The Truth About Gore-Tex

Gore-Tex jackets are some of the most popular and highly sought after outdoor gear on the market.

They’re known for their superior waterproofing, wind proofing and breathability, making them a favourite among outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds. We, Portwest- The Outdoor Shop get questions every week about Gore-Tex jackets, so we wrote this blog to answer your questions. Here are the 5 most common questions we get asked about Gore-Tex jackets.

 

1: What is Gore-Tex?

 

Gore-Tex is a type of waterproof and breathable fabric invented by Robert Gore, a chemical engineer, in 1969. The fabric is made up of polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE), a membrane that has microscopic pores, which are small enough to prevent liquid water from penetrating but large enough to allow water vapor like sweat to escape. And so this allows for superior waterproofing while still allowing you to stay dry and comfortable.

 

2: What makes Gore-Tex jackets special?

 

Gore-Tex jackets are special because of their ability to keep you dry in even the wettest conditions, perfect for Irish weather. The fabric is also very durable, making it a great choice for you if you need a jacket to withstand the Irish wind and rain. Also, Gore-Tex jackets are known for their breathability, meaning they allow moisture to escape from inside your jacket while keeping rain and other moisture out.

 

3: How do I care for my Gore-Tex jacket?

 

To care for your Gore-Tex jacket, it’s important you follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully. Generally, Gore-Tex jackets should be washed in cold water with a mild detergent and then hung up to air dry. You should avoid using fabric softeners or bleach, as these can damage the Gore-Tex membrane. Your Gore-Tex jacket is treated with a durable water repellent or DWR finish. And you may not realise this DWR finish will diminish over time and so you should consider using a treatment like Nikwax Tech Wash to keep your Gore-Tex jacket in top nick for the long haul.

 

4: Are Gore-Tex jackets worth the cost?

 

Let us ask you this….how much would you pay to keep dry when you’re hiking or trail running? Yes, Gore-Tex jackets can be more expensive relative to other types of jackets, but, for good reason. Of course, you’re paying for Gore-Tex technology to keep you dry but you’re also getting high quality materials. If you spend time outdoors, consider a Gore-Tex jacket as an investment. You’re likely to wear it for years and it’ll last longer than a non Gore-Tex jacket.

 

5: How are Gore-Tex jackets made?

 

The technology behind Gore-Tex jackets lies in the Gore-Tex membrane, which is a unique material that is both waterproof and breathable. EPTFE is heated and stretched to the shape of your jacket. And get this, the pores in the ePTFE membrane are a mind boggling 20,000 times smaller than a water droplet, so water cannot penetrate the membrane from the outside, even in heavy rain or snow. The Gore-Tex membrane is usually sewn underneath the outer layer of your jacket. So essentially, Gore-Tex keeps water out and allows sweat to escape. Even the seams for your zips are sealed with Gore-Tex seam tape. 

 

We hope by answering your questions you’ll appreciate the hype around Gore-Tex jackets. If you’re sick of getting soaked when you’re out, now might be the time to consider investing in a waterproof jacket and you won’t find a better waterproof jacket than a Gore-Tex jacket. We've fantastic Gore-Tex jackets online and instore from brands like Berghaus, Sprayway and Mountain Equipment.

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