Is Gore-tex waterproof?

Gloves like sponges

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27/11/2001 at 10:37
Last November in Washington USA It was absolutely freezing. So as I was going to buy a good pair of gloves when I got home. I bought a pair out there from REI, and they were not cheap, making sure they were Gore-Tex so that they would be waterproof. However I used them for the first time last weekend in the Lakes and they were absolutely useless! Are there different types of Gore-Tex??
27/11/2001 at 10:52
have you turned them inside out to make sure the seams were taped?
27/11/2001 at 11:33
There are different types of Gore-Tex, as detailed here in one of their weekly OUTDOORSmagic articles. However, that doesn't explain why your gloves are leaking. If I were you, I'd drop them an email and see if they can diagnose the problem.
27/11/2001 at 12:04
Unless they're windstopper rather than Gore-Tex then they should be waterproof. I thought all Gore-Tex garments were "Guaranteed to keep you dry" TM, and new designs had to be tested in a lab?
Could be wrong though. Mail Gore and see what they say.

27/11/2001 at 20:28
Your right. Gore Windstopper is a totally different thing to Gore-Tex, and Gore-Tex guarantees you to stay dry. The only thing the same is that they are both made by W.L. Gore Ltd. therefore Windstopper won't guarantee dryness. If it is Gore-Tex however then If I was you I would make sure that rain wasn't running down your arms or anything and then go to where you got them from and complain. Demand your money back, and say that you will not shop here again. Say it nicely though. Say it subtly, and see if they will give you a replacement, or whatever they will offer to you. A little loss here, will not matter if you go back there time, and time again. Unless of course it's a big chain store. Then just ask for your money back, and go somewhere smaller, where they treat you like a person, and not just a shopper.

Also what manufacturer was it? If it was Mountain Hardware, or TNF, then I'm surprised... if it was Serious, then I aint! You get what you pay for. Get good one's, and they will cost you less for every year they last you, than a new pair every year or two would do.
28/11/2001 at 08:07
Thanks for the feedback. unfortunately as i said I bought them in REI in America so I suppose i will have to live with it. But they did cost a lot and they definitely say the liner is gore-tex, they actually call it "the weather proof lining".
Oh well back to the shops too late to add it to the Christmas list! Why does everybody start on pressy's so early!! I havent bought a thing yet.
28/11/2001 at 17:43
That's the spirit, keep Christmas in December!, might be worth sending REI an e-mail, if the manufacturers also supply the UK then you might be able to get them looked at over here, no manufacturer wants an unhappy customer, even if the supplier doesn't care, most do though, try it, you might be pleasently suprised.
21/12/2001 at 22:46
A shop once told me that certain acidic soil types can wreck goretex. My mitts leak like a sieve but I'm not sure if it's down my arms or through the material
22/12/2001 at 16:58
Dave I took your advice and was surprised!
REI imediately got back to me and asked me to return them with the receipt. So we shall see.

Merry Christmas everybody!
22/12/2001 at 21:24
Jerry, have you tried putting your motts on then deliberately getting your hands wet but not your arms, as an experiment to suss out what's going on, try usin the shower or similar, if necessary, wrap plastic bags roung your arms and over the tops of the mitts
22/12/2001 at 21:25
or even try puttin your MITTS on!
26/12/2001 at 11:53
As a more general aside, if you do have problems with kit., speak to the shop, speak to the manufacturer. Most decent brands will go a long way to make sure their kit works and since the site started, we've had at least four instances of manufacturers replacing faulty kit.

On the Gore front, it can get a bit confusing, but Windstopper is windproof but just water resistant. The membrane is pretty well waterproof, but the seams aren't taped, so they'll leak there. I've visited the Gore factory and I was very impressed with the level of testing that Gore-made stuff goes through - see the pics in the current Gore top tips article.

OutdoorsMagic Reviews Editor | 

27/12/2001 at 09:06
On the topic of contacting manufacturers about problems with their kit, any suggestions (preferably sensible ones) if a manufacturer doesn't respond at all after several attempts to contact them?


27/12/2001 at 10:42
Technically you ought to go through the shop who sold the product to you, though generally they'll end up referring back to the manufacturers anyway. Failing that, drop us an e-mail here, we have good contacts with most of the major brands and can ask nicely on your behalf ;-)

OutdoorsMagic Reviews Editor | 

27/12/2001 at 11:29
I'll give Cotswolds a try first then, cheers.
27/12/2001 at 11:42
Hmm more fun with Gore-tex. Well I hate to break this to people, but it doesn't work in gloves or boots for that matter. They simply have not built a material which will cope with the wear and tear of extremties usage. It does work on jackets ( though only in the right conditions ). I think the problem is people are very sucked into the hype from all the companies. Nothing is perfect and certainly with the top designers using Gore-tex we are all probably using it, but we have to be aware that is it limited and by no means a 'miracle fabric'.

The only gloves I know that stay usable are the range from Extremities, but that is really due to their construction being bomb-proof rather than the goretex insert.

Also consider Mitts rather than gloves...less seams = less chance of failure!

Hope this helps

27/12/2001 at 12:22
Mitts are okay, but a dead loss as soon as you need to do anything fiddly, like tying knots or placing screws. You're right on the less seams thing though.

I've visited the Gore test centre and they have machines that attempt to replicate real life wear by putting the boot on a flexing artificial foot and bending it repeatedly in water. I have absolutely no doubt that the Gore membrane is waterproof and, as new, the inserts in boots and gloves are waterproof. What that doesn't tell you is what happens in the real world where grit gets into boots and rubs against the liner (Brasher use leather linings to avoid this btw), water runs down trousers and wicks down socks etc and, of course, wets out.

For what it's worth, my experience is that nothing will keep your feet or hands dry in typical UK deluge conditions, it's just a question of how long it takes for the water to get in or condense on the inside. In a way, the gear companies have created unrealistic expectations with some of their advertising.

The other thing that the mags don't seem to put across is that breathable clothing works best when it's cold and dry outside and warm and moist inside so there's a temperature humidity gradient. That's what you tend to find in high mountain conditions - viz, Alps, Andes, Himalayas etc - but it isn't the case in the UK most of the time where we tend to have a damper, warmer cold, so a garment that works well at altitude won't be anything like as effective in, say, Scottish winter conditions. Cue stuff like Paramo and the pile-Pertex variations which can be more effective over here. Worst example seems to be windproof fleece which simply ends up feeling clammy very quickly in the UK - even the best of what we've tried (MHW's Windstopper Tech Jacket) still doen't quite work over here.

OutdoorsMagic Reviews Editor | 

28/12/2001 at 10:04
Totally agree Jon, I think you have hit the nail on the head.

This could start some interesting debate though.

W.L.Gore are one of the largest multi-nationals in the world ( and a sponsor of this site )....this may explain why they are never questioned and for the most part people just beleive the hype.

They are also one of the largest pollutors in the world...but we won't go into that!

( that should stimulate some typing )
29/12/2001 at 15:29
Largest polluters in the world? - Would you mind going into that?
29/12/2001 at 20:07
I would like to hear this story.
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