is Gore-Tex really worth the big $$$

i own 4 tents, 2 kayaks, 3 sleeping bags, 2 backpacking stoves, 5 Igloo coolers of differents sizes & more fishing rigs than i can count, but I’ve never bought any thing Gore-Tex before. Is it worth the money? What I have on my shopping list is a new skirt…I mean a new spray skirt. Now I am in Florida not in Washington, what’s the feedback on Gore-Tex spray skirts & also maybe a new top to wear during the winter when it gets frigid and drops down into the 50’s.

But you can find great deals on Gor-Tex. Well worth the money either way, but look for deals to start off. I had been contemplating (for a long time) on the ECWS Gor-Tex parka & one day a friend of mine said he had one & would sell it & a pair of boots to me for $50. I didn’t “need” the boots, but hey- a deal is a deal!!!

Paddle easy,


frigid? 50’s!!!
see, now you’re just being hurtful!

i am of the personal opinion that gore-tex (or other such, non-name copyrighted hydrophobic membranes…whew! mouthful!) and polar fleece are the best things ever and it is this that separates us from lower animals…not thumbs! gore-tex and fleece!! if i had a child, his/her name would be “goretex fleece” surname. and boy-howdy wouldn’t THAT kid be pissed at his old man!

alrighty then…i have no experience with a goretex spray skirt but it has been pretty wonderful in my other gear (jackets, pants, gloves)…i wonder though if it would be as durable as a neoprene skirt? do you practice or do a lot of rescues, things like that?

a supplex skirt might do you well
and be cheaper. When it gets rough out it’s got to be neoprene all the way.

Stay cool when you can.

Whats Gore doing in Texas???

Just a thought
But Gore-Tex has its applications, and it generally excels in them, but… Gore-Tex is a PTFE laminate, and as such it relies on water being in it’s gas form be effective. Is the skirt leaking enough or the body producing enough sweat to flood the cockpit to a significant degree… probably not. Can your body heat and evaporation convert enough of the slop in your cockpit into gas to make a difference… probably not. Not only that, but Gore-tex needs a pretty sharp moisture and partial pressure gradient between the inside and outside of the garment. Since a spray skirt will virtually always be very wet (soaking) during use, the breathability of the fabric will be rendered virtually useless, because the outside will have a higher content of moisture than the inside.

In the mountains during winter, where the air is cold and dry, Gore-Tex is wonderful stuff. Because the air is so dry outside, the water your body is giving off as gas migrates quickly to the outside of the membrane. Good. But when the outside it much wetter than the inside, and when you consider that the energy keeping the water in gas form is farther away (a spray skirt is not next to the skin like a jacket is), the desirability of a PTFE laminate for a spray skirt quickly diminishes.

The final consideration is salt water. If you don’t rinse off your Gore-Tex spray skirt after contact with salt water, the crystallization of the salt water will ruin the properties of the fabric. The salt crystals will cut, tear, and stretch the micropores out of dimension.

In conclusion, PTFE anoraks work because the body is so close to the membrane. The heat and proximity is generally enough to force the gas to the outside. When you think about using a PTFE laminate as a spray skirt, the fabric quickly loses it’s advantages. There isn’t the same amount of heat (energy) near the membrane. It doesn’t get the same level of runoff as an anorak would, so it is often much more wet, reducing the relative gradients. The water that is in the cockpit would somehow need to be converted to gas to get out, if it even could escape through the heavy moisture outside. In short, there is a reason why PTFE laminates haven’t found a big following in spray skirts. That is, they just aren’t worth the added cost.

great info ! eom

Some Gortex stuff is good and…
…other stuff sucks.

I have had two pairs of Rockport Hiking boots which were lined with gortex, and supposed to be waterproof. Both pairs leaked like a sieve.

I now have a pair of Rockports which are waterproof, and there is no Gortex in them, and they are in fact waterproof.

Several years ago on one of our Alaska trips, we were with a group of people from Juneau.

We had our Performance gortex Biking pants and jackets, and they made fun of them, saying the the Alaskans think Gortex was “cute” but wouldn’t touch it since it breaks down in salt water after continuous use.

The gang of us hiked a mountain in the ANWR in pouring rain, and we were the only ones who stayed dry. On the return, seveal wanted to know if we would send them a performance catalog when we got home.

