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Can we leave Gore-tex behind?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
A question if I may...

My bibs and jackets have been Gore-tex for years. No problems with them and always stayed warm and dry. As long as there is enough ventilation built in(pit zips, zippered legs for slogging , etc.) I have never had any problems. Now my girlfriend is in the market for new ski pants and jacket and there are a wealth of options available that claim waterproof/breathability. Not only that but these options are usually at a substantial discount to their Gore-tex counterparts.

My question being is can she choose a Gore-tex alternative and be happy? Is Gore-Tex worth the added premium: ?

So tell me Bears what are your views/experience on Gore-tex alternatives? Can I go non-Gore-tex, save hundreds(50% usually), and have my cake and eat it too ????
post #2 of 23
The alternatives to XCR do not pass a volume of water vapor competitive with the real thing. The question comes down to knowing at what point that makes a practical difference. To a point you're paying big bucks for performance beyond what the conditions demand.
post #3 of 23
I have a Volkl Team Jacket with sensor-tex membrain. This is not the top of the line jacket and it does not have the best waterproof/breathability ratings but it kept me dry.

I also have a Volkl Team Pant which uses a different material in the knee area than the rest of the pant. This has higher waterproof/breathability ratings and keeps my knees dry. I consider this to be a great feature. This example demontrated that you can live with non-goretex membrains.

I recommend Volkl skiwear.
post #4 of 23
I am a big fan of gore-tex and all my stuff has usually been gore-tex till last year. I wanted to update and spotted a Burton jacket on ebay cheep, $48 that was several years old. That tells you how old my other stuff was. Ran it thru the washer and added the water repellant liquid.
Skied Mammoth during 3 days of storms and was warm and dry. Is that like "having your cake and eating it too"?
post #5 of 23
If you are going to be outdoors in heavy rain for a number of hours, I'd say get Goretex. The alternatives seem to do OK for a while, but eventually the dampness starts. Especially if you are touching things, like riding lifts.
post #6 of 23

HyVent

I like NorthFace's Hyvent. Last year I went out for a couple of hours in a very hard wet snow storm. I didn't pay that much attention to whether I was wet or not, just skied. When I came in the outer gear was totally drenched, but I was completely dry underneath.

I also do a lot of hiking here and around Colorado in the non ski months and am very happy with their gear.
post #7 of 23
The Patagonia H2NO stuff seems to be very good so far (it's used on my hard shell Chute to Thrill jacket). I was concerned because I too am I die-hard Gore-Tex fan. Only time will tell though, but I have faith in Patagonia and their technology.

Of course you're not really going to be saving any money going with Patagonia so I guess there's no point to post is there?
post #8 of 23
The North Face HyVent Material is Excellent.
post #9 of 23
I like both Goretex and North Face Hyvent.
Last year I read an article about Goretex, which included some quotes from a US Army purchasing officer (the army is a major user of Goretex). The take away was that Goretex is not much better than other materials BUT the Goretex license requires manufacturers to get all the details of design right, so if you buy Goretex you are assured of a good quality product.

BK
post #10 of 23
There was an interesting thread on this very subject in the middle of last Winter: Is Gore-Tex Still King?

And a related one: Gore-Tex, DWR effectiveness and Laundering.
post #11 of 23
I'm an avid cyclist, a sport where staying dry is critically important. Since I live in Seattle, that topic comes up often. I've been using a jacket with a relatively new fabric called eVent. The stuff is great. It keeps you totally dry without the sauna effect. It's also cheaper than Gore-tex. According to their web site, the ski industry (Colmar, Scott, and others) are now using it. You can check out the manufacturer of the stuff at
http://www.eventfabrics.com/indexSet.cfm
post #12 of 23

Since ElkMoS' referred thread.

Dupont introduced their Active Layer, recyclable if used on polyester.

I've only seen Coolmax Active, not exactly DWR.

Anyone know of DWR fabrics or garments making use of it or has anyone tried it?
post #13 of 23
I'm anxious to find out how the diaplex material in my new Phenix jacket works out. Supposedly it actually become more or less breathable dependent on interior temperature. Cool (literally) if it works..
post #14 of 23
Gore Tex and other moisture barrier analogs are essential if it's pissing rain.

soft shells will work if it's just misting or snowing fairly lightly.

