Last week Gore revealed their new lightweight, waterproof breathable fabric called GORE-TEX Active Shell. Targeted towards active day pursuits such as running, cycling, hiking or fast climbing, Active Shell is meant to be worn next to the skin or on top of a wicking base layer.
Still a three layer construction, GORE-TEX Active Shell uses a significantly thinner membrane that is still completely waterproof but is only to be paired with lightweight outer fabrics. A new lamination technique integrates the tricot liner fabric directly into this thinner membrane, offering the better breathability and soft against the skin characteristics.
Gore is aiming for a maximum weight of 280 grams for a GORE-TEX Active Shell jacket and an RET (Resistance to Evaporative Transfer) of under 3. Compare that to a GORE-TEX Paclite 2-layer fabric jacket with an RET of 4, GORE-TEX Pro Shell jacket with an RET of 6 or an eVent jacket's RET value of roughly 4.5.
Gore is planning to be strict on what type of design features and outer fabrics that manufacturers can use since this will greatly affect the breathability of the new membrane. The following outdoor brands are supposedly licensed to use this new waterproof breathable fabric so expect to see outerwear from these companies starting next Fall: Adidas, Arc'teryx, Berghaus, Haglofs, Mammut, Millet, The North Face, Norrona, Peak Performance, Castelli and Specialized among others.