This summer my go to riding kit has been the new GORE Wear C5 Women’s All Mountain MTB apparel. GORE sent us this kit, in a blinding citrus green, along with the GORE-TEX Shakedry Trail Hooded Jacket, and the GORE-TEX Infinium Stretch Gloves for review. Though I can’t bring myself to wear both the Jersey and the Shorts at the same time, for fear of people mistaking me for the sun, they are, as I say, my go to jersey and shorts for reasons that are outlined below.
GORE C5 Women’s All Mountain 3/4 Jersey
The C5 3/4 length jersey has an ‘active fit’. It isn’t ultra baggy, and it isn’t fitted either. It is somewhere in between. GORE admittedly undersize their clothing but I found the size guide on the website to be pretty accurate. The 3/4 length sleeves are a pleasing feature – they provide most of my arm with UV protection and cover up unsightly elbow pads (yes, I wear them, but I don’t like them).
The C5 Jersey with breathable underarm panels has kept me cool in this balmy Scottish Summer. It isn’t waterproof or windproof, nor is it meant to be. The citrus green (yellow, if you ask me) appears to photograph well, if you’re into that sort of thing. The 85% polyamide 15% elastane fabric has a reasonable stretch to it and handles moisture well.
Despite being lightweight, the fabric is impressively hard wearing. I have been wearing an EVOC pack with this jersey – the straps don’t seem to have caused any abrasion to the material at the shoulders. The GORE C5 jersey comes in sizes XS to XL, serving riders with a chest measurement of 30.25-37.75″. You may be pleased to know it is also available in several other colorways including cyan, raspberry rose, deep water blue, and hibiscus pink. Also, it appears to be on sale at the moment – £35.99 down from £59.99.
GORE C5 Women’s All Mountain Shorts
The C5 All Mountain Shorts offer plenty of room for proper bulky knee pads. The lightweight polyamide/elastane material is lightweight and breathable, and the black net panels ensure you get a good amount of ventilation.
While the shorts provide a good firm fit at the hip, with an adjustable elasticated velcro strap, they are suitably baggy from there down allowing enough space around the derriere for a chamois and also offering the rider plenty of unhindered mobility.
Additional vents are provided on the outside of each leg which can be opened and closed with the use of a double zipper. Two shallow zippered pockets sit at the front, for aesthetics rather than anything else, I imagine, while a larger more functional zippered pocket sits on the outside of the right leg.
Altogether, the GORE Wear C5 Shorts have a quality feel to them, and are very comfortable to ride in. GORE offer these shorts in sizes XS to XL, with a 31-43″ range of hip sizes. They are also available in several other colorways including gray, cyan, raspberry rose, deep water blue, and hibiscus pink. GORE have priced these at £100.
GORE-TEX R7 Shakedry Trail Hooded Jacket
Having worn this jacket on many a riding occasion, a glance at the website tells me this is in fact designed for running, not MTB. Nevertheless, it has made a very good jacket for MTB. It is ultralightweight – you hardly even know you are wearing it, and it is absolutely 100% THE most waterproof jacket I have ever had the pleasure of wearing.
The jacket offers an active fit too – I was able to fit a down jacket underneath. The hood can be adjusted and the zipper at the front is a double.
I wouldn’t recommend wearing a riding pack with this jacket – the zip of the pocket on the side gets pushed into your back and can be rather uncomfortable. I think we can forgive GORE that, given that this jacket is designed for running. That said, a quick look at the cycling version of this, the C5 GORE-TEX Shakedry Jacket, tells me even that they don’t recommend a backpack be used with that either. Despite the mix up, what we can say about the C5 Shakedry jacket for cycling is that it is likely to be just as waterproof as the one we tested and is picture here, given they are made of the same material: 100% GORE-TEX membrane. Honestly, I have been utterly amazed by the downpours this material has stood up to. The C5 Shakedry Jacket for cycling will set you back a whopping £220, however, but you know how the saying goes “cheap, no good, good, no cheap”.
GORE-TEX INFINIUM STRETCH GLOVES
These well fitting stretch gloves are designed for multiple sports, of which MTB is one. Their fluorescent yellow color would probably deter me from choosing them for MTB, personally – I think they suit commuting better, especially given the reflective portions on each side. That said, functionally they serve MTB pretty well. The palm side layer is quite thin, so there isn’t a huge amount of material between you and the grips.
The INFINIUM gloves are fairly waterproof, though they won’t keep you dry in a torrential downpour. They are however windproof and very breathable. They are clearly very well made with a one seam construction to reduce weight and improve aesthetics. I think these will see more use as temperatures drop into autumn. Pick these up direct from GORE for £39.99 – also available in a less affronting black.