I wore a softshell for 3 days of puking whiteout snow in Alta last March and never wished for a hardshell.

if I lived in the East where the humidity is high and the mosture often falling from the sky, Gore Tex would still be a first choice.

but don't take my word for it. try a softshell in a pissing monsoon.
post #15 of 23
Softshell fabrics are the new king!

If it's raining hard enough for me to need gore-tex, I'm almost definitely not skiing. If it's dry, raining a little bit or there's wet snow, soft shells are the better option because they're MUCH more breathable than goretex and they repel light rain.

For extended backcountry trips where getting wet in hard rain could be disastrous, bring goretex. Otherwise buy soft shell.

I've had awesome luck with Patagonia (white smoke jacket, super guide pants) and Cloudveil (icefloe bibs), but now everyone on the planet is offering softshell garments. There are plenty to choose from!

Seriously, these types of fabrics are far superior to goretex for skiing because they breath so much better.

I used to sweat like a pig skiing moguls in my 'supposedly breathable' goretex jackets. No longer...
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for the replies. Hats off to those that provided helpful links (elkmountain skiers links were just what I needed, thank you.) I have got my decision now based on the Bears helpful advice.

Now off to pick up some gear for her. Cheers.

Now can you Bears just make it snow in the sierras for me. My pass is a-wasting .
post #17 of 23
I got a Karbon softshell at the end of last year, and I was impressed by it, but the one thing I found was that it has very poor wind resistance. It may be because it's fairly basic as softshells go (maybe a north face, patagonia or other would be better), but it was enough that I want a heavy layer underneath if it's colder out (in spring conditions the wind doesn't matter much when its warm out), or something closer to a hard shell. I've been thinking of getting a nice hard shell to complement it, so I can mix and match as necessary.
post #18 of 23
To answer the original question: some people will never leave gore-tex behind.
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfman
Softshell fabrics are the new king!

If it's raining hard enough for me to need gore-tex, I'm almost definitely not skiing. If it's dry, raining a little bit or there's wet snow, soft shells are the better option because they're MUCH more breathable than goretex and they repel light rain.

For extended backcountry trips where getting wet in hard rain could be disastrous, bring goretex. Otherwise buy soft shell.

I've had awesome luck with Patagonia (white smoke jacket, super guide pants) and Cloudveil (icefloe bibs), but now everyone on the planet is offering softshell garments. There are plenty to choose from!

Seriously, these types of fabrics are far superior to goretex for skiing because they breath so much better.

I used to sweat like a pig skiing moguls in my 'supposedly breathable' goretex jackets. No longer...
You seem to be mistaking that Gore-Tex is only used for hard shells. The two aren't necessarily tied together (Gore-Tex is just the membrane sandwiched between the other fabrics). Gore-Tex has varieties (like 730 Soft Gore-Tex found in the Arc'teryx Stingray jacket) that are used in soft shells too.
post #20 of 23
I have the Patagonia H2NO pant and, so far, I really like it. It is considered a hardshell, but in reality isn't a hardshell pant like an XCR pant. Probably a great compromise if you want waterproofness (within reason) but not a stiff, traditional hardshell. The H2NO is supposedly almost as waterproof. I haven't used it in bad weather yet, but I definitely like the fit and movement freedom over a hardshell pant. Unless it is extremely leaky, which I don't anticipate, I will continue to be impressed.
post #21 of 23
Yeah, Soft Gore-Tex rules. Got one snowboarding soft-shell Burton pant that i wouldn't want to miss. It's really light for a 3layer Gore-tex construction and transports out sweat in an ease. On the other hand it is still waterproof. I only fear that it is not very abrasion resistant so I only use it for freeriding, trekking... not carving.
post #22 of 23
Is Gore the way to go? I certainly think so.

This is why:

When a given manufacturer wants to make a Gore item, they have to purchase the membrane pre-bonded to the shell material

This allows Gore to ensure the highest quality applications of their product.

Also, Gore reserves the right to inspect any product on the assembly line that is going to recieve their membrane/fabrics.

I've never heard of any other company with such rigorous standards.

That's why Gore rocks.
post #23 of 23
Thread Starter 
The above is another reason to believe in the Gore tex product(if this is in fact true. I did not know they had to purchase the membrane pre-bonded to material, I thought it was just approved construction methods had to be followed). Yes its expensive but my last Gore-tex jacket was going on 9 years before I decided to upgrade. Amortizing the cost of the product over that many years and the $ saved doesn't seem to be much. For me anyway.
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