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Psssst… For those of you who like to be prepared with extra clothing for the ride but don’t want the added bulk and weight have I got a sweet product for you: The Gore Countdown Jacket ($249.00 MSRP). Made from GORE-TEX Paclite, this jacket folds up to near nothingness – perfect to fit in the main compartment of your hydration pack – and is extremely lightweight. When the weather is not cooperating this jacket is perfect for keeping out the cold wind and even light rain.

On the trails or on the street this jacket works well at stopping the wind while at the same time feeling breathable and light. I don’t know about you but I’ve noticed many other waterproof jackets don’t breath or stretch well but the Gore Countdown excels at both. Even when riding along at a slow pace and generating lots of body heat this jacket controls the humidity without trapping in body moisture.

What I really like about the jacket is its comfortable fit, both in the riding position and walking around. In the riding position the long back folds out and covers your back side so there’s no gap to where your shorts begin. I’ve also been using my GORE Countdown while jogging (yuck, I know) where it works well even off the bike. GORE incorporates reflective piping instead of tape strips so you get 360 degrees of reflection without the geeky stripes that other jackets sport. Great for being seen at night, and at the same time a great looking jacket that can be worn around town.

From the Gore website here are the details:

  • GORE-TEX Paclite Shell
  • “GORE-TEX stretch inserts on front, back and arms for maximum comfort”
  • Slim fit
  • Adjustable collar with easy-to-operate cord stopper for one-handed use
  • Velcro fastening for separate hood
  • Long back
  • Hem-width adjustable by easy-to-use covered cord stoppers and elastic draw-cord
  • Adjustable cuff
  • Zip tags for easy handling
  • Zip-underflap and zip-port
  • “Reflective piping on front, back and sleeves”
  • Reflective logo on front
  • Reflective logo on collar
  • Zip stow-away pocket in back

One thing that really makes the Countdown stand out is the quality of workmanship. Not one stitch was out of place on my jacket and not one stitch was not covered with the protective under tape that seals the jacket and adds to the weatherproofing. There are no front pockets on the Countdown which at first seemed odd but then I got it! In the riding position if you had a front pocket whatever is in there would dangle around plus there would be another zipper and a possible place for wind / water to enter. The rear pocket is dead center in the middle which also seemed a bit weird at first but I realized this is so there is less chance your pocket items will shift to the side and distract you from your riding. Pretty smart.

Overall I think the Gore Countdown is a great purchase for anyone who rides in shifting weather conditions. The jacket is avaliable in 4 color choices – red/black, yellow/black, blue/black, and all black – with many sizes to fit most of us. The jacket shown above is an XL and I am 190lb, 5’9″ and it fits perfect. If you have the need for a jacket during those nasty days and want something compact that you can fit in your Camelbak, look no further than the Gore Countdown!

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