The Gore ONE 1985 Gore-Tex Shakedry jacket features the same fabric as the original Gore ONE Active jacket, but now comes with some additional features and design refinements. Has the best waterproof jacket money can buy just got better?
The Gore ONE 1985 Gore-Tex Shakedry jacket is a lightweight packable, waterproof jacket specifically designed for cycling and is essentially an updated version of the original Gore ONE Active jacket. With a retail price of £230 our expectations were high – so what makes this jacket so special?
I should point out that although the Gore ONE 1985 Gore-Tex Shakedry jacket is effectively an update, Gore Bike Wear is continuing to sell the original Gore ONE as a separate product for £10 less at £220. I have outlined the key differences and improvements later on in the review, but before that I will explain what this jacket is, what it is for and why it is expensive.
Like the Gore ONE, the Gore ONE 1985 Gore-Tex Shakedry jacket is made from Gore’s Active Gore-Tex fabric, which uses a “Permanent Beading Surface” on the outside of the jacket, eliminating the need for a Durable Water Resistant (DWR) coating, which means the fabric can be reduced from three layers to two.
This results in a completely waterproof garment that still retains the breathability traditional Gore-Tex clothing is renowned for but – crucially – reducing the layers of fabric also decreases weight and increases packability. This is dramatic and our size small hit the scales at just 98g.
The fabric of the Gore ONE 1985 Gore-Tex Shakedry jacket remains the most technologically advanced we have tested and is also the best-performing with regard to breathability and beading. Out on the road, waterproofing is nothing short of excellent. It is easy to run out of superlatives with a product like this, but the performance of the Gore ONE really is on par with a dedicated hard-shell waterproof. However (and this is the deal clincher), the low weight and high packability is comparable to a lightweight emergency rain cape. Something like the Sportful Hotpack No-Rain jacket. What you therefore have, as the cliché goes, the best of both worlds.
Gore describes the fabric as having a “permanently beading surface” and this is an accurate description in my long-term experience. Over time, many other jackets loose their DWR (durable water resistant coating), which diminishes beading and results in them becoming less waterproof. Having washed the Gore ONE multiple times (30ºC with no fabric softener!), I can report the beading is every bit as good as when it was new. It has really impressed in this regard and this attribute certainly helps justify the high price.
Watch: Tech of the month, featuring the Gore ONE. Skip to 3:30 to see the jacket. The fabric is the same as on the new jacket.
Improvements from the Gore ONE Active jacket
So what is the difference between Gore ONE 1985 Gore-Tex Shakedry jacket and previous Gore ONE? Firstly the zip has been much improved on the Gore ONE 1985 Gore-Tex Shakedry jacket, as it is now two way, meaning you can also unzip it at the bottom and it can also be operated with a single hand.
Having a two-way zip is useful, as unzipping from the bottom can give you access to jersey pockets underneath – something which is essential on a garment with no substantial pockets of its own. Furthermore, the new zip can operated with a single hand, answering a criticism of the Gore ONE.
The cuffs have also been updated on the Gore ONE 1985 Gore-Tex Shakedry jacket with an elastic insert that is slightly more comfortable and perhaps more importantly stretches more, making it easier to put the jacket on or take it off, over a pair of gloves. The collar has also been tweaked, with an adjustable velcro strap to help you get an optimum fit depending on your neck position and girth.
Gore has also added a small pocket to the rear of the jacket, which can be used to stuff the jacket into when not in use, but also doubles as a valuables/keys pouch. In addition the fit has been tweaked, with the Gore ONE 1985 Gore-Tex Shakedry jacket being slightly roomier in the torso than the standard Gore ONE. I prefer the new fit.
My only real criticism is of the small number of reflective details and single colour choice of black for a jacket designed for horrid weather. It doesn’t put me off personally, but I know plenty of cyclists for whom this is a priority. However, when making this criticism, I should point out that the ‘none more black’ single colour option and lack of reflective details is dictated to a large extent by the highly sophisticated Active Gore-Tex fabric, which can at present only be manufactured in black. Furthermore, applying adhesive details to the surface is a challenge owing to the hydrophobic (water repelling) nature of the surface.
Gore has taken the original Gore ONE and improved the design with the Gore ONE 1985 Gore-Tex Shakedry jacket. The improvements and tweaks to the design certainly justify the increased £10 outlay and that is reflected in the score. This jacket is comparable to a lightweight rain cape with regard to weight, packability and versatility, but possesses the waterproof performance of a hardshell. Although expensive, if you require the best, this is it.