A good quality jacket that performs adequately in all seasons and situations but doesn’t excel in any.
- Well made.
- Very waterproof and windproof.
- Fit could be better.
- Little ventilation.
- Cold in winter.
According to Gore the Path is a “jacket that provides the necessary basics: reliable protection against rain and wind with a comfortable fit.” Having used the Path for a couple of years now I can confirm that it does provide the necessary basics. However, discerning buyers might well ask why they need to spend over £150 to provide the basics and whether a cheaper jacket mightn’t provide the basics just as well.
Compared to other cycling jackets the Path’s styling is very plain. This is one of the things I like most about it. You don’t feel like a christmas tree decoration while off the bike. For commuting though it could do with some more reflective strips.
The fit is fairly snug, with quite long narrow sleeves. For winter use there isn’t much room to wear a thick under-layer and the sleeves are a bit tight for gloves. The shoulders are a bit ‘Krystle Carrington’ – they tend to puff out and rise up when riding. The jacket could also do with a bit more length. It tends to hug into the waist meaning that in wet weather water drips into your crotch. The back could also do to be a little longer. The fit isn’t too bad all in all, and some riders may really like it, but I would definitely try it first. It seemed ok to me in the shop but in use I found I would prefer something looser and longer but with shorter sleeves.
Being a Gore-tex jacket you would expect the Path to be very weatherproof and it is. I’ve used it in downpours and constant heavy rain and it hasn’t let in at all. It is also very windproof. However, with cycling jackets you have to balance weatherproofness with breathability. There are no vents on the jacket (pockets aside), and the fairly tight fit means it can get pretty clammy in hot weather – you don’t want to be doing a lot of climbing wearing it. Plus, the pac-lite fabric doesn’t feel all that comfortable next to the skin. It’s not all that great in winter either as it is too thin to offer any insulation and too snug to wear much underneath, but with good quality base layers it is possible. If you want a jacket for all seasons the Path will do the job, and there aren’t many other jackets that will, but you’ll probably yearn for something that matches the season a bit better.
You can also buy a hood for the jacket, though they aren’t cheap.
The quality of the jacket is excellent, as you might expect at the price. Zips and seams are all very neat. The jacket packs up into its pocket, which is great for touring, though I doubt it would fit in the back pocket of a jersey.
The Path is a good all-round jacket. It does the basics very well and this makes it a good choice for long-distance touring where a wide range of climates will be expected. I also think it’s quite stylish for a cycling jacket, even in yellow, which is nice for those who prefer to look like a normal person when cycling. However, commuters might prefer a more visible jacket. The main problems with the Path for me are the fit and the relatively poor breathability. Fit is a personal thing though so some might prefer that of the Path to the looser jackets that I prefer. In a wet and windy climate like that of Scotland I feel the poorer breathability is a price worth paying for a more weatherproof jacket but for warmer places I would look for something with a more breathable fabric and vents.
7/10 (This score ignores price. Learn more about these reviews.)