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Gore C5 Gore-Tex Paclite Trail Shorts review

They have a premium price, but are the C5 Trail Shorts a premium winter product?

Our rating 
3.5 out of 5 star rating 3.5
GBP £150.00 RRP | USD $170.00 | EUR €150.00
Gore C5 Gore-Tex Paclite Trail shorts

Our review

The specialist material means they perform brilliantly in the wet, but it makes them less versatile
Pros: Fantastic wet weather protection; stayed in place well when riding
Cons: Too light to be used on their own without a liner; an additional pocket would be useful; More of an over short for emergencies than a trail short
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If you don’t want to let the winter weather stop you from getting out, you probably share the same commitment as Gore when it designed the C5 Gore-Tex Paclite Trail Shorts.

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Built to keep you protected from the elements, the C5 shorts are windproof and waterproof, but light enough to keep you moving at pace.

So how do these premium shorts stack up?

Gore C5 Gore-Tex Paclite Trail Shorts details

Gore’s ultra-light and breathable Paclite material is a 2-layer polyamide fabric. The Gore-Tex membrane is bonded directly to the outer material without a liner to help keep the weight down.

Gore aimed to make these shorts highly waterproof, windproof and breathable. They are coated with an oleophobic substance that is oil- and water-resistant. Unfortunately, the material isn’t stretchable.

To help make these shorts as light as possible, features are kept to a minimum. However, there are internally sealed seams over the stitching, a grippy elasticated waistband with a flat cord drawstring, and one waterproof side pocket with a storm flap covering.

Gore C5 Gore-Tex Paclite Trail Shorts performance

There is ample room with the C5s, which is helpful because the material isn’t stretchy, but they are on the looser side for a trail-riding short. The drawstring and grippy elastic waistband meant they stayed in place and didn’t need adjusting on the trail.

There’s plenty of length, which helps cover knee pads, although they are noisy when pedalling.

The extremely lightweight material feels reassuringly tough, but it does have some drawbacks. These feel almost like an over short you take with you for emergencies rather than an everyday riding short.

Plus, you will need a warm and substantial short liner to keep you comfortable on a cold day in the saddle. That said, it’s hard to fault the Gore-Tex Paclite fabric in terms of its wet weather performance.

Winter slop was shed easily, and my chamois stayed dry even in terrible conditions. The protection against wet weather is excellent.

I could just about squeeze my phone into the side pocket and it held close to my leg, which is a plus. Also, it didn’t bounce around, although I didn’t enjoy the pocket placement on the side of my leg, where it felt in danger of being damaged in a crash.

Gore C5 Gore-Tex Paclite Trail Shorts bottom line

You have to pay a high price, but you do get impressive performance from the Gore C5 Gore-Tex Paclite Trail Shorts. These are shorts that will keep you dry and comfortable in the most hostile conditions. However, I feel they are too lightweight to be used as an everyday winter short.

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You’ll need an insulating liner underneath for winter rides, and the lack of features makes them feel more like an emergency shelter than a trail short. For that reason, the price seems high.

How we tested

To truly get a feel for the C5s, I took them out in persistent rain on soaked trails that were sure to expose them to all the troubles of wet weather riding. I made sure to find pedalling sections of singletrack, and enduro-style winch and plummet rides, to make sure I ticked off all the types of riding these shorts should be able to cope with.

I tested these shorts alongside five other pairs, always making sure I used a fresh, dry chamois and clean shorts before each outing, so there would be a fair baseline for comparison.

Also on test

Product Specifications


Price br_price, 5, 3, Price, EUR €150.00GBP £150.00USD $170.00
Brand br_brand, 5, 10, Brand, Gore


Features br_Features, 11, 0, Features, Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL
Material: Gore-Tex Paclite
Colours: Black
Gender br_gender, 11, 0, Gender, Men's