what is gore tex made of


GORE-TEX is a popular type of windproof, breathable and waterproof material found in outdoor apparel, including snow gear, rain shells, winter jackets, footwear and accessories.

GORE-TEX’s microporous membrane’s impressive ability to keep water out while allowing sweat vapor to pass through makes it one of the most premium waterproof-breathable materials available.

What Is GORE-TEX® Made Of

GORE-TEX is made by heating and cooling a combination of materials that are exposed to a reaction agent. The process creates PTFE, a Teflon-like material, that’s then stretched and bonded with polymers to create ePTFE, a durable and thin waterproof material that is laminated to a fabric’s outer layer.

The resulting GORE-TEX membrane is then sewn into the outermost layer of a garment. It’s most commonly integrated into apparel using 2-layer or 3-layer construction.

2 layer goretex

2-layer construction features GORE-TEX laminated to a face fabric and combined with a non-laminated lining layer such as mesh, nylon or microfiber. GORE-TEX 2L is generally warmer and heavier.

3 layer goretex

3-layer construction involves laminating all three layers together – the GORE-TEX membrane, face fabric and knit lining. GORE-TEX 3L is your classic uninsulated high-performance shell; more durable and lighter than the 2L construction.


GORE-TEX® vs. GORE-TEX® Infinium™

Is GORE-TEX waterproof? The answer depends on the type of GORE-TEX technology. The brand offers products in two different categories:

  • Products in the original GORE-TEX line-up are windproof, breathable and waterproof, designed for high-performance in wet conditions.
  • Products in the GORE-TEX Infinium line-up are intended for use in drier weather, offering protection from the wind and cold, and is water-resistant but not waterproof.

GORE-TEX® Waterproof Ratings & Breathability

A fabric’s waterproofness is measured in a lab using a hydrostatic head test. This test determines how many millimeters of water a fabric can withstand in a 24-hour period before seeping through. This is why waterproof ratings are given in ‘mm’ units.

waterproof gore tex

  • Waterproof ratings range from below 5,000mm to above 25,000mm.
  • The higher the number, the more waterproof the fabric is.
  • Anything with a rating above 25,000mm is considered completely waterproof.

Breathability is defined as the amount of water vapor (i.e. sweat) that can be let out through a fabric. Breathability is important for staying dry during high output activities. Breathability ratings are assigned according to the amount of moisture that can pass through a square meter of fabric in a 24-hour period.

breathable gore tex

  • Breathability ratings range from below 10,000g/m2/24hrs (10K) to above 30,000g/m2/24hrs (30K).
  • The higher the number, the more breathable a fabric is.
  • 5K-20K is a solid breathability rating while products with ratings in the 20-30K range are considered high-performance.
GORE-TEX Above 28,000mm 17K
GORE C-KNIT Above 28,000mm 20K
GORE-TEX Pro Above 28,000mm 25K
GORE-TEX Active Above 28,000mm Above 25K
GORE-TEX Paclite Above 28,000mm 15K

Is GORE-TEX® Warm?

GORE-TEX helps you stay warm in wet weather conditions by keeping you dry – your body loses heat more quickly when you’re wet. GORE-TEX is not an insulating layer on its own, but serves as an outer shell to protect the insulating layers you wear beneath it.

is goretex warm

Types of GORE-TEX®


Most Versatile

Used in 2-layer and 3-layer constructions, the original GORE-TEX membrane can be integrated into apparel designed for any activity. The classic 3-layer membrane features GORE-TEX sandwiched between a PU coating and an outer fabric.


Most Comfortable

C-KNIT is a type of stretchy fabric backer integrated into GORE-TEX membranes, designed to make products lighter, softer and more breathable.


Most Durable

No PU coating, which increases the membrane’s overall performance. The GORE-TEX Pro membrane features Micro Grid backer fabric, which provides increased abrasion resistance.

GORE-TEX® Active™

Most Breathable

This 3-layer membrane is thinner and lighter, making it less durable than the classic GORE-TEX or GORE-TEX Pro membranes. The lining fabric is incorporated into the PU coating, which increases its breathability.

GORE-TEX® PacLite™

Most Packable

GORE-TEX garments featuring PacLite technology are designed to be lightweight and super packable. However, they’re less durable than classic GORE-TEX or GORE-TEX Pro membranes.

GORE-TEX® Infinium™

Most Windproof

GORE-TEX Infinium products offer the most breathability and wind protection but they aren’t waterproof. Infinium garments are best utilized as mid or outer layers.

Types of GORE-TEX® Products

GORE-TEX provides excellent protection against the elements. It’s used in a wide range of outerwear applications, including jackets, footwear and accessories

Snow Jackets

goretex snow jackets

Snow jackets featuring GORE-TEX membranes are completely waterproof and highly breathable, designed to keep you dry and warm during cold-weather activities.


Snow Pants & Bibs

goretex snow pants

Snow pants and bibs with GORE-TEX membranes will keep your bottom half dry during winter as well as during snowboard and ski sessions.


Snow Gloves

goretex gloves

GORE-TEX snow gloves are designed to shed snow and moisture while allowing your hands to breathe.


Rain Jackets

goretex rain jackets

3-layer GORE-TEX rain shells are designed as lightweight protection against unexpected downpours.


Hiking Shoes & Boots

Footwear featuring GORE-TEX material keeps your feet dry during water crossings, winter storms and rainy weather.



GORE-TEX is used in backpacks to keep your gear dry whether you’re hiking rainy trails or commuting across town.


Choosing apparel or accessories with GORE-TEX technology is a great way to ensure high-performance during outdoor activities as well as unprecedented protection from the elements.