OT - GoreTex Rain Jacket

This isn’t really paddling related, but there are a lot of outdoorsy people on this site, to say the least. And, we all wear rain jackets. With the cooler weather, I pulled out my old (and I do mean old) Lowe Alpine Triple-Point waterproof-breathable rain jacket. Found white stuff on my fleece when I took it off. Upon closer inspection I discovered it was not dandruff but crumbling away white lining, delaminating or whatever. I think this thing is around 10 years old, 10 years of tough use, including ice climbing. But in looking around, I’m having trouble finding something similar. Everything is either lightweight rain jackets or fleece lined multi-layer things. Jacket before this was a North Face Mountain Light. I need something that’s roomy enough for varied layers, can be worn with a climbing harness and/or pack, not so bulky that it can’t be shoved in a pack and still leave room for other stuff. Prefer “two way zipper.” What’s your favorites?

You aren’t restricted to paddling topics
If you’ve got a question, that’s all you need.

Have you checked REI and Patagonia
on-line? Those are two sources that are most likely to offer what you want. I have a breathable hooded jacket from REI that would meet most of your requirements, but I bought it in 2000, so things have changed.

What is wrong with that
North Face one ?

Is it the fact that it is too light?

I have had one for several years and love it.



I trolled around their site for days looking for a goretex rain jacket with pitzips (for less than $100!) and ended up with a lowe alpine, a brand I had never heard of before. Their descriptions are very thorough and the comments often address issues of fit. If the double zip isn’t specified,you can call or email them for further info.

I’ve got two North Face Gore Tex
One is a Mountain Light circa 2000 that is my workhorse, and a Summit Series (GCR)that I received free two years ago as a replacement for a Kichatna circa 1999 that NF repaired twice under warrant. I’ve owned Woolrich, EMS, and other but always come back to North Face. They lost their way for a bit with “fashion-oriented” merchandise but they stand behind their product and still take us serious types seriously. The summit series is lighter than the mountain light, but consider ordering up a size. My XL is not roomy enough for serious winter layering. GoreTex is the key, not matter the brand.

a couple of options with Goretex
their new material that came out last year called ProShell…the material is great! a wee bit thinner than the GoreTex XCR…smooth really durable outer finish…it breathes very well…I have been beating on my Proshell Jacket for almost two years now (product testing-gotta love it!) and have a few other pieces of ProShell that i like…

If you are looking for a lighter more packable material than you want GoreTex Paclite…a thinner material than Proshell-it has less layers than proshell so it is more compressable/packable/light on your shoulders…and just as breathable as anything out there…

I have paclite jackets as well…but i prefer the ProShell ones because the PacLite ones have a different inner layer…seems kind of rubbery feeling…i do not like the feel of it against my skin-personal opinion…

Go for the Gore…better stuff!!!


Old Gore-Tex (and some new)
Hi there…one terrific new brand of paddling jackets is Level 6. Very high quality rain resistance, paddling specific fit, strongly made and good prices. Try the Rutabaga site for a look. But if you’d like to use your old Lowe Alpine one more year (and then one more year after that…) there is a product I can recommend. It is from McNett and its called ReviveX. It is specifically made to re-waterproof Gore-Tex (and other permeable membrane materials). I’ve used it on a beat up 12-15 year old Patagonia Skaorak the last 3 years and it flat out works. There are very specific instructions about how to apply the product, including how (and with what) to wash the garment beforehand; you need to follow these exactly for it to work. But it could buy you some time while you look for your next jacket. My wife has one of those Lowe Alpine Triple Points and has loved it, so I understand your reluctance to be done with it.

Triple Point vs. Goretex

– Last Updated: Nov-16-08 10:17 AM EST –

If a company wants to use Goretex in their product, they have to pay Goretex. Many companies have tried to circumnavigate this for financial reasons by using other waterproofing options, but not always with the same success that Goretex seems tro have achieved. I believe the Three-Point system that Lowe uses is a coating that is applied to the fabric and not a separate breathable membrane which Goretex is. Goretex wasn' t originally intended for use in waterproof clothing, but for electrical and healthcare purposes.


Don’t forget Gore’s warrantee.

This is a great option. I bought mine off of Sierra Trading Post for a good discount. Lite weight, waterproof zips, stuffs small, good breathability, and room enough to use layers underneath.


Why Gore Tex?
Dropped my GoreTex rain jacket while running for a train this summer. It was gone. I’d had it eight years, during which I’d worn it in most conditions one is likely to encounter short of the Himalayas. That jacket was the reason I became fond of the expression “there is no bad weather, just bad gear.” So, I was sad to lose it, but began shopping for a similar jacket.

Why is it that when I find a product I really like, the retailers continue to tweak the product and you can’t find one you like as well? No matter, they do, and that particular jacket by EMS is no more, nor did they have one I liked as well. The old jacket had the zip pits–a useless feature in my view. I opened the pits a few times and it didn’t seem to matter much, so that was not a feature I cared about.

But let’s talk about Gore Tex. Sales people at both the Bean Store and REI told me that the original Gore Tex patent had expired and similar materials are now made and marketed under a variety of names. Well enough, but my old jacket had severed me so well that I was reluctant to try anything but Gore Tex.

