Gore Bikewear have thrown some of their exceptional textiles into the Windstopper Active Shell Vest. This thing ain’t for luxury, it’s all about performance.
Words - James Raison Images - Lana Adams
The subtle styling of the Active Shell Vest hide the many functional touches that make this vest excellent. It’s ridiculously light for a garment with wind stopping and rain resisting qualities. There’s reflective trim all over this thing, a seriously good quality zip (yes, I’m a zipper elitist), elastic binding for firm and un-flappy fit, and a stow-away pocket on the chest.
There are also no pockets on the back. Personally, I don’t like pockets on a gilet. I always put my stuff in the jersey pocket so I don’t need them. I like to easily shed a gilet when I don’t need it and full pockets turn that into a chore. Yes, it can be a pain to get to jersey pockets under a gilet, and I’m fine with that.
ON THE ROAD
First impressions are of tightness. This is a performance oriented gilet so it hugs my torso firmly. I’ve also been intentionally putting on weight for the Indy Pac so this thing will probably fit better by the end of it. It’s firm around the shoulders and waist too. This gives a quiet and generally flap-free performance. There is some flapping at high speed, but it’s the least I’ve experienced with a gilet.
Second, this is a bonafide shield against the wind. Seams on the the front of the vest are taped for added protection from the cold. I only had some brief and light rain so far when testing the gilet so I can’t really comment on that. Gore claims water resistance, so I’d expect decent protection in rain. Gore doesn’t tend to muck around with their marketing claims.
Again, I’m going to give special mention to the zipper. It’s easy to slide up and down but it won’t move unless you want it to. Too many gilets have creeping zippers that gradually end up at your waist if you’re riding with it semi-open.
The only drawback is lack of breathability. There’s a trend towards mesh-backed gilets to balance warmth and cooling. That’s not on offer here. This exists to protect you from the elements and protect you it does. Once you warm up, just stuff it away. Have I mentioned how flippin tiny this thing is?
This is a premium product that takes the fight to wind, light rain, and cold. It’s performance oriented. Put it on and stash it easily when you don’t need it. If storage is a deal-breaker then you’ll have to look elsewhere. For me, this gilet is exactly what I want it to be: a very functional weather-blocker in a tiny package.
Purchase: The Gore Windstopper Active Shell Vest retails for $250 on the Cycle Closet website.
Disclosure statement: This gilet was supplied for review through our kit partner Cycle Closet. It is not a paid review and we receive no proceeds from the sale of Gore Bikewear through any retail outlet.