The Alp-X Pro is the latest hot rod version of Gore’s Phantom and Alp-X jackets, which have been a top choice with fast moving, high energy trail riders – and with our testers – for years. It even comes with stripped down shorts to match.
First things first, this is a tight-fitting performance set of threads and even anyone carrying muscle rather than just sinew should probably size up in the jacket to avoid arm pump on descents. The super light four-way stretch Windstopper has been in development for two years. Combined with a careful multi-panel, taped arm cut it gives excellent mobility but stays close for effective wicking off base layers or if worn next to the skin. It shrugs off showers and wind chill well enough to provide sudden weather change or early start/late finish protection and the tall collar and long arms add cosiness.
The sleeves can be partially or totally unzipped to create a windproof short sleeve, full length zip shirt that’s comfy even on long climbs. The back panels are even built like a pair of braces so you can stuff the pockets to capacity, and there’s another zipped phone pocket on the chest.
Like the top, the shorts are definitely snug but the ‘wriggle on’ fit, with just drawstring tightening is long enough to look okay and add wet weather warmth. Waterproof inside leg and backside panels meant that hitting puddles didn’t result in the normal intake of cold water.
Even on drier warmer days our seat pads didn’t end up soaked with sweat, which stopped soreness even on back-to-back ride days. Storage is limited to a single, energy bar-sized zipped back pocket though and the ultra light fabric doesn't get on with thorns.
The high-end performance is reflected in the price too, but we reckon that the amount you wear this outfit will easily justify your investment. If you’re a rapid rider who wants an ultra-versatile, grab and go solution for any weather from spring through to autumn, well, Gore has aced it with the Alp-X Pro.
- Jersey £170 / US$220 / €200
- Shorts £110 / US$160 / €130
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.