“Dress for success” is a phrase that not only applies to being successful professionally or socially, but also improving your performance when cycling. No matter how fast or slow you are, your cycling clothing needs to match the weather conditions and the length of the ride. Overdressing can cause you to overheat during a ride, while underdressing can leave you shivering in the cold. Choosing the ideal cycling gear is easier said than done, as weather conditions and the intensity of a ride can significantly vary during the length of a ride. In this review we’ll be looking at the versatile GORE C7 WINDSTOPPER Pro Zip-Off Jersey. The main party trick of the Pro Zip-Off Jersey is the ability to convert between a long sleeve and a short sleeve with a few simple zippers, thus allowing the jersey to be used in a wider range of temperatures.
The GORE Pro Zip-Of jersey is a very well made jersey with technical details that you can wear year around.
Let’s break down the lengthy product name to see how the Pro Zip-Off jersey fits into GORE’s collection. The C7 indicates two classifications: the C indicates this is part of the cycling collection (R for running items) and the 7 means this jersey is their highest tier level ( followed by 5 at mid-level and 3 at lowest level) which is described as “expert products for sport specific use.” The Pro-Zip Jersey is also part of the WINDSTOPPER collection which utilizes an ultra thin protective layer that is laminated to a lightweight textile layer for an impressive combination of breathability and protection from wind. Finally the Pro-zip portion of the name alludes to the removable zippers that allow the jersey to be converted from a long sleeve to a short sleeve on the fly. Now that we’ve broken down the name, let’s see how the $209.99 jersey holds up in real world riding.
|Likes||+ High-quality and technical features|
+ Chest pocket and 4 rear pockets
+ Detachable sleeves
|Dislikes||– Premium price|
– Less modern visual design
|Where to Buy (US)||GORE|
GORE packages the Pro Zip-Off Jersey in a simple plastic bag with a few informational tags attached to it. As with many GORE apparel items, the jersey packs thinner and flatter than one would initially expect. The color option we are reviewing is the nordic blue / citrus green which uses a patchwork of three different colors. GORE also offers a solid black and a dynamic cyan/black option that have a more premium and subtle look.
Although GORE classifies the Pro Zip-Off as a jersey, it has a number of premium features more common in cycling jackets or shells. Starting from the front zipper, GORE has used an offset design that eliminates discomfort when the jersey is fully zipped. To improve the robustness of the zippers, you’ll find zipper tabs at the top and bottom as well as small grippy patches that make it easier to hold the jersey while adjusting and pulling the zippers. A high collar also helps keep the wind out on cold days or descends. One of our favorite features is the front chest pocket commonly found in sporty jackets that allows for quick access to snacks or a cellphone.
There are an additional four pockets on the back, three of which have elastic openings that make it easy to stuff them with supplies. The fourth is a center pocket with a zipper that provides secure storage for valuables. Overall the jersey feels very well built with clean lines and tight seams which help justify the premium price.
GORE has also incorporated two additional features into the Pro Zip-Off jersey that set it apart from jerseys on the market. First, is the ability to convert the jersey between long sleeves and short sleeves via two zippers located on each of the raglan sleeves. Unless you’re a pro cyclist, you’ll likely need to pull off the road to do the conversion though. Due to the design of the sleeves, the jersey feels like a standard jersey whether you are in the short or long sleeve configuration. The second feature is the GORE WINDSTOPPER membrane technology, which makes the polyester / polyamide / elastane fabric blend feel soft and thin to the touch while still providing impressive protection from the wind.
The Pro Zip-Off jersey is part of GORE’s C7 cycling line which is their highest performance line. This means the jersey has more of a club or race sizing, a slim fit that is tailored to minimize excessive fabric and stay taut even during fast descents. As a 160lb, 6’ 1” male the medium sized Pro Zip-Off jersey was an excellent slim fit that is similar to other premium clothing such as the PEARL iZUMi PRO AmFIB shell. We found that we were able to comfortably wear a baselayer under the jersey, while the addition of a secondary jersey underneath was a little tight around the sleeves but doable for extra warmth. GORE has done an excellent job with the cut of the jersey as well, even when riding in an aggressive position there is no bunching or discomfort. Cycling specific touches like the longer back section and strategic placement of elastic material ensure the jersey is form fitting without being constrictive.
GORE categorized this as a cool weather jersey and recommends a temperature range of 41°-59°F. We found this temperature range to be accurate as it doesn’t have any fleece or insulating liner. The jersey offers impressive breathability, something that cheap windbreakers lack, thus preventing you from overheating as the temperature rises. Combined with the removable sleeves, the Pro Zip-Off jersey is a great option for rides that start in colder temperatures but end with warmer weather. Although the jersey is a slim fit, you can still wear a baselayer and even a thin jersey underneath to add more warmth. We were quite impressed with the WINDSTOPPER membrane which kept us comfortable even in 80°F weather after a particularly long ride.
Overall, we found that the GORE Pro Zip-Off Jersey to be well made and versatile. Despite being windproof and water resistant, the jersey provides impressive breathability that prevents you from overheating even on slow climbs. While we were initially hesitant about the removable sleeves due to the extra weight of zippers, we found it to be a very useful feature that makes the jersey usable over a wider range of temperatures. As a part of the C7 collection, the Pro Zip-Off also fits more like a club jersey, providing a slim fit that doesn’t restrict motion or bunch when on the drops. While the Pro Zip-Of jersey is rather expensive, it is a very well made jersey you can wear year around.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by GORE. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.