How our GORE-TEX jackets work
Some of the products we’re most proud of are our GORE-TEX waterproof clothing.
We have a long history with our partners at GORE, having worked with them since 1982 to create high quality items for hillwalkers of any ability.
But you’re probably wondering: what actually is GORE-TEX, and what makes it stand out from other materials?
What is GORE-TEX?
We’re willing to bet that one of the first rain jackets you’ve owned was made from a coated nylon. It’s a common material used in clothing designed to protect you from the often damp British weather.
However, coated nylon is water-resistant as opposed to water proof. That means, whilst it’s effective and lightweight for a brief trip outside, it’s not going to hold up under extended use or the horrendous weather conditions you might face while hillwalking.
That’s where GORE-TEX comes in. Invented in 1969 by Wilbert Gore and his son, Robert Gore, the aptly named material is designed to be completely waterproof and breathable. It does that by repelling water droplets on the outside, but allowing water vapour to escape.
How does it work?
Believe it or not, waterproof clothes have been around since the 1800s. But nothing has ever been quite as effective as GORE-TEX.
That’s because of the incredible technology used. The membrane is an extremely thin material which contains over 9 billion microscopic pores. Those pores are so small that water droplets are too big to fit through, however they’re big enough that moisture vapour can rise through them - keeping the wearer dry while letting sweat out.
It’s created by rapidly stretching the compound used in Teflon (PTFE).
This membrane is then applied as a laminate between the lining and textiles.
And for extra measure, the outer material is coated with a durable water-repellent polymer (DWR) which causes water droplets to roll off the surface.
The GORE technologies
Our GORE-TEX products aren’t all made in the same way. That’s part of what makes it so great - there’s two different membranes to choose from each with their own benefits.
Here’s what each one does.
The standard membrane is versatile and used in both 2 and 3 layer items, and can also be combined with insulated linings. It’s a great all-rounder; durable, breathable, waterproof and windproof. It also has a coating to protect it from damage from dirt and oils. The only downside is that the pores can get clogged with grease and dirt after extended use - so make sure you’re washing it semi-regularly.
The ultimate membrane for flexibility, mobility, and packability. This one’s super breathable and lightweight, and is also specifically designed to be easily packed for ease of access. It might not be as durable as GORE-TEX’s other materials, but it more than makes up for it if you want a cheaper, more easily packed lightweight garment.
Choosing your Sprayway product
If you’re looking for a reliable garment to keep you warm and dry for your next hill walk, take a look at our range of products.
We’ve got GORE-TEX jackets and rainpants for every situation; from our easily-packed and light Men’s Wyre/ Women’s Affric jacket to our pinnacle Torridon jacket, built to withstand any occasion.