The classic Windstopper softshell fabric is still a fantastic material. There’s an effective and durable water-repellent coating that holds up against all but the sturdiest showers. It’s soft, light and, with the thermal lining, warm.
Gore have gone for a middling cut, between race and relaxed. It’s quite light on features, but you get all the important stuff. A ﬂap behind the main zip avoids breezes through the fastener, and there’s a well-shaped collar with a zip garage.
There’s a pocket on the chest and a big one across the back with a vertical zip at each side. There’s no hem gripper or drawcord, but with the great cut we didn’t miss them. The Countdown is also notable for inner Lycra cuffs, with thumb loops that are done well.
There’s ample material, so if you use the loops, the outer sleeves don’t get pulled into awkward shapes. The loops are actually big enough, and there are no seams in silly places. And it’s a good job that they’re so well done, as there are no Velcro tabs on the sleeves.