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Waterproof Jackets

Gore R7 ShakeDry Jacket | Review

Gore harness the power of their own ShakeDry waterproof membrane in this breathable and lightweight jacket

Why We Chose The Gore R7: Use of Gore-Tex ShakeDry, extremely packable, sleek and lightweight design.

The Gore brand need very little introduction, particularly in the outdoor world where just about everyone will have worn a Gore-Tex waterproofed jacket at some point. U.S born and bred, they have an extensive history that dates all the way back to 1958, when founder Bill Gore experimented with PTFE fibres to create a waterproof but still air permeable membrane. A few years later this would eventually be chosen by NASA to help them produce much of the materials for the spacesuits that would be worn on the first Columbia space mission.

“…it was very impressive, with any moisture beading right off it constantly.”

Whilst the PTFE material has been refined and improved since its discovery, it still to this day provides the backbone of Gore-Tex membranes and materials, with many variations of it to suit different levels of intensity or activity.

This is where Gore-Tex ShakeDry comes in. This new version of Gore-Tex has been engineered for people who plan to move at a consistently high intensity; when it’s essential that the fabrics they’re wearing are lightweight, water and wind proof as well as capable of shifting hot air away from the body.

Used here in the R7, the result is a jacket that weighs just 118g – phenomenally light. The secret is that in ShakeDry, the membrane is switched to the outside of the jacket and the outer fabric, which you normally find on waterproof jackets, is done away with altogether, therefore meaning there’s nothing to become saturated. Water will simply run straight off, and the jacket will… shake dry.

NASA chose Gore-Tex to produce much of the materials for their spacesuits. Photo: Chris Johnson
The jacket has an incredibly sleek fit. Photo: Chris Johnson
There are excellent pocket solutions here. Photo: Chris Johnson

The featherweight stats have been achieved not just by removing the outer fabric, but also by trimming down on the feature set and taking a minimalist approach. There’s a slim-fitting hood with an elasticated rim, a full main zip, elasticated cuffs and then zipped handpockets – one of which doubles as a stuff sack for the jacket itself. When you’ve packed it all away, the result is a minuscule little bundle the size of a fist.

OK so you have something that’s light, waterproof, and remarkably breathable also, but there’s a catch, and that’s that the Gore R7 isn’t particularly durable.

The Gore R7 has a slim fitting hood for when the elements take a turn. Photo: Chris Johnson

This isn’t the kind of jacket to wear with a backpack, the risk here being that the straps and back panel will ultimately rub away and compromise the longevity of the membrane in these areas. It’s the same problem that Gore-Tex Active has, or any other jacket with an extremely lightweight membrane. So this ultimately discounts it as something to use for hikes and runs of more than a few miles, or for climbing or scrambling, but for those quick evening runs, or for cycling, it’s perfect.

As things currently stand, for such a level of breathability, protection and low weight, there’s inevitably going to be a trade-off in one area unfortunately. That being said, developments are certainly being made – The North Face’s Futurelight is certainly one to watch here.

Tester’s Verdict

Nic Hardy, Munro bagger

“I wore this in the Brecon Beacons while it was bucketing down and it was very impressive. You could see the moisture constantly beading right off it. It was also noticeably very breathable and without any issues on that front. The hood design is useful as it can be cinched in to really hold to, and cover, your face. I’d say this is ideal as an option to carry in summer, just in case there’s a shower, and then to wear right through winter during evening runs when the weather is a bit miserable.”

It's available in men's and women's versions. Photo: Chris Johnson

Trade Secrets

Thomas Weiss – Gore Product Manager

“We set our sights on creating the ultimate ultralight rain jacket that was still versatile and durable enough to withstand wet adventures. That is why we’ve chosen our revolutionary and extremely breathable GORE-TEX SHAKEDRY™ technology to prevent chilling effects and make packing away easy and pleasant – while keeping the design clean and puristic with a few smart features.”

Gore R7 Shakedry Jacket

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