For a long time, Gore has focused on improving the thermal comfort of your outerwear. Basically, how can you make a jacket or pants more breathable without hindering performance in both durability and waterproofness. This time around, Gore turned their focus to the more sensorial aspects of a garment—how does it feel and even sound. The result is Gore C-Knit Backer Technology.
The new C-Knit backer is made from a tuck and stitch circular knit nylon—very similar to a pair of panty hose. This new backer is then paired with 22 different laminates featuring Gore-Tex’s most proven membrane and a variety of nylon face fabrics (including stretch nylon) ranging from 12 denier to 140 denier in weight. This wide variety of laminate combinations means you have a multifunctional fabric technology that can be used across a range of activities.
Gore claims C-Knit is softer, lighter, and more breathable yet just as durably waterproof as traditional Tricot backed products. Aimed at the hiking, trekking, and freeride markets, C-Knit offers the softness of a 2 layer jacket with the breathability of a 3 layer. (3 layer jacket constructions are generally more breathable than 2 layer, as you don’t get the air trapped between the liner and the laminate).
Gore also created a special seam tape for easier seam sealing with the new C-Knit backer. The seam tape is noticeably softer and has more give so you don’t get that traditional stiffness in high seam areas.
Quantifiable claims are that C-Knit is 15% more breathable than an equivalent Tricot backed product and 10% lighter. If you compare it to other Gore-Tex products, it is more breathable than Gore-Tex Pro but not quite as durable, yet more durable than Active but not quite as breathable. In a poll of consumers, 84% perceived the C-Knit product as softer than Tricot.
As this is a multi-functional technology, Gore plans to give designers a bit more freedom on specs. Working with 27 brands already for Fall/Winter 2015-2016, pieces range from Alpine and Snow category jackets from Patagonia to hiking/trekking jackets from Arc’teryx and pretty kick ass freerider onesies from Peak Performance.
What Gore C-Knit Backer Technology basically boils down to is a waterproof jacket that feels much softer against the skin, while being a bit lighter, slightly more breathable, and offering more stretch. Gore is upping the overall comfort game of your waterproof jacket.