As all reviews should start... a backstory setting up why the review in the first place.
I live in North Dakota. West Fargo to be exact. Id say Fargo but then you'd most likely start asking the question... "Like the movie Fargo?" or "Do you really talk like that?" My location is important in any type of winter apparel test mainly because we experience some horrid temperatures and my love for the sport of cycling isn't stopped by a little windchill! So here we go!
It started with an email to Gore asking if they had some apparel that could handle the North Dakota winters. I promised I would send that gear out into some harsh conditions and I hope I made them proud. They responded quickly and sent out some gear! In coming reviews I'll touch on the other pieces they sent but I want to tackle the one piece that stood out above all others.
Gore C3 Thermium Hooded Jacket
"An innovation in engineering, this highly durable jacket, made with GORE® THERMIUM™ technology, keeps cyclists reliably warm. No need to pile on layers, thanks to the soft, lightweight material that provides insulation without adding bulk."
Reading that on the site and knowing that layering is how you make it as a winter cyclist really sparked my curiosity. You want layers and you want apparel that gets that moisture away from your body so it doesn't sit on your skin and become cold. Most of the time I wear my trusty Under Armour Base 3.0 which is a great base layer for anything in the 10*F-30*F and then under that I throw on another layer under the exterior coat.
As Gore says they created this jacket so you didn't have to add that bulk that we all hate so much unless we fall a lot then its nice to have that added cushion! This jacket delivers! I have worn this jacket with light base layers in 20*F and it keeps my body temperature manageable without getting too hot. This is where a lot of jackets fail for me peronsally is that they are good for one range and then too hot or too cold for others! This jacket has handled any temperature I have thrown at it! 30*F or -30*F its been great! I just change my 1 base layer! No Bulk and excellent warmth! Polar Vortex had nothing on this jacket! It handled the low temperatures and blocked the wind from getting to my base layer!
Features of this jacket from the Gore website:
- 2 front pockets with concealed zip
- Zip-underflap and zipper garage
- Reflective logo and print
- Adjustable cuff and hood
- Adjustable hem
- PrimaLoft® Gold Insulation Active
- Hood with integrated headband for perfect fit in movement and additional warmth protection
- GORE® THERMIUM™ Product: protected insulation, warm, windproof, water resistant and breathable
- Wave-shaped sleeve cuff for ergonomic wear
- Zip tags for easy opening
- Front zip
You can see that its windproof, water resistant and very adjustable!
Now overlooked reasons these features are great...
- You'd think a hood would get in the way. This hood stays on the back! I prefer to have a hood just in case I need to remove my helmet for any reason. I don't have to carry a separate beanie.
- The back of the coat is lower than the front... Keeping the posterior warm and dry from snow and slush! Stay dry!
- Wave-shaped sleeve cuff works awesome for longer gloves/mittens and pogies/bar mitts if you use them.
Overall this is just a great jacket. It has been my goto jacket for absolutely ANY thing under 20*F. It can do 30*F but I have other jackets for that warmth... ;) It does come at a higher price tag and that is really the only gripe some may have with it. Sizing was spot on for me since you don't have to size up to add a bunch of layers under it. You don't need a ton of layers! Save money on all the layers and spend it on this jacket!
I also wanted to mention another piece that you just have to purchase while getting this jacket... Gore's Thermal socks! They are So warm and have kept my feet dry and toasty while inside my Northwave Himalaya boots!
Thanks for reading... Stay warm and enjoy the ride!