I ended up buying two jackets. One is Gore Tex and one is made by Marmot of a material they call Precip Plus. The marketing blurb: “…advanced rainwear technology that enables us to construct the finest lightweight, exceptionally breathable, compressible, technical waterproof/breathable rainwear…” Sounds like Gore Tex, no? It is lighter and more packable than the old Gore Tex jacket. It deflects wind as well. It sheds rain, but I really have not yet tested it in the truly shitty conditions to which the old jacket had been subjected. But so far so good. The zipper stinks, which I think must be a Marmot trademark, based on experience with two of their sleeping bags.

The Gore Tex jacket is sitting in the closet with the tags still on it. Though it is still early in the product-life I’d like to get out of the Marmot jacket, and I still am not convinced, I suspect I will, in the end, return the Gore Tex.

So, my question is, if others are making Gore Tex equivalent products, why does the Gore Tex name still demand a premium price? Why are you specifically demanding Gore Tex?


Arcteryx Gore-tex parkas
They have great designs that allow full freedom of movement yet don’t feel or look like a sack of potatoes (so don’t buy if you are “bulky”).

The one I bought uses the 3-layer Gore-tex laminate, not the lighter 2-layer stuff, which is more common (Gore-tex drysuits use ONLY the 3-layer version). The zippers are waterproof; hence no need for overflaps. The hood moves well and is designed to fit over a climbing helmet.

Simple, clean designs that are well-made.

BTW, my ancient, circa 1978 Early Winters Gore-tex jacket is still in good shape! No delamination. The one bad thing is that back in those days you had to apply seam-sealant to the seams, and the seam sealant back then was not the nice flexible stuff that McNett now makes. So the old sealant is yellow and cracking. The Gore-tex and the Taslan outer are as good as new, though. Still waterproof, still breathable.

Old North Face - Unisex
The old Mountain Light was a nice jacket, but it never fit me quite right … it was from the “unisex” days. The Lowe Alpine was among the first women-specific styles.

goretex laminate and precip are two
different beasts…

the Goretex stuff is a Material…a layer in the sandwich of fabrics that is the jacket/pants/etc…

PreCip is a COATING that is on that fabric…as a waterproof/breathable fabric that is coated gets worn in over time that coating will come off…then no more waterproof…

The goretex material does not wear off…it is a layer of the fabric…

Revive’x et al work great-but the biggest thing is that it is a Durable Water-resistant Reviver…that goes on the outside and is what causes water to bead up and run off…that is not actually doing anything to the goretex…

the best way to revive a Goretex laminate item is to wash it (removes the stuff that might be plugging up the microscopic pores that you are using when the material is “breathing”) and then dry it gently…not to hot-you will melt the item…

if you notice that your item is not beading up as it used to on the outside you can always toss it into a dryer for about 20 minutes on medium heat and that will revive it QUITE well!!!

Check out these sites
Check out Cabelas and BassPro websites. Both carry a pretty good selection of Goretex rain gear, in varying weights. Basspro probably has a slightly better selection in the non camo colors. Look for the line made PacLite Goretex - seems like it will be what you’re looking for.

Also you could check LL Bean, they aks carry the PacLite stuff - I have a goretex raincoat from Bean and pants from BassPro.

Good luck!

There are 3 different gore-tex fabric
products in addition to the soft shell; Pac-lite which is essentially is rain wear, Performance Shell which is the 2 layer multi-use stuff, and Pro shell which is the three layer extended use product. All the various manufacturer’s utilizing Gore-tex can be found on the Gore-Tex web site with specs and prices. Makes looking for somethiong specific pretty easy. Showes every Performance Shell from Cabela’s to North Face etc.

The North Face Mountain Light parka is still made (Performance Shell) and I also was thinking about replacing it with a new one. The new version has eliminated many of the pockets that were present on the earlier models; I liked the pocket options of the previous model much better than the new one.

For rainwear in warmer weather I utilize the Marmot Precip jacket and full-zip pants and can pack both in a watertight compression stuff sack about 6" x 6". Love the product! For the fall, winter and spring I utilize my Mountain Light and layer as necessary.

Happy shopping.

Gore Guarantee and Warrantee
Unlike other manufacturers, Gore actually tests garments made with their fabrics and certifies that they meet their standards for waterproof garments. That’s not just that the fabric is waterproofe, but that the design keeps water out. Additionally, if a Gore fabric ever leaks or delaminates, they will replace the garment free (unless it’s worn through or damaged/abused). No other manufacturer does these things. Additionally, Gore-Tex has the best track record for performance and durability in the industry.

The bottom line is that if you buy Gore-Tex, you know what you’re getting. With other fabrics, you don’t. The garment may work just as well and be just as durable, or it may not. In that regard, I guess you could say that when you buy Gore-Tex, you get a garment and an insurance policy.

I had a 9-year old North Face Gore-Tex Mountain Jacket that delaminated in the sleeves (bubbles appeared on the surface when it got wet). It was replaced no questions asked. The replacement is still going strong and it’s about the same age.

Lowe Alpine @ Sierra Trading Post
They’ve got a few on sale, plus other brands as well.