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Thread: Gore Tex: just say no

  1. #1
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    Default Gore Tex: just say no

    FYI: I tested my Browning Pro Series Gore-Tex rain gear, live, in PWS and it rather failed. The jacket did OK, but leaked around the zipped and got damp in a few places. The pants failed miserably; they leaked around the zipper badly, and skinning a bear, but not crawling around on the ground, proved life-threatening. Apparently having the fabric pulled tight against my body caused it to leak like a sieve. I was one wet puppy by the time I got done. It also absorbs TONS of water into the outer, soft layer and it weighs a hell of a lot more than 3 standard HH heavy weight rain suits, to which I switched. The Browning may do real well for light rain and sneaking through the brush quietly (it IS quiet), but I am not taking it to PWS again. It is going back to Cabela's. My partner, at my suggestion, had HH Impertech and was fine. I will have Impertech next time.

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    It's funny to me that you labeled this "Gore Tex: just say no" instead of "Browning: just say no". It's just like having a bad fleece or down jacket. It's not the material that is bad - it is the particular product or manufacturer.

    I had this same discussion with a friend of mine recently. As dear as a friend as she may be, she was wrong on this point too. I have some Marmot and Arc'teryx gear made with 2-ply and 3-ply Gore-tex that is absolutely bomb-proof. Again, it's not the material, it's the manufacturer. Browning might make decent guns and bows, but for clothing I would never go with anyone who doesn't specialize in extreme-weather clothing.

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    When Cabela's first came out carrying the Browning Hydro-Fleece 4-in-one parka and the bibs, I bought them, with the Scent-Lock. In 1996 me, my brother-in-law and his two sons went up the Kuskokwim to the Hoholitna for moose and caribou. It was a really wet year, and it rained the whole way up. They were wearning two sets of raingear, while all I had on was the parka and bibs. The Gore-Tex worked perfectly; only my hands and face got wet.

    The only problem I had was when the insulation in the bibs got wet from crossing a stream, I had to stop and wring it out 'cause it soaked up pounds of water.

    I still have that gear and I use it every year if I have a chance to go out.

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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Default my perspective/experience

    I have a set of Cabelas MT050 and really like it, but breathables do fill a niche...away from alders! I went on a 20 day Brooks Range sheep hunt and it performed great. Absolutely no problems. If you are busting through alders, willows, or any other type of foliage impertech or Peter Storm is the way to go. Brushing up against wet alders and the insides get as wet as the outside. I don't believe it was persperation, either.

    Just my experience.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Member COtoAK's Avatar
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    Default I agree..

    I am an all-ban on Gore-tex as well.
    I was climbing Mt. Antero in Buena Vista, CO about 3 years ago and it failed me miserably, too. I was absolutely SOAKED by the time I made it back down the mountain on a 7 mile hike. Terrible. I have never felt more pruned in my life during a climb.
    Say no to Gore-tex and anything that uses it as it's main product. (especially rain gear)

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    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    I have to agree with Brian on this that if you've had a bad experience with one garment or two that has gore-tex in it, you shouldn't disregard the fabric as a whole. If you look at lot of extreme weather hiking/mountaineering clothing, you can see that they have layers of gore-tex, taped seams, waterproof zippers and the works (Arc'Teryx-if you can afford it, Marmot, North Face, Mountain Hardwear, OR, etc.) Bottom line, if it didn't work, it wouldn't still be around. Some people just make better clothing than others.

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    Default interesting

    Interesting experiences w/ the more spendy Gore-Tex type stuff. I'll have to give one a try some time. Perhaps my "best buddy" will loan me a jacket to try next time I visit PWS.... I'd be happy as a clam to try it. Thanks for the info. j

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    My only experience with Gore-Tex is with the military jacket and pants. I always get wet when wearing them, and believe me when I tell you that it's not from perspiring while wearing them. Not only that, but if it gets cold it makes more noise than a tarp.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I've used goretex for decades, patagonia, marmot, rei, north face, and also will not buy any more of it. When it's brand spanking new and clean, and you aren't in heavy rain, high humidity or brushing up against brush, it works ok. But in real world rough use over the years, it simply doesn't work. Even with all the vents opened up, I never get sufficient breathing during heavy exertion in high humidity. And in serious wet weather, the shell soaks through and get's very heavy. It's simply too expensive for the limited times it works.

