When you want a waterproof wear, are faced with a wall of waterproofs made from a range of waterproofing materials—so how do you know which is best? Does it come down to two main contenders – GORE-TEX Vs eVent, or something else entirely?
GORE-TEX is a membrane with 9 million microscopic pores per square inch. Each pore is an unimaginable 20 thousand times smaller than a drop of water, but 700 times bigger than a moisture vapor molecule. In simple terms, this means water can’t get in, but heat can get out—making the jacket breathable. There is also a handy PU layer applied, which repels oil, grease, and dirt.
eVent is a waterproof membrane that consists of millions of pores to prevent water from entering. But in eVent® fabrics, there is no PU layer, and their patented Direct Venting™ technology enables sweat to escape through the fabric directly.
In GORE-TEX®, the PU layer is solid to prevent oil and dirt from entering, but this means that sweat has to be removed in two steps: first, the sweat modules adhere to the PU film and then they diffuse through the fabric slowly. This makes GORE-TEX® jackets warmer and slightly less breathable, but the PU layer means in-built protection from oil and other mucky substances. This makes GORE-TEX® durable and hardy.
In eVent®, the sweat is removed in just one step as there is no solid PU layer to contend with. This makes eVent® more breathable and quicker drying than GORE-TEX®. It also means you lose body heat quicker in cold conditions. Although eVent® products do contain an oil-resisting coating, the lack of a solid PU layer means you may need to wash and re-waterproof your eVent® jacket every 4-6 months.
Overall, in terms of breathability, eVent is the better option, especially factoring in that it is cheaper than Gore-Tex. So, if you are looking for a jacket that can keep you cool and dry, then look no further.
On the other hand, for long-term durability, nothing outlasts Gore-Tex, especially considering how well-made the products which incorporate this fabric are.