GORE Summer 2022 Kit: Quick Review – by Grannygear
It took a while to see the new samples for GORE Wear after our meeting at Sea Otter, so let’s waste no time in getting our impressions out there before Summer is gone.
Fernflow Shorts- $130.00: I received a pair of the new GORE Fernflow Shorts in the black color and in a US Medium size. They fit my slim 32” waist quite well, and they also have an adjustable waist band just in case.
They are long with a 13.4” inseam, which I happen to like very much. When you ride in them, they sit right at the very top of the kneecap. That keeps the sun off of one of the most likely places to sunburn when on long rides…the top of the lower thigh.
The material is not super lightweight, but is in between the Chrome shorts and the Sportful ones we recently reviewed. There looks to be some good thinking in the cut of the multiple panels in the shorts. There are laser cut holes on the inner thigh for ventilation. There are three pockets: two are deep and zipped in front, one is so hard to find that it took me a while to even locate it, but it is tiny and sits on the waistband at the back of the shorts. It’s very small but would hold a car fob or single key.
GORE mentions that these shorts are coated for spray resistance, more so in the rear of the short where tire spray would soak you. Of course, that is nothing I can really test in So Cal this time of year. They also mention the Cordura fabric construction with a high level of abrasion resistance.
I actually got them and wore them on a ride before I even read about them and I have been really, really enjoying using these. I have about a half dozen + baggy shorts. Some are full on MTB shorts from the past and some are more recent ones that could do double duty as ride-to-work shorts. But these Fernflows might be the best compromise short I have used yet for gravel riding. This is what I have found.
- The comfort level on the bike is top notch. The legs do not ride up when pedaling and nothing gets in the way, pinches, or binds.
- I expected them to wear a bit hot, but one 6 hour ride that ended in 103 degree temps proved otherwise. If they were available in a lighter grey, that would be nice as an option though.
- The front pocket design is odd to put your hands into as it divides into two ‘sections’ almost like it was made for the Vulcan hand greeting. “Live long and prosper”. But I think that was to allow a cell phone to sit on the ‘outside’ of the leg and stay there.
- The waist band adjuster is well done as it practically dissappears when fastened down. I have had some like these flap a bit and annoy. I typically snugged them up when riding so they would not sag. It worked well.
- They do not look like a MTB short, although they could be if you were not into wearing pads.
The Less Than Good:
- Not a thing really.
Lupra Jacket $180.00: Unfortunately I cannot even talk about riding in this piece as the weather hit 90s+ about the time I got these samples from GORE. So I cannot go out and test a jacket that is made to shelter me and keep me warm when it’s Margarita Ville time here. Guitar Ted did get to try its wet weather shedding ability so he can chime in here. He did prove that the Lupra is not a storm shelter for wet weather. (See his take down below)
From the GORE website:
We wanted a robust, lightweight jacket you could wear up and downhill in different conditions with enough versatility and style to wear off the bike too. The highly breathable, stretch fabrics allow for more freedom of movement and prevent overheating during strenuous efforts. The over-the-helmet hood adds more protection from the elements like wind, rain, and debris.
Infinium is a GORE fabric that has treated me pretty well. It blocks wind like a brick wall and breathes quite well. The Lupra is not a rain jacket, but more like a full featured windbreaker. Here is more about the Lupra from the GORE website:
- GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ with integrated GORE® WINDSTOPPER® technology – Totally windproof, extremely breathable, and durably water-resistant with a woven surface for increased durability and coverage. Strategically placed in zones – front, hood, and upper arms
- GORE® selected fabrics – Durable water-resistant treatment on a four-way stretch woven fabric for a highly breathable, quick-drying material. Strategically placed in zones – back, hip, and lower arms
- Over-the-helmet hood – More adjustable protection from the elements to use on or off the bike
- Front zipped pockets for storing valuables – Two front zipped pockets secure your essentials and are positioned slightly higher to improve backpack and hip bag compatibility
- Taped seams in the hood and shoulder area
- Partially windproof
- Highly breathable
- Quick-drying materials
- Slightly longer back
- Pre-shaped elbows in a cycling position
- Adjustable hem with drawcords inside pockets
- Partial elastic sleeve cuff
- Front zip with zipper garage prevents chafing at the neck
- Zip tags for easy opening
- Reflective details
- Weight: 10.9 oz.
- Fabric: GORE TEX® INFINIUM™
Guitar Ted’s Take: I also received the Lupra Jacket in black and while Grannygear did not have an opportunity to try this out in cooler, wetter weather, I did on several occasions due to our wet early Summer.
First- I want to note that GORE claims this jacket is “Water Resistant“, which I take to mean that you get nominal protection from mists, light showers, but not much hope for protection from heavier precipitation. My findings were that the Lupra did not match this definition, and where it was “resistant” to precipitation and where it was not was a bit befuddling.
In a cycling position, I would consider the front of the forearms, the back, and the tops of the shoulders most prone to wetting out in a precipitation event. GORE apparently designed the Lupra to be breathable more so in the back of the Lupra, and this is exactly where I found that the Lupra had pretty much zero resistance to any sort of precipitation. Now on the forearms and shoulders? Excellent water bead-up and a decent amount of rain protection for a reasonable amount of time. But that back panel was alarming in how fast it wet-out. For my riding, this places the Lupra into a dry weather, wind only category.
Grannygear: There are a lot of details in this piece. Just take the hood, for example. It has a drawstring for tensioning the hood down a bit towards the back and cords to tension it at the front as well. It also has three patches on the inside of the rear of the hood down low that looks like it would prevent the helmet rubbing and catching on the fabric. There is also a silicon band at the inside peak of the hood front so it would resist being blown off of the helmet.The high collar and hood would feel pretty cozy in a cold wind. One thing though is that the hood does not store away, so it could be a wind catch if it was not being used.
The sleeves are aggressively cut, angled to match a riding position. There are reflective patches on the back of the arms at the elbow. There are high mounted front zipped pockets so a waist belt pack would not get in the way. The rear hem is cut long. There is a drawcord at the waist.
At The Finish: As for the Fernflow Shorts, these are the best so far for gravel bike rides and I think they would be quite good for adventure and bikepacking outings. Now, the Lupra is a viable garment for me, as I am not so interested in wet weather protection. It would be welcome in my backpacking kit. But one has to well consider that this is not a true shelter garment in that you could not rely on it for a rain storm. However, I would wager it is more breathable than a true rain jacket. If you do need a true rain shelter, then GORE makes the Endure jacket, but at a higher cost.
And that is all I can speak to unless we get a cold spell in August.
NOTE: GORE sent over the Fernflow shorts and Lupra jacket to RidingGravel.com at no charge for test and review. We were not paid, nor bribed for this review and we always strive to give our honest thoughts and views throughout.