GORETEX Active PBS_layer

Waterproof and breathable is the ultimate combination when it comes to active wear. It’s how Gore-Tex made their mark on the industry almost 40 years ago with their waterproof, windproof, and breathable clothing. However, even with the best clothing including Gore-Tex, when you’re really pushing yourself the sweat from the inside of your clothing can be as bad as the rain you’re trying to keep out.

In their constant pursuit of improved fabrics and new technology, Gore-Tex is introducing their new Active Line – a collection of pieces that use the latest Gore-Tex technology for highly aerobic activities…


Photos c. Gore-Tex

If you’re tuned into the waterproof clothing world, you’ve probably heard the terms 2, 2.5 or 3 layer waterproof fabrics. This refers to how many of the layers are laminated together with 3 layer fabrics being the most durable and usually the most waterproof. However, 3 layer construction is typically less comfortable, less flexible, and less breathable.

To address the needs of activities where high aerobic activity produces a lot of heat and sweat, the new Gore-Tex Active fabric eliminates the face textile in favor of a permanent water beading surface. Paired with a Gore Micro Grid backer, the fabric is said to be the lightest and most breathable fabric ever produced by Gore-Tex. The fabric also eliminates the possibility of being chilled from a “wetted out” face fabric (since there isn’t any), and therefore offers shorter dry times and better packability. To be clear, this is not the same 3 layer Gore-Tex Active fabric currently available under the same name.

Able to be machine washed, Gore-Tex Active fabrics do not require tumble drying or reactivation of the waterproof membrane over time. Available this December in the typical Gore Bike and Gore Running wear, the fabric will also be available through Castelli for bike, and Arc’Teryx and The North Face for outdoor.



  1. Francois on

    Every sport fabric out there claims to do the same, and always show with images that supposedly explain the stuff.

    What I would like is to see a video that shows it. They could very well hang their fabric, and throw some water at it from one side to show that it bounces off. Then from the other side they could shoot steam from a flattening iron to show that most of it goes through. Then show a comparison with previous/competitor’s materials (laundry detergent style).

    Better, but less fun, would be actual numbers that quantify how well moisture can move from the inside to the outside (and again, a comparison with other fabrics). Right now it just looks like iteration 100 of the same stuff, with no indication that it is really superior to the previous one (but maybe the price will be…)

  2. wzrd on

    Very interesting. What will this do the durability? The face fabric was generally there to protect the membrane.

    Also, this will keep the face fabric from wetting out, but it won’t increase the breathability (while its raining) due to driving force. It will help when it’s dry though.

  3. Mike on

    It actually should help with breathability slightly as one of the challenges is bonding the membrane to the face fabric in a way that doesn’t shut down air flow with adhesive. It will be interesting to see how durable the membrane is.

  4. Mike D on

    I agree with @Francois above.. iteration 100 of the same stuff. “Breathable” is a very relative term. Technically, yes. Practically, hardly ever. I’ve all but given up wearing rain pants while commuting because I’m usually wetter from the little amount of sweat produced (and trapped) than if I had just gotten rained on. Even when wearing wool base layers.

    Fingers crossed that this is real deal breathable, but I’m not counting on it.

  5. wallymann on

    i bet this has silicone micro-threads like a bunch of new rain-resistant cycling hit that’s hit the market the last year or 2.

  6. Dave on

    Not sure how many of you are familiar with the brand 7MESH from Squamish B.C. They are already using the Gore-Tex active on several of their jackets and it works the way it is said to. Very light, very breathable and quite durable. I have several pieces of the 7MESH line and it is the best cycling apparel I have ever owned. The fit is amazing because &MESH flat out knows how to make apparel.

    So you know these guys came from Arcteryx and Assos so while the 7MESH stuff is expensive you get what you pay for. Check them out as you will be happy that you did.


  7. Allan on

    LOL every time a product is touted as “rainproof” they always show the same little diagram of a blue arrow bouncing off the fabric (rain bad!) and another squiggly red arrow coming up through the fabric (breathable good!). It’s always the exact same thing… I agree with Francois…show a video of water hitting the fabric and not going through. I’m tired of the arrows!

