Gore Bike Wear One Thermium Jacket - Review

Feb 22, 2017
by David Arthur  
Reflective logo on sleeve


Gore Bike Wear is one of the most established and recognisable brand names in the highly competitive outdoor clothing market, and they're constantly creating new fabrics to help make dealing with inclement and horrid weather much easier, and finding excuses to cancel a ride much harder to come by. The latest development from their tech lab is Thermium, which sits alongside its existing hard-shell Gore-Tex and soft shell Windstopper lines and aims to offer warmth as well as protection from wind and rain.

Gore Thermium Jacket Details
• PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Active fabric
• Three zipped pockets
• Adjustable (non-removable) hood and cuffs
• Reflective logos
• Colors/sizes: Black - Small through XX-large
• MSRP: £260, $400
• Contact: Gore Apparel

Thermium is a two-layer laminate that is windproof and water resistant and is wrapped around a puffy mid layer. It’s basically Windstopper with added insulation, which means you don’t need to pile on the layers to keep warm on a cold ride. It’s a response to the growing appetite in the outdoors market for soft and puffy mid and outer layers that provide more breathability and insulation than a typical hardshell jacket.

This jacket, the first to make use of the new technology, combines the Thermium membrane with a PrimaLoft Gold insulation and a durable water-repellent treatment on the exterior. It’s packed with features you need on a ride, including an adjustable hood, adjustable cuffs and waistband for tailoring the fit, and three zipped pockets; two on the front and one at the back. The seams are all sealed, there are reflective details and the zips have under flaps to keep out the elements and large tags for easy opening. The Gore Thermium jacket is available in just black and sizes S, M, L, XL and XXL.


Reflective logo on sleeve
The hood is adjustable, well fitted, and useful when the weather turns bad

Reflective logo on sleeve
Understated styling and a useful dash of reflecivitiy.



On the Trail

Cold, wet and dark, the winter (in this hemisphere at last) is a tough time of year for riding a bike. Summoning up the motivation to gear up for a ride gets tougher and the excuses for staying inside seem to flow a little easier. There is some bloody good clothing available now, though, that makes most of the well-worn excuses redundant, and the Thermium is another nail in the coffin for blaming bad weather for not being able to ride.

This jacket is good. Really good. What first strikes you after putting it on is just how soft and quiet it feels. It's much softer than any other Gore fabric and provides a level of luxury I’ve rarely experienced in a bike jacket - the closest comparison is a puffy down jacket I wear off the bike. But unlike a hiking jacket, this one is shaped and designed to work on the bike. I tested a size small and it measured perfectly in every key area, around the shoulders and torso with good length in the arms. The wave-shaped cuffs further the good fit and they're adjustable with velcro tabs.

Where the jacket really excels is in dealing with the unpredictable and constantly shifting weather I have to deal with in the UK. Biking is a tough activity for jackets - they have to deal with brief bursts of intense activity that produce a lot of heat interspersed with periods of low activity when descending or chewing the cud between trail sections. That rapid heating and cooling can be tough for most fabrics to cope with, bur this is where the Thermium jacket shines. When worn over just a short base layer it did a really good job of keeping the operating temperature at a nice comfortable level with no crazy highs or lows through a regular ride comprising lots of climbing and long descents, regroups at the top of climbs and snack stops.

With the PrimaLoft Gold insulation the Thermium jacket easily withstood below freezing temperatures. And far from having to layer up underneath, a long sleeve base layer was adequate to cope with the lowest temperatures I rode in, while allowing scope for warmer periods on sustained climbs. Regardless of how cold it got, I never felt it while wearing this jacket, and actually started looking forward to frigid rides just so I could wear this jacket. That may sound odd, but if the right clothing helps you get out on the bike and makes the whole experience more enjoyable, that can only be a good thing, right?


Reflective logo on sleeve
There's a small zipped pocket on the side...

Reflective logo on sleeve
...and two regular zipped pockets on the front.



The Thermium jacket coped with the typical range of temperatures I found myself riding this winter. It was only on rides nudging above 12°C (54°F) at the start of the fall when I first began testing this jacket that I noticed some heat buildup. It was never excessive, but there is definitely an upper ceiling for the comfortable temperature this jacket excels in. Factors such as the base layer choice and the pace of the ride obviously influence how much heat you pump out. And even when it did get a bit warmer, the jacket copes with sweat and moisture build up well, and I never felt any soggy clamminess on the inside.

