Friday, April 16, 2021

Gore Wear Spring 2021 Running Apparel RTR Round Up Review: Ultimate 2in1 Shorts, Drive Vest, R5 Tee

 Article by Sam Winebaum

We are all familiar with Gore-Tex waterproof breathable but did you know Gore,  through its Gore Wear division also makes a full line of all conditions (including non heavy weather) running as well as cycling apparel? In fouler or colder weather we have been delighted with Gore Wear's Infinium jackets and pants and reviewed several pieces over the last few years.

The more summer oriented GoreWear running wear has typically had a more Euro, cycling, very fitted vibe and fit as the brand is headquartered in Germany. In 2021 Gore Wear relaxes the fit (with they say new sizing better corresponding to "reality" or at least less snug fits for a given size ) and really ups their game in terms of lighter, more breathable fabrics and highly functional run pieces. They were kind enough to send me a "mystery surprise" assortment of the latest to test. 

Ultimate 2in1 Shorts ($160)


The Ultimate is as named a 2 in 1 short. I am typically not a fan of such long double shorts as they tend to be warm, bunch, and can either restrict knee motion or not have enough compression to make the inner short worthwhile for me. I also always look for pockets and lots of them for phone, some water, tripod, and especially jacket stuffing on the go. 

The Ultimate has all of that on board and then some with a feel, fit, very quality construction of very light materials that is much lighter and easier fitting, comfortable, and functional than any other 2 in 1 I have tried.  And all that comfort and performance comes at a price to match of $160, way up there for a short but one must also consider the Ultimate as a "carry" system which can substitute for a small race vest. My sample is my usual medium and fits just right. 

The dark band is the upper part of the inner compression short and includes 5 stretch mesh compartments.

On the front to the left of the middle there is a 6" / 15cm long pocket which can hold a phone, light jacket,  or a small soft flask. Then, on either side towards the hips, smaller mesh pockets for gels and such. 

Strangely the small right 3" mesh pocket is separated from the center where the larger one starts with a section that is sewn shut while the larger left starts right at the waist band. While all compartments have large flat rubbery tabs to locate them, I would have expected the right pocket to start right away at the center so often have a hard time finding it. The design may also have something to do with creating enough front structure to hold the shorts up and snug. 

There is a left 4" mesh pocket which starts right where the large front pocket ends which is much easier to find. I do think things could be simplified by making the right front pocket the same size as the left.

At the rear we have the largest stretch mesh compartment which is 7.5 inches / 19cm long. I have easily stuffed all manner of jackets and vests in it including the Drive vest reviewed below. Finally, there is a right side 4 inch / 10 cm pocket with a key clip. 
I do wish that while capacity would remain the number of separate compartments was reduced to more easily find and reach things. 

Below that on the thighs we have a giant mesh pocket on the left thigh which will fit any phone bounce free. Note the sturdy stitching and orange thicker opening. On the left thigh there is almost equally big pocket with a diagonal zip. I can put my car keys or my iPhone 12 Pro in that pocket. 

So if my math is right we have a total of 7 stretch mesh pockets.  All loaded up the shorts don't sag but you  will want to cinch the excellent rubber tipped drawstring to make that work.  

The inner compression short is remarkably thin, decently compressive and very comfortable. The fit with my medium and 33" waist was snug and supportive but not suffocatingly so.

Compression liners and other 2 in1 liners are often dense weaves, thick and plasticky,  or really just a liner which rides up. Not so here. The every thin stretch compression material is soft to the touch pleasant on the skin, breathes very well so far, provides moderate compression and is never noticed beyond its length which for my preferences I would like to see shorter as here we really have a "short tight" length inner short.
 
No hint of chafing ever so far after many runs. It has a very soft liner material front panel. 

The outer short is a super thin, airy split short with some stretch. It sure flies around when seen in pictures with its only purpose it seems to hide the inner compression short. I wish both compression short and outer short were...somewhat shorter but that is a personal preference. 
I tested the Ulitmate in spring weather conditions including several days where pants or tights might  have been an option, where jackets and vests came on and off in the wind and I always carried my phone.  So I appreciated the vest free storage. 

The inner short provided plenty of wind and cold protection while never getting over saturated and dried very quickly. The moisture and odor management of the short was excellent. I did not test in summer conditions but expect for such a long type short comfort should be excellent. Clearly it is a strong choice for ultra runners. 
Ultimate 2in1 is also available in all Black

Need a longer light compression short that can also easily carry all run essentials, and then some, with no bounce and great comfort?  The Ultimate is for sure to be considered even at its quite steep price. There is a tremendous amount of attention to detail and top notch materials here. It is most versatile and comfortable such short I have ever tested. I personally would prefer a somewhat shorter version but that is me.


The Drive Vest with Gore-Tex Partial Infinium technology for wind resistance with breathability is whisper light at 65g in a large. 
Very thin, translucent and very soft and slippery feeling with a grid like texture, it has a full front zip as well as back zip pocket. It has hidden reflective logos that only appear when lit for safety 
My small (what I received as I am usually a medium) was snug across the chest at my usual size, form fitting as opposed to draping in fit. Gore Wear calls it a slim fit and it is. The elastane stretch material of the R5 tee reviewed below might have been a good idea here. My usual medium would have worked better. 
The Drive has proved a near daily spring run companion along our windy coastline. It is so light and compressible you can stuff it anywhere even into very small pockets. The feel is very soft and whisper light. The wind protection is excellent and breathability decent although a bit hampered I think by my snug fit rather than the material itself.  Interestingly,  I don't yet see a Drive jacket. I think it would be a yet more versatile option.



I had a previous R5 shirt which while comfortable was somewhat heavier than the 2021 version here. The R5 is a tech tee that in my black can go just about anywhere. 

Gore Wear sent me a small instead of my usual medium and the fit is just right which is strange as usually a small is to small and snug as the vest borderline was. It likely it is the stretch rear elastane doing its thing but I do question the sizing. Bottom line for me was sizing down was the right call. 

Moisture management has been excellent and it dries fast. The R5 is 100% polyester on the front and around the lower back with a classy heathered outer texture and feel with on the inner surface a 3D moisture management and standoff grid on the inside at the front for a nice easy draped fit that doesn't scream or feel like a slick plasticky tech tee. The upper back  has a very thin airy 8% stretch elastane for freedom of movement and breathability.  The fitted but not snug combination of materials and cut is effective. The R5 rests easy on the body and moves well with you. Odor management is average. 

The R5 is a light, soft,  comfortable, well fitted, classy looking tech tee that can easily handle any run or hike and then easily transition to more casual wear. I think its comfort, performance, and looks makes it well worth its $60 price.

Gore Wear Running Apparel is available from Gore Wear HERE and at our partners below

Tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. No other compensation was received by RTR or the authors for this review from Gore Wear . The opinions herein are entirely the author's.

Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
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