Is Gortex a miracle fabric or all hype?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Warren01, Apr 13, 2021.

  1. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Nov 3, 2019
    Adirondack Coast, NY
    Your results may vary. People who sweat a lot find it of little use in warm weather. Stay dry from the rain but get soaked by the sweat. It works much better in cold temps because the humidity tends to be much lower outside. This helps pull the moisture through the barrier to keep you drier inside. I tend to sweat a lot and find it acceptable in cold weather, but in summer, hardly a miracle
    loco gringo and getbent like this.
  2. newtwanger

    newtwanger Blackguardian. Ad Free + Supporter

    Feb 11, 2007
    Quebec, Canada
    I have 2 Arc’teryx Gore-Tex shells, one short one long and both remain completely waterproof when hiking or walking to work in the rain. I have a Touratech Gore-Tex Pro3 combo for motorcycling and 4 pairs of Gore-Tex shoes/boots including a pair of Converse.
    With correct care they are the best breathable waterproof material. I’ve spent a big chunk of my life getting wet until I said Screw it and paid the big bucks.
    Not magic, but top quality.
    jman72 likes this.
  3. That Cal Webway

    That Cal Webway Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Nov 16, 2012
    Variances of Gore-Tex are used definitely in surgery,
    the dental floss I use is a Gore-Tex material.

    Almost 40 years later it's still pretty expensive in clothing and such!
    Milspec likes this.
  4. jman72

    jman72 Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 31, 2013
    Central Florida
    I had a Marmot gortex jacket that I bought in '95. I hiked in driving rain and snowboarded in chest deep powder more times than I can count with that thing. It never failed me. I just tossed it last year because the seam tape was going bad. Otherwise it was bombproof. I'd love to have another one just like it.
  5. Harbinger77

    Harbinger77 Tele-Meister

    Feb 4, 2021
    OP brought the wrong jacket on vacation... blames Goretex.

    meanwhile, Goretex continues to be worn on the summit of Mt Everest and in space.

  6. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    The Far-Flung Isles of Langerhans
    Does anyone use Goretex as a dielectric in tone capacitors?
  7. BuckNekkid

    BuckNekkid Tele-Meister

    Nov 28, 2016
    Virginia, USA
    You want to be careful with terms and brands. Gore-Tex is a brand that sells a variety of items that range from water resistant, to water repellent, to waterproof. Each is a separate category. "Waterproof" means that the membrane that make up the fabric has pores that are smaller than water vapor, and will resist the intrusion of water under high amounts of pressure per square inch.

    Just because a garment has "Gore-Tex" on its label doesn't automatically mean it's waterproof. Read the label carefully. The Gore-Tex web site has lots of information on their materials, their testing methodology and their product line.

    Disclaimer: I worked in a running store, where some apparel (including shoes; I have two pair of running shoes that are Gore-Tex waterproof) is made for runners to bear the elements.
  8. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

    Apr 18, 2014
    Lions & Tigers oh Mi !

    Old school: rub a canvas coat or a hat with paraffin wax as if you are coloring with crayons and melt it into the fabric with a heat gun.
    I've done this to a LLBean coat that I never wore because even when I first got it, it soaked right through (miserable at a rainy football game) and a camping/hiking canvas hat.

    "Tin Pants"

    Olden Times ... "Oil Cloth"
    Obsessed likes this.
  9. stevehollx

    stevehollx TDPRI Member

    Feb 17, 2015
    charlotte nc
    For those that think GoreTex wears out over time, wash it and put it in the dryer in low heat. It is not GoreTex (the waterproof/breathable membrane) that wears, but the DWR coating that repels water droplets and gets it off the outer layer of the jacket instead of soaking in the moisture. Low heat in the dryer can reactivate the DWR coating. Otherwise, buy Granger’s spray and it will return the water repellency.
    Nightclub Dwight likes this.
  10. Milspec

    Milspec Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 15, 2016
    Useful, but not great has been my experience. They also melt easily from powdered hand warmers.

    I used the same old trusty Helly-Hansen rain jacket for 25 years and found it far superior to gore-tex. The vented cape and armpits made it far more breathable and just was water resistent as any gore-tex that I have worn. I forget the fabric it used (Supplex maybe?) but you can't go wrong with Helly-Hansen when it comes to rain gear.

    The biggest problem with gore-tex jackets is that companies like to rely on the name gore tex without really using it properly. If the seams aren't taped, fabric too thin, etc. it doesn't provide a very good product. It is like buying lemonade, some have 14% juice and some only have 5%, but they both call it lemonade.

