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.
Now I often ride pure roadie wear on my gravel rides if they are long and fast over mixed surfaces…a typical gravel experience for around here. But for less of a ‘pace’ or for stuff like light bikepacking, I would grab the Explore stuff every time
GORE has been winning with me of late with clothing that really has been working well. This, after some other items that were real misses, has been a great surprise and has filled out my go-to list of staple clothing quite nicely.
Right as winter was ending and a so far, quite warm spring, was hitting the balmy shores of So Cal, a big bag of mixed items from GORE showed up for review. Once we worked through some sizing issues, we got into the items enough to get a feel for the performance of each one and we can now report.
When the label says “When performance is a priority and water fastness isn’t”, you know they are speaking my language. In So Cal, from fall into winter, we can get rain of course, but mostly we get cold winds. So having a layer that is wind blocking is key to happy riding.
I would suggest this as a very good but not terribly exceptional outer shell…. I would have expected a much nicer pad in the bibs, and a structure that didn’t put a seam in an area where the body articulates during pedaling.