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October 2016

Gore-Tex 101

When Goretex originally launched in the 1975/6, we were there. As one of Goretex's very first customers in the world, we manufactured 650 Goretex jackets every 8 hours in Vernon BC. And so what have we learned in the past 40+ years?

Firstly, Goretex works WAY better now than it did back then. By changing their PTFE-laminate formula, the scientists at Goretex simplified their chemisty - making it more breathable AND much lighter AND vastly less likely to leak over time. If you haven't had a Goretex jacket in the past 4 or 5 years, you will be surprised! Waterproofness is much higher, and Breathability is likewise much, much higher than is the old days. No comparison really.

The mega-improvement in breathability is immediately noticeable once you spool up and start to create heat inside your jacket. Heat and moisture moves through the film much easier than earlier generations. You stay drier and more comfortable. You can't help but notice. This has encouraged companies to start designing insulated Goretex jackets, using treated goose down or Primaloft. This wouldn't have been possible before because of the moisture trapped inside the jacket.

Imagine two toothbrushes - a soft and a stiff. The only difference is that the bristles vary in flexibility - the stiff toothbrush bristles have higher "tenacity" than the softer one. Likewise the yarns being used in the woven exterior textiles on today's Goretex jackets are much higher tenacity than before, increasing "tear strength" and " surface abrasion resistance" and reducing weight. You can still destroy your jacket, but it will be more difficult than it was before.

Waterproof zippers are standard features these days on Goretex jackets. These zippers can be glued into place for pockets, pit zips and centre front openings - they eliminate extra flaps and stitching making all the zips more waterproof, snag less and the overall jacket lighter and more compact in your backpack.

Look inside a new Goretex jacket - because the fabric is stronger, they can use narrower seam allowances and narrower seamseal tape, eliminating weight and expense. Hems and cuffs are now glued instead of sewm, eliminating weight and expense. Everything is optimized to enhance performance and minimize weight.

Overall, there has never been a better time to invest in a Goretex jacket. You'll get more years of use, carry less weight, and perform closer to your theoretical maximum performance. We're jazzed to continue to lead the "arms race" boasting Canada's best Goretex lineup from the world's best brands - Arcteryx, Montane, Norrona, Patagonia, Mammut, Black Diamond, OR, and Marmot.