Though the Thermium jacket isn’t actually waterproof, merely water-repellent, it dealt just fine with most of the rainy rides I endured while testing it, and I never got a soaking. You wouldn't set off in heavy rain in this jacket (that’s the time to break out the hardshell) but if you get caught in rain halfway around a route, you’ll be okay. The real trick of Thermium is that the laminate ensures the down insulation layer remains dry, as insulation can only keep you warm if it is dry - when these materials get wet they lose their insulating value. So it keeps you warm even when it’s raining.

Along with its superb fit, comfort and performance in a range of weathers and temperatures, the Thermium offers first class build quality. It’s a durable jacket as well and has survived being thrown through hedges and down muddy banks, as well as being scrunched up carelessly at the bottom of my kit bag between rides. Details matter in a jacket costing this much and Gore gets them all just right. It’d be nice to see some more colour options, though.


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotes Make no mistake, this is an expensive jacket, but my god it's a damn good jacket. The Thermium technology brings some very useful performance to mountain biking and it works extremely well in the large majority of conditions and copes better than most with the extremes of weather and rider heat output. It also works well off the bike too. - David Arthur




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58 Comments

  • + 45
 $526 CAN? LOL. Hard No.
  • + 14
 New Hope Pro 4 wheelset for that price
  • + 3
 The thing is I don't have any idea what goes in to make a decent jacket, so they could tell me they're worth a bazillion, and I'd have to be like, "well I do need a jacket" because it's not really an option. Good thing there's other manufacturers.
  • + 15
 what is that? 15 dollars?
  • - 2
 @TFreeman: was $526 usd, now $15....
  • + 5
 @TFreeman: lol lol lol
  • + 4
 This comment sent me directly to season 2 of Letterkenny. Had forgotten that it was out. Many thanks. Now if you'll excuse me, it's pitter patter best get at'er.
  • + 0
 Arc'Teryx jackets usually costs more around CAD$700, so this one is quite cheap compared Wink
  • + 2
 @mikealive: Is that what you appreciates about @mitcht ?
  • + 4
 Seriously. This thing costs as much as many leather motorcycle jackets.
  • + 1
 I just picked up an awesome RaceFace jacket for less than half the price...
  • + 2
 That's Arcteryx moneys, and I know which one I'd pick all day any day.
  • + 1
 @gunners1: "set"? Try just a rear wheel!
  • + 2
 @CaptainSnappy: Nah set, check online Smile
  • + 3
 @jetter: eyes on the ground there squirley dan
  • + 43
 So if you wear the hood under your helmet, does it replace MIPS?
  • + 15
 I am spending my $400.00 on a Shimano XT 1x11 Drivetrain, a day pass at Whistler and a cold beer in my flannel after a Sweep of A Line at the end of the day. Who buys this stuff???
  • + 13
 Someone who will be riding a bike a few days through the Alps, for example. Try to do it in your flannel.
  • + 6
 no one!! thats why they fitted this article into pinkbike, to try selling at least one!
  • + 2
 @luis-beri: :LOL: I'm with you on this one.
  • + 1
 @irus: true but Whistler would be colder that anywhere in the Alps in winter
  • + 3
 @irus: I live in the Alps, and I still use my eleven-year-old North Face jacket that I bought for 150 euro. The prices for sports clothing are getting ridiculous.
  • + 13
 Wait so it's from the folks at Gore and it's technically not waterproof but still costs 4 bills? Im confused...I'm sure it's a good jacket but damn
  • + 9
 I usually don't wear jackets while I bike and if I do it's not gonna be a 520$ CAD jacket. I can snag a good top layer at a sport mart place for 50 bones max, I don't understand the need for a sports car when all your doing is driving to work....
  • + 10
 See title... skip down to price... $400.... skip straight to comments and comment:
(To the tune of Thrift store)
$400 for a jacket that's just some ignorant .....
  • + 10
 MTB $11999 CAD
Kit $1799
Parkpass $599
Lunch $499
Ale $669
Ex-wife $359,000
Good Times $0
  • + 5
 Having $374,565 in expendable income: Priceless
  • + 6
 @kjjohnson: Filing Ex-wife under expendable income: Good Times
  • + 9
 Way too expensive for a jacket
  • + 7
 Whats the problem? I charge double that for a root canal.
  • + 3
 First this way to much money for a mountain bike jacket that has a good chance of being crashed. Second it's insulated and not very versatile. I have a rain jacket for rain, and cheap soft-shell for cold and wind. The softshell is water resistant, keeps the wind off, and I can layer what ever I want underneath to suit conditions. For the price of this jacket I can buy a Neoshell rain jacket, softshell, wind vest, fleece, and a couple merino shirts.
  • + 3
 Thermium eh .. gotta love the naming, maybe comes from the same source as unobtainium -

