Whether you're facing light drizzles or full on downpours, every outdoor adventurer needs a brilliant jacket or coat to hold up against the harsh weather conditions. With myriad options available, it can sometimes be confusing to work out the different fabric variations and terminology. There are many material elements to look into, but one that is immediately more significant than the rest is GORE-TEX.
You may have seen this logo on the garment itself or read about it while browsing online - so what is GORE-TEX and why is it so unique and innovative compared to similar waterproof fabric counterparts? At Waterman's Country Supplies, we will dispel all the difficulties surrounding this high tech material, exploring all the key facts and benefits to help you get the most from outdoor and country living.
What Is GORE-TEX Fabric?
GORE-TEX is a durable outdoor clothing and footwear fabric that is waterproof, windproof and breathable. Created in the late 1960s by inventor, scientist and businessman, Bob Gore, he discovered that rapidly heating polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) caused the material to stretch dramatically to create an incredibly tough and repellent microporous material.
This expanded ePTFE material contains billions of pores that are large enough to let body heat and sweat escape but small enough to repel outside water - creating the ultimate outdoor clothing and footwear material. When you wear GORE-TEX you'll be protected from the rain while remaining as comfortable as possible when on the move or even pushing yourself during demanding activities and exercise.
How Is It Different To Normal Waterproofs?
The central differences between GORE-TEX and normal waterproofs is the former's fabric reliability, versatility and broad range of uses.
Everyday generic waterproofs are usually made from PVC, polyurethane, rubber or vinyl materials. Other fabrics that provide waterproof or water resistant protection may be treated with an ancillary waterproofing spray. These provide varying degrees of waterproof reliability but none offer the unique properties of GORE-TEX. You may get 100% protection with a standard vinyl waterproof, but with GORE-TEX you get something that is much more geared towards practicality and an active lifestyle.
How Does It Work In The Waterman's Clothing Range?
Most 'GORE-TEX' clothing that you'll come across will have the special material sandwiched between an outer layer fabric and an inner layer lining, so it acts as a membrane in the garment's composition.
GORE-TEX jackets and coats are most likely seam-sealed - you can identify seam-sealing by the visible tape strips around stitching and other details to reinforce gaps that could be vulnerable to water infiltration. This will provide a reliable, all-round, waterproof and weatherproof finish.