Review: GORE WINDSTOPPER Base Layer Shirt

The GORE WINDSTOPPER Base Layer Shirt is a versatile windproof shirt suitable for a variety of sports and conditions. With GORE WINDSTOPPER fabric on the front and sleeves and a more breathable soft fabric on the back, this base layer shirt is very breathable while offering good protection from wind in colder conditions.

A young white man wearing the black GORE base layer short sleeve shirt runs towards the camera with the imposing peak of Mt. Chocorua and a forested mountain ridge in the background.

The construction of the shirt is very high quality. The seams are flat to prevent chafing, and the fabric has a soft inside. Overall, the materials seem very durable, and the fabric feels substantial while remaining lightweight. The construction is somewhat unique in that the front of the shirt has two layers - the inner layer being a meshy fabric that is softer to the skin, and the outer layer being the GORE WINDSTOPPER fabric that is a bit heavier and protective from the wind (as the name implies). The back of the shirt as well as the underarms is another lighter knitted material that is more breathable and is not windproof.

A young man wearing a black GORE WINDSTOPPER short sleeve t-shirt, center of frame, looks down at his running watch while standing amidst boulders with mountains seen far off in the distance.

Running produces a lot of heat. It's the impossible job of a baselayer like this to provide some protection from wind and cold air while venting excess body heat. The windproof fabric on the front provides good protection from wind, while the lighter knitted fabric on the underarms and back is very breathable. This design is great for wearing a backpack or running vest, since packs provide a bit of protection and insulation on the back anyways. A warmer fabric there would trap too much heat and get sweaty. I also like wearing this shirt under a jacket when road biking in cold weather, since I can unzip my jacket when I get too hot and still have good protection from the wind in the front.

The fit of this baselayer shirt is fairly slim, especially in the shoulders. Because the front of the shirt is a tighter weave windproof fabric, the shirt is less stretchy in the front, which contributes to the tighter fit. I personally find this shirt comfortable, but a stretchier front fabric would undoubtedly make this top more comfortable for those with wider shoulders or a larger chest. That said, a baselayer shirt like this should have a fairly "athletic" fit close to the body to allow layering over it, and the stretchy back material still allows for good mobility. Additionally, the seams are carefully thought out and are flat to avoid chafing; this really helps on long runs, especially when running with a backpack or vest.

A young white man stands in the left of the frame facing the camera, wearing the GORE WINDSTOPPER Base Layer Shirt, a black short sleeve t-shirt, on a rock slab with blue mountains in the background.

Overall, the GORE WINDSTOPPER Base Layer shirt is a high quality, durable, and well-designed shirt suitable for many outdoor activities. At $80, it comes at a premium price, making it more suitable for serious athletes who need the best gear and will use it frequently, while there are more economical baselayer choices for casual runners that will perform nearly as well at less than half the price.

(Disclaimer: I received this product for free from GORE, but this review represents my honest opinions.)

Buy it

$80 | GORE Wear | Amazon