Rainy Day Riding Essentials: Gore Tex Path Paclite Jacket

The past couple of days I’ve made sure to carry or wear those essential items I want to have on hand for rainy days. One of the most basic things I make sure to carry is my rain jacket.

The rain jacket that has kept me dry and comfy in dreary weather over the past few years of riding is my Gore Tex Path Paclite jacket, made by Gore Bike Wear. I’ve used it in downpours, steady rain, and the occasional shower.

Paclite panda

The Gore Tex Path Paclite fully covers me from neck to rear. Unlike a wind shell, it hangs down over my back side to fend off road water splashing up from the tires. Fortunately, with my regular use of fenders on my bikes, the rooster tail is not that big of an issue, but it’s still nice to have a jacket that offers the extra coverage.

Gore Tex Paclite at the Old Rag 200K (c) Bill Beck

The front zips up easily to my neck with no chafing issues and the zipper can be concealed with the jacket’s storm flap and velcro fasteners. The adjustable velcro cuffs allow me to loosen or tighten the fabric around my wrists as I need.

The jacket is not thick and has no inner lining, which I prefer. If I want more warmth, I’ll put on another base layer. I’m using this jacket primarily to stay dry.

Velo Espresso Gelato Fleche team and matching Paclite on the right (c) Bill Beck

The Path offers a fairly sizeable rear zipper pocket for stashing essentials. When the jacket is not in use, it packs up into a rectangle about nine by seven inches. That makes it extra handy for stowing in a Carradice. It also has velcro loops which I suppose one could use to attach it to their handlebars, but that seems impractical.

Randonneur essentials, including the Gore Tex Path Paclite

I purchased my jacket for just over $100. I have checked various retailers’ prices and, if one is patient, they can still be found for $100 or less, at least for the ladies.

The women’s version used to be known as the “Power Lady” (there must be some marketing reason for why companies keep changing the names of their products besides to drive me crazy) and I picked one up in the fall of last year for $80 shipped.

The women’s jacket is similar to the men’s, but it is slightly shorter, more fitted for a woman’s shape, and offers an extendable flap on the rear. In all other aspects, it is the same as the men’s Path.

While there are other companies that offer effective rain wear, I’ve been impressed with the performance the Gore Tex Path Paclite offers. If you don’t have a rain jacket or have not found one you like, I’d recommend checking this one out. It might even make you love riding in the rain. Ah ha ha ha ha!


    • Hi, Trish, I have never found a waterproof yet breathable jacket. Companies try to sell that concept, but in my experience they don’t go together. That said, some waterproof jackets (such as Showers Pass) have pit zips for venting. The Paclite doesn’t have vents, but I’ve found that the fabric is light enough that I don’t swelter while wearing it, unless it is the heat of summer, when I wouldn’t wear a jacket anyway. Like I’ve said, they’ve worked really well for my husband and me.


      • Good information – thanks! I searched your blog to see if I could find your thoughts on comfort in the saddle, which is my biggest obstacle to long rides. I’ve been doing metric centuries every weekend, but beyond that I think my rear end would be in too much discomfort. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. I know the saddle itself is highly personal, but do you have a favorite chamois? I like the Castelli Kiss chamois, not crazy about my Pearl Izumi, but haven’t tried all that many as experimentation is an expensive undertaking! Do you use Butt Butter or the like? If you’ve already blogged on this subject could you direct me to it? Thanks so much!


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