A Rundown on GORE-TEX

If you've ever shopped outerwear then you've probably heard of Goretex, but what does it mean and does it live up to all the hype? We'll break down the tech & go over some common misconceptions.

Goretex is a proprietary technology for top of the line technical outerwear. Each square inch of Goretex membrane contains up to 9 billion pores, each pore is 20,000x smaller than a water droplet, and 700 x larger than a water vapor molecule. But what does all this mumbo jumbo mean? It means the Goretex membrane is the most waterproof, windproof & breathable fabric out there. You need your outerwear to be breathable to allow sweat to escape, otherwise it will build up the garment and make you wet & cold. The outer layer is either a soft shell or a hard shell, the middle layer is the Goretex membrane and the inner layer is a wicking fabric that draws moisture vapor from the body. The outer layer is often treated with a DWR coating to help water bead off and not build up on the garment. (Although the water won’t penetrate through the goretex it can still make you feel clammy.) Goretex rigorously tests all products that have their name on it, and they provide a guarantee of keeping you dry. If the garment fails, you can send it to Goretex with proof of purchase and they will repair, replace or refund you. At UNLTD goretex can be found in mens & womens outerwear as well as some mitts & gloves. 

Misconception 1: Goretex will keep me warm.

Goretex on its own has no insulating properties. Majority of Goretex products are a 2 or 3 layer waterproof/breathable fabric without insulation and are considered shell jackets. These were designed like this so you can layer underneath with either a technical fleece or a down/synthetic puffy depending on the warmth you need for that day’s conditions. Some jackets have a goretex outer membrane, lined with a down or synthetic layer for warmth which would offer some insulation. Although it does provide wind and water protection it's important to note that Goretex itself does not insulate.

Misconception 2: Goretex is crazily overpriced.

Goretex has come a long way over the years, the proprietary tech lends itself to about 100 brands and there are several options for goretex thickness. Because of this, the price point of Goretex in outerwear has come down quite a bit since it was invented. We have goretex jackets at the shop starting around $300. Although this price point may be higher than other shells/ jackets, the tech available in goretex is unparalleled in both performance and durability. In the long run, you will probably appreciate the advantages and longevity of a goretex jacket versus another option you’d have to replace sooner. 

Misconception 3: Goretex eventually stops working.

It’s not the Goretex that’s stopped working, it’s the DWR coating. Non-Goretex options rely heavily on a DWR coating which forces water to bead off the garment. Goretex fabrics utilize the same DWR coating which works hand in hand with the Goretex membrane for superior water repelling. Heavy use of any garment coated with DWR will eventually need to be refreshed. It may seem counterintuitive to machine wash & dry your goretex outerwear to revive the DWR coating, but it’s not! The coating actually relies on the heat of the dryer to realign the microscopic pegs that repel water. Follow the care instructions on the inside of the garment or refer to the Goretex website for help. If washing & drying fails to reinvigorate the coating, you can use a pump spray or wash in product to achieve a like new water repelling result.