Gore Bike Wear Fusion GT AS jacket £220
Gore-Tex is a company constantly pushing and developing fabrics designed to cope with everything we and the elements can throw at them.
Active Shell has been a long time in development, and is a 3-layer laminate. It’s the lightest the company has ever produced. It’s manufactured using a lighter and thinner version of Gore-Tex membrane; the liner uses a new lamination process to integrate the backer textile directly into the membrane, which allows for the improved breathability the fabric offers.
The result is a thinner fabric with greatly improved breathability performance. Sweat is better transported from the skin through the new fabric, yet it’s still fully waterproof. Compared to other fabrics, it feels much more supple, soft and flexible and non-crinkly. Which means it’s more comfortable next to the skin. Impressive stuff, we think you’ll agree.
Gore Bike Wear have employed it in their reassuringly expensive Fusion GT AS jacket. It’s a stunning piece of kit, as minimalist as it is possible to get for a proper mountain bike-specific jacket.
It’s packed with nice touches that make it ideal for biking. There are taped seams everywhere, a low profile main zip with a shower flap behind, stretch inserts that increase flexibility on the bike and a generous dropped tail.
The generous fit is excellent, as we always expect from Gore. There’s enough space to take several layers underneath when you need to layer up on cold mornings. Fit can be tailored around the waist with a single draw cord, it does enough to make a difference.
A key feature of Active Shell is the low weight, and in this department the Gore scores highly. A weight of just 265g is hard to beat, making it one of the lightest jackets on the market that we can think of.
The jackets most interesting feature is the built-in hood. I was never a fan of hoods on jackets until one torrential downpour on the bleak open moorland of Dartmoor gave me the perfect chance to find out that, actually they’re pretty bloody amazing. When it isn’t needed it rolls up into a zipped collar.
For decidedly iffy weather like that which we’re experience currently, Gore’s latest fabric is stunningly effective. It’s the most breathable jacket we’ve ever tested and can be worn for entire rides without everything inside turning into a sweaty soggy mess.