The bottom line: The GORE R7 Shakedry Hooded Jacket is a specialty ultralight rain jacket made specifically for runners who want to minimize weight. It's a fantastic ultralight jacket if you only plan to use it for running, but it's a bit of a one-trick pony in that it's not suitable for much else. If you are after a more versatile jacket that can also be used for hiking, biking, etc., consider a heavier and more durable jacket that will cost you less. If you need a jacket specifically for running, then this is the lightest and most waterproof one you'll find.
The GORE R7 GORE-TEX Shakedry Hooded Jacket is an incredibly lightweight running jacket. At only 118g (4.2oz, size L), you'll hardly notice it whether you're wearing or carrying it. The GORE-TEX Shakedry material itself is very thin but also very waterproof. The material feels durable enough for both road and trail running, but I would not take the R7 off-trail for fear of ripping it.
The R7 jacket is slightly stretchy but not much. It fits quite slim, as expected. Although I don't have broad shoulders I found the fit a bit tight in the upper back and shoulders, but the arm and torso length was appropriate.
GORE is careful to note that they don't recommend the jacket for use with backpacks. The jacket's fabric is so thin I suspect it would either wear down quickly or even tear. As I'll discuss, I think this limits the jacket significantly, unless your only sport is running. I do think a running vest would be fine to wear with this jacket, but GORE does not recommend it.
Interestingly, though you'd think a 4-ounce jacket couldn't be beat, there are actually a few slightly lighter jackets on the market. Salomon's Fast Wing Aero and the Patagonia Houdini both shave a few grams off, while being less than 1/2 the price of the R7. However, they offer only water resistance, as opposed to full waterproofing like the R7. To my knowledge, the R7 is the lightest fully waterproof jacket on the market, and the only one I could find weighing less than 6oz.
The main zipper is not sealed, but has a fabric zipper cover on the inside of the jacket. I found this to work pretty well in moderate rain. In addition to waterproofing, the R7 is also windproof, which makes the jacket considerably warmer in windy conditions.
Everything on the jacket is minimalist to save on weight. The cuffs are simple elastic, but comfortable. The hood is not adjustable, but I find it also comfortable nevertheless. The single chest pocket serves as a stuff pocket for the jacket, and has an attachment loop. However, the pocket's zipper is one-sided so it's a bit tricky to get the jacket in and out of the pocket. You can also use the attachment loop to hold the stuff stack closed.
One feature that is noticeably missing from this jacket is reflective tape. Since the R7 is a running jacket, it is fair to expect that many users will be running on the road - but the black version of the R7 has no reflective areas, and only 2 areas with bright lettering. I don't feel comfortable running at dusk wearing a non-reflective black jacket, so I'll be adding some reflective tape to mine soon - but I wish GORE had included this on the original jacket.
If you consider slightly heavier rain jackets, you'll find products like the Outdoor Research Helium II ($160) at only 6.4oz, or 2.4oz heavier than the R7, and the Patagonia Storm Racer ($250) at 6oz. If you are a multisport athlete, you may like these options better because, in addition to being cheaper, they can be used for hiking, speed hiking, and other activities, whereas the R7 essentially can't be used with any sport using a backpack.
To sum up - whether or not this jacket is a good choice for you depends on your sports. If you want a jacket for more than just running, you'll be better suited with a more durable and versatile option. On the other hand, if running is your only (or primary) sport, and you need and can afford the best - then the R7 is the ultimate minimalist, ultralight rain jacket for you.
Disclaimer: I received the R7 Shakedry jacket for free for me to review, but the opinions in this review are my own honest views.