Wednesday, 30 April 2014 21:00

Gore-Tex Pro women’s waterproof jacket Reviewed

Written by Fiona Outdoors

Please don’t be too envious of me because the new Gore-Tex Pro waterproof fabric will be available in the shops in a wide range of branded jackets in the autumn of this year (2013). But for now, only a few dozen people have a sample jacket (made by Arc’teryx) to test. My Gore-Tex jacket has been nicknamed the “Starburst Jacket” by my daughter and you can see from the pictures that you’ll either love the hue or hate it. I wasn’t sure at first, but it has grown on me.

This is my first top-of-the-range Gore-Tex jacket. Until now I have got by with a Paclite jacket, which has done pretty well. I have washed and reproofed the jacket with a warm iron a few times and it continues to keep me about 95% dry in the Scottish hills. I have found it a bit light on windproofing in our tough wintry conditions but I really can’t complain.

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What is Gore-Tex Pro?

Replacing the Gore-Tex Pro Shell, the Pro – which has been in the creation for some 4.5 years – claims to be just as waterproof (100%) and more breathable (10 to 28% more) and durable. It’s said it will be the breathability that will be a defining factor because many waterproof products struggle to offer breathability, thus allowing body sweat to evaporate effectively from the skin and through the jacket fabric.

The material does feel lighter to wear and is more flexible and stretchy but still appears very hardwearing. The outer looks a bit like soft suede and I have had many favourable comments about the look and feel of the jacket.



The Gore-Tex review jacket

Arc’teryx have come up with a lovely basic female jacket sample that is tailored to fit the bumps and curves of our physiques. You’ll need to wait to see what the brands create in their new autumn designs and because this jacket will never be on sale to the public I won’t talk too much about the pros and cons of the design. Suffice to say, Arc’teryx have been thoughtful in their cut and features.

It’s the waterproofing and breathability that I have been most keen to test out.

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I have worn the jacket in a range of conditions including very wet and cold, very wet and a bit warmer, dry and warm and snowy. I have mostly walked Scottish hills and mountains and also popped the jacket on for a few snowball fights and sledging outings when the snow came.

I can report that the jacket is brilliantly waterproof and windproof also copes with high activity sweating. I wear lots of breathable baselayers under my waterproof jackets and this means that sweat can vapourise from my skin to the outside. The Gore-Tex Pro offered excellent breathability. I found that there was no need to change my baselayer when stopping for a break on day-long mountain walks (normally I do so to prevent my body temperature dropping with the chill of damp baselayers).

While a good, snug fit, the slight stretch in the fabric allowed for good freedom of movement.

The Gore-Tex Pro is the most expensive fabric in the Gore-Tex range and it’s rumoured that such jackets will be 10 to 20% more expensive than the previous Gore-Tex Pro Shell. If you’re due a new jacket I would suggest you wait to see what the brands release come the autumn.

Test summary Gore-Tex Pro jacket (out of possible 10)

Fit for females: 9 (This Arc'teryx design is for sample only.)

Does what it says on the label: 9 (Can’t decide how I can track 10 to 28% more breathability)

Quality: 9

Price: 7 (I always find Gore-Tex expensive although I have never had any complaints about the quality.)

Thanks to Ellen Arnison for her pics.

Note: This article was restored from the archives. It's published creation date is inaccurate.