Three New Versions of GORE-TEX PRO Fabric Hit Market

The new GORE-TEX PRO fabric technologies yield more customized performance.

Recently GORE-TEX sent us a new prototype jacket that incorporates three new technologies (outlined below). We took it out on a ski tour and found the stretch very appealing for that sport. Ditto the enhanced breathability. You simply can’t overheat in this material.

 

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And it stops the bitterest wind dead in its tracks. Touring through different weather zones and levels of wind, precip or sun exposure is where the new GORE-TEX PRO fabric really shines. I.e., it can more than handle all these transitions.

So you can spend less time worrying about your gear, and more time enjoying your time outside.

In research with GORE-TEX athletes, mountain guides, and Gore brand partners, feedback showed that the existing version of GORE-TEX PRO performed exceptionally well, but there were two distinct groups of users: One for whom durability was the top criteria, and another for whom breathability was the highest priority. In order to create apparel more tailored for different activities, W.L. Gore & Associates has created three new versions of GORE-TEX PRO Fabric. One optimizes ruggedness and durability, a second optimizes breathability, and a third adds stretch. These three versions can be combined by manufacturers to create garments that offer more dialed-in performance for specific end uses.

 

 

It will now be available from a range of apparel makers, including Arc’teryx, Mountain Hardwear, Patagonia, Mammut, Norröna, Mountain Equipment and Montbell.

New GORE-TEX PRO Most Rugged Technology

Gore used a new testing process to measure the susceptibility of fabrics to recurring physical damage over time. This was critical in identifying ways to make the waterproof-breathable laminate even stronger and more durable. This version of GORE-TEX PRO combines a completely new membrane technology with specially selected durable 70- to 200-denier face textiles and a solution-dyed version of the robust Micro Grid™ backer. In its most rugged collection, Gore offers a variety of recycled and solution-dyed face fabrics.

 

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Mountain Hardwear’s Exposure/2 Jacket is made with GORE-TEX PRO. Photo: MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR

 

New GORE-TEX PRO Stretch Technology

Gore has developed a unique way to create stretch in a waterproof-breathable fabric. In the past, the combination of ruggedness and stretch was a challenge. Conventional stretch laminates achieve their properties via a blend of stretch and non-stretch fibers in mostly knitted face textiles, but this approach results in some undesirable properties, such as limited levels of ruggedness. More durable woven textiles, as appropriate for GORE-TEX PRO product, have not been able to offer stretch capabilities. Gore now has found a way to combine both: reliable ruggedness and elasticity of the laminate at the same time. To add this elasticity, elastane filaments are no longer used within the face textile of the laminate, but in a thin layer between face textile and membrane. This not only protects the stretch component from outside damage but also allows the use of more durable woven face textiles. Because the membrane used in the stretch version of GORE-TEX PRO is the same as the one used in the most rugged version, it has similar high durability and waterproof-breathable characteristics.

 

GORE-TEX PRO Look Inside

 

Enhanced GORE-TEX PRO Most Breathable Technology

This version of GORE-TEX PRO is optimized for breathability during higher-intensity activities, while retaining the ruggedness and waterproof ratings for which GORE-TEX PRO is known. This most breathable version newly introduces the lightest laminates ever offered in the GORE-TEX PRO category, using 30-denier face textiles and the solution-dyed version of the robust Micro Grid™ backer. As in its most rugged GORE-TEX PRO collection, Gore also offers in its most breathable GORE-TEX PRO laminate collection a variety of recycled and solution-dyed face fabrics.

Five-Finger-Scratch-Test and Athlete Testing to Create New Levels of Performance

To create these new fabrics, Gore utilized a new lab test process, the Five-Finger-Scratch-Test, a variation of which is used in the automobile industry. It is designed to expose fabrics to scratching, marring, gouging, scraping and other types of physical damage repeated over time—damage classified beyond ordinary wear. That process was critical to guiding improvements in the way the membrane and face textiles were constructed in the new GORE-TEX PRO fabrics. In addition, the three-year development process involved extensive field testing around the globe by GORE-TEX athletes. For instance, extreme climber Stefan Glowacz and mixed ice/rock specialist and mountaineer Robert Jasper tested early versions of new GORE-TEX PRO fabrics during an expedition to Baffin Island as early as 2016. Their feedback through the process, along with many other testers’ input, helped direct additional testing in the lab to yield the next round of trial fabrics that were sent back out for more field testing. New GORE-TEX PRO fabric went through many rounds of refinement in the lab and field over a four-year process.

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The Arc’teryx Alpha SV is made with new GORE-TEX PRO. Photo: ARC’TERYX

 

The Science of Comfort

With GORE-TEX PRO Stretch Technology, Gore not only developed a new design approach to stretch, it used mannequins developed with resistance meters to test different amounts of stretch along with the amount of force applied to create the stretch. The mannequins recreated movements made during athletic endeavors, like mountaineering, to understand what kind of stretch and just how much was needed to make a big difference in freedom of movement and, therefore, in comfort. Garments were then taken to the field for real-world verification of lab results.

Lower Environmental Footprint

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) results have shown that the best way to minimize the environmental footprint of a functional outdoor jacket is to enhance durability. And within the new GORE-TEX PRO research and development process, Gore also sought to improve the environmental footprint. It did that by adding a new solution-dyed Micro Grid™ backer in the most rugged and most breathable versions of GORE-TEX PRO fabrics. As opposed to traditional dyeing processes, solution dyeing substantially reduces water use, helping to also reduce carbon emissions in the process. Gore did this while retaining the high performance and durability associated with all of its backer fabrics, along with the characteristics of smooth sliding over a variety of different layers beneath. In addition, Gore also is offering its GORE-TEX PRO fabric in nine recycled and six solution-dyed face textiles.

More about GORE-TEX PRO here.

 

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