  8. nealek on

    Yer, agree with the general tone. Waterproof gear lives up to its hype on keeping water out. But seriously, you end up feeling like a portion of ‘cook-in-the-bag’ rice.

    For a while I threw more money at the charlatans that sell this stuff…and it didn’t fix the problem. They must know it …just…doesn’t…work.

    The best of the bad was a Vaude jacket which was more breathable than most. But still awful in a breathe = dollar ratio. I managed to use it 10 times before the stitching started coming undone and the inside elbows almost turned to paper.

    Since then, I don’t trust any of their claims. Claims which should be held up to scrutiny on a bike and in the rain. A technical picture isn’t worth the pixels it takes up on the screen.

    In summer, at least, in this part of the world, if you get caught in the rain, you’ll be dry in ten minutes. A jacket is superfluous at these times.

  9. AlexanderDunlop on

    And the main reason this “breathable” stuff does not work.


    You wear this stuff in chilly/wet weather. What does warm water vapour do in that sort of enviroment? It condensates on the nearest cold surface. Which is the inside of your jacket. Sure some it will magically go through the stuff. But I reckon about 90% will condensate and you will get wet.

    Give me better mesh ventilation holes/zippers.

  10. Sspiff on

    I have a jacket made from the polartec neoshell textile and love it. The breathability is far greater than anything else I’ve worn (Gore 3lyr, Gore 2lyr, Event (don’t know details), various proprietary membranes) that comes even remotely close to it in terms of protection.

    I guess we’ll see how this new gore membrane stacks up.

  11. Jack on

    “Not sure how many of you are familiar with the brand 7MESH from Squamish B.C. They are already using the Gore-Tex active on several of their jackets and it works the way it is said to. Very light, very breathable and quite durable. I have several pieces of the 7MESH line and it is the best cycling apparel I have ever owned. The fit is amazing because &MESH flat out knows how to make apparel.”

    I’d agree, their Active shell jackets are genuinely great. They do rely on well-placed vents though. The material itself is good, perhaps the best available currently, feels similar to eVent in general but not sure how the tech specs stack up.

  12. Velociraptor on

    Let the buyer beware. As far as I know, all of Gore’s waterproof membranes have an air permeability of 0 (same as a plastic bag). eVent has a small amount of air permeability, and Polartec NeoShell even more (though still quite low). Power Shield Pro (marketed as a water resistant laminate for softshells) is slightly more than NeoShell, though not by much.

    Basically I would avoid all of Gore’s laminates (including the softshell varieties) for high-exertion activities.

  13. xc-fr on

    ah c’mon. Waterproof and breathable is BS. it never worked & will never work. it’s just a big marketing fart with one target: to steal your money.

  14. Markus on

    I had to laugh when I read “more breathable”. I fell for this Gore marketing lie twice in the past. Cost me a lot of money. Breathable enough for walking the dog probably. But for strenuous exercise, no way. And then they do not even add vents to their jackets because “the story” has to be consistent.

  15. Freddie on

    @Francois, like this…
    Event & NeoShell for the waterproof/breathable win:
    Goretex at 3:20, eVent & NeoShell @ 4:10
    There are breathability & water permeability specs for all these fabrics. Google?

    Ski touring I can dress warmer in my Polartec Power ShieldPro pants than my goretex pants cause they really do breathe better. But the Polartec pants are not waterproof. I have an eVent hardshell jacket and love it.

    Bike wise I have a translucent superlight Castelli jacket and also a heavier Gore Bike Wear Oxygen jacket with Gore Active. The heavier Gore does breathe better than the superlight Castelli. I can see & feel the condensation building up in the Castelli whereas the Gore doesn’t feel nearly as clammy inside. Yes it is humid inside but when it is raining i’m certainly more dry than without.

  16. part_robot on

    For what it’s worth, from experience I’d say that the tighter the clothing the less condensation is an issue – especially with a synthetic base later. I don’t know if that’s a general thing or just my specific clothes however.

  17. bbb on

    What waterproof jackets need is more intelligent design with multiple venting zips, flaps etc… It makes more difference than the fabric itself.


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