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Goretex is a waste of money?

David

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
First one in 2005 from Moissac, France.
Hi all ... I have known for years that Goretex doesn't breathe when it is high humidity (or raining) .. noted because of how damp I would always become inside, as my sweat vapour turned back to water .. so I left such jackets and moved to cape style ponchos, free flowing air underneath so no sweating and totally waterproof too -

Goretex can only 'breathe' in low humidity dry weather and cannot work when the outer surface is wet - and now - Hurrah!! here is the proof! (Save a substantial amount of money!). ...


 
New Original Camino Gear Designed Especially with The Modern Peregrino In Mind!
All waterproof materials have to be reproofed after heavy usage. Goretex is no exception.

No they don't. Non-breathable are a different material, some are fully waterproof forever - think traditional sailor waterproofs, the yellow ones - they stay waterproof forever.

Those materials such as Goretex have a very fine waterproofing coating added and this wears off so needs re proofing regularly.

The first are intrinsically waterproof and the second only waterproof due to the added thin coating.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Some 'waterproof' clothing used in warm, humid climates is referred to as 'boil-in-the-bag' jackets. Breathable is useful sometimes
 
This makes sense to me. The heiress to the Gortex empire is a very conservative congresswoman from our state of Wyoming where it is high elevation and the climate is very dry...

Honestly though, we had gortex overcoats in the military in the early 2000's and they worked great for cold and snow.
 
New Original Camino Gear Designed Especially with The Modern Peregrino In Mind!
All waterproof materials have to be reproofed after heavy usage. Goretex is no exception.
Gortex, is a multilayer coating system. Where the innermost layer responsible for water vapour permeability eventually degrades through abrasion and your rainproof coat starts to leak.

Depending upon your body type (big blokes like me) produce too much sweat and their inner clothes become saturated under mild to heavy exercise. Light duty means the sweat can cross the membrane out of the coat keeping you dry.

My personal favourite outerwear materal for both coat and trousers is Ventile cotton. This is moisture permeable in most conditions. However in heavy rain the cotton material does become saturated and heavy. Also during the saturated phase the sweat produced by exertion does collect and you become clammy!

However when the sun comes out Incy wincy pergrino dries out again.
 
Hi all ... I have known for years that Goretex doesn't breathe when it is high humidity (or raining) .. noted because of how damp I would always become inside, as my sweat vapour turned back to water .. so I left such jackets and moved to cape style ponchos, free flowing air underneath so no sweating and totally waterproof too -

Goretex can only 'breathe' in low humidity dry weather and cannot work when the outer surface is wet - and now - Hurrah!! here is the proof! (Save a substantial amount of money!). ...


For my two cents opinion : this has not been my experience. I bought the REI brand Gortex extremely light rain jacket and it is fantastic! Breathable for me ( and im always hot) walked SJDP to Burgos (sept/oct 2022) Sarria to Santiago (march 23) a complete lifesaver and totally worth the money!
 
That's a brave chap. I would think twice before posting on YouTube that a well known consumer product is allegedly, in his words a "scam".
My own experience of Goretex products from Berghaus and Musto is that they work fine, even on a fairly humid Shikoku hike.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
He does say that he receives a lot of subjective denial from users but his video is about the science, not belief.
For me? I have always found that although it works compared to ordinary waterproofs which trap body heat and produces lots of wet inside quickly, it still does trap sweat when it is raining. When the surface is wet.
Especially the arms.
Is why I prefer a loose long coat style poncho, for the circulating air underneath.
But if I were doing a trek in snow climate I would go goretex coat as it performs in that climate.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Two gortex jackets. In both cases get wet after 30 minutes rain. Marmot said men sweat too much and jackets will not keep you dry on camino type walks. Will not buy another switched back to poncho.
 
Nothing is perfect for everyone, that's for sure! Some (most?) gore-tex type jackets have "pit zips" and ways to loosen the cuffs, and those can help with ventilation and sweat build-up. They can be awkward to use, though, and may let water creep in. At that point, you've kind-of turned the rain jacket into a more poncho-like garment.
 
