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review

Gorewear Spinshift Gore-Tex Jacket

9
£249.99

VERDICT:

9
10
Excellent comfort from a superb waterproof with real breathability and good environmental credentials
Improved green credentials
Waterproof and breathable
Light and packable
Big price tag
Struggled with day-long downpours
Weight: 
154g

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The Gorewear Spinshift Gore-Tex Jacket is a more environmentally responsible replacement for the brand's highly-regarded Shakedry jacket – and it proves to be a brilliantly waterproof and breathable heir to the throne.

Looking to stay dry? Check out our best waterproof cycling jackets buyer's guide.

> Buy now: Gorewear Spinshift Gore-Tex Jacket for €210.04 from Bobshop

There's been no shortage of opportunities to put the Spinshift through its paces during the wettest few months in living memory. During almost every ride this jacket has proved just how capable it is of keeping its wearer dry and comfortable in the saddle. There has been no need to resort to phoney tests: standing in the shower or under a garden hose.

Watching raindrops beading off a jacket as I pedal through a downpour is one of life's simple pleasures. And the Spinshift has delivered joy in abundance. It has performed very well indeed under a range of conditions that ran the gamut from freezing midnight drizzle, to early morning sleet and sustained hour-long downpours.

Greener Gore-Tex

The Shakedry set a new standard for comfort on the bike. It was talked about in reverential tones by friends, who raved about its ability to keep the rain out and to let moisture build-up inside the jacket evaporate magically away. Nothing came close to keeping them this dry, they told me.

2024 Gorewear Spinshift Gore-Tex Jacket - back.jpg

And while you can still buy the Shakedry (for now), Gore-Tex has stopped making that material due to concerns about environmentally damaging 'forever chemicals' known as PFCs (perflourocarbons) used in its construction.

> How green is your waterproof jacket

The Spinshift is a PFC-free product that replaces the previous ePTFE (expanded polytetrafluoroethylene) layer with an ePE (expanded Polyethylene) membrane. Gorewear has also used recycled materials in the construction of the Spinshift's other two layers to further boost its green credentials. This is a three-layer construction while the Shakedry was just two layers.

And while I'd hesitate to apply the word 'green' to any product, Gorewear is certainly attempting to deliver a less environmentally damaging product. The catalyst for this may well have been a proposed ban on the use of these 'forever chemicals'. But buy one of these, rather than a PFC alternative, and you can crow about your environmental credentials to some degree.

First impressions

At just 154g (size Large) it really does feel exceptionally light, when you first pull it out of its wrapper. It is also marvellously packable. You can roll it up into a pleasing handful that will slip easily into the rear pocket of any cycling jersey.

Gorewear says it has: 'strategically cut and positioned each Gore-Tex fabric panel based on the body in motion'. This is to reduce seams and weight across the garment and to allow the jacket to flex with the body's position on the bike.

So when you first zip it up and stand in front of the mirror to admire your new purchase, it does feel strangely tight across your chest. Clamber into the saddle, lean over the handlebar and all that changes. This jacket really lives up to Gorewear's claim that it should feel 'like a protective second skin'.

In fact, this felt more like a soft-shell than a waterproof jacket and I found myself using it as an outer layer on frosty mornings and dusk-to-dawn audax rides. Its windproof qualities and breathability meant I often forgot I was wearing it. Comfort and breathability levels were so impressive that I only took it off when the clouds had cleared and the sun was high in the sky.

Although I don't have direct experience of the Shakedry, I have tested a very wide variety of Gore-Tex waterproofs over the past 20 years, as well as jackets made from a range of competitor materials. This is quite simply the best I have used on the bike. There's not a hint of the 'boil-in-the-bag' sensation that you get with some jackets and it doesn't have the sweet-wrapper rustle of my own favoured, lightweight Gore-Tex waterproof.

2024 Gorewear Spinshift Gore-Tex Jacket - cuff 2.jpg

Most importantly it outperforms all other jackets I have used in terms of its ability to keep rain out and to deal with moisture that you generate inside, in the form of sweat. One test was to wear it with just a merino-wool base layer underneath that often leaves me with very visible sweat patches when I get back from a ride. These proved to be minimal when used in conjunction with this jacket and riding in warm weather with just light showers.

