Saturday, February 24, 2024

Gorewear Winter 2024 Round Up Reviews: Endure GORE-TEX Jacket, R-5 GORE-TEX Infinium Insulated Jacket, Distance Winter Bib Tights+, Windstopper Thermo Gloves

Article by Renee Krusemark

Endure GORE-TEX Jacket ($280), R-5 GORE-TEX Infinium Insulated Jacket ($280),  Distance Winter Bib Tights+ ($200), Windstopper Thermo Gloves  ($90) 

In the article, I review products from Gorewear’s winter cycle and run collection. Testing occurred in Nebraska with temperatures ranging down to -20F (-29C)  and often with strong winds in the mix. Many of the items in the article are on sale at the time of this writing.

Endure GORE-TEX Jacket ($250)

I really like this jacket, and it was well used during the months of December and January. It’s pricey, so here’s all the details to help you decide if it’s worth $250 (if you find it on sale, great!). The Endure GORE-TEX Jacket is a cycling jacket with full GTX membrane and not the “lighter duty” Active membrane, but don’t discount it for other training. I used it for snowshoeing and running during frigid temps. The only major cycling feature is the “over-the-helmet” hood, which is a bit larger in volume than non-cycling hoods.The hood has elastic on both sides and a brim with a non-slip fabric on the inside. There are two bungee cords along the front collar to tighten the fit around the face and another bungee cord in the back of the hood to tighten the fit overhead. Only when running straight into the wind with gusts over 30mph, did the hood fall. Obviously for cycling with a helmet, that’s not an issue. 

The fit is “regular” with a straight cut from shoulders down, meant to be worn above base layers as needed (which is what I did). The back length is longer than the front, best for cycling usage to allow coverage on the bike and movement of the legs. The hem can be adjusted with drawcords located inside the side pockets.  The elbows apparently have a “pre-shaped” cycling position, but I never noticedit . Additional features are two side zipper pockets and Velcro straps to adjust the wrist openings. 

I wore this jacket over the GOREWEAR GTX Insulated Jacket to snowshoe in temps below -20℉ (wind chills were much lower). The jacket is, as advertised, totally windproof. When snowshoeing in fields or running rural roads, I have no wind coming through. The jacket significantly improves warmth over the “feels like” temperatures. Most GORE-TEX are listed as breathable, but to me, they all feel a bit sweaty. When temps are below zero, that’s not a bad thing. 

I wore a women’s size small, my usual size. The arm length is great, and there’s enough volume to add base layers, but not too much volume where it’s awkward to wear as a single layer over a thin shirt. The front length is a bit short, obviously best for cycling use although not an issue to me for other activities. 

Between this jacket and GTX Insulated jacket, I was able to train outside during snowstorms, when the actual temps were well below zero. The jacket is pricey, but GORE-TEX is thin, relatively lightweight, and great for nasty weather (cold, wind, rain, sleet, etc.). For cyclists who also run, the jacket should be a well used product. 

R-5 GORE-TEX Infinium Insulated Jacket ($280)

If you skipped over the Endure GORE-TEX Jacket review, I’ll recap that I wore these two jackets together for many activities during frigid -20℉ temps (with wind chills much lower). The jacket is meant to be a super light insulated layer for cold temperatures, and that’s what it is. The Infinium Insulated Jacket has a transparent fabric on the outside with a WINDSTOPPER liner. 

The jacket is much warmer than it looks or feels. It’s extremely lightweight and flexible. For temperatures in the teens to 20℉, a ran with the jacket using only a light long sleeve shirt underneath (not a cold weather base layer). The jacket is windproof (maybe not as much as the Endure jacket) and water resistant (definitely not waterproof though). Labeled as highly breathable, I find it a bit hot in the same way I feel about any GORE-TEX. During winter months, that’s an asset. The hood has elasticity and stays fairly close around the head, especially if wearing a hat underneath (which I always did). The two pockets have zippers, which is useful for storing extra gloves, or snacks, or whatever you need. 

The major benefit of the jacket is the warmth compared to the weight. 

My only negative note about the jacket, aside from cost, is I have some wear along the zipper where the fabric is frayed. I did wear the jacket under the Endure Jacket for multiple runs, so the frayed fabric/wear could be from that. I wouldn’t wear the jacket if using a hydration vest to avoid any excessive wear. For sizing, I wore my usual women’s size small. The fit is labeled as “slim fit,” but it has a lot of volume/length for the size. 

Women’s Distance Winter Bib Tights+ ($200)

[photo: GOREWEAR]

Renee: The Distance Winter Bib Tights+ retail at $200, although depending on the season they might be on sale (at the time of writing they are $140). These are the warmest bibs in the GOREWEAR lineup with wind and water resistant fabric. The seat pad is women-specific. The seat area and lower legs have water-resistant inserts for spray protection.

[photo above: back leg spray protection]

The fit is “form fit,” which I thought to be true-to-size. My sample was a small size, my usual size. The material is meant to be tight, but the material stretches across the front. 

I suggest true-to-size unless you have a longer than average leg and torso length. In terms of cycling, the fit works and the material does not bunch. The padding seat area is sewn within the fabric, so there won’t be any moment of the padding itself while moving.


[photo above: padding from the inside view]

As someone who snowshoes and trail runs/hikes much more than cycling, the bibs are a cycle-specific style. The rear padding is not comfortable for hiking or running. The fabric itself works great in frigid temps. I snowshoed with the bibs in double digits below 0℉, with wind chills reaching -30℉ to -40℉. 

Windstopper Thermo Gloves ($90)

Renee: Retailing at $90, the gloves (at the time of writing) are on sale for $63. I’ll be able to wear these gloves from late fall to early spring., I think they are a good purchase for running, hiking, and cycling. The gloves are windproof and water resistant with a small amount of padding on the palm and inner forehand. 

The wrist has an elastic opening, and the inside is thermo lined. The gloves are unisex sizing. I wore a size small, which had a bit too much length in the fingers. For women sizing, if you normally wear a size small, I suggest an extra small. 

That said, I’ve been using the gloves for months. For temperatures, I find them best right below freezing to around 0℉. I tried them at -12℉ with feels-like temps being much colder, and switched gloves (Outdoor Research Deviator Pro Gloves). The warmth and padding are not intrusive for running, and the padding works great when using poles. For anyone who cycles and hikes/runs/nordic skis with poles, the gloves are a good and versatile choice. 

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Renee is a former U.S. Marine journalist, which is when her enjoyment of running and writing started. She isn’t that awesome of a runner, but she tries really hard. Most of her weekly 50-60 miles take place on rural country roads in Nebraska, meaning mud, gravel, dirt, hills, and the occasional field. She has PR’s of 1:30:59 for the half marathon and 3:26:45 for the marathon.

Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

Comments and Questions Welcome Below! Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and current preferred shoes

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1 comment:

Cbus said...

I got the R5 jacket to survive a polar vortex in the great lakes region. Unfortunately it took 10+ days to arrive so I didn't get to test in the most brutal conditions. I bought this because the Trackmith NDO was sold out for the year (booo!). Willing to pay any price to stay warm.

I got the R5 without a hood for $180-something after a 20% discount from the Gore website for first-time shoppers.

The fabric is very soft and quiet, unlike the scratchy Gore Tex from the old days. It is indeed a light jacket but a simple base layer is all I need for 25F and windy. Light rain beads up and rolls off. The shimmery gray color is very unique (imagine mithril from LOTR).

Overall high quality and it seems like something I'll have in my closet for decades.