M Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2011: An Emerging Revolution in Waterproof-Breathable Fabric Technologies – It’s Not Just Gore-Tex Versus eVent Anymore!
by Will Rietveld
An online subscription ("Premium Membership") is required to view this article.
Not yet a Premium Member? Subscribe now.
Already a Premium Member? Please login using the form to the right.
Not ready to become a member, but need the article? Buy access to just this article.
Gore-Tex created a thin waterproof-breathable membrane of expanded PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) about 30 years ago and has dominated the waterproof-breathable rainwear category ever since. eVent's more breathable technology has challenged Gore-Tex - and Backpacking Light has emphasized that difference for the benefit of our readers - but Gore's marketing has nevertheless established Gore-Tex as the "gold standard" for waterproof-breathable jackets. Finally, after many years with Gore-Tex as the status quo and little change, Gore's supremacy is being challenged by a number of companies introducing new technologies and backing them with marketing efforts sufficient to bring about significant change in this category. And technology-loving outdoor enthusiasts, like our readers, are the spectators cheering them on as well as the beneficiaries of the improved performance.
We are seeing the beginning of a waterproof-breathable fabric revolution, where new innovations are being marketed on the basis of technology differences, rather than just hype (but the hype is still there, for consumers who don't want to be bothered with fabric technologies and physics). The challengers are actually explaining the technology (somewhat) to help consumers understand how their innovations can possibly be better than Gore-Tex.
- The Contenders
- The Key Differences
- Gore-Tex Active Shell
- Polartec NeoShell
- Columbia Omni-Dry
- Mountain Hardwear DryQ
- Other Rumored Developments
- What This All Means
- The Bottom Line for Backpackers
# WORDS: 3040
# PHOTOS: 8
Buy Access to This Article
If you do not want to subscribe and get access to all BPL articles, you may instead opt to buy this single article: "Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2011: An Emerging Revolution in Waterproof-Breathable Fabric Technologies – It’s Not Just Gore-Tex Versus eVent Anymore!"