Gore Wear always showcases the pinnacle of Gore’s fabrics. With the new Torrent Cycling Jacket, Gore Wear has delivered a versatile, breathable shell that will repel even the most intense rainstorms. Used as a layering piece, you can also use it in the winter for added warmth and wind protection. Built with an efficient fit, the Torrent is at home on the most demanding rides and represents one of the best shells on the market.
Gore Wear Torrent Cycling Jacket Features:
- Light and breathable jacket for protection from the wind and rain
- GORE-TEX Active sheds water and guards against the elements
- Close-fitting for an aerodynamic, wind-slicing cycling fit
- Zip pocket at the back for small essential items
- Reflective elements shine in low light visibility
- Weight: 7.0 oz (medium, actual)
- MSRP: $229.95
A great option for rain or cold
Over the past few months, I’ve used the Gore Wear Torrent Cycling Jacket as a cold-weather shell and as a wind barrier on long mountain descents. While it hasn’t yet been tested in rain, I have absolute confidence that it will laugh in the face of even the most torrential downpours.
Why such confidence in the Torrent Jacket’s ability to shed rain? Well, The Torrent uses GORE-TEX Active, which utilizes GORE’s latest 3-layer membrane. Not only is it windproof and highly-breathable, but it also features the “Guaranteed to Keep You Dry” promise. Water just rolls off the face of the fabric and has zero chance of penetrating. Nothing is getting through this jacket.
Now that we’ve covered the capabilities of this jacket, let’s move onto the fit and overall function of it. I still use and love the Race SHAKEDRY Jacket, but how does the Torrent Jacket compare to that top-of-the-line rain jacket? The Torrent weighs an ounce more and has a little bit more generous fit (particularly in the sleeves). And, it uses GORE-TEX Active, which is a little thicker, but is also more naturally stretchy. Oh, and it will set you back $100 more. SHAKEDRY is also less durable. That said, for most riders, the Torrent Cycling Jacket should prove to be a great option for most cyclists for year-round use.
Specifically, the cut of the Torrent Cycling Jacket is excellent. It features a streamlined fit in the body, with a drop hem and a single, side-entry zip pocket that doubles as a stuff sack. The sleeves are cut with a little extra size and length to easily slip over any layers you should choose to wear. In addition, the asymmetrical cuffs ensure proper wrist coverage at speed or in bad weather. And, the tall collar is also cut higher up front than in the back — optimized for the riding position. In short, the folks at Gore Wear know how to make a cycling jacket.
As I’ve used the Torrent Jacket throughout the winter and into spring, I’ve come to realize that this jacket is very versatile. Yes, you could get a lighter rain jacket for summer use and a heavier one for winter use, but the Torrent does great in the summer and can easily be layered up for winter duty. In fact, that’s what I have done with it. Most of my test miles have been on cold-weather rides in the low 40’s. With proper layers, this jacket blocks the winter chill and, with the 3-layer fabric, feels warmer to the touch. When layered, the fit remains comfortable and the jacket never gets in the way of the ride. In fact, it remains invisible because it just plain works.
The zipper moves up/down with ease and adds to ventilation, when needed. As mentioned, the collar height adds to the optimal coverage in the riding position. The inside of the collar also features a brushed lining for added coziness. You get a few reflective elements as well, just in case you’re riding in low-light conditions.
Now, indeed there are better summer-specific rain jackets, but the Torrent is still light and packable enough to carry in a jersey pocket. So, that’s just what I have done when tackling the 3000 ft. ascent up Utah’s Alpine Loop. I simply stuffed it into the Gore Wear C5 Thermo Jersey’s rear pockets and headed out. With temperatures in the mid-40’s, I knew I wouldn’t need the jacket on the way up, but definitely on the fast descent. When rolled up, the Torrent Jacket is much smaller than a standard water bottle and will only poke out a little from a jersey pocket.
After arriving at the 8000 ft. summit, I slipped on the Torrent Jacket and proceeded to make my way down the canyon. For the majority of the descent, you’re going between 30-40 mph and it lasts about 20 minutes. Without proper wind protection, that descent can be downright chilly. When I’ve done it unprepared, I’ve had some bone-chilling descents. On this particular day, I was perfectly-comfortable and warm.
Now, on descents you’re not going to be testing breathability, but on several other occasions, I’ve tested just that and I’m here to tell you that the Torrent Jacket is waterproof and breathable. After long winter rides, there’s no moisture buildup and it only feels slightly damp to the touch. I dare you to duplicate that with other inferior materials.
Fit: At 5’11” and 175 lbs, I’ve been perfectly-satisfied with the size medium.
- GORE-TEX 3L Active delivers ultimate weather protection
- Blocks all wind
- Breathes like a champ
- Excellent overall fit and comfort
- Grippy, drop hem stays put for proper coverage
- Asymmetrical collar and angle-cut cuffs maintain proper coverage
- Light and packable
- Great for year-round use
- A bi-directional zipper would place this jacket in perfection territory
The Bottom Line: Gore Wear Torrent Jacket
When purchasing foul weather gear, it pays to spend a little extra. Sure, you could get something cheaper that protects from rain and wind, but I guarantee you it won’t breathe as well as the Torrent Jacket. And, Gore Wear has also delivered a fantastic fit that doesn’t flap around yet still has room for layers underneath.
Buy Now: Available from CompetitiveCyclist
Very timely and, as usually, a comprehensive and thoughtful review. I am looking for something along these lines but a bit different. I am after something that is primarily a wind shell that can be worn to commute on cool (but not cold) mornings and 50/60s when it is blustery. I rarely ride in the rain, so am hoping to maximize breathability over rain protection. I already have a Gore soft shell jacket (per your excellent recommendation), and so am covered for lower temperatures. Any thoughts?
The Gore Wear Gore-Tex Paclite Jacket may be a good one:
But even something simpler, like the Specialized Race-Series Wind Jacket maybe:
Thanks, as always, for the kind words! I love that Specialized jacket and use it for the exact purpose you’re looking for.
Excellent. Thanks for the recommendations. I will investigate!