Gore-Tex Active, the company's lightest and most breathable fabric, has been completely redesigned, with a new “Permanent Beading Surface” that does away with the DWR (durable water repellant) external treatment to create an even lighter, more breathable and packable waterproof jacket.
The previous Active fabric comprised 3-layers, a waterproof membrane sandwiched between a liner and an outer layer treated with a water-resistant DWR finish. The new Active fabric uses 2-layers, ditching the external DWR treated layer, and instead the membrane has a special permanent beading surface which, as the name suggests, ensures water beads off the surface.
“Uniquely designed, the technology eliminates the face fabric, preventing absorption of water in order to maintain comfort in high aerobic activities. Garments will retain these attributes during use, wearers will not experience the chilling effect that can result from a wetted out face fabric, and a few quick shakes of the garment will render the surface dry. The excellent balance of protection and comfort allows the wearer to leave the garment on – rain or shine,” says the company.
The benefit to us cyclists is that the fabric is lighter and more packable, and we assume water-resistance and breathability performance has improved. That's a good thing - cycling is a tough activity for performance fabrics, all that sweating and rain to deal with. The company also reckons the new fabric is more durable and it can be shaken dry.
Active is going to debut in new cycling jackets by just a few select brands this winter, including Gore Bike Wear (naturally), Castelli, Arc’teryx and The North Face. No word on availability or pricing yet, but watch this space.
The improved comfort afforded by the Active fabric allows cyclists to wear the jacket in a broader range of conditions, according to the company's claims. We certainly look forward to trying it out.
Waterproof cycling clothing has developed loads in the past few years with jerseys like Castelli's Gabba, which while not a fully waterproof top, does keep enough of the rain out to provide a more versatile option for British cyclists looking for the right balance of rain protection, insulation, fit and breathability.
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David worked on the road.cc tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes.
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