The Ultimate Waterproof-Breathable Fabric & Technology Guide

Text by: Kelsey Begg

Arc’teryx, Burton, Mountain Hardwear, Norrona, Patagonia. The Ultimate Waterproof-Breathable Fabric & Technology Guide

When we think of waterproof raincoats, the main thing that comes to mind is GORE-TEX® because it is one of the most popular and renown waterproof membranes. The truth is, there are multiple other waterproof and breathable fabrics that are nearly as good although they may hide from the spotlight.

Below is a guide to some of the more popular waterproof and breathable fabrics and technologies you may stumble across. Most are linked to specific brands while some are not but all of the following information is ideal for finding the perfect raincoat fit for your fall activities.

GORE-TEX®

While it is often confused for a fabric, GORE-TEX® is, in fact, a waterproof membrane which can be found at the heart of all GORE-TEX® products. This membrane is an extremely thin layer of polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) which has been expanded and is home to over 9 billion pores per square inch. These pores are what gives GORE-TEX® fabrics all of their characteristics from being exceptionally waterproof to breathable and windproof too.

arcteryx womens beta sv jacket

Arc’teryx

Beta SV Jacket

Shop

burton womens anorak jacket

Burton

[a] Elevation Anorak Jacket

Shop

men trollveggen pro gore tex jacket

Norrøna

Trollveggen GORE-TEX® Pro Jacket

Shop

patagonia mens refugitive jacket

Patagonia

Refugitive Jacket

Shop

DryVent™ (Formerly HyVent™)

DryVent™ is most commonly found in The North Face products in their outerwear and equipment collections. It is designed in a way to keep their products fully waterproof, windproof and breathable although unlike GORE-TEX®, it is treated with a DWR.  This helps droplets form which are then repelled from the product’s surface. 

th enorth face womens arrowood triclimate jacket

The North Face

Arrowood Triclimate Jacket

Shop

womens the north face tomales bay jacket

The North Face

Tomales Bay Jacket

Shop

the north face mens leonidas 2 jacket

The North Face

Leonidas 2 Jacket

Shop

the north face mens venture 2 jacket

The North Face

Venture 2 Jacket

Shop

waterproof jackets

Dry.Q™ 

This particular waterproof membrane is used by Mountain Hardwear and comes in three separate levels – Dry.Q Elite, Dry.Q Active and Dry.Q Core. This waterproof and breathable technology keeps you dry on the inside even during exercise and while the rain is falling. Dry.Q technology keeps the wearer feeling dry and fresh by its ability to vent water vapour before a buildup of moisture and heat is formed. 

mountain hardwear womens finder jacket

Mountain Hardwear

Finder Jacket

Shop

mountian hardwear mens finder jacket

Mountain Hardwear

Finder Jacket

Shop

H2No®

H2No® is Patagonia‘s proprietary waterproof and breathable fabric which like DryVent™, is available in a 2L, 2.5L and 3L construction. Each of the three different constructions are designed to accommodate differing conditions and activities. This particular waterproof fabric is a gas permeable and waterproof structure that excels when conditions are at their worst. 

patagonia womens torrentshelljacket

Patagonia

Torrentshell Jacket

Shop

patagonia womens rainshadow jacket

Patagonia

Stretch Rainshadow Jacket 

Shop

patagonia mens stretch rainshadow jacket

Patagonia

Stretch Rainshadow Jacket

Shop

patagonia mens cloud ridge jacket

Patagonia

Cloud Ridge Jacket

Shop

VaporDry™

VaporDry™ is commonly used in Mountain Hardwear products as a waterproof technology that allows moisture inside the jacket to evaporate faster and more efficiently. This leaves the wearer feeling dry and comfortable no matter how wet the conditions are. 

mountain hardwear womens exponent jacket

Mountain Hardwear

Exponent™ Jacket

Shop

mountian hardwear womens thundershadow jacket

Mountain Hardwear

ThunderShadow™ Jacket

Shop

mountain hardwear mens exponent jacket

Mountain Hardwear

Exponent™ Jacket

Shop