Best Gore-Tex Jackets Reviewed & Tested
Gore-Tex fabric was created to provide a long lasting, sporty all-weather solution for buyers that needed protection from nature. That includes strong winds, rain and even cold climates. It is used in a variety of mainstream apparel and is a trusted name when customers want to find reliable materials. Because the Gore-Tex technology is so flexible in its use, brands have incorporated it into both inner and outer wear. It isn’t uncommon to see someone wearing Gore-Tex materials from their head to their toes. But when it comes to Gore-Tex jackets, there is a higher demand for concentrated quality. The blending of the tech with other fabrics has led to a lot of creative products by brands like Adidas. So while there are plenty of Gore-Tex jackets that are worth purchasing, only a select few are considered high tier. Choosing from this group of ten jackets will guarantee high compatibility with whatever outdoor activity you’re planning. They are also made to take a lot of punishment, sometimes even multiple years of abuse from high use customers. And with a good selection on both the male and female side, there is a little bit of something for everyone. Buyers have a few features they can filter out to make the best choice possible, but for the most part the options are easy.
Our Top 3 Picks
- Adidas Outdoor
- Simple Fit
- Adidas Golf
- Gore Bike
The first brand name that stands out from the rest is Adidas, known for their dominance in sports apparel worldwide. The German company is the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe, and is not far off from being the largest in the entire world. They are known mostly for competing strongly in the crowded shoe market, so seeing them doing well with Gore-Tex jackets shows that they have great vision. Taking the top two spots on the list wasn’t easy, but Adidas did it with ease. Roxy is a brand for female consumers to look out for, and it makes a classy showing even if it didn’t make the top five. Female Gore-Tex jackets are equal in quality to their male versions, and Roxy is one of the reasons why. The company has done good research into finding out what the female consumer wants most from their jacket. And even with the additional features being added, they still managed to keep the weight and bulkiness to a low level. All of the other brands on the list were great in their own right, but Adidas and Roxy were the two standouts that really drove home a lot of important consumer needs.
Maintenance and Cleaning Tips
Gore-Tex jackets are easy to clean if you follow the included directions. However, things are a lot more complicated since one jacket is different from the next with care instructions. This has a lot to do with the mixture of materials that companies use with their particular jackets. So even if you have two identical 100% polyester blends from different companies, their instructions for cleaning will still be vastly different. With sizing being a concern for some products, improper washing can shrink or even loosen important areas of a Gore-Tex jacket to the point where you take years off of its longevity. All Gore-Tex jackets by default will have water repellent material built in, so both the drying and washing instructions need to be followed carefully. This doesn’t mean that consumers need to be scared about ruining their favorite product! They are made for rough housing, so even if you make a mistake with cleaning, the water repellent feature of the jacket can still be restored. The process is simple enough and doesn’t require calling in the warranty. You’ll find that it takes a lot to permanently ruin a Gore-Tex fabric to the point where it’s unusable.
10 Best Gore-Tex Jackets
1. Adidas Outdoor
Simple Fit Chart
Finding the right fit is a frustrating process if the chart is off, even by a little bit. The five available sizes offered by Adidas is a great no-nonsense approach to getting the perfect fit right.
Zip hand and internal security pockets
Available in three different colors
Even at the largest size the price is average, so the best product on the list is also one of the lowest prices. This is the type of value that can’t be ignored, but is expected from a customer friendly company like Adidas.
The good news is that the top two Gore-Tex jackets on the list come from the same company. You can flip a coin to purchase either one and still come out with a great deal.
Available in small, medium, large, x-large and xx-large
Comfortable inner lining
Larger than normal collar
2. Adidas Golf
Highest Quality Material
Made out of 100% polyester, Adidas materials are known to last through tough trips and years of abuse. This is the best polyester blend available for a Gore-Tex jacket, so expect extremely high reliability.
Fully seamed sealed
Spacious center front storm flap
Surprisingly the price for sizes runs average to just above average. You only hit the high price when buying the larger sizes offered.
Adidas is always a safe buy when you need clothing that will last for years. This is another one of their top notch products that feels as good as it looks.