    The only thing I've found that works is to layer breathable insulation, polypro and fleece, and when it's raining or busting brush, put on real waterproof outer layer.

    There seems to be no way to keep truly dry, but I'd rather have wetness from sweat that wicks away, then a soppy goretex shell.

  10. #10
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    Default Waders?

    What about gor-tex waders....I've got 5 ply waders....water doesn't get through....must the the manufacturer of the coat you have...poor seams etc....

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    Hmmm. GoreTex waders? Two sets. They've worked perfectly and raised the comfort level during fishing dramatically. The wading jacket I wear over them has also been exceptional.

    GoreTex rain gear? I've had MT050 from Cabela's. It was junk. The replacement set was as bad as the first, so I ruled out a defective set. My Browning gear? Three jackets and two sets of pants. Perfect. Totally waterproof and the outer fabric doesn't absorb any water.

    Winter gear? North Face, Klim, Arcteryx, Marmot. All are spectacular relative to what was available before Gore products. Klim gear is the best snow-go gear I've ever worn. I wear out a set of bibs every year. Nothing lasts forever.

    Bivy sack? Yep. GoreTex. It's a peach.

    Headwear, both winter and summer. GoreTex again. Light, breathable, waterproof. Just like advertised.

    No breathable waterproof fabric can breathe enough to vent the sweat a healthy guy can develop climbing up hills while hunting. I leave the outer layer off until I stop to rest. At that time? I'll take breathable GoreTex over a rubber suit every time.

    Just say no? I don't think so. I actively seek out GoreTex by name. I wear GoreTex probably 250 days a year. I can go places and do things that we wouldn't have done 20 years ago because we didn't have capable clothing. GoreTex is the biggest reason that our gear has evolved to where it is. I'm very pleased.

  12. #12
    Member Buck Nelson's Avatar
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    Default I'm in the pro Gore-Tex camp

    When people say they got wet in Gore-Tex gear, I believe them, but it's all about how it's put together. If it was worthless people wouldn't continue to lay out the $ for it for 30 plus years. My first set of Gore-Tex was useless, as was much of the first generation garments, because manufacturers didn't know how to put them together. There's times where you'll end up wet in any design raingear known to man and there's undoubtedly some "lemon" Gore-Tex stuff still being sold out there. But overall, most people are more comfortable under more conditions in Gore-Tex raingear. It pays to research out a particular garment before buying it. The main problem with a lot of Gore-Tex stuff in my opinion is there's a certain price premium for the groovy factor.

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    Thumbs up Gore-tex....You get what you pay for....

    I have 30 years experience with Gore-tex...(SynergyWorks - 1977 - 1st generation Gore laminate)...and all the subsequent reiterations it has gone thru. Brands I have used are always professional/mountaineering grade....Marmot, Moonstone Mountaineering, North Face, Patagonia, Wild Things, Mountain Hardwear, and others. They all performed well.

    Early garments had to be maintained, cleaned and seams sealed carefully. That problem has been virtually eliminated in recent generations...BUT, there are specific products available - (BeaverSports for instance) - at good outdoor stores for proper cleaning and then re-treating the garments. And they work. I use them seasonally on gear.

    Leaking seams and zippers are not Gore's fault...properly made Gore-tex garments have factory sealed seams and zippers as part of the manufacturing process. If a maker cuts corners and costs by leaving out needed steps in the name of dollars, it makes no sense, i.e., you get what you pay for.

    Buy gear from the first rate manufacturers and you won't get burned.

    If you have a complaint, call Gore's customer service and, politely, complain. They have a policy of making you happy. I had a new Wild Things winter parka that pissed me off ....the material wasn't durable and started getting hole in it way too easily. I called and informed them of the problem, and they had Wild Things sent a brand new parka of a better material immediately. That was 15 years ago and the parka has many miles on it and is still in great shape. Sooo....if you have a complaint, tell them. If it leaks ....tell them....I haven't had that problem, but if you should......etc.

    I've worn Gore-tex garments from -65 to +80...and it suits my needs. Last summer, in August, my hunting partner and I took 4 day 170 mile river trip in a 19' Grumman. It rained all 4 days, all day, the whole trip...varying from drizzle to down-pour. Both of us were wearing Gore-tex rain parkas and stayed dry....no heated tent, just dry. It wasn't discount gear...and it worked.

