Gore-Tex Facts

The only time I wear Gore-Tex is when I have my hiking boots on. As rain gear it’s a waste of money. To start it’s not going to breathe well enough while wet. As a liner for hiking boots it works well enough because your socks wick away moisture. Paying good money for Gore-Tex rain gear means you have less money without any real extra comfort. Sporting magazines make money off of Gore-Tex ads and they have a reason to promote the stuff. But if I’m hiking in the rain wearing a vented coated nylon raincoat and someone else is wearing unvented Gore-Tex I will be more comfortable. I’ve proven that many times in the past. As headgear it’s a total waste. It doesn’t breathe well enough for your head to cool. Thus your head will heat more without it than without it. A cotton ball cap dipped in water is better on a hot sunny day than Gore-Tex. For rain carry a hooded raincoat. The hood breathes better than a raincap. My personal favorite headgear is a straw hat. Finding a good one that is made to get wet might be hard to find. Mine will swell in the rain and the water rolls off.

My experience has been opposite
I fully advocate breathable gear in darn near every form. Given equal construction breathable will outperform non-breathable. All my rain coats have venting options and at the end of a rainy day I am able to strip the gear, change my socks and be warm while others are digging for dry clothing to replace their sweat drenched clothing.

I have a variety of hats also and still find my most comfortable hat only is a goretex Seattle Sombrero. Though I will grant you that a baseball cap under a rain hood provides better breathability.

Different strokes for different folks I suppose. I know people that still swear that a 10 pound wet wool sweater is warmer than a 1 pound wet expedition fleece. Maybe so but I still wouldn’t want to carry the extra 9 pounds.


your saying " Gore-tex doesn’t breathe, it SUCKS!"??

maybe 10 years ago.

Today, the gore I use, in rainwear, skiwear, paddlewear and urban wear, here in rainy Oregon, works great.

sorry to POP your balloon, but it does.


Different Strokes…
I know a few paddlers, and hikers, who find they have no trouble with traditional coated nylon products. Or wetsuits with layers when the rest of us have long since switched to the drysuit. Most that I have met are like me, and find that their temperature and cooling tolerances are best (in some cases only) only served by GoreTex or equivalent when the weather gets more challenging.

Not having a personal use for GoreTex is fine, deciding your personal comfort levels work for every other body out there is shooting waaay too far.

I have had the exact opposite experience
with goretex here in michigan.

Goretex drysuit is the cat’s meow, as is my jacket, and drytop.

There is a point of aerobic activity where you are sweating faster than the fabric can breath it out. but if you stop it will breath out.

Are you trolling?

Goretex is over rated…
because when I had a coated nylon drysuit I actually enjoyed the pools of sweat in my neoprene booties after a couple hours. Nothing like surrounding yourself with your own fluids while you paddle, sweat or otherwise! I also heartily enjoyed stripping the top down to the waist and let the cold ocean winds dry my sopping torso. It made the term “safety issue” relevant to any clinic I was in and brought greater levity to all involved.

I also felt like I was getting more out of it as I produced more sweat, cooled my body from higher temps, dried more square inches of body from a drench, thus I “felt” like I was a far more productive paddler. “Feeling” is far more prooductive than “thinking” as it usually requires more shenanigans to recover from than the much over rated thinking. Droll, droll, droll.

While backpacking with my new Marmot Precip jacket with Waterproof Breathable Membrane was so boring that while hiking in the rain along the Pacific Crest Trail in mid fifties temps, I barely knew it was on. So droll. I recall so fondly the days of my plastic parka’s. I would generate so much more moisture inside that I would often remove it and just get rained on as it was similar to wearing it. I was so much more connected to the earth back then, so in tune.

No, I’m giving up my Gore Tex. Too boring. I love all the attention that tilting at windmills gives me.

Augustus Dogmatycus


Gore tex raingear…

– Last Updated: Sep-06-05 4:28 PM EST –

Some of the best money I've ever spent on "any" outdoor gear I've ever owned. I don't leave for "any" paddling trip without it; spring, summer, fall, or winter. When I was still backpacking; same story, never left home without it. It's saved me so many times from unnecessary suffering, that carrying it (even when I don't think I'll need it)is a no brainer for me.

