Sunday, December 30, 2012
Clothing makes the man.
This is a great jacket. Really. And it may have not made this man anything other than warmer and happier, but I will take that in spades! I found a great deal on what I think is last year's version of the Gore Phantom 2.0 jacket pictured here and bought it as a Christmas present from the wifey to me. Mine is just as obnoxiously yellow but I will not be overlooked on the trail!
I was looking for that much coveted single winter overgarment that will allow me to climb without being a human sauna and still not be a popsicle on the descents. In So Cal we have a typical 'binge and purge' riding experience where we get right out of the gate and climb, climb, climb, then drop like a stone. That makes for a difficult scenario to dress for. It also gets windy here, very windy and typically that is a cold wind. Maybe not Minot, ND, cold and windy, but still it will do to make you miserable on a longer ride.
And I tend to suffer consequences when my core temps drop or even are made to feel chilly. I have a mild case of Raynaud's, a malady that affects circulation in the extremities. It is triggered when the body thinks it is going to be getting cold, like when cold air moves across a sweat soaked chest on a bike ride. So my little piggies will go dead numb like right now even when I am not that cold anywhere else. It sucks.
So this Gore jacket has been flat out amazing and may well be the single best piece of Fall/Winter gear I have in my closet. I have four rides on it now in temps in the low 40s to the mid 50s, all in the wind. I have worn it so far each time with only a thin long sleeve base layer under it and above wool knickers but that has been it for upper body layers...the base and the Gore Phantom II. The first ride was a revelation. No wind got through the jacket from the front at all and I was not overheated but it was an easy ride. Still, I had hopes.
The next ride was on a mid to low 50s temp day with strong winds and we climbed for 45 minutes or so pretty much on a constant grade. I was on the SS, so I was putting out some wattage. I never felt like I was over heating and when we flipped the ride around and dropped at 25mph back to the cars, I added warmer gloves and a warmer head cover but kept the jacket on as the only top coat. I never was uncomfortable and even at the bottom, where I could feel the cold creeping through the jacket, I was quite comfortable. Simply amazing.
Today the ride began on a mid to upper 40s day with strong winds. During the ride it rained and hailed as a cell moved over us. I did a one hour loop that climbs then drops as usual and the Gore jacket was a sweet deal, I tell ya. I was just beginning to feel that I needed another layer under the jacket as the temps dropped into the 30s, but I bet a light fleece or merino light-to-mid weight jersey over the base layer and I would have been good well into the 30s. As it was, the light rain/sleet and hail beaded up and the wind never penetrated the jacket. It rocked.
Now why do I write all this? Well I guess that, if you are thinking about spending $180.00 on a single piece of technical clothing, you may like to know it works. I got this on sale for less than half that, but honestly, after having this for a while now, I would pay full boat for it. I like it that much.
As for the Raynauds, today was a day that would normally have me with white and frozen digits by the end of the ride and it really seems to have helped by not having the wind be a factor in dropping my core body temp.
Every so often I get a product that meets and then exceeds my expectations and this jacket has done that in spades.
Thanks Gore Wear.