Gore-Tex Blogger Summit

I just got back from the Gore-Tex Experience More Blogger Summit in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. I not only learned a lot about the technology behind breathable fabrics and all of the testing methods that Gore does but also that there is a lot of misinformation about breathable fabrics out there. Over my next few posts, I'll try to share some videos that will hopefully enlighten people, dispel some myths, and spark some interesting discussions.

Factory Tour

Event vs. Gore-Tex 

A lot of people claim that Event breathes better than Gore-Tex. This demonstrations shows that they actually transfer water vapor at the exact same rate. Could it be merely psychological that people think Event is more breathable?

How to Clean your Waterproof, Breathable Jacket

If you've exceeded the number of times washing and drying will restore your DWR (10 - 15 times), then here are a couple of after-market products you may want to check out:

McNett Revivex Spray
Nikwax Tech Wash

Footwear Testing

This looks like a fun job! Here's what some of your hiking shoes go through before you ever try them on at REI. In the flex test, the shoes get flexed underwater hundreds of thousands of times. Pretty cool.

Gore-Tex Blogger Summit Gore-Tex Blogger Summit Reviewed by Jason Klass on September 15, 2009 Rating: 5


BEAST12101 said...

I suppose the real question would be why choose GORETEX over say the very popular Event, or my favorite is Pertex from Outdoor Research. What makes it the better choice.

jw said...

I'll admit that I'm not one to pay much attention to spec sheets, so some of this might be somewhat common knowledge. But I also know that "common knowledge" and what product engineers think are not necessarily related.

1. What do the engineers who make gore-Tex consider to be the ideal conditions for the material. Put another way, what circumstances are ideal for the breathable waterproofness to really shine?

2. As they look forward to improving the material, what do they (the manufacturer) imagine to be the theoritical limit? Or have we already seen it?

DW said...

They have been making this stuff for years right! When are they going to get off the price and get it out to the budget challenged folk.

Jason Klass said...

Good questions guys. Keep them coming!

Dana said...

I would also like to know how they plan on lowering the consumer cost of purchasing Gore-Tex products. At some point the costs outweigh the benefits.

Also, where do they see themselves in comparison to other fabrics like eVent and Pertex? Why have those materials been able to blossum at a faster rate? Even the Marmot proprietary MemBrain Strata has almost caught up with eVent.

Aside from a marketing standpoint, they are not superior to these fabrics. Just everyone and their Grandma knows what you mean when you say "Gore-Tex" (said with shaking jazz hands).

I second the question regarding the engineers' design conditions. Where ARE they designing these materials to be used? What are the variables they consider vs the ones they declare to be outliers?

Looking forward to your feedback Jason. Thanks!

Beep said...

I've owned and used both jackets and pants made from Goretex (Arcteryx)and eVent (Rab). My field experience is that eVent provides equivalent rain protection but far surpasses Goretex in breathability, comfort while hiking, and lower weight.

For me, at least, Goretex is an inferior product that delivers breathability only at a minimal, nearly theoretical, level. With more sales than competitive products and presumably a large R&D budget , why isn't Goretex pushing to produce a superior product in terms of comfort/breathability? IMO, it is NOT a superior product based on my experience.

Jeremy said...

In reference to DW and Dana's comments, first, Gore doesn't actually make the fabric or the garments. They develop the laminates, and provide a spec-sheet of various fabric types and weights for each category of Gore-tex (Performance Shell, Paclite, Pro-Shell, etc.) to the garment manufacturer. What keeps the cost of Gore-tex garments higher is the extensive product testing that each design has to undergo before it can carry the Gore logo and the "Guaranteed to Keep You Dry" promise.

When a company (like Outdoor Research) wants to use a Gore laminate in their product, everything from the design of the garment to the type and weight (denier, written as a # followed by a D i.e. 70D) is scrutinized and tested extensively at the Gore labs to ensure that it will be able to stand up to the most extreme conditions. This testing is expensive, but in the long run it's worth it for the garment manufacturer and the consumer, since only Gore-tex garments are actually GUARANTEED to not leak, etc., a promise that no other waterproof/breathable (WP/B) manufacturer is able to make. So, while garments made with Pertex laminates, or Conduit, or MemBrain, or even eVent may be less expensive or boast comparable specs in terms of vapor transmission and water column height, the simple fact is that none of those laminate manufacturers or garment companies are as confident in the waterproofness of their non-Gore-tex products as to flat-out guarantee their waterproofness like they do with their Gore-tex products.

jason said...

Many manufacturers offer a loft because of the plastic bag was examined according to standard evaluation criteria, but most of this mess. The seller knew that did not claim to be assessed against the standards of outdoor camping tents, there are three levels in a fundamental way.

Best Regards,

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