I wear a Mont-Bell hooded parka, REI Element pants, and Columbia full brimmed hat.
All are at least 4 years old & still working fine. If weather looks like it will be "bad to the bone" I carry my North Face Summit Series
hooded parka. It is "bomber"!


P.S. By the way; if you still wear a poncho while canoeing; try a "test swim" in that poncho(with help nearby), before continuing that practice.

Not disputing any views, but
I read of an Alaskan Iditarod runner who used traditional fur clothing. His dogs got away or something happened so he holed up 1-2 nights without distress. Doing well, he became sponsored and received Goretex. Same thing happened, but it was the coldest and worst night of his life. Not sure why. Have at it.

Goretex Shell

– Last Updated: Sep-06-05 5:01 PM EST –

provides no insulation of it's own, as opposed to fur clothing. Need layering underneath to go with goretex to achieve my warmth.

As for me, I use goretex. I just like spending my money for the heck of it. ;)

Of course, I'm just stating my "opinion" and inclination and not "fact."


I disagree…
On our first trip to Alaska we brought our Performance biking Gortex tops and bottoms.

It was a guided trip and we had two native Alaskins on the trip who after we got friendly gave us a hard time about our “cute” gortex suits.

They wore rubber rain gear over their undergarments and said it was the standard Ak wear for rainy weather.

Before the trip was over they were both going to order suits just like ours from Performance. With their rubber rain gear they were either sweating profusely or freezing.

Since that trip we have used those same suits on two more trips to Ak, one of which was for four months.

We were always dry and comfortable plus the suits were so lightweight that they were not a burden at all.

If it dry weather we wear our dry suits, but if it is going to be rainey we always opt for the gortex.



God send…
I found my Gore-Tex dry suit a boon when working in the cold waters along the coast of Maine. It kept me dry and breathed well. Until the waters exceeded 60 degrees, I relied on my dry suit and simply adjusted what I was wearing under it.

Sometimes it is pleasurable to be dry after a paddle.

I kind of Agree… Its Doesn’t Breath! how ever it is better then the old school Rubberized stuff… and I LOVE the Seattle sombrero!! Matter of fact I consider it a MUST have for Cold rainy day paddles!!! but most of Gortex’s problems can be minimized by wearing wicking stuff underneath! in the hot summer months i think ALL rain gear is a waste of time while paddeling…

Suit Yourself…But-
I prefer to suit myself in Gore-tex. Works great for me.


backpacking no - paddling yes
Most goretex rain suits are to heavy for me to carry backpacking. I use an old style patagonia zepher jacket stops the wind and breathes better than gortex and weighs 6 oz. When that is too warm I use a poncho. I do not like goretex in my boots either, to hot and the boots take longer to dry. When I backpack I will get wet but stay warm and all my gear drys fast when it stops raining. But I would not trade my gortex drysuit for any other option when paddling.


I’m Adventurous!
so the next time I’m out in Arizona, maybe I’ll try your suggestions for raingear. And I’d kinda like to be with you when you use that stuff you like, say in NY’s Catskill Mountains some lovely late March three day rainy weekend. You might see what passes for three whole months of rain in Arizona. Heh heh! reminds me of the guy I knew from the Northwest who referred to it as Arid Zona! But at any rate, I like my rather expensive and somewhat technically advanced Gore-tex parka. It beats the heck out of the stuff I used to use, at least where I tend to use it.

Perhaps you’d care to…
revise the presumptive title of your post?

If your postulations are to be taken as fact then perhaps you could support your ‘facts’ with qualified & quantified data - not your personal anecdotal opinions. And you might even make your presentation without the implied and self proclaimed omniscient wisdom.

Yeah, I’m still a bit raw over the time you condescendingly explained to me how to make photographic imagery using well known and rather basic suggestions, unsolicited of course, and off topic of the thread.

I just returned from the Tetons. Couple of wonderful storms, one rather severe. Spent 45 minutes in the firs having a spot of hot supper and weathering the deluge in my GoreTex dry suit. Incredibly, the GoreTex worked!

