Feel Good, Ride Good: Summer Weight Shorts and a Breathable Long Sleeve Jersey from Gore

Jamielee checks out a lightweight mountain bike kit from Gore, perfect for protection from the sun and heat.
Photos: Daniel Palma

Gore C5 Women Trail Light Shorts

The Gore C5 Women Trail Light Shorts are an essential addition to any MTB wardrobe. These shorts are ultra lightweight, well ventilated, and super comfortable for those hot days in the saddle. 

One of the first things that caught my attention when trying them on was how light these shorts are. They’re ultralight and thin, weighing only 4.2 oz, lighter than a lot of other trail short options out there. To put things into perspective, a pencil weighs about 1oz – so these shorts are as light as 4 pencils. It almost feels like you’re not wearing them.

The shorts material is a mix of polyester, elastane and mesh, and is nice and stretchy allowing for a great range of movement. I took these shorts to test out for the first time on a 10-mile ride on a hot, 90-degree day and I was grateful for the design: the large mesh panels around the waist and upper and lower thighs provide plenty of airflow. These are probably the most lightweight and well-ventilated shorts I’ve owned. 

Next, the C5 shorts have a yoga-pant-like stretchy waistband and come with an internal silicone gripper at the waist. The waistband also has an adjustable drawstring to improve the fit. Without buttons or zippers to fuss over, you can custom fit the shorts to your comfort preference. If you’ve read my other reviews, I am a huge fan of easy fit and comfort on the trails. 

It’s interesting to note that Gore manufactures multi-sport clothing, and their sizing guide on their website is important to look over before making your final purchase. The C5 Trail Light Shorts are “Form Fit” meaning that “the fit is not skin tight but also not excessively baggy, and provides a sporting silhouette without being body hugging.” I found these shorts true to size.

I stand at 5’7” and the size medium shorts fit me right above the knee. The C5s work well with G-Form knee pads easily (pictured), with just enough room for airflow. The overall fit is slim and isn’t as baggy as other mountain bike shorts

At first glance, it’s easy to almost miss the two zippered pockets that rest right below the ventilation panels. These hand pockets are deep enough to hold an iPhone XR, or store some snacks or gels for the trail. The subtle reflective Gore brand lettering on the back and on the lower thigh helps others see you if you’re riding past dark. 

With the hot summer days, these shorts have become a personal favorite, and after lots of wearing and washes, they still look and feel great. Be sure to follow the washing instructions – wash cold and hang them dry.

If you decide to get these shorts, you will need to buy a chamois separately. The C5 Trail Light Shorts are nearly $100 without a chamois, which makes these a bit on the pricier side. However, the detailed ventilation, breathability and comfort level make them a summer essential. These shorts are a great choice for hot adventure days out on the trails!

They also come in a fun variety of colors: Terra Grey/Black, Hibiscus Pink/Black, Citrus Green/Black, and Deep Water Blue/Black (tested). 

Product Details:

  • 2 front zip pockets
  • A lightweight, XC-inspired overshort
  • Mesh inserts in front and back for ventilation
  • Silicone gripper on waist to ensure secure fit
  • Spray protection along the groin and inner thigh
  • Very stretchy waistband to ensure unhindered movement
  • Weight: 4.2 ounces
  • Material: SHELL 1: 86% Polyester, 14% Elastane, MESH 77% Polyamide, 23% Elastane, SHELL 2 FACE: 94% Polyamide, 6% Elastane, SHELL 2 BACKER: 100% Polyester
  • Colors: Terra Grey/Black, Hibiscus Pink/Black, Citrus Green/Black, Deep Water Blue/Black (tested)
  • Men’s styles also available.
  • MSRP: $99.99 (available at Gore, Backcountry.com, Competitive Cyclist, and other retailers)

Gore C5 Women Trail Long Sleeve Jersey

The Gore C5 Women Trail Long Sleeve Jersey (available for purchase at Backcountry) is a very lightweight long sleeve top. I never thought I would be wearing a long sleeve during the summer, but it’s extremely breathable, with high quality fabric and a tightly woven texture.

The material clears sweat quickly and feels soft against the skin. The long sleeves offer protection from potential scrapes on the ride and they’re great to curb sun exposure. The style and fit makes it perfect not only for mountain biking, but for many other outdoor activities. 

Gore manufactures multi-sport clothing and the sizing Guide on their website is important to look over before making a purchase. The C5 Trail Long Sleeve Jersey is described as “Form Fit” meaning that “the fit is not skin tight but also not excessively baggy, and provides a sporting silhouette without being body hugging.” If you normally fall halfway between two sizes, Gore recommends taking the larger one. I tested out a medium and I liked the slim fit because I was able to wear a waist pack over my shirt comfortably without any bunching up while riding. 

While the long sleeves are great for unwanted sun exposure, the very slim-fit leaves little room for elbow pads underneath.

Closing thoughts

Gore hits multiple targets with their trail wear. The fabric is light and comfortable, with great breathability, and the pieces look great. Overall, the kit provides solid protection from the sun on summer days without being hot or heavy.

Check out our mountain bike shorts buyers guide and our picks for the best mountain bike shorts.

The Feel Good, Ride Good series is an effort to help women find mountain bike gear and clothing that just feels right. We recognize women have different body shapes, styles, and needs so we hope to help them discover women’s products that fit those unique requirements so we can just focus on the ride. While we are all different, we all want gear that fits, that works, and matches the energy and personality we bring to the bike. We’ll be back on #FeelGoodFriday with more women’s MTB products.