Gore Alp-X 2.0 Windstopper jacket £169.99

Cycling-specific softshell with removable sleeves

BikeRadar score 5/5

There are a number of features that add up to make this jacket just that little bit special, taking it beyond the average softshell and into the ‘must-have’ category for autumn through to spring riding. 

The biggest additions to your comfort are the collar, cuffs and hem. The cuffs – made of soft neoprene and sitting just under the main Windstopper cuff – fit not unlike a wetsuit, which means they keep out every single draught. 

The collar has a high neoprene extension to do the same job, sculpted to fit your neck when riding. Many a chilly start we’ve thanked the designer of these and the neoprene hem, sealing out the cold wind until the ride gets going and zips can be backed off for ventilation. 

If the going gets mild you can zip off the arms completely, adding to the temperature window this jacket can be used in. In the summer months chuck it in your pocket as a gilet for those chilly after-coffee warm-ups and you’ve saved cash on buying another garment. 

The backbone to all this is the fabric, of course – windproof yet only lightly lined to wick sweat and keep the chill off. It sets the warmth at a perfect level you can add to if the temperature drops too far, meaning you have a jacket that probably won’t come off until springtime and beyond. 

Over the months of riding we’ve done in the jacket, the Gore quality has shone through – it looks as good now as it did when coming out of the wrapper at the start of the autumn. 

Just be careful when pulling the neoprene sleeves on and off, as we’ve heard some sinister ripping noises when rushing to pull it on and get out the door a few times – although nothing has ever unravelled.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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