GORE-TEX: The Next Generation

GORE-TEX PRO gets a long awaited upgrade in 2020

GORE-TEX PRO NEW is finally getting released for Autumn/Winter 2020.

I still remember getting my first GORE-TEX jacket back in the early 90s – what a revelation!

Hailing from the damp and drizzly north of England, pre-GORE-TEX hiking and biking always involved getting wet. If not from the rain then by cooking like a sous-vide inside a waterproof jacket.

Thankfully my discovery of GORE-TEX put an end to those damp and dreary days. It has now been wicking away my sweat for nearly 30 years!

I’d thought GORE-TEX was a new technology when I discovered it in the 90s, but it actually launched in 1976. It was even used by NASA in their space suits in the 80s!

Expedition to the Arctic in 1990 makes Leeds look positively balmy…

Enter GORE-TEX PRO in 2007

Being a simple Yorkshireman, I was very satisfied with my waterproof yet breathable jacket.

Thankfully, the team at GORE-TEX weren’t so complacent. In 2007 they released GORE-TEX PRO, promising better wind and waterproofing coupled with improved breathability and durability.

13 year later, and almost half a century since the original launch, we await the new release with baited breath!

Live Long and Perspire

So, what’s new about GORE-TEX PRO NEW?

Up until now, GORE-TEX was just GORE-TEX – there were no variations or different specifications.

This is all set to change, as the new range will come in three different types of membrane:

GORE-TEX Most Rugged Technology

As the name might suggest, this is the toughest and most durable of the 3 new membranes.

The “Most Rugged” is intended for activities where there’s going to be a lot of wear and tear. As you might expect, it’s not quite as breathable as the original GORE-TEX PRO (RET value of <9 rather than <6), but that’s still a pretty respectable score.

GORE-TEX Stretch Technology

Yes, you’ve guessed it – this one has more stretch and flex than the original.

The fabric can stretch to between 12-20%. Great for activities that require a lot of mobility. Despite the extra give, GORE-TEX claim it will have the same durability and waterproof ratings as the original. The tradeoff comes with the breathability – The stretch material has a RET of <13, less breathable than the Most Rugged fabric.

GORE-TEX Most Breathable

The most breathable is the… most breathable!

This “new” GORE-TEX PRO is basically the same membrane as the original, but with a lighter 30D facing fabric.

This has the dual benefit of making the fabric not only more breathable, but also lighter – just 108g/m2. Allegedly this won’t result in a loss of durability or waterproofing. We look forward to putting this to the test!

New Arc’Teryx Alpha SV Jacket is made with the Most Rugged

GORE-TEX The Final Frontier…

Each of these new variations in their own right sounds like great news to me.

The real posibilites will lie in combining all three into one garment. Stretch technology around the joints, and patches of the “most rugged” to take the wear and tear.

With GORE-TEX PRO NEW products already in the pipeline from Arc’teryx, Patagonia and Mammut, I’m sure we’re not going to be disappointed! (Well at least not until we see the price tag…)