When it comes to staying dry and comfortable in challenging weather conditions, a GORE-TEX jacket is synonymous with top-notch performance and protection. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore what makes a GORE-TEX jacket exceptional, address common questions about their performance, and delve into the best options for various outdoor activities. Whether you're an avid hiker, a daring skier, or an urban explorer, we've got you covered.


Table of Contents

What is a GORE-TEX jacket

Essentially, GORE-TEX can be defined as a highly durable, breathable, waterproof, and windproof fabric. That's why you've likely found it being used to make outdoor clothing, footwear, and accessories. GORE-TEX is made from expanded polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE for short – a material known for its incredible resistance to moisture and wind, making it the go-to choice for outdoor enthusiasts.

Is GORE-TEX 100 percent waterproof

GORE-TEX jackets often have extra waterproofing on the exterior layer. Water forms into beads that effortlessly roll off the jacket, ensuring it never reaches your skin. Over time, if the exterior layer loses its water resistance, you can restore it with proper care, making your GORE-TEX jacket a long-lasting investment for wet and rugged conditions.

Is a GORE-TEX jacket worth it

The worth of a GORE-TEX jacket largely depends on your needs and activities. For outdoor enthusiasts like hikers, cyclists, and mountaineers who demand top-tier performance and protection, GORE-TEX jackets are undoubtedly worth the investment. However, it's also essential to consider alternatives, as there are excellent options available in today's market that provide similar performance.

Best GORE-TEX jacket options

Haglöfs Astral GTX Jacket

The Haglöfs Astral GTX waterproof jacket excels in both performance and functionality. It features a loose mesh lining and underarm vents for enhanced breathability. With six water-repellent pockets, including chest and arm compartments, it offers ample storage. Adjustable cuffs, hoods, and a reinforced hood peak provide a snug fit and extra protection from the elements.

Arc'teryx Ralle Jacket

The Arc'teryx Ralle Jacket is a versatile option that allows for layering in cold conditions. Made with three-layer GORE-TEX, it offers exceptional waterproof and windproof protection. Its trim-fit style ensures breathability and mobility, making it ideal for various activities.

Montane Men's Synergy GTX 2L Waterproof Jacket

Montane's Synergy GTX 2L Waterproof Jacket is a sustainable choice made from 100% recycled materials. It provides reliable waterproof and breathable performance, with fully adjustable features for all-day comfort. This jacket is not only eco-friendly but also suitable for outdoor adventures.

Marmot Alpinist Jacket

The Marmot Alpinist Jacket is designed for extreme alpine conditions, offering ultra-durable, yet breathable Recycled GORE-TEX Pro. It provides complete resistance to harsh weather, making it ideal for mountaineering and demanding outdoor activities. With a high collar and adjustable features, it offers maximum protection.

Outdoor Research Archangel

The Outdoor Research Archangel Gore-Tex Pro Jacket, designed with input from climbing legend Graham Zimmerman, offers exceptional freedom of movement with its stretchy upper back panel. It provides top-tier performance and protection for challenging climbing expeditions, ensuring you stay comfortable even in extreme conditions.

Mountain Equipment Lhotse Jacket

The Mountain Equipment Lhotse Jacket is built to perform in harsh mountain conditions. With a combination of 40D and 80D Gore-Tex Pro fabric, it offers superior waterproofing, breathability, and durability. Taped seams, AquaGuard zips, and a range of features make it a reliable choice for outdoor enthusiasts.

How to choose the best GORE-TEX jacket

For climbing

A GORE-TEX jacket is an excellent choice for climbers as it provides warmth and windproof protection. Look for a lightweight hardshell that won't weigh you down during steep ascents. Ensure the jacket has ample pockets, both zippered and interior, for storing essential items while climbing. Opt for a jacket with a design that allows free arm movement, cuffs, and hoods that can be tucked away, and minimal exterior flaps or loops to prevent snags.

For hiking

Hikers should opt for lightweight GORE-TEX jackets to avoid bulkiness during their journeys. Look for jackets with hoods to shield your head and pockets for carrying essential items. Ensure your jacket doesn't have excessive exterior flaps or loops that can catch on obstacles, and keep sleeve cuffs tucked away to prevent snagging.

For camping

Winter camping demands a GORE-TEX jacket with ample insulation to keep you warm in cold conditions. Choose a jacket that can adapt to both daytime and nighttime temperature variations. High collars and hoods are essential to protect against the cold.

For running

For winter running, prioritize lightweight and breathable GORE-TEX jackets. An articulated fit and shorter length are ideal for unrestricted movement. Choose jackets with secure pockets to prevent items from bouncing around as you run. Consider noise levels, opting for a quiet fabric.

For skiing

When hitting the slopes, opt for a GORE-TEX jacket that can be layered with other insulating pieces for warmth. Look for windproof and waterproof options that can protect you from cold rushing air and snow spray. Ensure the jacket has a hood that accommodates helmets and goggles, and offers a good range of motion, particularly in the waist and shoulders, to navigate downhill turns smoothly.

Up next, 15 winter coats you won't want to take off.