The jacket benefits from a durable waterproof covering, Gorewear says, but it is hard to assess how long that will really last after just a couple of months of testing. As these jackets get dirty and degrade, their ability to keep water out can be compromised but if you look after this bit of kit it should promise years of good service.

2024 Gorewear Spinshift Gore-Tex Jacket - taped seams.jpg

You can wash the Spinshift at 40 degrees C using just a liquid detergent and then tumble dry. I've always struggled with washing and reproofing Gore-Tex products but friends who've used the Shakedry tell me their jackets are still performing well after years and multiple washes.

If you are going to spend this kind of money on a jacket like this then it's worth looking after it. Gorewear says that the jacket can be used with a light rucksack, but I think I'd avoid that entirely to protect the jacket. I'd be inclined to save this for big rides and use a less fancy jacket for my shorter commutes with a backpack.

2024 Gorewear Spinshift Gore-Tex Jacket - hem.jpg

There's a single zipped rear pocket that will take a phone, small wallet and energy gels (I did struggle a little with this when my fingers got cold). You can also turn this inside out and use it to pack the entire jacket away, but I wouldn't use this feature. When I did experiment with it, I didn't find it at all easy to open again and I was worried about snagging the material on the zip. And I've always been told to be careful not to scrunch Gore jackets up when storing them.

2024 Gorewear Spinshift Gore-Tex Jacket - zipped pocket.jpg

So personally, I'd be inclined to roll this up carefully and store it in a dedicated dry bag.

Built for action

On the road it ticks all the boxes. The zip is suitably sturdy and you can operate it with just one hand so you can vent on the uphills and zip up for protection on the descents. It does require a little extra effort to get it over the 'Gorewear' logo that runs down the zipper at the chest.

2024 Gorewear Spinshift Gore-Tex Jacket - collar.jpg

The elasticated cuffs offer enough stretch to allow cool air onto your wrists, and elastic at the waist offers plenty of stretch when required. This ensures that the jacket moves with you and helps to ensure the back doesn't ride up. There's also a slightly scalloped effect to the collar that ensures a neat fit and minimal rub with helmet straps.

2024 Gorewear Spinshift Gore-Tex Jacket - collar back.jpg

Reflective detailing on the front, back and on each arm offers 360-degree visibility for improved safety at night. And while the Shakedry was restricted to a single, Henry Ford-esque 'as long as it's black' option, the Spinshift also offers options in Utility Green and Lime Yellow. The Women's version also comes in a Scrub Purple. So if you want something a little more eye-catching for daytime riding then this is now a possibility.

2024 Gorewear Spinshift Gore-Tex Jacket - reflective highlight.jpg

The only area that it doesn't perhaps perform as well as the Shakedry is its ability to literally shake the rain off so that you can stash it almost entirely dry. But the Spinshift does seem to promise better durability, although I think both jackets would struggle to emerge unscathed after a spill on the asphalt.

2024 Gorewear Spinshift Gore-Tex Jacket - shoulders.jpg

The online sizing chart recommended a size Large that proved a good fit (I am 180cm and 84kg) and it left enough room for a few extra layers underneath when needed. I even managed to get an insulated down gilet on for the coldest sections of a chilly overnight 400km ride to York.

It's worth noting that this is the 'sister product' to Gorewear's dedicated Concurve running jacket, which uses the same ePE material. Both jackets are available in dedicated men's and women's cuts.

The Rainman cometh

I was ready to give this full marks until I took it for one more ride. It was a 300km day that started with heavy rain and then alternated between drizzle and deluge. It was cold so I was wearing three layers underneath but that still wasn't enough. Rain seemed to be coming in through the neck, soaking up through my bib shorts and meeting the sweat that was slowly percolating its way between base layers. I got damp and stayed damp all day long. But weirdly, whenever we got to a cafe and I stripped off in the warmth, the inside of the jacket was bone dry. Back out in the rain and water was still beading off nicely. It was clearly doing its job but I was still wet.

