ISPO Open Innovation Testers Try New GORE-TEX PRO Textile Technologies

The New GORE-TEX PRO in an Endurance Test: 5 Alpinists Give Their Opinion

Five experienced mountaineers tested the new GORE-TEX PRO technologies from membrane specialist W.L. Gore in the ISPO Open Innovation Product Test. The testers knew no mercy with themselves or the gear, especially in extreme weather conditions. ISPO.com gives an insight into their results.

The new GORE-TEX PRO jacket tested
A companion made for the toughest outdoor conditions: The new GORE-TEX PRO jacket tested.

Starting this autumn, outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy three new GORE-TEX PRO garment technologies. Made for the most extreme requirements, they are designed to be more robust, breathable and elastic than ever.

Also new: all three technologies can be combined. This means that they can be utilized in clothing exactly where they offer the best performance due to their respective core properties.

For the jacket in our test this means: improved breathability on the torso and sleeves thanks to GORE-TEX PRO Most Breathable technology and the necessary stretch for maximum freedom of movement at the back thanks to GORE-TEX PRO Stretch technology.

How did the new GORE-TEX PRO jacket perform, developed for reliable extreme weather protection?

Testerin Andi prüft die Elastizität der GORE-TEX PRO Jacke.
Tester Andi checks the elasticity of the GORE-TEX PRO jacket.

First impressions from the test:

  • The new GORE-TEX PRO Stretch product technology is incredibly flexible. This technology is incorporated into the back of the jacket, where it allows for excellent freedom of movement."
  • "The jacket feels like a GORE-TEX PRO jacket - stiff but very comfortable."
  • "Impressive how the new GORE-TEX PRO material performed - especially since it feels lighter overall than the previous version."
  • "The jacket regulates the temperature perfectly, even during fast climbing and under given weather conditions. Even without opening the underarm vents."

1.Carlos on the Road in Norway in Extreme Wind, Humidity and Severe Cold

His testing ground: Hemsedal in Norway during an avalanche instructor course. "Hemsedal is the mountain range just behind Hardangervidda, the highest and widest mountain plateau in Europe," explains Carlos. Being there in winter on expeditions comes closest to a real polar expedition for him.

The prevailing test conditions: Mountain Guide Carlos reports a mild and humid climate in the valley, and extreme winds above 1000 meters around 24 to 26m/s and even stronger gusts at -15 degrees Celsius.

Carlos' conclusion after the first days of testing: "After some experimenting, the combination of the new GORE-TEX PRO material and a wool net baselayer under a solid baselayer layer is a winning combination for highly intensive activities under rough conditions for me. The new GORE-TEX PRO material wicks away sweat better - even compared to the three-layer trousers worn with the jacket."

On we go to the Valley of Voss, where heavy rain and unusually warm temperatures await. In the wide high mountain area temperatures from - 4 to - 9 with very strong wind with snow particles. The lift ran slowly in unpleasant wet conditions.

Carlos erlebt harte Bergtage beim GORE-TEX Pro Testing
Carlos experiences tough mountain days: ideal for testing the material's ability to protect against extreme wind, cold and moisture.

Impressive Protective Power of the New GORE-TEX PRO Jacket

"The feeling of being wet and exposed to the wind and cold was extremely unpleasant. Once again, I was impressed by the protective qualities of the new GORE-TEX PRO jacket." There was a considerable "behavioural difference" between his trousers and the test jacket. On the pants the moisture had gathered disturbingly in some places. Moisture in the form of water and snow simply rolled off the jacket, nothing stuck.

However, on one day he had the impression that some wind and moisture had penetrated through the zipper or came up from underneath - he would have to observe this more closely over the next few weeks to be able to say it 100 percent.

Carlos summed up: After a total of seven rough test days, I can say without a doubt that the GORE-TEX PRO offers even greater protection against the difficult combination of moisture, wind and cold than the previous version, which was already very good," he said. Considering the weight savings and the noticeably low packing volume, the jacket is a premium choice for intensive mountain days.

2. Climber Andi on Her Way to the Rock in Changeable Weather

The test conditions during the climb up the rock Andi describes as an alternating bath. Stormy - wet - cold - very warm. With 80 km/h wind, rain showers, in between always a short sunny spell.

Your impression during the approach: "The jacket follows every movement, the stiffness of the material does not disturb at all and also the rustling is very limited. Wow - a lot has happened here since the introduction of the first GORE-TEX PRO garments!"