My experience with the fabric differ greatly from yours.

Have a care with your ‘facts’.


Gore-Tex performance
Gore Tex performance is best when there is a temperature differential between your body and the outside area. Otherwise the water vapor droplets tend not to migrate out as well. For that reason to increase ventilation, pit zips are found in many jackets. Use them when its warmer.

Also you cant wear it indefinitely without washing in soap(not detergent). GoreTex will stop working when the micropores are clogged.

Third the item feels best when the DWR treatment on the outside actually makes the water bead up. The fabric might get waterlogged when the treatment wears off. The Gore Tex membrane still is working but since you feel a coldish clammy fabric that seems to be sticking to your skin the impression is that it isnt working.

Any more questions call an outdoor retailer product support specialist.

I use Goretex when doing something active outside. If I am standing on a lobster boat in the rain I use a rubber outfit.

Just the facts…

– Last Updated: Sep-07-05 1:56 AM EST –

I worked in the outdoor retail for many years and have seen year after year Waterproof/Breathable laminates and coating get better and better. There are a couple of facts missing from most of these arguments (WHOOPS, props to kayamedic for bring up some of the following).

(1) A waterproof/breathable laminate or coating is only as breathable as the face fabric it is laminated to or coated on. PERIOD. That means it is possible of a $300 Gore-Tex XCR jacket to be less breathable than say a $90 micro porous polyurethane waterproof/breathable (like Marmot uses in some of their inexpensive jackets). Independent tests of the jackets that were done for the company I used to work for proved this very fact as one year our supposedly best breathing Gore-Tex XCR jacket was blown away by our cheap $90 W/B coated jacket we made. Things were fixed the next year.

(2) The nature of waterproof/breathable laminates and coatings is that the must be washed periodically to allow the dirt, body oil, ect. that clog it up to be removed. These things will lower the performance. This is why I don't wear w/b boots except in situation where waterproofness is necessary, and/or when I won't be wearing the boots for longer than 3 or so days. You can not wash out the laminate inside of a boot, therefore the longer you wear them, the less and less breathable they become. On extended backpacking trips w/b boots eat your feet up, no matter how excellent your socks are at wicking moisture. Can you say trench foot? This comes years of experience on the AT and others. You ask any serious backpacker about w/b boots and they will tell you “don’t use them for distance.” Now for the casual user (re: daytrips, weekends, hunters, fisherman, ect) they are better than sliced bread.

(3) All w/b items should have a finish on the face fabric called a durable water resistance (DWR). This finish keeps the face fabric from becoming water logged. It keeps the water sheeting off of the jacket like a newly waxed car. After time or with multiple washing, this DWR wears out and then your jacket will soak up water. This impedes breathability, allows water to seep through any imperfections, and makes the jacket heavy. If your jacket (or other) is doing this you need to replace the DWR with an after market item like Gore’s ReviveX, Nikwax’s TX-Direct, or Blue Water’s Techtron. The associate who sold you your jacket or other item SHOULD have told you that.

Those ARE the facts,

Goretex in Scotland
My wife and I spent a few weeks cycling in Scotland. It rains there, rather more rigorously than say in the Pacific Northwest. I had Goretex, but my wife opted for a high tech nylon rain suit sold by Nashbar that fit her better. Big mistake. We had days where we rode for up to 10 hours and the rain never let up the entire day. Other days where it would rain, then stop and let the sun come out, then start raining again. The latter was worse because the sun heats things up and forces you to either stop and take the suit off or suffer with the heat. Anyway, the Goretex handily outperformed the nylon. Bonnie sent the nylon suit back and bought a Goretex one instead. She has never regreted making the change.

As others have said, Gortex requires frequent cleaning, and it needs to be retreated after ever 2 or 3 washings to keep it waterproof. It is a very effective product if cared for properly.



me thinks Pahsimeroi is just a troll. He snuck over from B&B (musta got boring over there??) and just wanted to push some buttons!

Notice there is not one reply from him or anyone else who supports him???