Gore, producer of technical waterproof fabric and purveyor of analytically designed performance riding kit has upped its women's specific kit game with the new Power Trail Lady range. While the range name sounds a little eighties, the jerseys from it are bang up to date, and excellent.
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The range was designed to combine performance fabrics and tech with a more streetwear aesthetic. For anyone familiar with the Gore range, it generally tends more towards the streamlined lycra end of the mountain bike clothing spectrum so this is quite a different look for Gore — and it looks good.
The jersey is cut with a feminine but loose fit, so it's both baggy enough to provide plenty of freedom of movement and a relaxed feel that I personally like for riding in, while managing to avoid looking like you're wearing a tent. This is helped by a long cut on the body with a dipped front and back which keeps your lower back covered when leaning forward on the bike, and sits slightly more snugly around the hips to keep the jersey in place.
I particularly liked the long cuffs, which although a design element are also practical for keeping flappy material out of the way when riding while still keeping the arms covered. This is particularly beneficial on the bramble and fern riddled trails of late summer as it reduces the amount of lacerations you get from attacking trail vegetation.
The raglan cut to the sleeves makes for both a clean look and means no shoulder top hems, which can chafe when wearing a rucksack. There's actually a slight batwing cut to the sleeves, which means the section of the sleeve which joins to the body of the jersey is wide and loose rather than fitted. This felt remarkably comfortable when riding, as well as lending itself to allowing airflow in the armpit region.
Normally jerseys made from man-made fibres (polyester and polymide in this case) can look shiny, but the melange-style fabric of the Power Trail Jersey avoids this. It feels soft and slightly more natural to the touch rather than that cold and slinky feel that sometimes comes with synthetic fabrics.
Cuffs, hem and collar fabric is of a slightly different feel to the rest of the jersey, with a contrast plain colour. There's a handy little zipped pocket at the rear too that's just big enough for keys, card or some change.
This is a jersey I've found myself reaching for often, as it's comfortable to wear, looks good and has lasted well with repeated washing and wearing to the extent that it still looks and feels almost like new. Gore has also produced a short sleeved version of the jersey in the same technical fabric which is ideal for warm weather riding, and is available in pink and grey.
The Power Trail Lady long sleeve jersey is available in blue, pink and a colour described as raven brown which is actually a dark grey/black melange. There's also a wide range of sizes available, from XS to XXL. I tried the size L jersey, and tend to wear a UK12. I found the jersey nice and loose, though could have gone down a size.