Gore Bike Wear ALP-X Jacket and Shorts Review

Apparel Pro Reviews

Impressions
I have gotten the system in some decent rain storms, and have been snowed, rained and graupeled, sometimes on the same ride. I was always able to stay nice and dry underneath the jacket and shorts, and in addition they breathed quite well for rain gear. The jacket and shorts were comfortable, lightweight, durable, with enough useful and functional features, while still retaining some simplification. They are so light and packable, that it’s easy to bring them along no matter what the current weather is like, which is a good thing since you won’t be caught with your guard down in a storm. The jacket offered adequate length and roominess, but fit snug enough that it wasn’t flopping around in the wind nor on a ride. The shorts worked really well, and didn’t adverse effect my pedaling, other than making a swish sound as my knees came up from a pedal stroke.

alpx_wearing

The jacket has a couple of interesting features, one is the drop down tail on the rear of the jacket. Just simply unsnap the tail, and it keeps water rolling right off your back past your saddle, keeping your derriere drier. The addition of a small bit of elastic so that the tail snugs up against your butt is a very nice, although it looks like a baby diaper! I found that it tended to catch on the back of your seat during any sort of technical maneuvering, which you might not be doing during a heavy rainstorm? The rear of the jacket is cut with a slight droop, and offers a fair amount of coverage, so it’s slightly redundant if using the ALP-X shorts, but is quite nice when wearing normal gear .

alpx_flap

I liked how far the collar came up, so during cold weather or heavy rains you could bundle up, and no rain would sneak in, and drip down my neck. Other features for the jacket are reflective piping, a front and rear pocket and some nice wrist and hem closures. Instead of having pit zips for ventilation, it uses an innovative mesh vent that runs behind the front flaps that cover the zipper. Simply ‘flip the flaps out flat’, and there is a 1 inch wide mesh than runs the full length of the jacket right next to the zipper.

alpx_layout

You can even stuff the jacket into its large zippered mesh rear pocket, to form a small bundle. The front of the jacket has a full length zipper that has an overlapping flap to prevent any water egress.

alpx_pack

The shorts are well designed, with a lot of small hidden features, including a thicker seat pad, an elastic portion on the rear for some stretching room, a rear zippered pocket, innovative leg closures to keep them snug and reflective piping. The shorts were meant to be pulled on when the inclement weather starts, and were easy enough to do so, but were still snug. Like the jacket, you can even stuff the shorts into its zippered rear pocket. The stretchy material on the rear is shaped like a horseshoe, and makes the shorts comfortable, unfortunately the material has torn on me in a couple of spots, although it hasn’t leaked as yet? I really liked the shorts. I can’t count how many times I have had a decent rain jacket with me, but I always would get soaked to the bones in my shorts.

alpx_shorts

The helmet cover is pretty simple, and sort of fits on like a beret, and it has a single reflective piping on the rear. When installing on a mountain bike helmet, the visor will need to be removed so that it will fit. I really appreciated the functions it offered, since it kept me dry during rain storms, but didn’t let me overheat like a rain hood does. During some snow squalls and sideways rain storms, the hood would have been nice, but I certainly enjoyed the additional venting the cover provided. I did like how nice any piece of the system kept the cold wind from creeping in when the temp drops, so I sometimes used them as a wind breaker, even when it was not raining nor snowing. I used the hood during the ugliest weather, but found it a bit cumbersome and claustrophobic, although it did provide the maximum weather protection. The hood attaches to the collar with Velcro, and seals up the jacket tightly, so errant water dribbles down your neck.

alpx_hoods

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About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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  • The Dude says:

    try out some eVent on your next go round…its even better

  • Brian Mullin says:

    I have reviewed a Showers Pass jacket, but there isn’t a whole lot of cycling specific eVent jackets on the market. I have found eVent does slightly breathe better, otherwise as long as both products are cleaned regularly (especially gore) they are pretty close.

  • jerome says:

    One of the best if not the best
    I have had 3 during the last 9 years.
    I am using it for riding road and mtb (20 000 km/y) running and fast spaced hikes.
    I have been out under heavy rain for hours without getting even wet.
    The cut is good enough for road riding in comfort, without noticing it much.
    I had a Showers Pass high end model but it doesn’t fit the bill for me same for Endura

    The Short s great too for hiking and Mtb, 100% waterproof certified.cui

  • PoolHopper says:

    To keep your feet completely dry, you can order black GoreTex Socks from Cabelas.
    They have unlined and lined versions. Unlined will work fine for
    anything above 40 degrees, lined for everything below 40 or so.
    The socks are designed to be worn over a normal pair of socks
    and will fit inside your regular shoes, will be a bit tight to
    start but will mold to fit perfectly inside your shoes. Wear these
    socks with the Gore Bike Wear Ultra Pants and you will be warm and
    completely dry from the waist down.

  • Brian Mullin says:

    I just got the GT socks and City Overshoes to test out, but is has been pretty dry lately.

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