The first One was a featherlight rain jacket made of Gore-Tex Active, an innovative, single-layer version of Gore-Tex' eponymous breathable, waterproof fabric. Now Gore's next iteration, the One 1985, is a bit of a marketing effort — 'hey, we've been at this since 1985, people!' — but also a version with some rider-friendly features like a double zipper and a rear pocket that doubles as a bag for the jacket.
For years, Gore-Tex was a membrane attached underneath another layer of fabric. The big step forward with Active was the removal of the top layer.
Gore dubbed this 'Active with ShakeDry' to call attention to how water beads up on the surface and how easily it can run or be shaken off.
The material is exceptionally light and thin — a size large jacket weighs a claimed 116g — but the two downsides are the price (£230 / $300) and its relative delicate nature.
I've ridden in the original One Active a fair amount and can attest that the material works. It absolutely keeps water out and it does a decent job of letting moisture through. It doesn't breathe like a jersey, of course, but it does allow vapor to escape much better than a heavy rain jacket. I've also tested Castelli's Idro jacket, which is made of the same material.
I say Active is relatively delicate because Gore advises not to wear a backpack over it, and you probably wouldn't want to go bashing through pine tree branches on the trail with it. But my One Active test jacket has held up fine, save one letter of the reflective logo that's beginning to peel off.
The other ones: Gore Active jackets vs. jackets made with Gore Active
Gore is notable in the cycling world because it creates materials that it uses in its own products and which is sells to other, often-competing companies. It is similar in a way to Giant, which produces its own framesets and those for other brands.
In any event, Castelli and 7mesh both have rain jackets made with Gore Active. They are both exceptionally light and notably expensive.
Castelli's £260 / $350 Idro weighs a claimed 120g and 7mesh's £249 / $299 Oro weighs a claimed 93g in size medium.
It appears that, rather than engage in a weight war with its customers (Castelli and 7mesh), Gore opted to add features with the One 1985.
While the Idri and the Oro are ultra-minimalist, race-cut pieces that bag down into a palm-sized ball, the One 1985 added a zipper backing, a second zipper (so you can unzip from the bottom to access jersey pockets) and a zippered rear pocket/pouch with a big reflective strip over the top. It still packs down very small and claimed weight is still 116g.
The cuffs have a half-elastic hem on the underside of the wrists for a snug fit that isn't too difficult to pull off and on while on the bike.
Stay tuned for a comparative review of the new Gore One 1985 vs. the Castelli Idri vs. the 7mesh Oro.