The material "breathes" noticeably, which is what the climbing trainer and former German champion in speed climbing particularly noticed during alternating efforts and subsequent short breaks in heavy rain and wind. Despite a long ascent with a heavy backpack through a lot of undergrowth, she didn't worry - the robust material can take a lot.

Flexibility Test on Rock: Never before Has There Been This Much Stretch!

The new GORE-TEX PRO jacket tested during mixed climbing
Andi put the new GORE-TEX PRO jacket through its paces in mixed climbing, and tested its freedom of movement

"What I was most looking forward to was the new "GORE-TEX PRO Stretch product technology". An innovation that makes me absolutely happy. There has never been this much stretch before! In the back part of the jacket the new material is incorporated in large areas and makes a great impression. I have tested the jacket for maximum flexibility while climbing and I am thrilled. The material brings performance to the point!

3. Calums Material Test on Hard Packed Snow

Conditions: Calum is on his way in Scottish winter weather with extreme wind (gusts of 190 km/h): for winter climbing. He teaches winter skills like ice climbing - the jacket came along.

"This season I have found plenty of bullet hard névé to teach the ice axe arresting on. In the past I have managed to destroy a hardshell jacket in a single session. If you slide quickly on hard snow, they wear out quickly."

"Not a Single Scratch or Scuff"

The Scot says about the GORE-TEX PRO jacket: "after sliding on the front and back through hard snow and rolling over the sharp blade of my axe for several hours, the jacket looks as good as when I took it out of the box. Not a single scratch or scuff".

What Calum also says about the GORE-TEX PRO jacket:

  • He wont waste any more time wondering if it would be more comfortable to wear a softshell. He just puts on the jacket and starts walking. Knowing that it will keep the wind out on the approach and dry when he climbs.
  • He never experienced the clammy feeling that he usually gets from wearing a hard shell on bare arms.

His conclusion: "Overall I am superbly impressed with the jacket. It has withstood a beating of Scottish mixed climbing and winter skills courses, and there are more to come.

Die GORE-TEX Pro Jacke im Test beim Winterklettern in den Cairngorms.
Winter climbing in the Cairngorms: For Calum, the jacket did its job superbly.

4. Jadey on the Road in Endless Torrential Rain in the Highlands

Test conditions: Jadey took the jacket with her to the Scottish Highlands for two weeks. With endless, heavy rainfall and uncomfortable winds of 70-80 km/h, she was out and about in the Torridon Hills for hiking and biking.

"Breathability Was the Outstanding Feature for Me"

"The breathability whilst hiking was excellent - I would describe it as the best yet in a premium GORE-TEX PRO jacket. I deliberately dressed a bit "too warm": But despite the continued rapid up and down of the mountain trails around Torridon Hills not once did internal condensation or sweat develop. A little venting through the pits or the front zipper was all that was needed in the steep places."

5. Karl Tests Robustness and Backpack Suitability

Specified test conditions: two-day ski tour in the Swiss mountains, 20 kg rucksack, bivvy and a summit with a rather demanding ridge and mixed climbing the next day. It was bitterly cold (down to -20 degrees) and very windy on both days.

The ascent with skis and the heavy backpack was no problem for the jacket says the geologist and experienced alpinist. The rucksack usually rubs quickly through the shoulder area. At this point during his last expedition in Pakistan (by the way, the ascent of Gasherbrum II; 8034m without oxygen) his old hardshell broke. "The fabric was simply not strong enough for such a heavy load. But with this jacket I have the feeling that it doesn't chafe too much due to the nature of the outer material. The material is very strong and hardly moves under the shoulder straps of the heavy backpack."

This is how the GORE-TEX PRO jacket performed for Karl:

  • Movement in all directions is no problem despite a heavy backpack. The stretchy part in the back is inconspicuous. The jacket stretches where it should and follows all movements.
  • Even when climbing fast and under the given weather conditions, the jacket regulates the temperature perfectly. Even without opening the underarm vents.
  • The jacket stores heat better than its old PRO hard shell.

Karl's conclusion: "After 500 km on ski tours, 13,000 m altitude, three waterfalls and 10 mountain peaks and not a grain of mercy , the jacket is perfect for me. Except for the patch that finally came off."

Result after the first wash: the outer fabric keeps its impregnation even after washing. Even after four hours in heavy rain, no moisture has penetrated the jacket.

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