Gore Tool Jacket Review

IMG_0401I have spent a lot of time wearing the Gore Tool Windstopper soft shell jacket since purchasing it. It is the warmest option for an outer that I have and Gore makes and thus it has been my go to jacket for the majority of my winter riding. I’ve put the Gore Tool jacket through its paces on hard road rides, slow fat bike rides, and in temperatures ranging from 40º F down to 5º F with varying under layering of wool base layers.

A big portion of controlling body temperature is keeping the wind off of your skin, which the Windstopper material does a great job of, and with the added insulation found in this jacket, it does the job of keeping you warm even in the single digits with a base layer. Equally impressive as the warmth the jacket provides is its ability to shed heat when you want to cool off. The Jacket features zippers that run from mid torso to the elbows allowing lots of ventilation. When you want even more airflow through the jacket, you can open the rear side pockets via zipper allowing direct access for exhausted air to escape from. The red zipper handles seen below are the ventilation zippers.
IMG_0396The rear pockets on the jacket are easy to use and offer a gracious amount of space for items. The center pocket has no zipper and is a traditional top entrance pocket perfect for items that you need quick access to. The side pockets feature side entrance and close with a zipper.

Another neat feature is a built-in cloth inside of the front pocket.
IMG_0398The fit of the jacket is looser than that of the Gore Alp-X I previously reviewed, but still snug enough to provide a good fit for cycling. The fit and ability to regulate warmth make this jacket great for commuting. Gore designs their products to be able to be worn together without “bunching” if desired and I appreciate the ability to throw the Tool jacket over the ALP-X jacket when the temperatures get ridiculously cold.

I don’t like the idea of rating a product on its ability to keep you warm or cool you off because everyone’s ability to maintain body temperature is different and a product shouldn’t get slammed because it didn’t perform for the reviewer. With that said, I like this jacket a lot because of its ability to both keep me warm and control overheating via good ventilation options.

If you are in the market for well-made winter cycling jacket with a lifetime warranty, I’d recommended giving the Gore Tool a try. If your local bike shop doesn’t carry Gore, feel free to give the folks at my local bike shop, Bloomington Cycle & Fitness a call to call for your Gore needs.

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