GORE C5 GTX Thermo Jacket: Quick Review

GORE C5 GTX Thermo Jacket: Quick Review – by Grannygear

GORE has had some misses with me in the past, but of late there have been more hits than strikeouts.  Tally up another hit in the C5 GTX Thermo Jacket. I have had this for quite some time, but it only recently got cold enough to use it. So apologies to GORE, but it is So Cal after all. We have standards to meet. Can’t be too cold too soon or we lose our minds here.

Grannygear models the new GORE C5 Thermo Jacket
Grannygear in the GORE C5 Thermo Jacket

I have sampled this techy fabric before and been pretty happy with it, especially in some GORE gloves I really have enjoyed using. Infinium seems to do a pretty good job of allowing excess moisture out and their Windstopper technology is super effective at keeping a cold wind from stealing precious body heat. Here’s a bit of background from GORE on the Infinium fabric from their webpage:

The backside of the C5 Thermo Jacket as modeled by Grannygear.

Products made with GORE® WINDSTOPPER® technology are totally windproof and deliver maximum breathability to keep you comfortable in cool and windy weather conditions. The totally windproof, yet extremely breathable membrane blocks the wind and allows vapor to escape. This combination of protection and breathability minimizes the wind’s chilling effect while reducing the risk of overheating when you are active. A durable outer fabric treatment provides you additional protection of water repellency.

The thing is, I am not quite sure what is Infinium on this garment and what is not. And the GORE website is no help at all. There are panels that are fleece backed fabric and others that are not. The sleeves are a mix of both, etc. So however it maps out, it looks like GORE has used the different panels where they feel it best applies. In fact I see what I would say are three different fabric types. Here’s what GORE has to say about the C5 GTX Thermo Jacket on its webpage:

Fleece lined WINDSTOPPER® soft shell for warmth and wind protection designed to work when in your cycling position. A tight to body fit and excellent night time visibility with reflective logos and panels makes this jacket perfect for those determined to keep road cycling even on cold, dark winter days.

  • GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ fabrics with GORE® WINDSTOPPER® product technology totally windproof, extremely breathable and durably water resistant, lightweight protection.
  • Brushed fleece lining for warmth and next-to-skin comfort.
  • Stretch inserts for optimum freedom of movement.
  • Modern, aero road cycling fit lengthened sleeves and dropped tail.
  • Close fit high collar.
  • Elastic cuffs.
  • Front zip with logo transfer.
  • Zip with zip port.
  • 3-gusseted back pockets.
  • Secure zip pocket on rear for keys or valuables.
  • Black reflective transfers.
  • Reflective details.
  • Slim fit.
  • Weight: 15.5 oz.

The retail price of the C5 GTX Thermo Jacket is $220.00USD.

The cut is close but not stupid close to the body. I have a size LG sample (US…not Euro) and it is just right for my 180 pound, long armed, decently broad shouldered yet slim build. Think Tarzan, but with clip-in shoes.

Detail showing cuff length on Grannygear's arm of the C5 Thermo Jersey
Grannygear appreciated the lenght and styling of the cuff on the Thermo Jacket.

The arms are perfectly long for me with enough sleeve to work with a glove and the cuffs are cut at an angle to work well when handling a handlebar. The cuffs are also thin fabric, slightly stretchy, so they tuck under gloves easily and fit close to the wrist. Nice. The collar is so well done too; high enough to offer decent draft protection in cold winds but without a choke hold effect at the Adam’s Apple. 

There are four pockets, all on the back of the jacket. Three are the standard array in a roadie jersey…all are quite deep yet none are very wide, the middle pocket being the widest. The fourth is a right side zipped security pouch that sits over the right hand, third pocket.

OK…so, how does all that work? I think really well. At first I was struggling to get into temps cold enough to use it, so night rides gave me the best shot at that. Now GORE calls this a jacket. I might call it a heavy jersey. Either way, I first wore it with a short sleeve base layer under it. It was likely never below 50 degrees. I was warm enough, of course, but I noticed that the fabric in the sleeve felt a little clammy against my bare skin. It needed to get colder before I could use this again as I feel it does best over a long sleeve jersey or base layer. Jacket, as they said.

