Whether you choose to seek out backcountry adventures or like to stay closer to the city, bad weather can hit anywhere. For your comfort and safety, it is important that you shield yourself from any impending wet weather and a Gore Tex shell is one of the most popular outdoor gear products that incorporates the fabric into its design.
If you are unfamiliar with Gore Tex material or want more information, we have selected the eight best Gore Tex jackets and included an in-depth buying guide to help you get started in your search. With our selection and guide, we hope that you find a functional Gore Tex pro jacket that will be versatile for all your outings and rugged outdoor adventures.
How To Choose A Gore Tex Jacket – Buying Guide
Gore Tex is a material that has a unique combination of contrasting abilities; water repelling and breathability. It is made specifically of stretched polytetrafluoroethylene, which is commonly known as Teflon. The Gore Tex fabric can both repel liquid and allowing water vapor to pass through its membrane. This unique functionality makes Gore Tex an excellent fabric for all-weather use and has become mainstream in a variety of outdoor products, especially outerwear.
But outerwear is not made entirely of Gore Tex. Most jackets will combine a synthetic material, like polyester, with Gore Tex. But a Gore Tex pro jacket will use a three-layer system with other synthetic materials, like nylon, to make it suitable for better protection in extremely harsh or cold conditions. If you are looking for a Gore Tex ski jacket, look for one that uses the Gore Tex pro system.
Gore Tex is an extremely durable because of its water repellant nature. The fabric is highly resistant to damage from stains and water, which help it last longer. When combined with other durable synthetic materials, like nylon and polyester, Gore Tex jackets have the durability to last for years with the proper care.
While Gore Tex is considered a durable material, it still doesn’t hurt to look over Gore Tex jacket reviews to determine the durability of a design before you make a purchase. As we said, jackets are not made entirely of Gore Tex, so Gore Tex jacket reviews can help you determine if the other materials used in the jacket’s construction are durable and worth the investment.
Breathability is the selling point of Gore Tex, alongside its water repellent nature. What makes Gore Tex breathable is the fabric’s ability to allow water vapor to escape. This means that sweat built up under the jacket won’t soak your clothes because it has the chance to evaporate and dissipate.
The breathability of Gore Tex is what makes the material so comfortable and sought after. The better breathability will actually keep you warmer by ensuring you stay dry and it helps regulate your body temperature to minimize the presence of sweat in the first place. With the breathability of Gore Tex fabric, you’ll be able to stay comfortable during the most rigorous exercise and stay safe from the harsh outside elements.
One of the best things about Gore Tex is that it is truly versatile for all year long use. A Gore Tex shell can be used in all the seasons, even winter. Gore Tex hiking jackets may double as a Gore Tex ski jacket if you combine it with thermal underwear and mid-layers. In the summer, lightweight Gore Tex jackets will keep you safe from the rain and nighttime, when the temperature drops. A top rated Gore Tex rain jacket truly can be used for any environment from urban to backcountry. But if you plan on going to an extreme location, you should consider purchasing a Gore Tex pro jacket for the three-layers of protection.
For many name brand companies with excellent reputations, their Gore Tex shells have a versatile style that can be used as a casual or technical jacket. But there are some specific styles on the market too. Some styles are best used as Gore Tex hiking jackets because of the relaxed fit and oversized hood, which will keep your head dry and you safe from having to carry an umbrella. Other lightweight Gore Tex jackets have a design that has been specialized for cyclists because of the lower back and backside pocket. But no matter what style you choose, we imagine that you’ll love your Gore Tex shell so much, you’ll use it for a variety of occasions.
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The fit of lightweight Gore Tex jackets will depend on the activity they are designed to enhance. A cyclists Gore Tex shell may sit tighter to the body to reduce friction, whereas a women’s Gore Tex rain jacket may be more relaxed for comfortable movement on the trail or city streets. It is important that you consider the fit of a specific design because you want to find the best Gore Tex jacket that will suit your needs and the fit can change the functionality of the jacket in relation to your activity.
The best Gore Tex rain jacket will not only use the high-quality material, but it will incorporate a host of features to make the jacket functional and reliable when used in the real world. Smart features than can help keep you dry include adjustable hems and hoods or watertight zippers.
A hood is another feature that can be very important for a Gore Tex pro jacket if you need protection from the harsh elements. However, most top rated Gore Tex rain jackets will have a built-in hood. The only jackets that tend to only have collars are designed for cyclists. Any other special features should be listed in the product specifications or you might even find them discussed in Gore Tex jacket reviews.
Q: Why choose Gore Tex?
The main reasons why Gore Tex is so popular is because of the breathability, versatility, and comfort the material provides to the user. The breathability is a big factor because it keeps users comfortable in a variety of outdoor settings and ensures they always stay dry. However, the versatile features of the best Gore Tex jacket means that you can use your Gore Tex shell for any occasion – urban or backcountry because it is breathable, windproof, and waterproof.
Finally, Gore Tex keeps you comfortable. With adjustable features and the moisture wicking ability, you are less likely to overheat and feel hot. Additionally, lightweight Gore Tex jackets reduce the bulk and minimize the friction. With less bulk, you’ll feel less restricted and freer in your movements.
Q: Who invented Gore Tex?
Gore Tex was invented by Bob Gore and Robert W. Gore who were a father and son team in 1969. Bob Gore found that when you rapidly stretch PTFE, the material of Gore Tex, you are left with a microporous material with a host of functional characteristics like low water absorption and water repellency. In 1970, the first patents were made, and they called it ePTFE or expanded polytetrafluorethylene. By 1976, the first commercial orders were placed for Gore Tex fabric. From there, more innovation and developments has made Gore Tex the celebrity material it is today.
Q: How to properly clean and care for a Gore Tex jacket?
Even the best Gore Tex jacket or the best Gore Tex rain jacket need to be maintained with a certain level of care. While most lightweight Gore Tex jackets can be washed by machine, it is important that you use a minimal amount of liquid detergent. Do not use any other type of detergent. The Gore Tex shell should be rinsed twice and placed on a low spin cycle. You can gently tumble dry Gore Tex in the dryer for one cycle without causing damage.
A top rated Gore Tex rain jacket should also include cleaning instructions provided by the brand, which will be specific to the design. You should always follow these instructions to minimize damage to your Gore Tex pro jacket.
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With the best Gore Tex jacket, you’ll get optimum protection from any weather condition. The material will shield you from the wet and cold elements, which means you can focus on the activity and not the weather. With our guide, we aim to pair you with the best Gore Tex rain jacket that will suit all your outdoor adventures.
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Do you own one of the Gore Tex jackets that made it onto out list? Let us know how much you rely on your Gore Tex shell to protect you from the rain in the comments section below.