Wednesday, April 8, 2009 11.00am
By Guy Kesteven, What Mountain Bike
Simply the best performance shell jacket we’ve ever used. A bold statement to start any review with, but after months of all-weather use that’s our ﬁrm opinion.
Gore’s taped Windstopper fabric is a great performance compromise. It stops all but the worst showers and all of the windchill from getting through, and you’ll rarely ﬁnd any big damp patches on your base layer even after several hours of non-stop hard graft.
It’s beautifully pre-cut for a perfect ﬂap-free ﬁt on the bike. The long tail and cuffs combine with the pull-out Thermostretch collar to keep you as weather sealed as possible. A combination of two mesh side pockets and three normal back pockets is enough for all your tool and fuel needs on long, fast blasts.
Unlike some taped seam softshells, we’ve had no problems with durability either, with excellent crash/abrasion and laundry toughness on both samples we’ve been running. It’s a great price too considering this is one of the best performing shells out there.
This is a proper tight-ﬁt performance garment that won’t pull any punches with paunches or pumped arms. Make sure you try before you buy, and go for the baggier cut, removeable sleeve Phantom if you’re unsure.
It doesn’t add much warmth to your world either. We’d recommend one of Gore’s thicker Windstopper jackets if you do some stop-start or low workrate riding regularly.
However, it's perfect if you’re a winter whippet who wants a proper ultra-performance shell layer for streamlined, steam-free weather protection.
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