When you think of waterproof/breathable outerwear, what name comes to mind? If it’s not Gore-Tex then you’ve been living under a rock for the past 50 years. Gore is synonymous with weather protection and their small, calculated bike line has a new kid on the block in their ShakeDry collection.

Gore C5 ShakeDry 1985 Viz Cycling Jacket Features:

  • Gore-Tex Active with ShakeDry technology
  • Weight: 135 grams (large, actual)
  • Two-way front zipper
  • Small, center rear pocket
  • Cut lower for backside coverage
  • Yellow sleeves and rear for added visibility
  • Adjustable collar closure
  • MSRP: $299.99
Gore C5 Shakedry 1985 Jacket Review

With light snow falling, the Shakedry kept me warm and cozy.

Light and packable with killer protection

Over the years, Gore-Tex has improved their craft by maintaining their waterproof fabrics while improving breathability. Early and traditional Gore-Tex fabrics are excellent at keeping the weather out, but weren’t so great at breathability. This has changed in recent years as unfaced linings or wicking materials have been developed to speed moisture transmission and keep from getting waterlogged from sweat.

ShakeDry is essentially an ultralight 2-layer design with a textile inner layer attached to a lightweight Gore-Tex Active layer. The fabric is so light and waterproof that beads of water simply shake or, when on the bike, fly right off.

Typically, jackets that are as lightweight and packable as the Shakedry 1985 Viz, don’t have adequate weather protection should you get caught out in a summer thunderstorm. They provide wind protection, but when it starts dumping down rain, you’re out of luck.

Gore C5 Shakedry 1985 Jacket Review

Cold but dry and windy ride and the Shakedry did its job.

The cycling-specific design of the Shakedry 1985 Viz jacket makes me wish I could turn back time and bring this one along for the 2012 Colorado Triple Bypass. The Rocky Mountains are notorious for their summer thunderstorms and that summer day in 2012 was no exception, but the jacket I brought was quickly overwhelmed by the Biblical rains that fell during the last half of the race.

I’ve been wearing this jacket on cold rides and a couple of drizzly rides. The wind protection goes without saying — it’s excellent. The weather protection is also superb with water and melted snow beading up and flying off in a hurry. No, it doesn’t offer a ton of insulation, but the fact that the face fabric beads up and repels water so well the water never has a chance to create a chill.

At 5’11” and 175 lbs, I went for the size large. Honestly, I think I could have gone with a medium, but the large afforded me more room to layer underneath and ensured the sleeve length was sufficient to maintain full coverage. As it was, the jacket didn’t feel too large nor did it flap around excessively in the wind.

The fit and feel of this jacket really is outstanding. Being so light, it feels like you’re not wearing a jacket at all. And, the subtle stretch to the fabric ensures that no movements will feel constricting.

Double zippers are mandatory on cycling jackets to make it easy to access the rear pockets. Thank you, Gore Bike Wear for the two-way zipper — I used it a ton. The small-gauge zipper keeps the front of the jacket from feeling too bulky, but I did have trouble getting it started from time-to-time. The simple zipper pull makes for easier zipper pulling, when needed.

I will add that the rear pocket is a good idea, but the zipper consistently got stuck on the fabric when opening or closing it, so I was always hesitant using it. The two-way front zipper enabled me to just carry my stuff in my jersey pockets instead of using the rear pocket.

Gore C5 Shakedry 1985 Jacket Review

The two-position collar allows for tighter (shown) or relaxed fit.

I appreciated the adjustable collar that allows either a tight or loose fit and the simple sleeve cuffs fit nicely under cold-weather gloves or on top of more lightweight gloves. Also, it is lined with thin, soft fabric for next-to-skin comfort. It seemed a little odd initially not having the zipper all the way up the collar, but without the zipper, the collar is much more flexible and comfortable around the neck.

As mentioned, breathability is a key part of the story here and it’s among the best jackets I’ve tested. I never felt overheated and, at the end of rides, there no perspiration built up inside. ¬†For reference, ride temperatures ranged from 35 – 50 degrees with varying amounts of jerseys and base layers underneath.

The Good

  • Super light, but also protective
  • Clean, classic design
  • Breathes very well
  • Two-way zipper aids jersey access
  • Stuffs easily into a rear jersey pocket (compresses to the size of a Red Bull can)

The Bad

  • Zippered rear back pocket kept getting jammed
  • Front zipper was hard to start

The Bottom Line: Gore C5 Shakedry 1985 Viz Jacket

Shakedry is legit, my friends. Lightweight, waterproof and breathable with the ability to stash it in a jersey pocket seals the deal here. Most notably, the breathability is among the best I’ve tested and the two-way zipper allows easy access to your jersey pockets.

Buy Now: Available at CompetitiveCyclist.com

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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