I really liked the usefulness of the Countdown AS jacket, as it was easy to carry, and when used during variable weather condition changes, you reaped instant benefits. If you got slightly chilled, or the wind kicked up or the sun started to set, etc., and you got an immediate security blanket of warmth and protection without the need of another insulated layer.
The full jacket was quite nice on chilly days, but sometimes it was overkill, so the removable sleeve feature was highly advantageous for those more moderate days, since the vest was more temperate. The zippered sleeves were simple to remove while the jacket was being worn, and if they got snagged while unzipping, you could use your other hand to hold the material in place. To replace the sleeves did require the jacket’s removal, since it was a more delicate operation.
The jacket was extremely comfortable, and I really liked the extended back length, which helps cover the spot on the lower back (plumbers crack), which is always exacerbated by the hunched over aspects of riding. The jacket has a nice loose cut, so I never felt any binding spots, and it allowed fluid movement in any terrain or the typical contortionist ballet that riding requires. The sleeves were long and generous enough for armor, though it was slightly restricted, and it might not work with every variety of protection. The Velcro adjustable cuffs were useful, giving options for a snugger or looser fit, and in addition it gave some micro ventilation.
The full zipped front allows additional tuning for temperature control and ventilation and comfort, and the high collar, which was covered on its inside with a soft plush material, was a nice touch when maximum coverage was required. The front pockets were easily accessible and decently large, though with some waist belts you may need to pop them open to gain egress. The rear pocket was nice and quite huge, though you may need to scrunch forward somewhat to get under the bottom of most packs, so I think a lower placement might make it more advantageous? I do wish it had a Napoleon pocket, since I like those for my music player, and various sundry items.
I used the jacket in some pretty heavy snow storms, and it did just fine, and it shed the snow and didn’t get wet. In light rain, it shed and beaded the drops, and was quite adequate, but in heavier moisture conditions, it was out of its range (only water resistant), and the fabric would get wet.
The GORE Bike Wear Countdown AS jacket is an excellent product, that is highly functional, with features to make it a great multiple condition garment. The highlights are the superb WINDSTOPPER AS material with its windproofness and breathability and water resistance, the full front zipper, long back, detachable sleeves (great functional feature) and adjustable cuffs. The rear pocket zipper sits too high, and it needs a Napoleon pocket, but those are some small nitpicks in this otherwise premium cycling apparel.
- Detachable Sleeves
- Long Back
- High soft collar
- Adjustable cuffs
- WINDSTOPPER material
- Missing Napoleon pocket
- Rear pocket could be set slightly lower
- Needs more breathability
Overall Rating: 4.5 Flamin’ Chili Peppers
COUNTDOWN AS Jacket Specs:
Sizes – S, M, L, XL, XXL
Colors – Red, Blue, Yellow, Brown with Black Trim and Black with White Trim
Visit the GORE Bike Wear website at http://www.gorebikewear.com/remote/Satellite/HomePage