I have had several Gore-tex and other supposedly "breathable" garments and they don't work very well for me, either. They may work to remove limited perspiration in vapor form, but they don't help with actual sweat. A better way is to keep air flowing into and through the garment any way that can be accomplished. Gore-tex waterproof lining in shoes does, however, does the job of keeping water out while not getting too sweaty inside -- I suppose because walking action "pumps" outside air in and moist air out.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I have had a Kathmandu goretex jacket for 13 years. Wear it regularly on walks in New Zealand and on my caminos. Auckland is well known for its humidity. It rained heavily for an hour and a half as I walked home from my aquafit class last Tuesday. My top underneath the jacket stayed completely dry, not so the rest of me. Well worth the money for the longevity.
 
I should add that in 13 years I have never re waterproofed this goretex jacket, only the occasional machine wash.
 
He does say that he receives a lot of subjective denial from users but his video is about the science, not belief.
For me? I have always found that although it works compared to ordinary waterproofs which trap body heat and produces lots of wet inside quickly, it still does trap sweat when it is raining. When the surface is wet.
Especially the arms.
Is why I prefer a loose long coat style poncho, for the circulating air underneath.
But if I were doing a trek in snow climate I would go goretex coat as it performs in that climate.
The challenge for me with the science is that I've walked two winter caminos and a very wet spring camino with Goretex jackets (North Face and Arcteryx) and not had any wetting out issues. I grew up hiking the mountains and working in the forests (no breathable products back then, just wool and fully waterproof industrial rain gear) of the west coast of Canada with those conditions where knowing how to regulate body heat became second nature maybe goes towards my own results.
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
This article discusses the science as well and, while written in the context of shoes, provides a balanced and thoughtful view of whether or not to use Gore-Tex in various conditions. I believe the guidance could equally apply to outer gear. https://hikingfeet.com/waterproof-hiking-boots/

As always, it’s your body, use what works for you 👍🏻
 
I was so thankful this year on the VDLP to have my older Gortex rain jacket and Gortex Keen hiking shoes. My top was kept very dry and I could even walk through some of the shallower streams. My Hokas would have been destroyed with the mud and water. Glad I decided not to use them.
 
I used goretex for many years in my work as a field biologist in the rainy subtropics. It breathes more than plastic, which isn't saying much. And in a prolonged pounding rain it's not so useful in keeping the water out. But then not much is, under those conditions.

On the Camino I've switched to an Altus and stay much drier than I would with a Gt jacket - as does my pack. I couldn't be happier with it.
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
I was so thankful this year on the VDLP to have my older Gortex rain jacket and Gortex Keen hiking shoes. My top was kept very dry and I could even walk through some of the shallower streams. My Hokas would have been destroyed with the mud and water. Glad I decided not to use them.
I was up to my knees in soupy mud with my Hokas at one point on the Salvador. I gave them a good rinse when I got to a water source and they were fine. Perhaps not as sparkling clean as before, but certainly not destroyed. YMMV, of course.
 
That goretex shoes should breathe is a contradiction. Keeps something water out, it keeps sweat in. And that is worse for (at least my) feet than water from outside. In cold temperatures, it's a completely different matter. Goretex then insulates and gets kind of a warming effect, even if they get wet from sweat. Leather shoes even better. But I would never use any of them in Spain.
 
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I was up to my knees in soupy mud with my Hokas at one point on the Salvador. I gave them a good rinse when I got to a water source and they were fine. Perhaps not as sparkling clean as before, but certainly not destroyed. YMMV, of course.
Mine also held up surprisingly well. And, I was the only one with shoes that actually had dried in the morning. I could have needed a thicker sole sometimes, but that's another story.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
No they don't. Non-breathable are a different material, some are fully waterproof forever - think traditional sailor waterproofs, the yellow ones - they stay waterproof forever.

Those materials such as Goretex have a very fine waterproofing coating added and this wears off so needs re proofing regularly.

The first are intrinsically waterproof and the second only waterproof due to the added thin coating.
I wish this sentiment was true/accurate! 14 days ago, while on the French Camino just out of Le Puy, I bought a pair of Goretex Merrill hiking boots to replace the cross trainers I’d been wearing.
8 straight days of rain (more rain than French had ever seen on the Camino) the Merrill’s were constantly soaked! No amount of waterproofing was going to keep out the water. Now… with them completely dry.. they need constant waterproofing spray. Goretex is good, but in what we’ve been walking through for weeks now… Goretex has its limit.
 
