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The Gore Bike Wear Paclite Shell is a waterproof, windproof hardshell cycling jacket. It’s a classy, good-looking Gore-Tex jacket that does what you need it to do – it keeps you dry, so you can laugh at the elements. And the more you wash it, the better it gets.
It’s a good idea to start out by being clear just what kind of cycling jacket a waterproof cycling jacket is. As you can see from the table below, the Gore Paclite Shell is a hardshell jacket.
|Waterproof?||Not at all||Usually water resistant, due to a DWR coating on the exterior. Not waterproof||Aims to be completely waterproof, using a hard shell - such as a woven fabric with a laminate coating, such as Gore-Tex|
|Breathable?||Extremely breathable||Much more breathable than hardshell jackets, but less breathable than fleece jackets||Very limited breathability, because keeping out water has the obvious side effect of keeping water IN. Quality hardshell jackets strive to incorporate SOME breathability, by using the advanced micro pore technology developed by Gore-Tex to allow water vapor molecules to escape|
|Windproof||No||These vary from a little bit windproof to completely windproof. Some have a woven face to increase windproofness. And Gore uses WINDSTOPPER, a laminate that is sandwiched together with other textile layers to create a single fabric that is windproof but breathable||Yes, they are especially designed with laminate and sealed seams to exclude wind completely|
|Do they make a noise?||No||These are usually quieter than hardshells, as they are softer||These jackets can make a noise as you move, due to the hard materials|
|Texture||These are the softest jackets||These are the second softest jackets||These are the least soft. Nothing soft and cozy about these jackets, as they strive to exclude the elements|
|Packable||Quite thick, not designed to pack away in a pannier||Not as thin as hardshell jackets, as they include a fleecy layer. Harder to pack than hardshells||The thinnest, as they have no fleecy layers, so they pack well into a pannier|
A couple of months ago I was cycling with Mrs. Average Joe Cyclist, when all of a sudden the heavens opened with a deluge. I was wearing a “water-resistant” shell, and so naturally, within a few seconds I was wet to the skin. So I squelched miserably into the first bike shop I could find, where a friendly and knowledgeable sales associate suggested that I buy a Gore-Tex jacket. The Gore company invented waterproof fabrics decades ago. Other people have copied them since then, but they remain the gold standard.
When I heard the lightweight Gore Bike Wear Paclite Shell cost more than some bikes I have bought in my time (I paid $300, but you can often get it cheaper on Amazon). I was reluctant to buy it. I was persuaded by Maggie reminding me that I frequently bike in the rain, and by the sales associate who promised me that the Gore Bike Wear Paclite would magically keep me dry, due to its advanced waterproof technology. And also by the fact that I was soaked, freezing and shivering.
When I tried on the Gore Bike Wear Paclite Shell, it fit like a glove and looked kind of cool (a lot of bike wear really doesn’t), so I forked over $300. However, I warned the associate that if so much as a drop of rain touched my skin, I would be back by the end of the day to demand my 300 bucks back.
I still have my Gore Bike Wear Paclite Shell!
Every cyclist needs a perfect waterproof shell in his or her pannier, and that’s where the Gore Bike Wear Paclite Shell is pretty much unrivaled.
|Buy it now! Find the best price for Gore Bike Wear Paclite Shell|
The Gore Bike Wear Paclite Shell is 100% WaterPROOF
Yup, my Gore Bike Wear Paclite Shell turned out to be 100% water proof. Although we were out for another four hours in the rain, not a drop of water touched my skin (not on my upper body, anyway). This is definitely what I LOVE about my Gore Bike Wear Paclite Shell – I am no longer afraid of being caught in the rain. I know I will cycle happily to and from work, never getting soaked and miserable – at least from the waist up, and that’s the most important part, when it comes to staying warm (and alive, when temperatures plummet and it’s really not wise to be outdoors while soaking wet).
Other Things about the Gore Bike Wear Paclite Shell: Reflective Stripes, Pockets and Durability
My Gore Bike Wear Paclite Shell is black, with reflective stripes. There is no ventilation – this Gore Bike Wear Paclite Shell is all about keeping you dry. It can get a little too warm at times – but I can put up with that. It’s so much better than the opposite (freezing to death). The Gore Bike Wear Paclite Shell has the usual handy lower back pocket for keys, phone and snack. It also has a zippered pocket just below the collar bone that I find very useful for an iPhone. The zippers all work well and smoothly.
One more really cool thing: according to the sales associate, the more times I wash my Gore Bike Wear Paclite, the MORE water proof it will be. Awesome!
Note that the beading of water on the jacket is due to the fact that the jacket is treated with a durable water repellant (DWR) that causes water to bead. This is a great thing to see on your sleeves as you are riding – rain falls on you, but then it beads together into big lumps, which do not penetrate the fabric. You can brush the lumps off. Over time the DWR layer start to wear off, but you can rejuvenate it by running the jacket through your washing machine. If it wears off completely, you can spray on a fresh layer of DWR. For example, Nikwax TX Direct Waterproofing will do the trick.
Bottom Line on the Gore Bike Wear Paclite Shell
In all, this classy, good-looking Gore Bike Wear Paclite Shell does what you need it to do – it keeps you dry, so you can laugh at the elements, even if you live in a rainy city. So yes, it’s worth the relatively high price tag – fork it over and never look back soggily!
Update: Since I wrote this post, the Gore Paclite has been upgraded to the Gore Bike Wear Oxygen 2.0 waterproof cycling jacket. This is just as good as the Paclite, but is significantly more breathable. To read about the technology involved in making jackets both breathable and waterproof, plus see reviews of the 7 best cycling jackets, click here. In that post, the Gore Bike Wear Oxygen 2.0 is rated as no. 1 in the list of 7 best cycling jackets.
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