Jacket size fits well
Mesh liner can be removed
Materials as a bit noisy
3. GORE BIKE WEAR
Sporty is the best way to describe the look, feel and class of this jacket. The materials aren’t too thick so it pairs will with other sport apparel without looking out of place.
LOKSAK waterproof bag
As expect for a top three product, the price is average to high based off of the size you want. There is good value for buyers that play it smart and order a size larger than what they need.
By beating out a lot of the other Gore-Tex options on the list, Gore Bike Wear dominates again. They prove once again they’re the go to company for quality men and women’s sports clothing.
Comes in six different colors
Customers have to order a size larger to ensure a good fit
4. New US Army
The Most Balanced On The List
In any size this Gore-Tex jacket can be considered a solid choice for purchase. With a nice selection of sizes and great reviews on fitting, many customers have been satisfied making this their top choice.
Breathable three layer construction
US Military issued
Price for this model is around average to high depending on size. Based on its professional usage, this is a worthy value for customers.
US Military issued apparel will always gain high marks due to their own high standards for quality. At the consumer level, it translates to high tier Gore-Tex jackets at an affordable price.
Abrasion resistant taslan nylon
Fits great no matter your size
5. Gore Bike Women
Great Color Choices
The many colors available for this model are; waterfall/iceblue, black, blizzard blue/brilliant blue, jazzy pink/magneta, neon yellow/white and jazzy pink/blaze orange. They are all rich with color and look great when put with an entire outfit.
Price is once again locked to the size of the jacket you want to purchase. It’s low to high priced, but well worth it for all of the available color options.
Gore Biker Wear has one of the top ladies line of Gore-Tex apparel in the industry. Their attention to details shows with their great color choices and lightweight models.
Reflective piping, logo and sleeve print
6. Bear Grylls
The outer fabric is made out of 100% Polyamide while the inside is 100% Polyester. There is Polyamide mixed with a Gore-Tex membrane throughout the inside and outside and it works well.
Shoulder grip overlay panels
Two layer Gore-Tex
All sizes are priced high, making this one of the most expensive Gore-Tex jackets on the list. Long lasting materials turn this into a worthwhile value when pairing it against the competition.
Even with the high price, this is one of the better choices on the list. It is a solid purchase that earns its rightful place on the top ten.
Good materials inside and out
Multiple pockets with appropriate security
Hood doesn’t roll into a collar
7. GI ECWCS GENERATION II
Buyers will get great protection in all sizes thanks to the superior waterproof materials of this model. Even with the extra toughness, it maintains a good lightweight feel while wearing.
Sealed Gore-Tex seams
Prices are tied to sizes, and go from low priced to high price the larger you go. This is still a great value for buyers that need a tough long lasting Gore-Tex jacket.
Good materials plays a big role in determining the value of a Gore-Tex jacket. Buyers will get a lot of mileage with this purchase, and it may inspire them to continue supporting the brand.
Drawstring areas also include neck, waist and hem
Available in 12 sizes
Not good for warm weather environments
8. GORE BIKE WEAR Women
Weight just under 10 ounces, this is the lightest option on the list for buyers that want a Gore-Tex style. You’ll gain a lot of flexibility when using this jacket without losing a lot of the durability.
Waterproof and windproof
With a pricetag that ranges from low to high, the structure is the most wildly inconsistent available. Cost will change based on size, color and availability of the jacket.
Getting one of these jackets for a good price is well worth the effort, even if the cost is high. It has good comfort and a light fit for all day wear.
Five different colors
Lightest jacket on the list
Not as durable as thicker gortex
9. Roxy Women
Available in Nasturtium and Anthracite, Roxy offers a great choice between casual and bright for potential customers. The colors are rich and look great as both day and night wear.
Available in small, medium, large and x-large
3 way adjustable hood
Keeping with the average price theme, Roxy keeps the price the same at #9. With all of the extra accessories and pockets included with this Gore-Tex jacket, it does more than enough to retain lifetime value.
Buyers can consider this a real winner if they are looking for a full featured female gortex option. Strong against the elements and full of surprisingly tough features, this is a solid buy.
