Outdoor Fabric Guide: Gore-Tex Pro Shell
Posted by Neil | March 24, 2011
2-layer? 3-layer? Performance Shell or Soft Shell? Windproofness, waterproofness, breathability?
With the overwhelming choice of outdoor clothing on the market today, and the host of technical terms that goes with it, there’s a myriad of baffling information for the novice to take on board.
Here, in a regular, in-depth series, we’ll try to make sense of the differences – and the similarities.
Fabric Guide: Gore-Tex Pro Shell
The Gore-Tex Pro Shell is aimed at the high-performance enthusiast looking for top-end clothing, where fabric technology is paramount and virtually every stitch counts.
Today’s mountain-climbing fraternity demands the very best, in search of hard-wearing fabrics where weight, comfort and functionality are of the essence.
Gore-Tex Pro Shells are of noticeable lighter weight than any other shell – their innovative Micro Grid Backer technology is super-light, and along with advanced Gore-Seam Tape technology, reduces a typical jacket by up to an incredible 65 grams in weight.
The same Gore Micro Grid Backer technology has been engineered to provide superior comfort on the inside with a smoother, more supple finish. This allows the garment to slide more easily over other layers, giving ease of movement in technical situations.
Gore-Tex Pro Shell is extremely breathable, allowing moisture to escape through the Gore-Tex membrane, while still guaranteeing protection against rain, wind and snow.
Usually, Pro Shell jackets have fewer features to save weight, and are designed to be a close fit to aid breathability. Pockets are normally raised to mid-height, the front of the jacket is usually short, and the rear has a ‘drop-tail’. Hoods will have a larger ‘helmet fit’ and will fold and be secured by a tab, rather than pack into the collar, to speed deployment, save precious ounces and keep bulk around the front of the neck to a minimum.
Designed for the serious sportsman or woman, the Pro Shell is aimed at those facing extended and extreme conditions, like mountain climbing, snowboarding, skiing and watersports, alongside motorcyclists, distance runners and cyclists.