Gore is universally known for their foul weather gear, and I personally have several pieces of cold and wet weather pieces of Gore pieces that I’ve happily relied on for years. So, when they sent me their latest C7 Women’s kit to try, I was excited to see their take on fair weather clothing. Truth be told, there are aspects of the C7 Women Pro Jersey that I appreciate and a couple things that left me scratching my head.
It’s a comfortable and attractive jersey with a durable fabric that will withstand hydration pack abrasion and give you three season versatility. The sleeves are long, reaching nearly to my elbows, which allows them to easily stay in place with no grippers or elastic. A long hem gives you plenty of coverage with bibs or shorts, and, unlike the sleeves, the back does have silicone grip to prevent it from riding up.
The seam placement is well-thought-out to avoid bunching or chafing when you’re wearing a pack, making this an ideal jersey for marathon mountain bike racing or adventure riding. A full-length underflap prevents the front zip from laying directly on your skin, while the mesh center back panel and mesh underarm panels increase venting.
Gore lists the ideal temperature range as 60° – 75° F, cloudy or sunny, which seems accurate based on my experience. It’s certainly wearable in higher temps, but it may not be the first thing you reach for when the temps creep into the 90s. That means you can potentially get more use out of this jersey though—add warmers or vest, and it’ll be perfectly at home in the spring or fall.
While I love the cut and feel of Gore’s C7 Pro Jersey, the pocket layout is frustrating. Gore gives you a lot of pockets—six if you count the little key-holder zip pocket. You’ve got your standard “three-pocket plus a small zip” layout in the back, but then Gore adds two narrow mesh pockets along the side of the jersey. I haven’t figured out what to put in these pockets though; the width is ideal for a pump, a gel packet, or block of chews, but the placement all but ensures whatever you put in them pokes you in the ribs as you’re bent over the bike. I ultimately left them empty because I couldn’t find anything that I wanted on my ride that fit in the pockets and was comfortable while in the pockets.
Unfortunately, these rib pockets also cut into vital real estate for the more useful back pockets, making them…less useful. Due to this layout, only the center pocket is wide enough to easily fit my phone. While in all other respects, this is a great jersey for a long ride, it’s a tight fit to get a vest, a phone, a pump, and a snack or two in all three back pockets. More than two hours of riding, and you’ll need to get creative to fit it all in. I admire Gore’s enthusiasm for pockets, but I would much prefer quality over quantity here.