When it comes to inclement weather kit, we value two things: weather resistance and versatility. Gore Bike Wear's Element Windstopper Active Zip-Off Women's Jacket has both. The first quality is obvious, because without weather resistance it wouldn't be inclement weather-appropriate. The second quality is trickier but, in our opinion, just as important. If properly engineered, versatile gear can be made appropriate for virtually any conditions encountered between October and March, which simplifies everything from your sprawling cycling wardrobe to pre-ride indecision.
The jacket's versatility lies in its zip-off sleeves, which attach raglan style for in-saddle mobility but can be removed on fall or spring days that aren't cold enough to warrant a full jacket but still require some additional core protection. This lets you add a long-sleeve thermal jersey, warmers, or whatever else the day calls for without exposing your torso to the elements.
The jacket's cycling-specific fit isn't as restrictive as Gore's race-cut Power line, which adds an additional, virtual layer of versatility by letting you add literal layers underneath for thermal insulation. With the right combination of base layers, the Element Windstopper Active Shell Zip-Off Jacket transforms into a full-on winter shell, protecting your insulating layers with its windproof, water-resistant Windstopper membrane.
The membrane is also breathable, so the first climb you come to won't leave you perspiring and then wallowing in a clammy chill for the rest of the ride. In the event that you overdo it while climbing or grinding intervals, the front zipper lets you dump heat and the sleeves can be removed and stowed in jersey pockets underneath. The jacket's own zippered hand pockets are better saved for personal effects like IDs, cash, and keys.
- A versatile cycling jacket for inclement conditions
- Gore Windstopper membrane is windproof and breathable
- DWR treatment resists rain and road spray
- Removable sleeves convert the jacket to a vest
- Zippered hand pockets for easy access to personal effects
- Reflective details help keep you visible under overcast skies
- Item #GBW007R
- Q & A
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
- Fit: Runs large
Was in the market for a windproof and waterproof jacket that was simple and under $200. So far I have worn this jacket cycling in 30F weather (over an UnderArmour heat gear hoodie) and am pleased with the wind resistance. I haven't yet worn it in the rain. I like the zip-off sleeves. Only complaint is a lack of back pocket to stash gear and I wish it had a bit more reflective detailing.