Adidas Terrex Gore-Tex Active Shell Jacket

/ / /

Manufacturer Description

The Adidas Terrex GORE-TEX Active Shell Jacket is the ideal jacket for athletic mountain sport activities where full weather protection, high breathability and lightweight packability are needed.


  • Main fabric – 100% nylon
  • GORE-TEX Active Shell is ideal for athletes seeking excellent next to skin comfort with durable, lightweight, wind- and water-proof protection
  • FORMOTION technology
  • Attached, helmet compatible hood with adjustable drawstring
  • Full-zip front closure with zipper garage
  • Hook-and-loop adjustable cuffs
  • Two zip hand warmer pockets – 22 cm wide x 31 cm tall (8.7 in x 12.2 in)
  • Reflective elements increase visibility in low-light conditions
  • Machine wash cold and tumble dry low.
  • Measured size medium
    • Weight – 347 g (12.2 oz)
    • Center back – 74.5 cm (29.3 in)
    • Sleeve length – 90.5 cm (35.6 in)
    • Pit to pit – 59.5 cm (23.4 in)
  • Retail – $395

YMMV Review

View from the Front

Just about everyone knows who Adidas is. Adidas was founded in 1949 and is still currently headquartered in Germany. Adidas Outdoors, on the other hand, is rather new. Started in Europe, this fall (2011) they expanded their offerings to the US market. Adidas Outdoors sees themselves as “The Athletic Brand in the Outdoors.” Being an avid soccer player and fan I have had lots of experience with Adidas. However, I have not had any experience with their outdoor clothing. Fortunately, I was able to set up some reviews on a couple key pieces.


I was excited to test out the Adidas Terrex Gore-Tex Active Shell Jacket because I wanted to review some Adidas Outdoor gear and also the new Gore-Tex Active Shell membrane. I have used this jacket around town, hiking, running, cycling, and cross-country skiing. I tried to thoroughly test this jacket not only to see how well it fit but also to test the limits of the new membrane.

Design ★★½☆☆

Appearance (10%) ★★★☆☆

Construction (20%) ★★★☆☆

Features (15%) ★★☆☆☆

Materials (10%) ★★★☆☆

Packability (15%) ★★★½☆

Sustainability (10%) ☆☆☆☆☆

Weight (20%) ★★★½☆

The Adidas Terrex Gore-Tex Active Shell Jacket is the first jacket I have tested with the new membrane. The highlight of this jacket is the new Gore-Tex Active Shell. It is a lighter and thinner Gore-Tex membrane that has new lamination properties, which use fewer adhesives. All this makes for a lighter and more breathable jacket while keeping the same level of protection from the elements. For more information about Gore-Tex Active Shell and other Waterproof/Breathable characteristics, check out the knowledge base article by clicking on the banner below.

The main fabric used in the jacket is a nylon polyamide. It is light weight at 105 g/m2. This makes the jacket light and very packable. The jacket is fully seam taped for a completely waterproof package.  Active Shell jackets are built to be more streamlined then there Pro Shell counterparts. This jacket has only two pockets. They are relatively large and mesh on the inside so they can be used as vents if needed. The bottom hem of the jacket does not use a drawcord, rather and elastic band. This band is sewn into half of the bottom hem to adjust the opening and keep wind and snow from coming up from below. The main zipper is water resistant and there is a draft flap inside to block wind from penetrating. The main zipper is a double zipper so you can open it from above or below. At the bottom, there is also a single snap closure. This allows you to snap it closed but open the zipper from below if you need to.

View from the Back

The arms are made with gusseted construction to prevent the jacket from pulling up when you lift them. The Terrex Gore-Tex Active Shell Jacket features Adidas Formotion Technology, which follows your natural movement to provide a great fit that won’t hinder your range of motion. At the wrists, there are Velcro cuffs to adjust the opening. Over the chin and the back of the neck, there is soft fabric overlays to provide more comfort next to the skin. The hood has three adjustment points to provide a precise fit. The brim has a wire in it to keep it sturdy and out of your eyes even in a strong wind. The jacket even has some reflective elements for better visibility in darker conditions.

The only drawback of the Adidas Terrex Active Shell Jacket is that I did not see any evidence of the use of sustainable materials or mention of it on their site. To my knowledge, there is nothing regarding this on the Adidas website, the fall/winter catalog, or any other research I did. Thus, I gave it zero stars on sustainability. If I find out some more information on this, I will adjust the review.

