We first saw Gore’s new Stretch technology at Outdoor Retailer with the Outdoor Research Hemispheres Jacket and Bib. These waterproof shells are made from hybrid-mapped panels of GORE-TEX Fabric with Stretch Technology, which offers nearly four times the stretch as other stretch waterproof fabrics, and also stretches easily with very low force – roughly 25 percent of what is required to stretch other waterproof fabrics.
Now Gore has paired its Stretch panels with Shakedry to create a trimmer fitting cycling jacket. If you recall, Gore-Tex Shakedry is the company’s membrane-on-the-outside fabric that creates a persistent beading surface for durable waterproofness as water simply shakes off. By pairing this material with the new Stretch panels, Gore is able to cut the jacket with a trimmer fit and enable the jacket to freely move with you. A closer fit also improves the breathability of the fabric and supposedly makes it quieter as well.
The Stretch panels are placed in key positions — under the arms and on the upper back so you can easily switch riding positions without restriction. On the front of the jacket, Stretch panels above the hips reduce the amount the jacket will move during normal pedaling to cut down on noise and the possibility of chaffing from bunched material.
Retired pro cyclists and Gore Wear ambassador Fabian Cancellara contributed to the development of the jacket. “This low force stretchable material is a new kind of Gore-Tex fabric that allows the production of a draped cycling-specific jacket that fits and performs more like a jersey, while still being completely waterproof,” the company said.
The new Gore C7 Gore-Tex Shakedry Stretch Jacket is available only from Gore Wear and retails for $369. It’s only available as unisex at the moment.