That goretex shoes should breathe is a contradiction. Keeps something water out, it keeps sweat in. And that is worse for (at least my) feet than water from outside. In cold temperatures, it's a completely different matter. Goretex then insulates and gets kind of a warming effect, even if they get wet from sweat. Leather shoes even better. But I would never use any of them in Spain.
That would be true if water vapor was the same size as rain droplets. But it isn’t. If you open the article I posted above it gives an excellent description of how Gore-Tex and similar materials work, why they work better in some conditions than others, and a caution that not all breathable waterproof material are alike.
 
That would be true if water vapor was the same size as rain droplets. But it isn’t. If you open the article I posted above it gives an excellent description of how Gore-Tex and similar materials work, why they work better in some conditions than others, and a caution that not all breathable waterproof material are alike.
I think one of the concerns with Goretex is that sweat often seems to occur as water droplets rather than water vapor. As such, it cannot get through the small openings in Goretex sized to let through water vapor and not water droplets. That leaves plenty of water inside to ensure that one is as wet as if the Goretex was not present.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I’ve tried Gortex hiking shoes. Never again. They don’t breathe and waterproof?? Not in my experience.
 
I have known for years that Goretex doesn't breathe when it is high humidity (or raining) .. noted because of how damp I would always become inside, as my sweat vapour turned back to water .. so I left such jackets and moved to cape style ponchos, free flowing air underneath so no sweating and totally waterproof too -

Goretex can only 'breathe' in low humidity dry weather and cannot work when the outer surface is wet - and now - Hurrah!! here is the proof! (Save a substantial amount of money!). ...
@David, this is an amazing piece of work of someone clearly trying to put as much objectivity into something that is just full of what, at worst, would be considered tabloid journalism. I don't see any scam here by the outdoor clothing companies. They have known for many years about the limitations of Goretex as a particular fabric, as has the manufacturer. Many have worked on creating alternatives that improve on one or more aspects of the performance required for good raingear, and developed new fabrics that do that. I have seen and used raingear with trade names like eVent, Hydronaute PRO, ngx3, c_change and VaporTEC, and there are bound to be many more.

You claim to have known about the limitations of Goretex 'for years'. Haven't we all? When I saw this, amongst my first thoughts was 'this is hardly news, we first discussed this years ago', and then went to see if I had made any personal contributions on this, and found this from 2015, not quite a decade ago:
At a technical level, permeable membranes like Goretex transpire water vapour, and that requires a difference in vapour pressure. I don't think they are naturally one directional, but because body heat raises the vapour pressure inside an article of Goretex equipment, the flow is away from the body. If you sweat so much that your body heat is insufficient to turn all your sweat to vapour, that moisture won't be transpired, and then you get the build up of sweat on the inside. It is not the fabric leaking - it is in fact working to stop the passage of moisture, just that it is the moisture (not vapour) on the inside not being let out.

In the same way that loss of the DWR layer on the outer surface will allow moisture to sit on the surface, and reduce the breathability of the fabric, I suspect accumulation of moisture on the inside will have a similar effect.
I recall others who have made similar contributions about this matter that have provided similar or even better explanations than my simple explanation back then. This is important because you seem to have a presented a poor description of both the physiology of sweating, and the physics behind the operation of a permeable membrane and DWR treatments to justify your advocacy for ponchos. Let me make some short observations on both.

Sweat does not form as a vapour, but as liquid. When your skin is dry, that is not an indication you aren't sweating, but that the sweat is able to evaporate very quickly as it reaches the surface of the skin. The energy required for this is the build up of heat in the body, and removing that heat by evaporating sweat starts to cool the body and regulate the heat build up. But as we continue to work or walk, as daytime temperatures increase or as humidity increases, we either produce more sweat in an attempt to keep our bodies cool, or in the case of humidity increases, less sweat can be evaporated from the skin. Having no liquid sweat forming on the skin is not an indication you are not sweating, but that you are exerting a level of effort that your body's natural heat regulation mechanisms can control in the conditions that exist at the time. Alternatively, you have gone into heat stress, and really bad things are now about to happen if you don't stop, rest and get help.

