Gore-Tex Shakedry and Polartec Alpha meet for the first time

A first look at the new Gore C5 Gore-Tex Shakedry 1985 jacket

Gore has teamed up with Polartec to offer an insulated waterproof cycling jacket. The Gore C5 Gore-Tex Shakedry 1985 jacket combines Gore’s proven Shakedry technology with Polartec’s Alpha fabric.


Both technologies have gained traction in the cycling market in recent years — Rapha, Castelli and others now offer Alpha-equipped kit alongside ultralight breathable Shakedry jackets — but seeing the two combining their strengths in one garment is pretty exciting.

Gore C5 Gore-Tex Shakedry 1985 insulated jacket specs and highlights

  • Gore-Tex Shakedry technology
  • Polartec Alpha insulation
  • Fully waterproof
  • Adjustable collar with Velcro
  • Back zipped pocket
  • Elastic cuffs on sleeves and partially elastic hems
  • Reflective logos and prints
  • Claimed weight of 240g
  • £319.99 / international pricing TBC

Stay dry…

We’ve talked before about the merits of Gore-Tex Active with Shakedry technology at length before — the wonder material is super waterproof and breathable all at the same time.

Usually, Gore-Tex membranes are sandwiched between a face fabric and an inner liner, allowing brands to choose how they want their garments to perform.

With Shakedry, however, the face fabric is done away with, so that the Gore-Tex Active membrane forms the outer layer of the jacket. This means it’s 100 percent waterproof, with water rolling straight off the surface.

In theory, a consistently dry outer layer should eliminate the windchill effect. Plus, with a whole layer removed, there are marginal gains on the weight front.

The outer layer is formed of Gore-Tex Active membrane for 100% waterproofing
Jack Luke / Immediate Media

… and stay toasty

Polartec Alpha was originally developed for US Special Forces and we’ve found it to work very well in the past. It’s lightweight, breathable, packable, fast-drying and provides impressive insulation to help regulate core body temperatures.

Constructed from lofted knit fibres, the material is durable and retains its shape over multiple washes. What’s more, it keeps moisture vapour moving through the fabric, which increases overall air exchange and speeds up drying, so there’s no windchill effect.

Combining this with the virtually impenetrable Gore-Tex Shakedry membrane, this jacket could be all you need on a ride, eliminating the need for multiple layers,

This is the first time we’ve seen Polartec Alpha being combined with Gore-Tex technology, making it an exciting prospect.  

Gore product manager, Jürgen Erd, said the brand chose Alpha over competitors because “it is unbelievably light and dries incredibly quickly.” He continued: “when it’s paired with Gore-Tex Shakedry, its high level of breathability really comes into its own.”

Polartec Alpha insulation provides superior warmth
Jack Luke / Immediate Media

Get comfortable

If waterproofing, windproofing and insulation aren’t enough, the Shakedry jacket also features patent-pending Micro Grid Backer Technology.

This is a thin layer of woven fabric with a smooth interior which claims to prevent abrasion and snagging, decrease weight and increase breathability. This means it should be light, soft to the touch and slide easily over mid-layers.

The Velcro collar provides a precise and snug fit
Jack Luke / Immediate Media

Gore C5 Gore-Tex Shakedry 1985 jacket pricing and availability

£319.99 / international pricing TBC