    Now there used to be a product called "super pel" that allowed you to effectively turn any fabric into a water repellant fabric. I used to wash my field uniforms with the stuff and they would come out almost impervious to water. Not as stiff as gore-tex either. I don't know if that product exists any longer though as I am sure California banned it for cancer risks at some point.
  11. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 6, 2014
    kamloops bc
    Canada post issues Gortex pants and Jackets with insolated zip in, inserts for weather uniform , these usully have breathable openings to allow you to perspire and keep you dry so these do work
    That Cal Webway likes this.
  12. telepraise

    telepraise Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 27, 2017
    Tampa Bay
    I read an article a number of years back in Outside magazine about why so many outdoor products companies were discontinuing their license on Gore fabrics and developing alternatives. It seems that not only were Gore's fabrics expensive but they also insisted on being in the factories monitoring all the aspects of manufacturing gear and how their fabric was used. Very big brother.

    My use doesn't warrant anything better than North Face, but if I lived in Alaska (or maybe even the northwest) I'd be looking hard at those $500 Arc’teryx jackets. Even with breathable waterproof fabric, I want pit zips if I'm going to be moving at all.
  13. ozcal

    ozcal Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 5, 2015
    i love goretex gear... used it for years... if i recall correctly it s a brand as well as a process of waterproofing... i know the goretex brand makes some really nice cycling gear... i ve used and still use arcteryx gear... high end brand with prices to match... the reason i have it is because i got it on prodeal... awesome clothing... the worst thing about it is that it has become a status symbol / fashion brand... the techies in SF love their arcteryx puffy jackets when it s 60 degrees...
  14. lammie200

    lammie200 Friend of Leo's

    Jan 11, 2013
    San Francisco
    Not sure if it is a miracle but it is also used for medical purposes like implants, vascular patches, etc.
  15. scooteraz

    scooteraz Friend of Leo's

    Apr 17, 2007
    Peoria, AZ
    I have had good Goretex rain shells, from the first generation. That was in the mid 1970’s. My First gen eventually bubbled, but OTOH, Gore and the manufacturer replaced the jacket with the 2nd gen fabric. At that time the art of seam sealing was less sophisticated than now. So it leaked a bit where the seam seals were not perfect. The second shell lasted quite a while and I beat it up mercilessly. Along the way, it kept me drier and more comfortable than any non-gore shell.

    I had a third gen ski shell. It lasted until I lost in in my travels almost a decade later. I had a couple of REI branded shells (one an anorak) and they were nice, and the gore lasted as long as the outer fabrics. Along the way, I have replaced several, and had great luck with some well seam sealed shells.

    Marmot, REI, Patagonia, Mountain Hardware, and Arcteryx have been good brands for me. Marmot was the first shell I bought. I have over 40 plus years beat those products up to where they came apart, and they did their job.

    Goretex (and its competitors) are not magic, but they are truly a miracle. Of course, poorly made clothes with even the best materials will be poorly made, and will probably leak.
  16. 1955

    1955 Doctor of Teleocity

    Apr 10, 2010
    I believe my boots have some GoreTex in them and they seem to work pretty well in wet weather.
  17. INFANT

    INFANT Tele-Holic

    Apr 12, 2011
    Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada
    I have a pair of Gore-Tex lined Ecco golf shoes that I have been wearing for two years. I have played in rain, walked thru puddles and heavy dew. I have yet to get my feet wet with these shoes.

    As an automotive engineer, I used Gore-Tex plugs on electronic transmission modules to allow the sealed electronic modules to remain dry inside but allow the internal heat to escape. These modules are mounted to the transmissions under the vehicle and are exposed to severe conditions. The module is a safety item and therefore, failure is not an option.
  18. thesamhill

    thesamhill Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Dec 20, 2010
    Harrisburg, PA area
    IIRC the material itself is "just" a weave that is smaller than a water molecule but bigger than an air molecule. That's why the venting is important- sweat will stay in. But applied correctly it will let some hot air out while still being weather resistant etc.

    a bunch of folks had the idea to make masks out of it, myself included, for that reason. But it doesn't work. Gore had a big thing in their website about not trying it because it's not THAT permeable. Got all dizzy and had to admit that maybe Gore knew what they were talking about.

    I think you can fix the seams by stuffing some 3m goo in them. I forget what kind specifically but the internet knows.

    @INFANT I believe they also use the membrane in a type of e car batteries, because something something hydrogen can pass through something something water cannot something electrons have to take the long way around through the motor to get to the oxygen and the emission is plain old water. It sounded awesome at the time but I forget the specifics. Obviously, lol
  19. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Friend of Leo's

    May 29, 2016
    I bought into the snake oil a few times. A pair of gloves, with gortex trigger finger for hunting, promised my finger wouldn't get cold and would be mobile enough to get to the trigger while hunting. My hands were always cold.

    A couple expensive pair of boots that were probably gortex lined and rated for something crazy like negative 20. It was positive 30 and my feet were cold.

    Then one time in college my dad and I were going hunting. We had moved that year and I couldn't find my expensive boots because they hadn't been found in the unpacking yet. I went to Walmart and got the best pair of boots I've ever owned. Still have them 14 years later and my feet have never been cold!

    Moral of the story, I can't tell you much about gortex, but sometimes the best product might not be the one you think.
  20. eddiewagner

    eddiewagner Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 6, 2005
    Goretex works best when it’s quite cold.
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