For water vapour to cross any permeable membrane, like the waterproof layer of Goretex, all that is required is a difference in vapour pressure between one side of the membrane and the other. The greater the difference, the more vapour will cross the membrane. And when there is only a small difference in vapour pressure, then very little vapour will be able to cross the membrane. Which leads to the phenomena that when it is raining, and one continues to work or walk, the amount of vapour being transpired is not sufficient to keep our skin dry, the sweat we form doesn't evaporate because we have saturated the small amount of air inside the rain gear, and then sweat wets any clothing we are wearing underneath our raingear.

Goretex not 'breathing' when the outer layer has 'wet out' was the other issue you raise, and it is true that when the surface layer of any of these waterproof garments gets dirty or the DWR treatment has been compromised, water can soak into and spread across the outer layer of the fabric. This 'wetting out' is generally obvious, and is quite different to the surface just being wet when it is raining. While the water proofing of the rain gear isn't compromised by this, the breathability will be. Why it is an issue is not clear to me. Proper care of the jacket will, in my experience, take care of this. Most of the jackets I have worn over the years have care instructions that haven't been too difficult to follow, and with an occasional treatment with a spray on or soak in DWR, the effectiveness of the material can be restored.

I don't think your arguments, or the video you have linked to, actually create a compelling case against Goretex or any of the more modern vapour permeable membrane based fabrics as rain gear. Certainly, it is good to see that the person who make the video has realised something that I thought had been well known for some time, and has used some very informative material in presenting his concerns. But there is far to much hyperbole about this being a scam for me to be convinced by those elements of his discussion.
 
Gortex, is a multilayer coating system. Where the innermost layer responsible for water vapour permeability eventually degrades through abrasion and your rainproof coat starts to leak.

Depending upon your body type (big blokes like me) produce too much sweat and their inner clothes become saturated under mild to heavy exercise. Light duty means the sweat can cross the membrane out of the coat keeping you dry.

My personal favourite outerwear materal for both coat and trousers is Ventile cotton. This is moisture permeable in most conditions. However in heavy rain the cotton material does become saturated and heavy. Also during the saturated phase the sweat produced by exertion does collect and you become clammy!

However when the sun comes out Incy wincy pergrino dries out again.
So who manufactures Ventile Cotton jackets and pants? My quick search only revealed a fabric (etaproof) from Stotz fabric mill in Switzerland, and I could not find any retailers selling these items
A little help please?
 
Ideal pocket guides for during and after your Camino. Each weighs just 40g (1.4 oz).
So who manufactures Ventile Cotton jackets and pants? My quick search only revealed a fabric (etaproof) from Stotz fabric mill in Switzerland, and I could not find any retailers selling these items
A little help please?

There are a few UK companies who make or sell ventilation clothing. You just need to refine your search parameters.
I think Courtolds hold the patent and manufacturing rights to the fabric in the UK.
 

There are a few UK companies who make or sell ventilation clothing. You just need to refine your search parameters.
I think Courtolds hold the patent and manufacturing rights to the fabric in the UK.

Crikey! Just a shirt costs well over £100 - and that is short sleeved! Rain jackets for over £400?

Same for the other site, northernplayground - do people really pay hundreds and hundreds of pounds for each piece of their clothing??? :eek:😂😂😂
 
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

€149,-
Crikey! Just a shirt costs well over £100 - and that is short sleeved! Rain jackets for over £400?

Same for the other site, northernplayground - do people really pay hundreds and hundreds of pounds for each piece of their clothing??? :eek:😂😂😂
If you are a gamekeeper and expect your jacket to be handed down to your son!
Still cheaper than a waxed Barbour or Belstaff.
 
If you are a gamekeeper and expect your jacket to be handed down to your son!
Still cheaper than a waxed Barbour or Belstaff.

But surely that gamekeeper is already wearing the one his Dad handed down to him?

Does that work for Camino too? A thousand pounds on shirt, jacket, fleece and maybe a poncho for one Camino then go home and hand it all on to daughter or son? 🤣

Down here in the west country farmers and gamekeepers tend to shop at a Mole Valley Farmers (I do too) - they have a huge working clothing section, on average half to three quarters cheaper https://www.moleonline.com/clothing/mens/coats-jackets
 
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