Gore-Tex Active Shell - Official

OM's top secret trade insider, John Traynor with the official low down on Gore's new 'most breathable ever' fabric...

Posted: 8 October 2010
by John Traynor
Not Gore's Bavarian HQ

We've already told you a little about new Gore-Tex Active Shell fabric, but here's the low down, direct from Gore's Bavarian mountain fortress from OM's outdoor trade insider and industry veteran John Traynor - over to you, John...


'The most breathable Gore-Tex ever' was the message at Gore's launch for Active Shell laminate this week. Clear presentations were backed up with the opportunity to field test the new lightweight 3-layer construction designed to be worn next to the skin or over a high wicking baselayer.

It breathed really well in hot conditions, but frustratingly the rain held off in a repeat of the frustration on Tenerife a while ago, when Gore launched their Airvantage insulation technology in the teeth of a fierce heatwave, so for now we'll have to take the waterproofing side of the equation on trust.

The new fabric won't be in the shops until next autumn and these are the brands on board - Outdoor: adidas, Arc’teryx, Berghaus, Haglöfs, Mammut, Millet, Montura, Mountain Equipment, Norröna, Patagonia, Peak Performance, Tilak, Trangoworld. Running/cycling: adidas, Castelli, Löffler, Scott, Specialised, Gore Bike Wear, Gore Running Wear.

Product manager Martin Lankes said, "The new membrane is significantly thinner but still totally waterproof and will only ever be used with lightweight face fabrics and a new tricot backer. On the liner side, our new unique lamination technology integrates the backer textile directly into the Gore-Tex membrane (i.e. no dot adhesive) allowing for extreme breathability with RET of under 3 and excellent next to skin comfort. The maximum weight we'll aim for in an Active Shell Training Shell jacket is just 280 grams."

John Traynor


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Is this just old Gore N2S (Next to skin) in another guise?

Posted: 11/10/2010 at 11:40

Don't think so, N2S wasn't a waterproof fabric and it used a knitted face like a soft shell, this is more a sort of breathable, thinner, Pro Shell-type thing as far as I can see. But anyway, we're off to Plas y Brenin at the end of the month for the UK launch, so should be able to be a bit more precise after that.

It sounds like they've changed the way the inner layer is bonded to the membrane and upped breathability in the process. Bear in mind, this stuff's aimed more at fast-moving, sweaty bikers and runners, maybe ultra-lightweight mountaineersm, than at day to day walkers. That thin, 20D face fabric, is unlikely to cope well with prolonged pack use, I'd have thought.

Posted: 11/10/2010 at 12:25

Hmmm... Gore taking a fabric name they've already used, and applying it to another fabric.  Again...

An abject lesson in how to thoroughly confuse your customers...


Posted: 11/10/2010 at 17:29

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