The Gore C3 Thermo is a fleece-lined jersey designed for cooler conditions. The amount of insulation on offer makes it suitable for a wide temperature range but the lack of windproofing can make it feel cold on windy days.
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Gore C3 Thermo Jersey - Technical details
As far as the best winter cycling jerseys go, the C3 Thermo is up there with some of the best options. It is designed to be worn as an outer jersey or mid-layer and it is made of a stretchy fabric that feels like a normal summer jersey. There is a layer of fleece on the inside, a zip cover and a garage at the top, both of which help in chilly weather.
The jersey has three standard pockets on the rear and an additional vertical zipped pocket on the outside, designed to house items such as coins, cards or keys.
Gore C3 Thermo Jersey - Fit and sizing
Gore describes the C3 as a slim-fit jersey, which means it is designed to stay close to your body and follow the silhouette without being too tight.
It comes in a range of sizes, from Small to 3XL, which equates to chest sizes ranging from 84cm (33 inches) to 124cm (49 inches). The arm lengths increase with each size, from 77cm (30 inches) to 85cm (33.5 inches).
I found the jersey to be true to size and it fits snugly without feeling tight or restrictive.
Gore C3 Thermo Jersey - Performance
The jersey is not intended for any specific riding style, so I wore it on gravel and mountain bike rides. The jersey's overall fit was good with a slightly lowered tail at the back and an elastic grip on the hem that worked well to keep it from riding up over time.
I would have liked a little more length in the arms for both gravel and mountain bikes. I don't have a very aggressive or wide position but depending on the gloves worn, I found sometimes the wind came through. The cuff is open and when used with a normal glove, it feels coldest. Using any winter glove with an extended cuff solves the problem.
There is plenty of breathability and seemed to work well in temperatures ranging from around 5- to 12-degrees, depending on what layer is worn beneath. There is no windproof fabric, which was noticeable on colder, windier days when a windproof outer layer would have been most useful. Gore has put a cover flap to the inside of the zip to help with wind resistance and this not only looks better (in my opinion) compared to those with an exterior flap but, the close-fitting design, keeps the fabric pushed against the zip. It doesn’t beat a windproof jacket but it is probably as close as you will get from a jersey.
For chilly days, the full-length zip and high neck are perfect with a zip garage that tucks it away and protects the skin when pulled up. The zip puller is small and I found it difficult to locate and pull when wearing thicker gloves – that said, it does not move, flap or knock around while riding.
The pockets are deep and the centre pocket is large enough to hold a phone or a lot of food. The side pockets are slim and I found them difficult to access when riding, even with the elastic fabric.
Gore C3 Thermo Jersey - Verdict
The C3 Thermo jersey costs £90, which seems reasonable for a high-quality jersey from one of the more trusted brands. The build quality is excellent and I expect it to last for many years. So far this winter, it has been worn and washed regularly, with no colour loss or fabric problems.
Most brands have something similar with one slightly less expensive alternative being the Altura Airstream. Others around the same price, include the more purely road-focused Sportful Rocket Thermal jersey and Endura F260 Pro Roubaix.
Some may wonder which is better: a thermal jersey or a very breathable jacket and each has advantages and disadvantages. The Gore C3 Thermo is an excellent choice for riders looking for optimal breathability on cooler days if you have a variety of base layer options to maximise the temperature range. The fabrics and construction are excellent, with the only drawbacks being the narrow outside rear pockets and the sleeves.