There are a few essential items of clothing every runner should own regardless of their skill level. One of those items is a lightweight running vest which provides protection from wind chill without the bulk of a jacket or long sleeve shell. In this article, we’ll be looking at the GORE R7 Partial GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ Vest one of GORE’s latest Infinium products. The vest is available in both men’s and women’s as well as a wide range of sizes (S-XXL for men’s, and XS-XL for women’s).
The GORE R7 Partial GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ Vest is a well designed and constructed running vest that combines the rare combination of breathability and wind protection.
Let’s take a moment to deconstruct the lengthy product name to get a better idea of how it fits in the GORE lineup. The vest is part of GORE’s R7 product collection where ‘R’ denotes the item belongs to the Running category, and ‘7’ for their Expert level (GORE also offers R5 and R3 products). As an Expert level product, the vest offers a lightweight and performance oriented design with a slim fit. The vest also features partial GORE-TEX, which combines the technical fabric features of GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ with their WINDSTOPPER® membrane design for full wind protection and water resistance.
+ Windproof and Water Resistant
|– Premium price
– Limited color schemes
– Limited pockets
|Where to Buy (US)
The Infinium vest comes packaged 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 black/terra gray color option for a more subtle look.
One of the most striking things about the Infinium vest is how lightweight and thin it is. GORE’s use of both their GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ and WINDSTOPPER® construction allows the vest to be windproof, water resistant yet still breathable without any bulk. The mix of nylon and polyester materials also allows the vest to be stretchable where it needs to be while still providing protection from the elements. On the front of the vest, there is a full length zipper with an underflap to keep out the wind. There is also a tall collar to protect from the wind with a zipper garage that prevents the zipper rubbing against your skin when parked. Reflective details extend horizontally along the chest and down to the rear pocket for improved nighttime safety. The nordic blue / citrus green also has excellent visibility with large swatches of citrus green along the front and on the rear pocket.
The seamless shoulder design of the Infinium vest also means the vest works well with backpacks, hydration packs or running packs. While the front of the vest utilizes the WINDSTOPPER® construction, the rear of the vest has a large stretchable panel for breathability. GORE has also carefully placed the seams on the back panel of the vest to prevent any chafing or motion restriction while running. The inside of the vest features taped seams for additional comfort. Another nice feature of the vest is the rear zippered pocket. It’s not large enough for a modern cell phone, but large enough for snacks or a few personal items.
The Infinium vest is part of GORE’s R7 running collection 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 in windy conditions. As a 160lb, 6’ 1” male the medium size vest was an excellent fit similar to other GORE products we’ve worn like the GORE C7 Pro Zip-Off Jersey. However it is sized a little larger to fit over multiple layers comfortably. We were able to wear a base layer and thin long sleeve under the vest without any issues. The lack of sleeves also means the vest doesn’t restrict any motion.
With the paper thin design of the Infinium vest, you can easily forget you’re wearing it while running. As a part of the R7 product line, something GORE refers to as “expert products”, the vest also has a slim fit that contours to your body. This means the vest doesn’t get in your way or restrict your motion in any way. GORE also categorizes this as a cool weather item and recommends a temperature range of 41°-59°F. We found this temperature range to be accurate as you can layer up in cooler temperatures or simply use the vest over a thin shirt in warmer weather. However, the WINDSTOPPER® and GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ materials protect your core from wind chill and offer surprising warmth despite the lack of insulation. There is impressive breathability that prevents you from overheating. While the vest is water resistant, it is not waterproof and will eventually show sweat or rain through it.
Overall, we found the GORE R7 Infinium vest to be a windproof and lightweight vest that’s great for jogging around the neighborhood or trail running. Despite the paper thin design and feather weight fabric, the vest does a great job keeping you warm by protecting your core from wind chill. The vest is well thought-out with strategically placed stretchable panels and taped seams to ensure maximum comfort. As a partial GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ product, the vest is only water resistant but we were impressed with its wind blocking abilities and breathability. All in all, this is a great packable and versatile vest for recreational use or dedicated runners to own.
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.