In quite an unusual step, The North Face chose to unveil their latest fabric technology…
Tag: waterproof breathable
Last spring, we got an early preview of Columbia’s OutDry Extreme technology during a gear testing trip to Colombia. An innovative approach to waterproof jacket construction, OutDry Extreme basically turns the rain jacket inside out, placing the waterproof breathable membrane on the outside of the jacket. Now, Gore has come out with their own membrane-on-the-outside technology dubbed Gore-Tex Active with Permanent Beading Surface. Intended for high-aerobic activities in wet weather such as running, hiking, and cycling, the new textile ditches the face fabric that is prone to wet out. The result is Gore’s lightest and most breathable Gore-Tex product to date according to the company, and one with quick drying times. Basically all you have to do is shake it off.
The holy grail of rain gear is breathability. For years, the breathability argument focused on the membrane itself, whether it be Gore-Tex, eVent, Polartec NeoShell, or Columbia’s OmniDry. Even if you could objectively determine which membrane is more breathable, it’s only one piece of the waterproof-breathable puzzle. Rain gear works through a synergy of many elements—membrane, face fabric, inner fabric, seam-taping, and durable-water-repellent (DWR) finish, to name a few. The key to a high-performance piece of rain gear is to get the construction of all of these elements correct.
Former tech-executive Dan English recently founded Colorado based Voormi with the idea that the outdoor apparel industry was ripe for innovation. By taking a new approach to everything from local sourcing and manufacturing to direct-to-consumer retailing, the small start-up company hopes to make a big impact.