GORETEX: 100% Waterproof and Breatheable
We've been trading for nearly 20 Years now and during that time we've seen the steady improvements made by the Militry in their Clothing and Equipment. I'm writing this guide to help you make an informed decision when buying a "GORETEX" product and more so; Military made items.
I very much doubt that anyone these days haven't heard of the material or Company, GORETEX! Or their claims that this material is 100% Waterproof and 100% Breathable.
FANTASTIC, we can now stay dry and not have to sweat 4 pints for the privalige; or can we?
I don't dispute that GORETEX, or any of the other Waterproof and Breatheable Materials on the market, are a fantastic creation. However, they are only ever 100% Waterproof and 100% Breatheable (Similtaneously) in Lab Conditions.
I do not wish to put you of buying these types of items. The total opposite in fact (We have an eBay Shop dedicated to them) and I'm always have my Jacket with me when I'm in the hills, but I want you to be aware that there are limitations and if you are on your knees in a muddy field, in the pouring rain, the 100% claims will not stand.
It's the breatheability that realy suffers. Why is that you say? Well, for hot air to be wicked away from the body and through the pores with the GORETEX material. The pores have to be able to breathe.
If you're limbs are pressed up against the material, or more often if it's pouring with rain and the water is blocking the pores externally. The item will not breathe.
Now back to Army Surplus:
We sell a lot of British Army Issue Camouflage Suits (Trousers and Jackets) to Farmers, Fishermen and Motor Cyclists and not one of these items has GORETEX written on it...
Why??? The MOD does not Brand it's clothing. This goes the same for most other countries, with the exception of Germany. So, if you want to buy a Genuine piece of Military Specification Waterproof and Breatheable clothing, what do you look for?
How do I tell?
The Garment with usually have some referance to MVP or Moisture Vapour Permeability on it's label
There is also the obvious difference in feel and texture, but that doesn't help if you're buying over the Internet.
Most British Items are 3-Ply (Three Layers) which feels thicker and is more Durable than the "PacLite" versions on the market (To give you some comparrison)
The Seams will be sealed with a Waterproof Tape
What to look out for
- It is important that you check the item has been sealed properly:
- Dispite being made from a Waterproof material, a Garment will not protect you from the elements unless the stitching has been professionably sealed.
- Check that the Seams, Pockets and any repairs have been finshed off properly
- We had a customer come in before Christmas 2007 looking for Waterproof and Breathable Jackets and Trousers for his employees.
- He'd already spent nearly £500 on Brand New USA Issue MVP Items, but his lads were still getting soacked.
- We told him all that we have mentioned in this Guide, yet you could see that he was reluctant to be caught out again.
- He had one of the Jackets with him and at first glace it looked like it should stand up to the job.
- On further investigation I noticed that the Arm Pits had been sealed since original manufacture and it had not been done properly or adequately. We then realised that water was seeping in at this point saturating the lining which was making the whole of the Upper Back soaking wet.
- Once we had shown him out items, including some repair and Professionally Sealed finsih we made a sale! Another happy customer... (His lads have since been back, Spring 2008 and purchased 4 more sets)
- Bubbling. If your item shows signs of bubbles within the material this means that the layers are de-laminating (Seperating).
- This will effect the items performance and should definately have been mentioned within a listing.
- If the item is supposed to be new and shows signs of bubbling send it back and ask for a refund
I hope that I have not made your decision more confussing and hope that you find the Garment for you. In fact I hope you find it at our shop.
Don't be put off buying GORETEX, or any of the other similar items, but take care when choosing. The majority of us are reputable and knowledgeable when it comes to our items, but there are the annoying few put a Black Mark on Internet Selling.