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Road Testing GORE® Technical Clothing

Keeping dry from head-to-toe during a hike through Taconic State Park, NY

by Katharine Erwin
on 17 July 2015

Ever since Bob Gore, son of Bill and Vieve Gore, began using "a remarkably versatile new polymer" that we all now know as GORE®, the landscape of technical clothing has grown so extensively that it allows people to perform to the maximum, in all kinds of conditions from extreme weather to severe fires. GORE-TEX® is the fabric membrane most commonly found in protective outerwear from all kinds of brands. Durable, abrasion-resistant and super-waterproof, it's a useful fabric for outdoors enthusiasts and we recently tested some of their latest technology during a hike through the beautiful—but very rainy—Taconic State Park in New York.

With three layer GORE-TEX®, there is an outer material, a membrane and the backing. C-KNIT™ is the latest backing that was built to be more soft and breathable than others. We tested Arc'Teryx's new C-KNIT™ hiking jacket, the Zeta LT jacket. The jacket is highly waterproof with a comfortable fit for freedom of movement. The design is functional and sleek with three pockets and adjustable cuffs and hem. The C-KNIT™ backing is silky smooth and comfortable next to the skin, along with being extremely breathable—perfect for hot, wet days.

Nobody likes wet socks, whether it's on a long hike or heading into the office. GORE-TEX® Surround™ is their latest offering for footwear. The Surround™ system uses GORE-TEX® laminates on a ventilation construction to keep sweat flowing out, while also protecting against water coming into the shoe. We tested Salewa's Alp Flow Mids, which are much more giving than other traditional hiking boots because of the lattice, open-vent design. After consecutive hours of initial wear in very wet conditions, our socks stayed very dry. Especially impressive, once entirely submerged, the boot released moisture through the vents. With more wear, the fit got better and almost molded to the foot.

Paclite® technology features a 2.5 layer and a GORE-TEX® membrane that is bonded to the outer shell and can pack down to a tiny ball. We tested the Patagonia Super Cell pants, which have been a staple offering in the brand's line-up. The Super Cell has a comfortable fit and adjustable waistband, and whether worn against the skin or with layers, they remain breathable. After hours of use in heavy rains, the pants didn't lose shape or leak water. Upon removal, they were bone dry, ready to be packed away and stored. The durable, lightweight scuff guards are a nice feature making the pants versatile for winter use.

Images by Walter Hergt

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