Great measurements for all sizes
Complex jacket to pant attachment system
Internal goggle pocket is in an odd to reach place
10. US MILITARY ECWCS
This is a good down to earth traditional gortex jacket with competitive features. Nothing about its styling or specifications will blow you away, but it balances out by having no major weaknesses.
Military acu gortex
Available at an average price, it is an accessible gortex jacket to all potential buyers. There is plenty of value in from die hard camo style users that want a traditional setup.
As a top ten product, this US Military gortex jacket from Tennier will interest a lot of buyers. The price is good, and it has everything you’d want out of a tough piece of apparel.
Available in a one size fits all
No big ‘wow’ features when compared to the competition
Criteria For Evaluation
With a couple of tests we were able to make a top ten list that filled up pretty quickly. A lot of our criteria was based on the core mechanics of Gore-Tex, so we expanded it a bit to separate the truly unique products from one another. With some good research, the industry showed a lot of great promise with lighter materials and high tier options for ladies apparel. Waterproof abilities weren’t included in the listed criteria since all of the jackets passed them with flying colors (even the ones that didn’t make the list).
Pricing is usually a good place to start, which is a criteria that was all over the place for us. There were some jackets that were high in price but on the lower end of the list while some of the lower priced jackets were in the top five. The disparity in price without a drop in quality led to us getting rid of products with similar qualities based on too high of a price. That means if you see a jacket in the top ten that is high in price, it is truly exceptional in its own right.
Design is where we turned to next, looking at the color options and overall design of jackets that only came in one color. For camo Gore-Tex products, the look was always great, especially on Military issued jackets. But the real star of the show here came from all of the women’s line where colors were rich, blended and just better than everything else on the list. Female Gore-Tex jackets scored the highest with this criteria and were the best designed choices. They also provided the most available colors, a customization that is great when the jacket needs to be paired with regular outfits.
Sizing was a difficult criteria to fully get through without handing out too many penalties. The easiest way for us to judge this criteria is by the information a company provides on a jackets size. Whether it is through a chart, online or through other means, we graded products based on how well they made that information available. Some companies were upfront about consumers needing to order a size larger to get a good fit while others left it up to everyone’s imagination. Products that were vague on their sizes and how they fit were removed from the list.
Next we looked at what materials companies were using to go along with their Gore-Tex branded jackets. This was an easy criteria to measure, and we removed any company that blocked the benefits of the technology by pairing it with an inferior fabric. The big winner here was polyester, which was included in the majority of the jackets on the list. It was the most compatible fabric by far, although some brands handled it better than others. The difference in the quality of their materials is reflected by their placement on the top ten. Some companies even used a proprietary mix which turned out to be hit or miss depending on how much weight it added.
Extras covered features like removable liners and hoods. The latter was seen enough on the list, but the former is something that needed more entries. Only a few Gore-Tex jackets had removable liners, which is a shame since that is the best extra available on the list. Products that had a liner that could be removed was rewarded extra points, and moved promptly up the list. There was a slight shift in the top ten based on the extras criteria, so a few choices will really stand out long before you get to the top three.
When we looked at pockets for our next criteria, it covered amount, size and quality of the insides. Thankfully most brands thought ahead and lined the inside of the pockets with material that doesn’t scratch touchscreens. For some high ranking jackets this was an oversight, so we had to remove them from the list. Zipper quality wasn’t a problem with any of the entries, so we promptly moved ahead to our last criteria, breathability.
Gore-Tex by itself is made to be a breathable fabric that plays nice with compatible fabrics to maintain high breathability. So within the Gore-Tex shell, jackets will remain waterproof, lightweight and breathable. In a way this is a continuation of the materials criteria, but it focuses on the thinner jackets on the list. We held the thin Gore-Tex products to a higher breathability standard than the regular ones. This meant getting rid of some heavy favorites that were in the top five. Even though they excelled in other areas, you can’t have a good Gore-Tex jacket by lessening one of its biggest features. In the end, Adidas ended up in the #1 and #2 spot due to removing a few choices after they failed this last criteria.
What Makes Gore-Tex So Good?