2024 Gorewear Spinshift Gore-Tex Jacket - Gore-Tex logo.jpg

As I got progressively more tired, there were design elements that did start to grate. The rear pocket proved tricky to zip up as I was descending a steep hill on my fixie. I would have liked a much lower scoop on the back to deal with the splash from the roads and potentially keep a little rain out of my shorts. I also found that the elasticated waist didn't always keep the jacket in place.

2024 Gorewear Spinshift Gore-Tex Jacket - tail.jpg

At the end of our 17-hour day, I was warm and relatively comfortable, but when I stripped off back at home to jump in the shower, everything I was wearing was damp. A friend I was riding with who was wearing a heavier and much more substantial jacket with a hood ensured me that he was still bone dry. He was wearing an Albion Zoa Rainshell that retails at around £350. Perhaps I'd found the limits of what the Spinshift can deal with.

Value 

In the midst of the current cost-of-living crisis – when some food staples seem to have doubled in price over the last two years – the Spinshift does represent exceptional value on one simple measure. When Dave reviewed the Shakedry in May 2022 it retailed at £299.99. This latest offering from Gorewear comes in at £50 cheaper.

But almost £250 is still a lot of money to justify. As a notorious skinflint, I am going to put my neck on the line and say that this really does represent a good investment if you want to cycle in seriously foul weather. I don't want rain to stop me from riding, which is why I would spend my money on a jacket as good as this is.

Of course there are plenty of alternatives. If you are looking for something very race-orientated then you might like to wait for a review for the Castelli Gabba Jacket due out this summer that should emerge with an RRP of £215.

Retailing at £239 (but currently available on the site at £203), the Showers Pass Elite 2.1 Jacket scored full marks when Mike reviewed it in 2020. This is pitched as an extreme weather jacket at it comes with high collar, low scooped back and multiple venting options. Again this may well be a better option to deal with really sustained and day-long wet weather for endurance rides.

The £199.99 Endura Pro SL Waterproof Shield also scored impressively when Ben reviewed it and he described it as 'one of the best waterproof jackets out there'.

When Stu reviewed the Galibier Tourmalet 4 Jacket that retails at £83.22 he found it to be a high performing jacket that was perfect for UK's climate. He raved about it, and there is no doubt this offers excellent performance at this price point. 

Conclusion

I'm not testing the Spinshift directly against its predecessor the Shakedry to compare its waterproof and breathability ratings, but I have used it as a yardstick to award this new jacket nearly full marks. The Spinshift is a brilliantly waterproof lightweight jacket that offers breathability and superb comfort in a wide range of weather conditions. It also holds the promise of far greater durability in this three-layer incarnation.

The Shakedry jacket earned nine stars when we reviewed it in 2022. And while the Spindrift may never get the same admiration, its environmental credentials mean it certainly deserves the same rating.

The Spinshift is a seriously good piece of kit that will offer extra protection no matter what the weather throws at you. I think it's a very worthwhile investment.

Verdict

Excellent comfort from a superb waterproof with real breathability and good environmental credentials

> Buy now: Gorewear Spinshift Gore-Tex Jacket for €210.04 from Bobshop

road.cc test report

Make and model: Gorewear Spinshift Gore-Tex Jacket

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?

Gorewear says that this is its: 'Next generation GORE-TEX Jacket, designed to provide proven weather protection, and freedom-to-move comfort on daily rides... The SPINSHIFT cycling jacket features the new GORE-TEX membrane, which is thinner and lighter, with a lower carbon footprint...'

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

Gorewear describes this as its: "Completely redesigned next-generation GORE-TEX Cycling Jacket: thinner, lighter, freedom-to-move comfort that's waterproof as ever."

It is made with material that is PFC-free (ie it isn't manufactured using 'forever chemicals') and it has been redesigned to deliver "a low profile, strealined fit and innovative body mapping"

Rate the jacket for quality of construction:
 
9/10

The aim was to design a product that has real freedom-to-move comfort and lower weight. Gorewear achieves this with each Gore-Tex panel position optimised for the movement of a cyclist's body. It delivers a really exceptional level of comfort on the bike.

Rate the jacket for performance:
 
8/10

Breathability and waterproof levels are as good as any jacket I have tested on the bike but I still ended up wet on a day-long ride into driving northerly headwinds and persistent rain.

