When it’s cold, layering becomes even more important. Too thick of a jacket and you’ll always be overdressed, but too thin and you’ll find it hard to layer up enough for warmth. The new Gore Wear C5 Gore-Tex Infinium Thermo Jacket aims to be that “just right” weight to be the best of both worlds.
Gore Wear C5 Gore-Tex Infinium Thermo Jacket Features:
- Gore-Tex Infinium™ Windstopper® on front and back panels
- Gore Selected material on side panels
- Brushed fleece lining
- High collar offers a close fit
- Stretch inserts of optimum mobility
- Thin cuffs for coverage and ease of use with gloves
- Three rear pockets with zippered sleeve
- Reflective materials
- MSRP: $220
Perfect fabrics and weight for winter riding
No question, the Gore-Tex family of fabrics are the most desirable fabrics for all types of outerwear. Arguably, the marketing engine is what drives most of that desire, but when they just plain work, it’s hard to argue against the hype. Speaking of the hype, Gore-Tex Infinium Windstopper is pretty much the gold standard and they put it thusly:
The membrane technology in GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ WINDSTOPPER® products has billions of pores that are 900 times larger than water vapor molecules, so even though wind can’t get in, moisture from sweat vapor can easily get out.
So there’s the mic drop. No other softshell I’ve tested performs at the level of Windstopper and that experience definitely continues with the Gore Wear C5 Gore-Tex Infinium Thermo Jacket. Cold rides have met their match and at the same time, perspiration has also met its match. It’s uncanny, but not unexpected how well it performs, so let me share some experiences.
We’ll start with fit. It’s well-documented that Gore Wear’s updated sizing for this season is challenging. For years, we’ve come to expect European sizing, but this year, you’ll want to size down instead of up. I’ve been wearing the size medium (5’11” – 175 lbs) in the C5 and find it to be just about right for overall fit and performance. It does allow for additional layering, should you wish to ride in colder weather. I’ve been quite comfortable with a midweight base layer under the C5 Thermo for temperatures ranging from 38-48 degrees. You’ll feel a little chill after long descents, but the beauty of Windstopper is that chill is just from ambient temperatures, not from air penetration.
As far as breathability goes, I’m so impressed with how well this jacket breathes. The lining spreads moisture out and allows it to dissipate without ever getting overwhelmed. Even after a solid hour of effort, the back panel never feels “wet” just a little damp. Further, my base layer doesn’t feel saturated either. What this is telling me is that the base layer and grid-backed Windstopper works in concert to move moisture. After any ride, base layers dry out in a jiffy (further evidence of a lack of saturation).
Something to note here. Infinium Windstopper fabrics are used on all front-facing panels and the back. Yes, the back panel is also Windstopper. With lesser materials, you’ll find the back panel utilizing a less windproof fabric to maintain breathability. Here, you get 360-degree protection and breathability.
On the bike, the C5 Thermo moves with you without any fuss. I don’t even think about it, so that tells me it’s got just the right fit. The sleeves are just the right length as is the hem. Everything stays put and never requires re-adjustment to maintain coverage. The drop hem offers exceptional coverage on your hind side along with reflective elements. As with the hem, the cuffs are stretchy and thin with the ability to slid under a good pair of winter gloves. I’ve been using the Castelli Mortirolo and Pearl Izumi Cyclone Gel gloves over the past several months and both work perfectly.
Something you’ll also appreciate is the mixture of fabrics inside the sleeves. The arm fit is a touch large, but the smooth-backed undersleeve panels allow base layers to slide in without getting pulled up to your armpits. The side and sleeve inserts also aid in further breathability by allowing just a touch more air penetration where its desirable.
Wrapping things up, the collar offers the perfect height and diameter for comfort and protection. Nothing digs into my neck or under my chin. This is partially due to the zipper garage, but the size/cut is also well-executed. On top of that, there is an additional collar extension that seals in warmth. It is a fantastic combo.
While it is a “jacket,” Gore Wear hasn’t forgotten that jersey pockets are always desired — particularly with jackets. You get a standard-sized center pocket and two narrow side pockets. In addition, the right side has a zippered sleeve that’s perfect for an iPhone 13 Mini. Between all the pockets, I have had no issues carrying along my ride essentials. And, if you’ve ready my jacket reviews, I’m a stickler for a good zipper pull. This one is a simple, rubber-covered pull and it works pretty well with gloves on, so no real complaints here.
Fit: I’m 5’11” – 175 lbs and have been wearing the medium. I think that’s my proper size should I ever want to wear a thicker mid-layer. If I didn’t want to leave that option open, I may consider at least trying on the size small.
- Windstopper remains the king of windproof fabrics
- Excellent coverage with added hem drop to boot
- Goes on without bunching up the sleeves of your base layer
- Great to have three usable jersey-style pockets
- Spot-on collar height/diameter
- Best breathability in the business
- Great having DWR to fend off light rain/snow
- Zipper is easy to use in the saddle with gloves on
- Sizing issues (the medium gives me flexibility for thicker mid-layers though)
The Bottom Line: Gore Wear C5 Gore-Tex Infinium Thermo Jacket
Without question, Gore-Tex Infinium Windstopper remains the most functional and desirable fabric for winter cycling. It blocks ALL wind while breathing better than everything else on the market. The Gore Wear C5 Gore-Tex Infinium Thermo Jacket is about as good as it gets in a winter jacket.
Buy Now: Available from GoreWear.com