A versatile jacket for wet and windy conditions
The GORE R7 Shakedry Hooded Jacket is lightweight and packs down, making it easy to store and bring along on a run. But when the weather turns nasty, it completely protects you from rain and wind while keeping you cool on the inside.
- Lightweight, wind- and waterproof
- Packable design
- Feels soft against skin
- Keeps rain and water out
- Hood for added protection
- Jacket sizing runs small
- No side pockets
- Wrinkles after storage
Waterproof. Windproof. Lightweight. Breathable. Packable. If we were to make a wishlist for all the things we wanted in a running rain jacket, those five features would top the list.
Well, GORE Wear seems to have done the impossible with the R7 Shakedry Hooded Jacket.
Utilizing GORE’s latest fabric technology, Shakedry (hence the name), this jacket manages to keep you dry and protected from the rain and wind while remaining breathable. When the rain stops, simply shake the jacket a few times to remove beaded water, then pack it into the chest pocket for easy storage. The jacket is super light – you won’t notice it stashed in your pack.
We tested this jacket in the wilds of northern New Jersey’s Norvin Green State Forest. We found it to do exactly what it was designed to do. Keep you dry and protected, while remaining flexible for ease of movement. And it packed down when not in use.
One downside that even GORE acknowledges is that the jacket runs small. I wear a size large in most jackets and shirts. This large was snug. Not so snug I couldn’t wear it. But a tad tight. While I didn’t get to try an XL, I feel like that might be a bit too big. But with this jacket, I’d rather have it a bit too big than too small.
The key to any rain jacket is how well it keeps out water. The R7 Shakedry does this incredibly well.
The outer fabric feels durable with a sheen similar to a classic rubber/plastic-y rain jacket. But this fabric is soft to touch, flexes well, and is thin and light.
I had no trouble moving freely. There is a slight crinkly sound when running. But it wasn’t noticeable enough to bother me.
When it rained, no water got inside. It kept me dry both during light rain and heavier showers. The cuffs on the sleeve are made with a softer material that stretches to cover your wrists without exposing any gaps.
The waist area also remains tight to keep out the elements. The hood cinched closed and provided extra protection with a stiff bill over my eyes.
Breathability / Ventilation
Looking at the jacket and the feel when you put it on, it doesn’t scream breathable. It looks more like a classic rain jacket that keeps out rain but leaves everything inside steamy and hot.
But we found the opposite to be true. The jacket breathed well. It didn’t leave us sweltering inside. We felt pretty comfortable the whole run.
Another innovation with the R7 Shakedry jacket is a membrane on the inside of the jacket that prevents a cool feeling against your skin. We didn’t notice this so much. We just felt pretty comfortable the whole time, so maybe that was part of it.
Fit and Comfort
As we mentioned above the jacket has a nice feel considering how waterproof and windproof it is. We moved freely. It wasn’t a problem while we ran. We could easily reach for things in the pack and while grabbing trees and rocks on steep climbs.
The larger issue was the size running small. It’s just a tiny bit tight. Not terrible. Makes me rethink my plans to shed a few pounds this year. But unless your standard size always feels a little big, I would recommend sizing up in this jacket.
The hood does a good job covering the head, neck, and cinches up to the bottom of the chin. It features a brim above the eyes. The hood is also oversized to allow for a cap to be worn underneath it.
There is no hood storage or way to secure it when not in use. Like GORE’s other rain jacket we reviewed, the GORE R3 Active Hooded Jacket, we found it not to be an issue. The hood didn’t flap around or bother us when we weren’t wearing it.
A cinch in the back of the hood allows you to pull it tight against your head. When zipped all the way up and cinched tight, there were minimal gaps to let water in.
Besides the hood, the waist has an elastic cord that can be cinched tight as needed. For me, because the jacket was small, I didn’t need to adjust this at all. Elastic cuffs stretch but don’t have velcro to tighten or loosen.
The front zipper goes both ways. Meaning once the jacket is zipped up, you can upzip it from the bottom up. This is a decent way to allow some air to circulate without totally unzipping the jacket.
I kept searching for side pockets to put my hands in. Sadly, no side pockets come with this jacket.
The only pocket is the front chest pocket. This is big enough to stash a few smaller items. But keep in the mind this is also the pocket the jacket packs into. So if you plan on storing the jacket at some point during your run, you won’t want to keep anything inside that pocket.
Packing It Up
One of the best features of this jacket is how easy it is to store. Whether you are keeping it in a drawer or stashed in a pack, the jacket stuffs into itself in a very small package.
And because the jacket is so light, you won’t feel it stored in a pack or large pocket. It makes it pretty easy to take with you if the weather seems questionable.
When you do pack it down, it is a pretty tight fit. The first time I did it, it took some time to stuff everything inside the chest pocket. It almost seemed like I wouldn’t be able to get everything inside it. But with some struggle and a bit of elbow grease I got it in. Further attempts got easier as the jacket became more pliable with use.
Not surprisingly, after removing the jacket from it’s packed state, it came out a wrinkled mess. Since we’re not walking the catwalk in this, that’s not a big deal. But if your fashion sense prevents you from wearing anything wrinkled, be aware.
Overall, we really liked this jacket. Its combination of rain and windproof design with its lightweight and packability make it our go-to jacket for future bad weather runs.
The material is thin but does a good job protecting from the elements. It’s light enough that I could see using in in warmer weather rain. Ideally, this jacket is best for shoulder seasons – 40s to low 60s – but it would work well in warmer weather, provided you weren’t running too hard.
We would have liked some side pockets, but that’s not a deal-breaker for us. The versatility of this jacket is what makes it a great option for many runs.