Rate the jacket for durability:
 
8/10

It is hard to assess this over just a couple of months of testing but you can wash this jacket at home and if you store it carefully and use it thoughtfully it should deliver years of excellent service.

Rate the jacket for waterproofing based on the manufacturer's rating:
 
9/10

I've used a lot of Gore-Tex and competitor products over the last 20 years and this product is as good as it gets for cycling waterproofs of this nature. Good care of the jacket will ensure that it continues to perform at a high level for a good number of years.

Rate the jacket for breathability based on the manufacturer's rating:
 
9/10

I've been wearing this as a softshell-type outer layer and it has been incredibly good at dealing with sweat and vapour. You need to avoid wearing too many layers to really get the most from this jacket but even without features such as venting under the arms, it is really impressive.

Rate the jacket for fit:
 
10/10

This has been designed for comfort on the bike and it delivers very well indeed.

Rate the jacket for sizing:
 
9/10

The online recommendation suggested a size Large and that delivered a perfect fit with enough room for a couple of extra layers when they were really needed on very chilly overnight rides.

Rate the jacket for weight:
 
10/10

It is incredibly light and easy to pack away. The fact that it is so versatile as a piece of kit makes this even more impressive.

Rate the jacket for comfort:
 
9/10

Although it's slightly odd to wear off the bike (I found it tight across my chest) it delivers unrivalled performance when you're cycling and is one of the most comfortable waterproof cycling jacket I have used.

Rate the jacket for value:
 
6/10

This is a lot of money but it performs very well indeed.

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

The jacket can be washed at 40°C and then tumble-dried, which should return it to you clean and with rain beading off the jacket once again. If you don't own a tumble drier, head to your local laundromat or consider services in outdoor shops that will reproof jackets for you.

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

Great performance in a range of conditions and it was still impressive in some of the most sustained and filthiest weather that I can remember.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket

Lightweight, easily packable, great comfort in a range of weather conditions and brilliantly waterproof. It makes riding in the rain a real joy.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket

There's not much to dislike. I wasn't a fan of the rear pocket that can be used as a stash bag to store the jacket. I might have preferred to test out the Lime Yellow version and a slightly deeper scoop at the lower back would also have been good.

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

There are plenty of other waterproof jackets that are being sold at this price point.

Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes I loved it... even in very heavy rain I enjoyed eating up the miles in this jacket.

Would you consider buying the jacket? Yes

Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

The Shakedry was a revelation for many cyclists and while this won't have the same impact it delivers on other fronts, most notably its improved environmental credentials. The Spinshift is an extremely waterproof and breathable piece of kit that has been carefully designed to offer exceptional comfort on the bike and it delivers on all fronts.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 0  Height: 180cm  Weight: 83k

I usually ride: Specialised Langster (fixed commuter)  My best bike is: Condor Fratello (new – Audax rides)

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: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, Audax

Add new comment

4 comments

Avatar
Metalfan1 | 4 days ago
0 likes

Do you still have to re-proof jacket?
Shakedry you did not which was a big advantage .
The tests I see haven't mentioned this?
Regards,
Max.

Avatar
pjclinch | 6 days ago
0 likes

Anything shy of a watersports dry suit (and you don't want to ride a bike in one of those) will let in heavy, set-in rain, as identified typically through the neck but also to some degree up the arms and body from cuffs and hem. Up? Yep, remember all those fancy wicking layers you bought? Wicking works for rain as well as sweat so it works to spread that incoming rain throughout your base layers 🙁
If the DWR gets tired (which it will, but it can be refreshed) it doesn't affect the actual waterproofing, which the Goretex membrane will deal with, but it substantially reduces the breathability as there's a wall of liquid water soaked in to the outer fabric to get vapour through, and it's cold water too so helps vapour condense on the inside rather than going through. So you do get wetter, but the jacket is still waterproof.

Avatar
Spangly Shiny | 6 days ago
0 likes

Why the test on Autumnal gear when Summer is just around the corner?

Avatar
Secret_squirrel replied to Spangly Shiny | 6 days ago
0 likes

Duh. When do you think they did most of the testing?

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