Gore-Tex Pro Fabric Upgraded For 2020 | In-depth Preview - Outdoors Magic

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Gore-Tex Pro Fabric Upgraded For 2020 | In-depth Preview

Our lowdown on all the changes Gore have made to their top-spec fabric

Gore-Tex Pro is W.L. Gore’s top-of-the range waterproof membrane that’s been found in outdoor gear produced by some of the best brands in the industry. Now from 2020 onwards, the fabric company has revealed it will be offering three intriguing new variations of it.

In case you’re not familiar with the science behind Gore-Tex, in short it involves an expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) lining that has thousands of tiny holes which are big enough to allow water vapour out from the inside but small enough to keep water droplets from seeping through. With Gore-Tex Pro, this membrane is sandwiched between a durable outer fabric and an internal C-knit backer which prevents sweat and dirt from clogging the pores,

Until now, the nature of the membrane has meant that any fabrics paired with it by brands need to be quite stiff. It’s why waterproof jackets with Gore-Tex Pro in the past have tended to appear quite crinkly and have sounded swishy. What’s changed is that Gore have created three different variations of the membrane which will now allow it to cater for a range of different fabric types.

Three New Types Of Gore-Tex Pro

The variations? That’ll be Most Rugged Technology, Stretch Technology and Most Breathable Technology.

Most Rugged Technology is, as the name suggests, the toughest of the three. It has a polyurethane element added to the membrane and will be best paired with higher denier face fabrics and a heavier backer. This is designed for people that are going to be putting their kit through its paces and want as much lifetime out of the product as possible. Face textiles of 70-200 denier are available on the Rugged line.

Stretch Technology will allow the end user greater freedom of movement making those critical moments on the mountain flow more easily. An elastic layer sits on-top of the membrane giving it 12%-20% more stretch. What’s even more impressive is that the product doesn’t lose any of its breathability or waterproof performance when being stretched.

Most Breathable Technology is the lightest of the three and has been designed for people that are going to be pushing themselves to the limit aerobically and working very hard. It can be used with a 30-denier laminate and therefore you’ll find extremely lightweight garments with this.

What’s particularly interesting is that brand partners won’t just be limited to using just one of these variations of Gore-Tex Pro in their garment. For example, for a climbing jacket, you could see Stretch around the arm pits to allow for extended movements, Rugged on the sleeves for durability and Breathable across the back.

As for the hydrostatic head (waterproofness) and the MVTR (breathability rating) of Gore-Pro’s membrane, nothing has changed there. The numbers are all the same, the difference is just in that greater diversity of fabrics it can now be paired with.

Any Improvements In Sustainability?

Gore-Tex say they have a strong commitment to making their products as sustainable as possible and this is present in the new Gore-Tex Pro. PFCs, which have typically been used in durable water repellent fabric treatments, are a concern for the environment as they contaminate ground water when they eventually wash off, and while Gore haven’t eradicated these from their fabrics yet, half of their products are free from them and they say they’re working hard on the other half.

The brand is also focused on introducing recycled fabrics into the Pro line of products and they also use solution dyeing on the backer fabric which greatly reduces the amount of water used in the process and carbon emissions. Still, it’s worth us pointing out that there are other waterproof fabrics out there that are ahead of the curve here; The North Face’s FutureLight for instance.

Tester’s Verdict

Giles Dean – OutdoorsMagic

I’ve had my test sample jacket (made by Norrona) with the new Gore-Tex Pro for a couple of months now and have tested it in a variety of conditions including; hiking on the high alpine in Banff, hill walking in the wet and windy Brecon Beacons and ski touring in Les Deux Alpes, France. It features a combination of the new Most Rugged fabric and the Stretch Technology.

What has impressed me about the jacket is its versatility and it’s go anywhere feel. As a performance hardshell it’s the first thing on my kit list for a trip now as I know it is going to perform; keeping me protected from the weather and allowing me to go all day.

It was particularly impressive during a ski touring trip in France where we had very wild conditions with wind speeds of up to 50kmh on the peaks. When skinning up to a summit I kept the jacket on throughout (though I removed my mid-layer as I began the ascent) without feeling the need to unzip to dump out any heat.

The obvious danger with having the wrong kit ski touring is that you get very hot and sweaty on the way up and then once you are exposed to the wind on the peak you freeze as the moisture that you have created strips away all of your heat. With this Gore-Tex Pro jacket this didn’t happen. Once at the top I felt I could stay up there all day as I had protection from the wind and the snow being blasted at us.


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Fighting the foehn winds this week with @gilesthenord at @rise_festival. Had to sneak off for a quick tour ✌ • • • • #backcountry #backcountryskiing #skitouring #skitour #skiuphill #skirandonee #skirando #skiing #mountain #mountains #mountainlife #deuxalpes #lesdeuxalpes #earnyourturns #alwaysascending #powder #winter

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The Gore-Tex Pro jacket I tried had a good amount of stretch to it particularly on the back where the Gore-Tex Pro Stretch Technology was located. It was certainly noticeable (or not noticeable, depending on which way you look at it) when I was skinning up steep sections and needed a longer reach and when descending and putting in turns.

Overall, I’m really excited about this new update to Gore-Tex Pro. I’m looking forward to seeing what brands such as Arc’teryx are going to do and how they will incorporate it into their products. With the three different types of Gore-Tex Pro brands are going to be able to be very creative with how they put products together as they’ll be able to use the configuration in a way that suits their end user. With this, I think we have potentially seen the future of the membrane game in the outdoors world.

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