problem I have with all these jackets is they are so damn sweaty, even with the vents, you end up wetter on the inside than the outside!! - best jacket I used was my 25 quid regatta softshell (generic shell jacket, many names), windproof with light velour inside, so you were not riding in a bin bag - warm too, not waterproof on the outside, but thats what a cheap kagool is for, bring it out when needed.
I currently have an Altura Mayhem, only useful in really shitty weather and thats only if you care for it more than your bike as these top tech fabrics need molly-coddling or they wont work!!!!
  • + 2
 Why don't manufacturers produce jackets with a two way zipper, when you get too ward and you in-zip from the top the jacket fills up like a balloon, if you could open it with a two way zipper from the bottom then this would not happen, it would also help to prevent the jacket bunching up at the front when on the bike, I know it's a small detail but at this price detail matters.
  • + 6
 But, but but, it has 3 zippered pockets and reflective logos!
  • + 3
 most people think spending 1000's on a bike is crazy when you can get one for 100's - in terms of how much your bike cost $400 is nothing for something that is top of the line
  • + 5
 I'd better ride in a suit. Far more stylish for the same bucks.
  • + 1
 I'd kill to try this thing out. The swamp that is the southeast is where this thing is made for.
Sitting on top of Laurel Mountain on a 20 degree day about to drop down into Pilot Cove, this would be mint.

@sinatorj you listening?
  • + 1
 how does it hold up to being machine-washed a hundred times? they do realise sports clothes needs to be washed regularly yeh?

maybe if these clowns made a softshell with zipping underarm vents, a hood big enough to go over a helmet, and that costs 1/4 this much money then cyclists would actually buy their products
  • + 4
 i always buy outdoor/climbing jackets on sale or heavy discount.
  • + 4
 $400 usd!? I'll ride cold and wet thank you.
  • + 1
 A good windbreaker at 1/4 of the price or less and a probably a quarter of the weight as well. Money is better spent on other gear and bike parts.
  • + 1
 Seems like there's more Gore wear reviews than actual product in the wild. I guess only people in the UK buy this stuff, because they haven't heard of Arcteryx yet I guess.
  • + 1
 You can say that it worth to spend a lot of money for a good jacket. But still don't know why it's so expensive ... it's still made in asia so ....
  • + 1
 I could maybe stomach the price if it came in tall, cause there are laughably few options if your arms are reminiscent to those of a chimpanzee. But no, definitely not.
  • + 3
 I'll buy one in seven years at the Whistler thrift shop
  • + 3
 Cool Jacket pricey for me though $400 could get me some sweet parts!
  • + 2
 I could barely save up $400 for parts, much less for a jacket! I've already gotten this far through winter with a cheap jacket and doubt I'll even need one at 1/4th of the price to get get me through the rest of it.
  • + 1
 Water resistant.
400$
Bwahahahahshahahhahaha.
So its not water poof?
So its not a rain jacket!
  • + 1
 Not thinking of one day needed in So Cal.... Yikes..... almost 8 short sleeve jerseys....
  • + 1
 "way too expensive for a *insert item here*"

Then buy a cheaper one and be happy
  • + 1
 3 pages of text, 400$ jacket, no waterproof/ breathebility craracteristics, WTF?
  • + 2
 Haha,f*ck you $400
  • + 1
 They missed a trick in the US market......no XXXL , boom boom ! Sorry Wink
  • + 1
 I got the non thermal version which keeps me dry and wind out , not sure I'd need to be heated though ! Was about £120 , well worth it .
  • + 1
 get swampy
  • + 1
 Im getting one ASAP
  • + 1
 I'm out.

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