    My only caveat....I have no experience in a marine environment in other than winter weather. Perhaps salt might cause a problem, but I doubt it. Gore-tex wader are great, and the best canoeing and kyaking drysuits are Gore-tex.

    Gore-tex gets a bum rap from many Alaskans. If you think 1st rate optics and firearms are a priority, your outerwear should be just as important. Don't spend your money on bargain rain gear.

    End of rant.

  14. #14
    Member Tight Lines's Avatar
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    Gore-Tex = 30 minute rain gear!!!

    DD

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    Thumbs up 30 minute raingear....B.S.

    Several years ago, after several beers with a friend - he felt the same as you - I bet him $50 that I could put on my Gore-tex raingear and stand in the shower for an hour and stay dry. After 2 more beers, he took the bet. I put on my Mountain Hardwear Exposure Gore-tex parka and pants and proceeded to win the bet. I would not do it for $20, but for $50 was worth it....and amusing.

    If you haven't had a good experience with Gore-tex, you should complain to the manufacturer and Gore. Gore guarantee that you won't get wet.

    By the way, Gore-tex doesn't breath when it's wet. You may be getting wet from the "inside".

    If it's only 30 minute raingear, how did I stay dry and comfortable in 4 days of continuous rain. The gear didn't ever have to dried....it worked.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Was that brand new or nearly new gore-tex gear, or that had been used hard for a few seasons?

    I guess I'm just too hard on stuff, because gore-tex just seems overpriced for the useful life I've gotten out of it.

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    I have one old REI jacket from 1991 that's still going strong. It's my favorite knock-around coat. To say it's completely leak-proof would be dishonest, but I've got my money's worth several times over from that purchase.

    The best jacket I have is a Simms. That coat has kept me comfortable on many days that the birds and animals stayed under shelter. If I can still be having fun after 14 hours of fishing in cold, driving rain, that coat was worth the premium price. Do it day after day every fishing season for a few years and it looks downright cheap. That's precisely what that coat has done for me, and it's never leaked a single drop.

    I've tried the rubber coats. If I'm bashing alders and devil's club I prefer to shred a cheap rubber coat rather than an expensive GoreTex coat. There are times for both.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I just haven't been able to get that sort of use out of goretex garments. If I could get a jacket and pants that I could use for hiking, hunting, fishing and skiing that would last a few years I'd be willing to spring for it. But the Marmot jacket I've had for a few years seems only good for making it from the car to the office, the REI pants I had disintegrated inside and out, and the marmot pants I had have had the gore-tex lining fall apart in the crotch area, and the shell would get wet fairly easily.

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    Default Paul H....

    That MH Exposure parka and pants were bought in '98, and the shower was in '01....I will note that the exterior fabric of the laminate is heavier - maybe 4oz - than is usual on most Lwt Gore-tex gear. And, as before stated, I wash and re-treat it seasonally, or if it get's filthy. It's been such a sucess for me that I have installed a velcro strip on the hood that accepts a wolverine ruff for winter use .... and I use it all winter...dog mushing (I still have 30 dogs and don't "work", but play all winter), sno-going, outdoor work, etc. It's been very durable and usefull. I also got it in size XL so I can put virtually everything on under it. It's also been used for hunting, fishing, 4 wheeling, canoeing, etc. It's still...after 10 years...my trusted go-to outwear. And I take care of it. I have other insulated and uninsulated Gore-tex parkas and they all perform form for me, but that parka is my favorite. And it wasn't cheap.

  20. #20
    Member COtoAK's Avatar
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    Thumbs down

    Quote Originally Posted by Tight Lines View Post
    Gore-Tex = 30 minute rain gear!!!

    DD
    Agreed! I couldn't agree with you more.
    That climb I discussed earlier, man was it rough.

    I also did another climb in CO sw of Aspen and, yes yes... I fell into the creek, up creek, so all the gear I brought was soaked... completely soaked because my bag swelled and drank that creek water.

    Again... gore-tex... it didn't even dry out for me. Shoes? Didn't dry out.

    It was pure misery...

    Although (and I hate to admit this) my North Face extreme pants have gore-tex in them and the exterior has been durable. (Sigh)
    I didn't even realize they had gore-tex in them until I was reading the labeling on it while I packed for a 'hike' last Wednesday.

    Blah.
    Thumbs down for gore-tex.
    Lurker.

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