Everything You Need to Know About Gore-Tex®

If you keep seeing the name ‘GORE-TEX®’ pop up and would like to know more about what this material can do for you – you’re in the right place.

If you keep seeing the name ‘GORE-TEX®’ pop up and would like to know more about what this material can do for you – you’re in the right place.

GORE-TEX are renowned for producing the most waterproof, windproof and breathable fabrics around – which is why you’ll find the GORE-TEX logo on a variety of outdoor products. 

In this guide, we’ll help you get to grips with GORE-TEX, and tell you everything you need to know about this magical material.

Read on to discover everything you need to know about GORE-TEX…

What is GORE-TEX?

We’ve all heard of GORE-TEX, but what makes this fascinating fabric so special? 

Essentially, GORE-TEX can be defined as a highly durable, breathable, waterproof and windproof fabric. That’s why you’ve likely found it being used to make outdoor clothing, footwear and accessories.

GORE-TEX is made from expanded polytetrafluoroethylene – or PTFE for short – phew!

Who created GORE-TEX?

GORE-TEX was created by Bob Gore back in 1969.

He discovered that when he rapidly stretched PTFE under certain conditions – it resulted in the creation of an incredibly strong, microporous material. 

Not only that, but it also had low water absorption and good weathering properties – which, of course, makes the perfect solution for outerwear!

By 1978, W.L. Gore & Associates introduced traditional GORE-TEX – the world’s first truly waterproof, windproof and breathable outerwear. 

The use of this new fabric kept water and rain on the outside, whilst allowing perspiration to escape from the inside.

How does GORE-TEX work?

So, now that you know a little more about the history of GORE-TEX and what is, we thought it would be a good idea to explain how the material works. 

Creating a fabric that blocks rain is relatively simple. However, creating a fabric that blocks rain whilst also allowing sweat to escape is a much more difficult task. 

The secret to GORE-TEX’s success lies in a number of features:

The Membrane

At the heart of GORE-TEX technology is an extremely thin membrane. This membrane contains over 9 billion microscopic pores – which are approximately 20,000 times smaller than a drop of water, but 700 times bigger than a molecule of moisture vapour. 

This is where gets interesting. What this means is that water, in its liquid form, is unable to pass through to the inside of the membrane. But, water as a moisture vapour (e.g from sweat) is allowed to pass to the outside.

The Laminate

Another feature of GORE-TEX is the laminate. This is when the membrane is bonded – or sandwiched together – with the main body fabric, usually a synthetic such as nylon. 

Gore-Tex comes in a range of fabric constructions, including three-layer constructions (where the membrane is bonded to face fabrics on both sides), two-layer (where the membrane is bonded to a face fabric on one side and can have a liner on the other, allowing the option for insulation), insulated and uninsulated.

Sealed Seams

Finally, the sealed seams provide products made using GORE-TEX with complete weatherproofing and prevent them from leaking.

For example, if you were to take a look inside a standard waterproof jacket, you’d likely be able to see strips of tape which are used to seal any gaps that have been created around the stitching. 

However, the more taping a jacket has – the less breathable it will be, whereas sealed seams do not compromise breathability.

Which brands make products using GORE-TEX? 

All of the industry-leading outdoor brands offer a variety of products that contain GORE-TEX. 

At Winfields Outdoors, we stock an extensive range of outdoor products that feature GORE-TEX – made by the likes of Berghaus, Mountain Equipment, ECCO, Merrell and many more.

What types of GORE-TEX are there?

GORE-TEX technology continues to evolve, and today there are many different types of GORE-TEX fabrics available. However, the most popular types are traditional GORE-TEX, GORE-TEX Active and GORE-TEX Pro.


As previously mentioned, traditional GORE-TEX is a versatile fabric that can be used for all kinds of activities, from mountaineering to everyday wear. 

Traditional GORE-TEX is extremely durable, windproof, waterproof and breathable. What’s more, GORE-TEX can be known to come in either two- or three-layer constructions, depending on what it’s being used for.


As the name suggests, GORE-TEX Active is specially designed to suit more energetic, stop-and-go activities. Great examples of these types of activities would include skiing or climbing. 

With these kinds of activities, you want a jacket that breathes well and allows for plenty of movement, whilst also providing protection. GORE-TEX Active is lightweight, incredibly breathable and made with a three-layer construction for added protection.


GORE-TEX Pro is engineered to be rugged, durable and able to withstand extended use in extreme conditions. 

When you’re taking part in more extreme activities that subject you to harsh conditions, such as multi-day mountaineering, guiding or freeriding, GORE-TEX Pro provides a robust three-layer construction for maximum protection.

What types of products are made using GORE-TEX technology?


The most obvious products that use GORE-TEX technology are hiking jackets. 

When you’re buying a waterproof jacket, you want to make sure that it is made from a material that will keep the elements from getting in, whilst allowing perspiration to get out. 

There are a number of technologies available to help you achieve this. However, there’s one name that stands out above all others in the market – GORE-TEX.

Certain to be waterproof, breathable and windproof – GORE-TEX jackets provide the protection you need for most outdoor activities. Whatever jacket you choose, you should also consider how using base layers for ultimate protection against perspiration.

Walking and hiking boots

The GORE-TEX technology found in outdoor boots helps to make them highly breathable and exceptionally waterproof. 

So, whether you’re walking through wet and muddy trails or your feet need to breathe on a hot summer’s day – GORE-TEX-lined boots are guaranteed to keep you dry.


Another product that benefits from GORE-TEX technology is outdoor gloves. GORE-TEX gloves are both waterproof and breathable, meaning your hands stay warmer when it’s cold and drier when you perspire – even if you find yourself in harsh conditions.


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