Keeping your Gear in Good Shape will keep you warmer and dryer on the water. Gortex is a multilayer fabric that is designed to be both waterproof and breathable.
- Abrasion resistant fabric coated with DWR coating for water proofing.
- Porous Membrane which is water resistant allows for sweat to be pushed through but water proof from exterior
- Inner protective layer often something that wicks the moisture into the porous of the mid layer
Durability of your top is a function of the type of exterior fabric:
- Ultra light gortex is comprised with a much lighter outer fabric, so that it is light, and packable.
- 4 layers Gortex often times uses an additional layer of fabric that can be as thick as a light cordura helping with abrasive surfaces protecting the inner fabrics.
Both wear and cleaning will reduce the performance of Gore-Tex clothes by wearing away the Durable Water Repellent (DWR) treatment on the surface of the fabric. The DWR prevents the face fabric from becoming wet and thus reducing breathability. However, the DWR is not responsible for the jacket being waterproof. This is a common misconception, so when the face fabric becomes soaked due to an absence of DWR, there is no breathability and the wearer’s sweat will cause condensation to form inside the jacket. This may give the appearance that a jacket is leaking when it is not. The DWR can be reinvigorated by tumble drying the garment or ironing on a low setting.(info from Wikipedia)
There are some Great products we keep in stock at the shop that will help with keep your top water proof and breathable.
Revivex Synthetic Fabric Cleaner: This is designed to clean out the pores of your drytop with out leaving any additional soap residue that will block them making the top non-breathable and thus sweaty. Safe to use on Gortex, and other multilayer waterproof breathable fabrics like Eclipse, H2No etc…
Revivex Waterproofing soak: This is designed to reinvigorate and add to the DWR coating on your drytop, helping the fabric bead & keeping the pores open for perspiration to move out of the top.
Revivex Waterproofing Air Dry Spray or Revivex spray on water repellant: Both of these are spray on applications of DWR to adding to the water repellency of your top. One version is an Air dry application the other you throw in the dryer briefly to make the product adhere.
Still having trouble with your Gortex/Breathable Drytop or Drysuit??
Some manufacturers offer repair & water testing for their tops and suits. This is awesome if you just took a rescue class and got stuck pulling a throwbag out of a blackberry bush or just had the out of boat experience that put you on a gnarly portage back to your boat through the brush.
Swing into the shop and we can give you pricing on sending your top back to be water tested and patched. Kokatat & IR both offer these services for their gear.
Some manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty on the fabric of their drywear. Kokatat is one of these, offering lifetime guarantee of workmanship and fabric, both on the Gortex and Hydrus fabrics that they use. When you send your top up for a water test they also check the fabric for delamination where the multiple layers come together. If found with delamination, Kokatat will replace the garment.