The ideal running jacket will scoff at rain and wind, but still breathe well. Yes, it has to breathe. Just ten years ago, that magical combination was still problematic, but now Gore-Tex Infinium is making a strong case for the ideal fabric for running (or other aerobic activities) in cold or variable weather. I’ve had the GORE R7 Partial Gore-Tex Infinium Hooded Jacket in for review throughout this fall and it scoffs at wind and cold and breathes like a sieve.
GORE R7 Partial Gore-Tex Infinium Jacket Features:
- Gore-Tex Infinium on front, shoulders and sleeves
- Stretch fabric panels (back and underarm) for freedom of movement
- Full length 2-way zip with underflap and zipper garage
- Integrated hood visor with elastic facing for snug fit
- Seam placement designed to work with backpack
- Stretchable inserts at sleeve cuff hold sleeves in place
- Adjustable hood
- Single chest zip pocket
- Partially taped seams for increased protection
- Form fit
- MSRP: $200
An excellent, lightweight running jacket
As Gore-Tex has continued to evolve their use of “membrane only” fabrics, things have gotten interesting. A few years back, I was at the Gore-Tex Shakedry Stretch launch with famed cyclist Fabian Cancellara and it opened my eyes to a number of possibilities — most of which made the current Gore-Tex Infinium fabrics possible. The GORE R7 Partial Gore-Tex Infinium Jacket features Gore’s white tag, which means it’s not waterproof, but it is highly breathable, windproof and very water resistant.
Honestly, for most pursuits, Gore-Tex Infinium is about all you need. Most people aren’t going to head out into torrential downpours for extended periods on purpose. If that’s your schtick, go with the black tag stuff, but for the rest of us, Infinium should do the trick.
The GORE R7 Partial Infinium Jacket, like every Gore-Tex membrane only piece, is amazingly-light. I’m talking bonkers light. On top of that, it has a quiet hand. It’s not silent, but not even close to the typical loudness you’d find with other fabrics. As such, it wears quietly and the slight stretch makes the whole package fit like a glove.
On the Infinium panels, the R7 is seam taped for increased water resistance. In all honesty, the only reason this jacket allows water to penetrate is because of the stretchy back and underarm panels. As long as you’re moving ahead, the back panel won’t allow too much water inside — all while your frontside, head and arms remain perfectly dry. It has been months since Utah has had any semblance of moisture, so my rain time has been limited. Just know that the Infinium panels here are going to keep you dry.
The beauty of this jacket lies in the stellar breathability. Just like the GORE C7 Shakedry Stretch Jacket, the GORE R7 Partial Infinium Jacket breathes super well. Thankfully, that back stretch panel is there to expedite airflow, but the Infinium panels expel moisture quite handily as well. Gone are the days of green housing on a cold-weather run because this jacket breathes like a champ.
When it comes time to hunker down, the brimless hood is outstanding. It fits nicely over a running hat, beanie or alone. Peripheral vision is always uninhibited and the collar sits perfectly below the chin when running. Sleeve and hem lengths are also perfect for proper coverage and fitting atop gloves or other layers.
I love that the jacket has a bi-directional zipper. That’s something that should be included with all jackets like this, but is rarely the case. It’s awesome to unzip from the bottom to reach something in a pocket without having to mess with the collar, hood or upper. I’ve found the GORE R7 Partial Infinium Jacket to be an excellent companion for cold weather running with the proper layers. I can wear it with a midweight layer, like the Oros Explorer 1/4 Zip, comfortably down into the upper-20’s. Or, I can wear it with a lightweight base layer or even a short-sleeve up into the upper 40’s quite comfortably. Certainly, if this is your summer rain jacket, it would work for that too.
Note: I’m 5’11” and 170 lbs. and am wearing the size large. I feel like it fits perfectly. I can layer, but it never feels bulky or oversized. It’s an efficient, streamlined fit.
- Cut perfectly for running
- Weighs next to nothing
- Brim-less hood works awesome
- Breathes awesome
- Stretchy/breathable panels
- Double zipper FTW
- Gets stinky after a couple of runs
- Zipper gets caught
- Zipper pulls can be hard to find with gloves
The Bottom Line: GORE R7 Partial Gore-Tex Infinium Jacket
There’s just no way to hide how great this jacket is overall. The fit is outstanding, it feels like wearing nothing and Gore-Tex Infinium is awesome stuff. You’ll love how well it breathes and appreciate it for cold weather running and summer rain showers alike.
Buy Now: Available at Backcountry.com