Bottom Hem

Fit ★★★☆☆

Adjustability (10%) ★★★☆☆

Arm Length (20%) ★★★☆☆

Comfort Next to Skin (10%) ★★½☆☆

Cuffs (10%) ★★★½☆

Ease of Movement (20%) ★★★½☆

Hood (10%) ★★★☆☆

Torso Sizing (20%) ★★★☆☆

The Adidas Terrex Gore-Tex Active Shell Jacket fits me really well. The sleeves are nice and long, and the torso is not too bulky. There is enough room to still layer underneath it. I would not suggest layering a thick down jacket, but something on the thinner side would work well. I tested this jacket while running, cycling, and cross-country skiing and felt like it did a good job moving with me. The fabric does not have any stretch to it, which will limit its mobility a little but in my experiences, I did not notice it. Since it is a Gore-Tex jacket, when you are really working it can be a bit clammy next to the skin but in all other conditions, it felt great. The Active Shell inside layer has a nice soft feel to it, even against bare skin.

Velcro Wrist Cuff

The cuffs adjust really easily around the wrists and couple that with a thinner and more pliable Gore-Tex, and this make them work even better. Some jackets seem to bunch up when they are folded over the top of themselves, but this jacket does not have this issue. The bottom hem does not have any adjustability as the elastic is permanent, but I was surprised to find it not an issue for me. The jacket stays in place but does not feel too binding. The hood is also a winner. There are two adjustments for the front opening and one in the back to pull the brim backward. Between these three adjustments, the hood can accommodate a wide range of sizes from a bare head to a ski helmet. It takes some time to figure out how to adjust the hood, but once you figure it out it is easy after that.

Performance ★★★½☆

Breathability (25%) ★★★☆☆

Versatility (15%) ★★★☆☆

Warmth (10%) ★★☆☆☆

Water Resistance (30%) ★★★★½

Wind Resistance (20%) ★★★★½

Of course, the Adidas Terrex Gore-Tex Active Shell Jacket is waterproof.

Inside Pocket

All the newer Gore-Tex products I have tested have been. The question is always the breathability. My Arc’Teryx Jacket made of Gore-Tex Pro Shell does not seem to breathe as well as this one does. That was to be expected as it is slightly thicker and according to Gore’s tests, Active Shell is more breathable. To combat this problem many Pro Shell jackets add pit zips and other venting features. The Terrex Shell Jacket does not have these fancy vents, but unless I was really pushing it, I did not seem to need them. Yes on my runs I would break a sweat in this jacket when it was warmer than 40 degrees. I did try to open the pockets which seemed to help a little. I will note that this jacket is not designed exactly for this purpose, there are some more vented options coming out for running and cycling soon.  When I used this jacket for skiing and hiking I had really good results. The jacket kept me dry and comfortable even when the heart rate got going a little.

The Terrex Active Shell jacket is not going to be very warm. It will block rain and wind, which will help but there is no insulation. If you need to stay warm, then you will need to layer underneath. While I did not find this jacket ideal for running and cycling, it was still a decent option. The jacket has good versatility across a wide range of activities.

Seam Taping & Neck Overlay

Overall ★★★☆☆

Overall, I liked the Adidas Terrex Gore-Tex Active Shell Jacket. The new Gore-Tex Active Shell is nice and lightweight. It even feels softer against my skin than Pro Shell. With this thinner fabric, I wonder how it will do with abrasion and long-term use. I know Gore thoroughly tests their fabrics, so I expect it to do well and will check back in if I have any issues over the long term. While the jacket is light, it only came in 10 grams lighter than my Arc’Teryx Pro Shell jacket which I thought was strange. It is much more streamlined and has fewer features, but the weight was very close. I am not sure whether to be disappointed in this one or impressed by the other one. I do like this jacket and its improved breathability and would like to test some of the vented options for higher intensity sports such as cycling or running. I have not yet been able to find a good option for staying dry and comfortable for those sports. If you are hesitant to give Adidas a shot in the outdoor environment, I would not hesitate. They have done their homework and made a good jacket. I imagine it will be just a start of better things to come. The jacket does retail for $395, which is on the steep side but similar to other Active Shell jackets on the market. As always, your mileage may vary.

Pros [field name=iFrame]

  • Lightweight
  • Formotion technology makes for great range of motion
  • New Gore-Tex Active Shell breathes better than previous versions
  • Wrist cuffs very comfortable
  • Comfortable hood with wire brim


  •  Can still overheat jacket
  • Less features for lighter weight

About the Author

I am an avid runner, cyclist, swimmer, hiker, climber, skier and many other activities that would make this list too long. I started Your Mileage May Vary Reviews in Early 2011 to combine two of my passions: sports and gear.

One Response to “Adidas Terrex Gore-Tex Active Shell Jacket”

  1. Steve Podraza

    Is the active shell smaller fitting than the adidas terrex icefeather shell? I have the large in the icefeather and want to order the active but want to make sure I order the correct size. Thank you

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>