The Rescue Jacket from Gore is a serious piece of clothing, and as the name would suggest, is designed to get you out of trouble. As such this is one lightweight jacket, the sort of thing a roadie might stash in their jersey for when their emaciated body starts feeling a chill at the top of some brutal horror of a road climb. It weighs in at 150g and packs into a pocket finishing up at the size of an inner tube (un-inflated).Buy Jackets on
Obviously designed to be carried and worn in equal measure, this is a jacket for when you want to go light, but you can't trust the weather. Made from Gore Windstopper, it's a trusted fabric and has fully taped seams and is designed as a windproof, but is also water resistant, so will repel the water pretty well. It has a small hood for wearing under a helmet, and a single 'Napoleon' pocket which the jacket packs into.
Having initially dismissed it as a bit of road cycling crossover kit, I started putting it into my pack for rides out. To begin with I had forgotten it even existed, and it wasn't until a few rides later that the heavens opened and I found I had the diminutive jacket hidden in the bottom of my bag. With a half zip, it went on easily over a helmet, and kept me chill free for the remainder of the ride.
The fabric isn't fully waterproof but will keep the worst off, and performs better than many jackets that claim to be waterproof. Most importantly, it will cut the wind chill, which makes a huge difference to comfort levels. The hood is an 'under the lid' type, which looks a bit strange, but when needs must it'll keep your head warm. The fabric is soft and pliable, but not stretchy, giving a comfortable fit and not too clingy on bare arms. The cut is also good, but definitely along the traditional Gore lines of 'tailored road cycling' rather than baggy mountain biker giving not much room for girth, but plenty of length in the arms and back.
The construction is second to none, and the attention to detail from cuffs to collar to zips is excellent. This is a high quality garment, one that I regularly felt at risk of snagging and tearing in the woods, but so far I have either been lucky or the low friction material magically avoids snagging.
Given the propensity of precipitation in my homeland, I used this jacket all summer to give me confidence that I wouldn't end up a shivering wreck on the mountain side and it has served me well, keeping my pack size and weight to a minimum.
Breathability is good due to the Windstopper fabric rather than a full waterproof membrane, so I found I could work hard in it without dripping with sweat. Many other thin shell layers I've used give the plastic bag effect, both in feel and inability to breath, yet the Gore fabrics never suffer from this. It's not cheap, but the quality, effectiveness and amount of times I welcomed having it with me to throw on makes it worth every penny (or cent, depending on your currency).
A fantastic piece of kit for those days when the weather threatens. It's not full winter weather armour, but for the weight it provides incredible performance and protection from the elements. At 150g it's kit you won't notice on your back until you need it, at which point you'll be very glad indeed!
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By Ewen TurnerEwen Turner is a self-confessed bike geek from Kendal in the Lake District of England. He runs a coaching and guiding business up there and has a plethora of knowledge about bikes with an analytical approach to testing. His passion for bicycles is infectious, and he’s a ripper on the trails who prefers to fit his working life around his time on the bike.