Gore ONE Gore-tex Active £220
The ONE is made from Gore’s Active Gore-tex fabric, which uses a ‘Permanent Beading Surface’ on the outside, eliminating the need for a Durable Water Resistant (DWR) coating, which means the fabric can be reduced from three layers to two.
This results in a completely waterproof garment that retains the breathability of traditional Gore-tex clothing but, crucially, reducing the layers of fabric also decreases weight and increases packability. This is dramatic and our size small hit the scales at just 98g.
The Gore ONE remains the most technologically advanced jacket we have tested and is also the best-performing with regard to breathability and beading. Out on the road, waterproofing is excellent. It is easy to run out of superlatives, but the performance of the Gore ONE really is on a par with a dedicated hard-shell waterproof. However (and this is the clincher), the low weight and high packability is comparable to a lightweight emergency rain cape.
The Permanent Beading Surface actually works in our long-term experience. Over time, many other jackets lose their DWR coating, which diminishes beading and results in them becoming less waterproof. Having washed the Gore ONE multiple times (30ºc with no fabric softener!), we can report the beading is every bit as good as when it was new. It has really impressed in this regard and this attribute certainly helps justify the high price.
It isn’t a stretchy softshell, meaning that the fabric will flap slightly in the wind. That said, the fit is very good for a jacket of this type.
Another criticism is visibility. Some like stealthy black, but many will argue that kit designed for bad weather could benefit from more visibility. We are aware though that printing graphics on the Gore ONE’S fabric is not straightforward.