Gore-Tex is based off of an advanced waterproof material that was made to enhance several different types of apparel. Even with stiff competition from other waterproofing technologies, Gore-Tex remains the most versatile when used with sporting materials. The extra premium customers pay for the technology proves that there is a difference, and this mentality is shared by both professionals and consumers. That doesn’t mean there aren’t other technologies closing the gap, and there is still stiff competition from Columbian Omni-Dry, Polartec Neoshell and Mountain Hardwear Dry.Q Elite. In a few years more names will come up, and it will be interesting to see how they pair against one of the world leaders.
Who Created Gore-Tex?
Invented in 1969, Gore-Tex came from the hard work and innovation of Wilbert L. Gore and Robert W. Gore. It is a lightweight breathable fabric that repels water while still allowing the vapor to pass through. This is an important part of its overall design and is what separates it from other competitor technologies. With part of the materials used in Gore-Tex coming from Teflon, it also remains tough when used for outdoor activities. Gore-Tex is mentioned often by name when naming the best membranes and shells to have coupled with sportswear.
Is The Female Line Worth A Look?
Not only is it worth a look, but a lot of the products are incredibly well made. Ladies sportswear has come a long way, and through the process Gore-Tex jackets kept up with the trend. Sizing isn’t the only thing that has improved over the years; the toughness of the female line was ramped up without adding any extra weight. It’s an incredible achievement when you consider that some design changes happened simultaneously on both the male and female branding, with the latter showing more improvement (less weight) the higher up you went in size. The ladies line is worth checking out and maintains a high standard for sportswear of all types.
Why Is Adidas Favored?
Customer support, a tracking record with quality and of course a much larger line. Options from Adidas that feature Gore-Tex fabrics is double what any other company on the list offers. Their deep pockets and worldwide reach has allowed them to take a lot of risks with the styling and features they include with the jackets. It’s safe to say that Adidas jackets are the most evolved on the list, with many of their flagship Gore-Tex products in their third and fourth iterations. Customers know what they are getting with an Adidas branded jacket, so familiarity wins on the consumer level.
How Roomy Are The Pockets?
There are a lot of pockets on the jackets, so the size varies. Usually there is a large utility pocket made for holding bigger things like smartphones, and sometimes tablets. These designated areas aren’t guaranteed on every Gore-Tex jacket, so pay close attention to the pocket sizes if they’re listed. All of the pockets are protected with a waterproof lining, so there are no worries about the insides getting damp. All companies have done an excellent job in ensuring that the Gore-Tex technology is surrounded by similar waterproof standards.
Are All Linings Removable?
Only some linings are removable, and it isn’t a common thing. When a jacket has a removable mesh lining, you can shed some extra weight while also making the jacket tolerable in humid conditions. It’s the best of both worlds since you don’t lose the waterproof feature of Gore-Tex, so customers should take advantage of removable linings if their jackets have it. This is also a good way to clean a lining that may have gotten dirty- that way you can still wear the jacket while the lining dries. Advanced users even rotate their linings with the jacket based on how warm the want the inside of it to be.
Can Heavy Gore-Tex Jackets Be Comfortable?
Yes, even though the jackets are only considered heavy by ‘Gore-Tex’ standards. When people refer to these types of jackets as heavy, they are usually comparing it to other Gore-Tex jackets. That means the weight is not similar to that of a regular jacket when doing a direct comparison. This is an important note for buyers shopping, since they may get turned off by seeing a listed con for the jacket as being heavy. When a Gore-Tex jacket is ‘heavy’, it is considered uncomfortable for high activity consumer wear like cycling or running.
What Happens When You Neglect Care Instructions?
Gore-Tex isn’t fictional adamantium, and is prone to break down due to bad care. The worry from consumers isn’t about the stitching falling apart and creating tears, but more about losing the waterproof effectiveness and messing up a perfect fit. When you find a jacket that fits perfectly, nothing is worse than washing/drying it the wrong way and having it shrink a size. There is also the possibility of losing some of the Gore-Tex waterproofing abilities, but this can easily be gained back through home remedies. Buyers should care for their jackets by following the included instructions from the company.
Will The Zippers End Up Being The Weakest Part Of The Jacket?
