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.

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GORE-TEX®

While it is often confused for a fabric, GORE-TEX® is 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.

Norrøna

Falketind Gore-Tex Jacket

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Mountain Hardwear

Exposure/2™ Gore-Tex® Pro Jacket

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Arc’teryx 

Beta AR Jacket

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Mammut

Stoney HS Jacket

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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.  DryVent™ is treated with a DWR which helps droplets to form then repelled from the product’s surface. 

The North Face

Allproof Stretch Jacket

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The North Face

Apex Flex Dryvent Jacket

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The North Face

Millerton Jacket

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The North Face

Venture 2 Jacket

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waterproof jackets

OutDry™ Extreme

Columbia has been utilizing OutDry™ Extreme in some of their waterproof products and we are impressed. This waterproof technology has turned Columbia’s waterproof garments inside out, literally. OutDry™ Extreme is crafted with the waterproof membrane on the outside of the jacket. Because of this, unlike most other waterproof membranes, OutDry™ Extreme does not need a DWR coating. Inside, there is a moisture-wicking lining next-to-skin that ensures optimal breathability and the next-to-skin comfort you desire. 

Columbia

OutDry™ Ex ECO Tech Shell – Women’s

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Columbia

OutDry™ Ex ECO Tech Shell – Men’s

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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

Stretch Ozonic 2.0 Waterproof Jacket

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Mountain Hardwear

Stretch Ozonic 2.0 Waterproof Jacket

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VaporDry™ is another technology that is commonly used in Mountain Hardwear products allowing 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. 

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 different conditions and activities. This particular waterproof fabric is a gas permeable and waterproof structure that excels when conditions are at their worst. 

Patagonia

Torrentshell Jacke

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Patagonia

Stretch Nano Storm Jacket 

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Patagonia

Torrentshell Jacket

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Patagonia

Stretch Rainshadow Jacket 

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With the information above, shopping for the perfect raincoat should be easy. You can decide whether your needs call for a GORE-TEX raincoat or if you can opt for something different with just as much performance.

Happy Shopping!

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