX product: lightweight, extremely breathable, durably waterproof and windproof.

Revolutionary membrane construction eliminates face fabric preventing a chilling effect

Ergonomically shaped collar

Dropped tail

Minimal pack volume

Back zip pocket

Reflective details

Slim fit

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

The best combination of fit, waterproofing and breathability you can get right now. Probably.

Rate the jacket for durability:
 
7/10

It's lightweight, but it's not fragile.

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

Doesn't let anything in.

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

Lets everything out.

Rate the jacket for fit:
 
8/10

Snug, and even with the stretchy panels you'll want the right size, but that's kind of the point.

Rate the jacket for sizing:
 
8/10

Sizes up about how you'd expect for a race jacket.

Rate the jacket for weight:
 
10/10

Given the performance, hard to beat.

Rate the jacket for comfort:
 
6/10

Not uncomfortable, but not majoring on comfort either.

Rate the jacket for value:
 
5/10

You'll get a lot of use out of it in the UK which mitigates the high price to a certain extent.

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

Simple machine wash on delicate, comes up like new.

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

Brilliantly.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket

Waterproofing, breathability.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket

Lack of colour options, price.

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

Right at the top end, but deservedly so.

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

It really is an excellent jacket this for anyone looking for a performance-orientated waterproof. Make me an orange one and it gets a 10.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 49  Height: 189cm  Weight: 92kg

I usually ride: whatever I'm testing...  My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Merida Scultura, Dward Design fixed

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track

Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.

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