Gore Bike Wear Phantom 2.0 Windstopper Softshell jacket.

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Gore Bike Wear’s Phantom jacket has been around for years now. It’s become the quintessential zip-off softshell, transforming as it does from fully protective winter shell to odd, semi-weatherproof, short-sleeve jersey with a few moments zipping. Unless you’re very limber you’ll be either stripping off or enlisting the aid of a friend to get the sleeves detached and re-attached – and it’s worth bearing in mind that the re-sleeving process only gets slower as the rain falls harder… Warm when needed or cool when not needed, it’s a properly versatile garment for ‘changeable conditions’ (that’ll be all year round, then).

So – it’s Windstopper, therefore it’s a softshell, but it’s thin enough to wear when it’s merely ‘chilly’ rather than ‘cold’, and it lacks the brushed fleecy inner and therefore the warmth factor of some of the heavier softshell fabrics. The light and stretchy short sleeves extend beneath the windproof long sleeves, which can feel a bit restrictive. They have a nice long strip of reflective material down the shoulder which is repeated on the outer sleeves, too.

There is a panel of stretch, non-windproof jersey across the back (not coincidentally right underneath where a pack would usually render a breathable fabric mostly useless) and we like the assortment of bright (but not fluoro) colours. There’s no secure zipped pocket either, though there are three good-sized pockets at the rear. The full-length zip is well baffled to keep out drafts and the sleeves and neck are bound for comfort, but with no way of cinching them up extra-tight if it’s draughty and/or you’re extra skinny.

Overall: High performance and feature packed but still with a few things missing that we really like.


Review Info

Brand: Gore Bike Wear
Product: Phantom 2.0 Windstopper Softshell jacket
From: Gore Bike Wear, goreapparel.co.uk
Price: £139.99
Tested: by Chipps for
Chipps Chippendale

Singletrackworld's Editor At Large

With 23 years as Editor of Singletrack World Magazine, Chipps is the longest-running mountain bike magazine editor in the world. He started in the bike trade in 1990 and became a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the last 30 years as a bike writer and photographer, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish, strengthen and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

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Comments (0)

    I found I was always cold in my one so I sold it. The friend who bought it likes it though.

    I got one – the main (centre) rear pocket is made of mesh and not capable of taking any weight. Also don’t get the zip off to short sleeves – Into a Gilet is much better. Much prefer the Endura Convert Softshell which gets better back pockets and a napolean pocket for the iPhone too.

    What ‘heavier’ softshells would you recommend? I already have a Phantom & want something thicker for deep winter!

    Any recommendations Billyboy?

    The Pearl Izumi PRO softshell which is in issue 78’s magazine grouptest is extremely cosy and warm. It’s almost as weatherproof as the Phantom but has a brushed back face to the fabric which I reckon is the equivalent of an extra base layer. You’d probably want a waterproof shell over the top for really bad weather though.

    Thanks Jenn, appreciated

    timc said: On December 5, 2012

    What ‘heavier’ softshells would you recommend? I already have a Phantom & want something thicker for deep winter!

    The Gore Cosmo is fleecy lined and thicker

    Drives me mad that Gore insist on using such tiny little zips to attach the sleeves. I guess it makes the jacket look better, but makes it so more difficult than it needs to be to reattach them. Form over function I guess? Other than that I love it!

    thicker zips wouldn’t bend so easily with the surrounding fabric when the arms are on.
    i don’t think it would hurt gore to print an ‘r’ and an ‘l’ inside the sleeves. that would speed things up a bit!
    good jacket though. oddly good at regulating temperature.

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