This question gets asked often for all jackets, not just Gore-Tex. The answer is yes, but not due to it being a cheap part- it is a moveable part that is more prone than the rest of the product. Thankfully cheap zippers aren’t included in mainstream Gore-Tex jackets, so the usual snags and splits won’t be a problem for most consumers. Weight distribution in the pockets is handled well, an important feature for buyers that store away their smartphones. Any top tier Gore-Tex jacket should be able to handle a small tablet without worry of the zipper popping open or breaking.
Do All Gore-Tex Jackets Have Hoods?
No, and something for consumers to look out for is the size of hoods. This is a specification that isn’t always included, so watch out for large hoods that aren’t removable. When you plan on using your jacket for activities that don’t require a hood, not being able to remove it will only be a pain if it is bigger than normal. Besides the extra weight around the neck and shoulder area, it gives you a lot more bulk than you would want if the area is windy. Removable is the way to go when your Gore-Tex jacket has multiple uses.
Why Are Some Of The Jackets Listed As Being For ____?
When you see a Gore-Tex jacket being listed for cyclists, runners etc. that doesn’t mean it is their only use. These aren’t ‘specialized’ Gore-Tex jackets, and the wording is really more for marketing/branding. With all of the heavy competition in the industry, being able to stand out based on active use is a major plus for any potential consumer. If you run into a runners Gore-Tex jacket then it just means it is a lightweight variant. When you find a mountain climbing Gore-Tex jacket expect it to be insulated and have a hood. Different types of jackets serve different functions, but they are not specialized products that have to be used solely for the activity listed.
Are Sizing Charts Reliable?
Sizing charts are reliable based on the company that issues them. Companies that have a larger line across multiple products will usually have a better chance at getting the sizing right. That is why Adidas is reliable in this category and continues to successfully rely on their worldwide data to get the best fit. But even Gore-Tex jackets that are a bit off with their sizing will be able to let customers know if they run big or small- you just have to make the correct adjustment.
What Is Breathability?
There is a breathability rating for fabric that raises its value and overall effectiveness. Gore-Tex on its own has high breathability and the ability to absorb and release perspiration. This also adds to the comfort level of the material when under high stress situations. High breathability with a Gore-Tex jacket means that the thinner versions are usable in humid areas without too much of a compromise with core features. The reason all Gore-Tex jackets aren’t created equal comes down to their mixture with other fabrics and the quality of those materials.
How To Make The Best Decision
Several years of producing one of the finest apparel technologies in the world has allowed Gore-Tex major innovations with jackets. Brands have been more open to risks in styles, sizes and even completely new features thanks to the maturity of Gore-Tex. Choosing the right jacket comes down to a couple of things, with this small list being a big help for buyers that are deadlocked with a buying decision. Although not foolproof, looking at these three things will give you a much better chance of nailing down what it is you expect from your new Gore-Tex jacket.
Price is first on the list, and also the most confusing. Gore-Tex jackets can be purchased from incredibly different prices, with quality not being tied directly to the amount being paid. So a low priced jacket can still be considered high tier, and it isn’t uncommon to see a big name like Adidas behind that iteration. Find out what your price limit is and stay within that range. Buyers don’t have to worry about missing out on great products since high tier Gore-Tex jackets are available at so many different price ranges. The most you will miss out on is getting a specific model that may be a hot seller with some people.
The second thing to look at is weight, which is an uncommon thing to overlook when buying a Gore-Tex jacket. You don’t want to lug around something heavy if it is meant for cycling, and you don’t want something light if it is meant for heavy wind and rain. If two purchases are required to get the best of both worlds, that is the better option than going for a product that is a jack of all trades. Gore-Tex jackets from the same company have different pros and cons based off of their model. So in short, pick the jacket that works well for the activity you plan to use it for.
The last thing buyers should look for in a jacket is sizing. No matter how tempting, you should never ignore the sizing chart- even if you’ve purchased from the company before. What’s small for one company may end up being large for another. It is a delicate balancing game with sizing, and no one will always have the perfect fit. Consumers should be wary of brands that have a reputation for bad fitting apparel. These companies don’t have to be avoided, but it is worth noting their return policies in case you have to make a change. Being stuck with something you can’t wear isn’t helpful, even if it is a high tier Gore-Tex fabric.