Hands on with Gorewear's first ever waterproof, PFC-free cycling jacket, the Spinshift GTX

A man zipping up a waterproof Gorewear jacket
(Image credit: Rich Owen)

Negative issues surrounding PFCs and PFAs have had fair bit of press lately but are still widely used in waterproof clothing worn by us cyclists. The times are a changing though and the industry is now moving away from gear that uses these chemicals in their construction.

Leading technical clothing specialist, Gorewear (the cycling and running wing of Gore-Tex), have just released its first ever PFC (perfluorocarbons) -free waterproof cycling jacket – the Spinshift GTX. Rather than the method of an ePTFE (expanded polytetrafluoroethylene) layer used by Gore since 1976 to give clothing its waterproof properties, the Spinshift GTX jacket uses an ePE (expanded Polyethylene) membrane.

While this tech is new to cycling, it was first launched in Gore's 2022 mountain and hiking collections. Unlike ePTFE, ePE does not contain harmful PFCs (fluorocarbons).

The material used to make the Spinshift jacket is made up of two polyamide layers with a ePE membrane sandwiched in between. The polyamide is made using recycled materials, though Gorewear do not say how much.

The lining of a waterproof jacket

The jacket panels are taped and bonded together (Image credit: Rich Owen)

If you've missed the furore on PFCs and PFAs, they are 'forever' chemical compounds used a wide range of everyday applications (non-stick cookwear to waterproof clothing), firefighting foams and industrial processes. Despite their widespread use, even very low doses of these chemicals have been linked to weakened immune systems, certain types of cancer, kidney disease, and reproductive and developmental problems. They're already widespread in the environment and have been detected in animals from the Arctic to the southern Pacific. They do not naturally breakdown and are highly resistant to heat, water or oils, so are basically bad news for animal life on the planet – which of course includes us humans.

But back to the jacket and a test sample has just arrived at Bike Perfect Towers. The cut is definitely on the slim side. I'm usually a medium, but sized up to a large (as was between sizes on Gorewear's chart).

While the Spinshift resembles Gorewear's existing Paclite jacket, the new model has a slimmer cut and is as minimal as it gets, with just a single zipped pocket on the rear and semi-elasticated cuffs being the only additional features. There's a fairly long, elasticated drop tail with a Gorewear logo and reflective strips either side of it as well as elsewhere on the rear. At 157g (size large), the jacket is very lightweight and can be packed into its rear pocket.

The rear of the Gorewear Spinshift GTX jacket

The rear of the jacket is roomier so it doesn't ride up when bent over the bars (Image credit: Rich Owen)

We've not field tested the Spinshift just yet, but testing in the shower has shown that the materials used made an excellent barrier to water so far. The big question though, is how well will it measure up against Gore's renowned and soon to be gone forever (despite being made with forever chemicals) Shakedry jackets?

Gore say its ePE material is highly waterproof, durable and breathable, but we'll be putting the jacket to the test on the trails ASAP to let you know if we agree. Obviously, producing pretty much anything comes at an environmental cost, but we're pleased to see that Gore have now started making technical bike wear that's free from polluting fluorocarbons.

Close up of a jacket sleeve

The sleeves get elasticated sections on the underside (Image credit: Rich Owen)

If you fancy buying the Spinshift GTX, the jackets are on sale right now. They come in a choice of Black, Utility Green and Lime Yellow with sizing from XS to XL. RRP is $270.00 / £249.99 / €249.95 – which is significantly less than Shakedry.

For more info, see Gorewear.com, we'll have a full test on the Spinshift GTX jacket very soon.

Rich Owen
Editor, BikePerfect

Rich Owen is the editor of the Bikeperfect.com team. He's worked as a journalist and editor for over 24 years, with 12 years specializing in cycling media. Rich bought his first mountain bike (a rigid Scott Tampico) in 1995 and has been riding MTB for almost 30 years.

Current rides: Merida One-Forty 6000, Banshee Paradox, YT Jeffsy Core 3, Saracen Ariel 30 Pro

Height: 175cm

Weight: 69kg