Last year on a summer long trip to AK, in which we paddled almost on a daily basis, most of which was in salt water, our standard dress was light weight polar fleece pants with the same gortex rain pants over them, and we stayed dry and warm for the entire trip.

I personnaly think it is good, and will keep you dry, but there are a lot more newer fabics that the better outdoor clothes manufacturers such as North Face are using that are just as good and breathable also.



Rick, He just has NO idea what cold is.

For just a spray skirt? its not that big a deal… BTW I get the Mil-Spec Gortex stuff issued and have worn it days on end even in the Monsoons of Korea. Some Notes on what I have experienced. Breathable Ha don’t make me laugh, you will sweat like a pig in the summer, and in the winter it does nothing for your warmth but keep the rain off you. Yes its better then the old Rubber rain gear but not much. I hate the way the fabric feels against my skin too. Now on the other hand the Mil-spec stuff is very durable but its just to dam hot in the summer, I would rather just get wet. Now in the winter as an outer layer to protect you from freezing rain ect ect its pretty good if you have fleece on as an outer inner layer…

Washington, Florida, Goretex
Are you from Washington State? Where are you in Florida?

I am a UW grad and lived in Washington off and on for 15 years, currently live in West Palm Beach.

As for Goretex, it is THE BEST material for things like bicycling rain gear, or runner stuff. It is OK for footwear too if it is engineered properly. It would not be my choice for a spray skirt though. Most Floridians use an ordinary ripstop nylon spray skirt and they work fine. Save your money.



I’d like you to me my son Gortex
and my daughter Fleece…don’t leave home w/out it…

I just purchased an NRS dry top…love it…breathes beautifully. They have a drytop and have recently come out with a wetsuit (no zipper/socks yet) made from another new age breathable material…Entrant. Check it out. I saw mine at the local kayak shop ‘demo day’ and bought it at 1/2 price. The msrp is still considerably lower than a goretex model from kokatat or stohlquist…



The Patent on Gore-tex has expired
so there are numerous brands of expanded PTFE now being sold. The “breathable” urethane coatings that I have seen are inferior so read the labels of whatever you buy.

My limited experiece is that breatheable fabrics do make a difference. I notice much less condensation inside my breatheable(Bomber Gear) drytop than I get in my old coated paddle jacket. I still get damp if I’m working hard – from what I’ve read, none of the waterproof/breatheable fabrics can keep up with heavy exertion – but it’s still much more comfortable.

You’d look really hot
You’d look really hot in that new skirt, may I suggest something in a floral pastel. : ) Nope don’t know anything about goretex worthyness or fashion statments.


i agreed …
i usually have assortment of diff breathable fabrics (i always shop at outlet :slight_smile: )… Gore, Marmot’s membran …etc. I dont find any difference between them in my jackets and shoes.

For jacket, definitely go with breathable materials.

I wouldnt worried about paying extra for the GORE name.

Blizzard of 76 Fort Lauderdale
You should have seen our blizzard of 1976, it was horrible, snow drifts nearly as high as the soles of our flip flops.


and let’s give props…
to bomber gear! I have one of their dry tops and the emphasis is on DRY! that sucker is fantastic!

in being the “tea bag” / immersed in teaching some rescues, the dry top alone kept my torso dry even with a little exertion and the usual contortions. wouldn’t use just that were it cold (the water in new england is never warm but we have a different view of cold compared to our southern brothers) but for short dunks in spring/summer it’s excellent. really love their product!

May Not Even Matter…

– Last Updated: Jul-09-04 2:00 PM EST –

there's a plethora (just waiting to use that word! :) ) of breatheable materials these days. Honestly, I've found most of them to do just as well as Goretex. I have drytops (short and long sleeves) from Bombergear, Rapidstyle, Kokatat and Immersion Research (IR). The only top that didn't seem to live up to the breatheable/waterproof billing is a MountainSurf top I bought spur of the moment at the Santa Cruz festival. While the guy claimed it was a breatheable laminate, I suspect the top I got is just uerethane coating and thus the "sweat build up" when I use it.

I haven't tried NRS tops yet, but I suspect they probably perform well given that most of their products do.