Finally it turned cold. Now my personal thermostat runs on the cool side, so I am not the guy who wears shorts all year. I love my fuzzy jammies, you know? I did another night ride where the temps got to 42 degrees (but hovered more near the mid to upper forties) and I was pretty sweaty underneath from a lot of climbing. I was starting to feel that I was not keeping up with staying warm, but I was only wearing a very thin LS base under it, non-winter long fingered gloves, and thermal knickers. I think I was under-dressed in too many places. But I was not suffering either.

The next ride was a bit colder, down to 37 degrees and never above 45 and I was wearing full thermal (GORE) tights, GORE Infinium gloves, and a fuzzier yet not too heavy LS base layer. I was quite comfy, only feeling some cold in the thinner, non fleecy panels of the C5 jacket. I bet that if I layered a bit more, perhaps with a light/medium Merino wool jersey under it, that I could go well below 40 degrees and be good to go.

Wind just stays out there where it belongs, never passing into the jacket and the cut of this is just so well done, especially compared to how garments for cycling were when I began riding these things. 

What don’t I like? It’s black and that scares me a bit for daytime use on trafficked roads although it sure looks good. And at my age, I need all the sexy I can get. But not DEAD sexy. However, at night, color matters naught. Oh, by the way, the C5 jacket has reflective dots embossed on the cuffs and into the rear, bottom panels, along with a few GORE logos, etc. 

It’s a good one, this is. And it even comes in bright colors.

Note: For more on this and other GORE offerings see their website here; https://www.gorewear.com/us/en-us

Note: GORE sent over the C5 Thermo Jacket to Riding Gravel at no charge for test and review. We were not paid, nor bribed for this review and we will always strive to give our honest thoughts and views throughout.


Author: Grannygear

Grannygear hails from SoCal and spent most of his cycling days as a mountain biker from the formative years of mountain biking all the way up to the present day. His day job is in the tech sector, but he has spent time writing about off road 4X4’s, 29″ mountain bikes, and cycling in general. Grannygear and Guitar Ted have worked off and on together since 2009 after a chance meeting at Interbike. With gravel cycling on the rise, Grannygear has been exploring how this genre’ works in SoCal and now does guest pieces for RidingGravel.com in his spare time.

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4 thoughts on “GORE C5 GTX Thermo Jacket: Quick Review

  1. I agree wholeheartedly on the color issue. My riding is a mix of daily commuting, roads, and gravel, and daylight visibility is a top priority. There are some jackets I’ve wanted to try but ruled them out because they either only came in black (or mostly black) or were sold out in the bright colors (hello, customer demand). I run hot and have avoided Gore jackets because they are so cryptic about the use of breathable fabrics, as you note. I have a full Windstopper Gore softshell jacket and might as well be riding in a trash bag as far as breathability goes, despite their claims about it being more breathable than Gore-Tex.

  2. @PStu…last night I rode in the C5 jacket with a LS mid weight jersey under it, warm gloves, Gore tights, a head cover and a neck Buff. It began at 45 degrees and hovered at 39, then ended at 35 degrees. We did several difficult climbs, enough to get sweaty. Then we did a fast descent and then a fast road ride back to the cars for several miles. I have to say the jacket was very good. I stayed warm and the wind stayed out. I also was getting that extra moisture out based on my jersey post-ride. I do have some soft shells that are not near as good as this. GG

  3. I can’t wear Windstopper jackets above 20F without being drenched in sweat.
    Layers of merino and maybe a light mesh back wind shell are more appropriate

  4. @Shiggy….layers are the best and having only two layers can mean you get trapped in a jacket. That said, I know a guy who never rides in long pants. Shorts only. He has an internal furnace like Dante’s Inferno. Me? I get cold next to an ice cream truck. So what is “more appropriate “ is what works for the individual.


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