You’ve seen it highlighted in product descriptions or tags under the wash instructions. You might even own GORE-TEX brand apparel and gear. Regardless of how you heard about it, you have heard about it. GORE-TEX®: that mythical promise of high-tech design built to last. But do you know what it is or what it does? Do you really need it?
The answer to the last question is probably yes because GORE-TEX® is awesome. The material is able to repel liquid water while allowing water vapor to pass through, which is a fancy way of saying it’s a highly waterproof, windproof and lightweight fabric designed for all-weather use.
How is GORE-TEX Made?
The genius of a GORE-TEX® jacket is that it contains layers of nylon, PTFE and polyurethane. The PTFE contains tons of microscopic pores–around 14 million per square millimeter—that are too small for water droplets to pass through. When outside water comes in contact with a GORE membrane, little beads of moisture simply slide right off. And here’s the best part: these tiny holes are large enough for sweat to escape. So, while you’re working hard biking, hiking, skiing, running and enjoying other outdoor activities, your GORE-TEX® fabric serves as a durable, highly water resistant, breathable layer. That’s what Gore is in a nutshell. It’s used on jackets, pants, trousers, footwear, gloves, hats and other accessories. Countless brands trust Gore to provide top of the line waterproof technology.
GORE-TEX Put to the Test:
On webisode one of “Wizards of Water” Gordon and Ted actually put the GORE promise “guaranteed waterproof” the test. First, they clarify the difference between water repellency and water proof-ness. All GORE products contain a DWR laminate, which makes all their products water resistant. What makes a GORE-TEX® pro shell waterproof is its immense durability. Ted and Gordon test GORE durability with a high-pressure hose. Although Ted is sprayed in a manner that looks certainly painful, it does prove that GORE keeps you dry.
The GORE-TEX Promise:
While the GORE-TEX® brand is a highly waterproof and durable membrane/laminate, it’s also a promise to keep you dry and provide long-lasting, comfortable weather protection from head to toe. Furthermore, the company stands by their “GORE Fabrics Guidelines on Social Responsibility,” which is a set of criteria regarding fair labor requirements, positive working environments, compliance with legal and environmental regulations and other topics. The company also expects their suppliers, business partners, distributors and any other representatives to maintain the same level of social responsibility.
If you’re looking for highly water resistant, breathable material, look for the GORE-TEX® name under the product description. To shop GORE-TEX® jackets and other gear, visit www.skis.com.