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Best GORE-TEX Jackets for Different Outdoor Activities

a man wearing a gore-tex gear

The Gore-Tex jacket is a remarkable gear that has revolutionized the outdoor clothing industry. It’s not just a fabric; it’s a technology that ensures comfort in various weather conditions while embarking on outdoor adventures. In this article, we classify jackets according to various activities and present our top picks for the best choice, best value, and premium options. Alternatively, you can also explore our feature on Gore-Tex snowboard jackets to discover our expert recommendations for an exceptional snowboarding experience. Once you have picked your preferred jacket, you can also go through our article about the best gore-tex shoes for complete protection from head to toe.

Related: Best Gore-tex Ski Jacket for 2023-2024
Best Gore-Tex Men’s Jacket

Our Choice:


Best for Hiking and Backpacking: Arc’teryx Beta AR Jacket

Best for Skiing and Snowboarding: Norrøna Lofoten Gore-tex Pro 2024

Best for Running: R5 GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ INSULATED JACKET

Best for Cycling: GORE WEAR Race SHAKEDRY Jacket

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Best Gore-Tex Jacket For Hiking and Backpacking

Best Choice

Arc’teryx Beta AR Jacket

goretex hiking jacket
  • Gore-Tex Pro fabric with the Most Rugged Technology is extremely durable, making it ideal for demanding outdoor activities.
  • Internal security pocket
  • Suitable for severe weather conditions
  • Harness-compatible hem
  • Offers top performance in all tests and is exceptionally versatile
  • RECCO reflector
Best Value

REI Co-op XeroDry GTX Jacket

goretex hiking jacket
  • Lightweight and affordable Gore-Tex jacket.
  • Gore-Tex Paclite membrane is waterproof to keep you dry in wet weather
  • Slim fit, making it easy to pack in your backpack or carry-on luggage.
  • Excellent for hiking and backpacking
Premium

Norrøna Trollveggen Gore-Tex Pro Light Jacket

goretex hiking jacket
  • Lightweight and durable Gore-Tex Pro membrane
  • Helmet-compatible hood with one-hand adjustment
  • Technical fit with Y-cut and articulated arms for good movement while climbing
  • Longer cuts in the back ensure extra protection
  • Designed for demanding alpine climbing but works perfectly for all-season mountaineering adventures, including trekking and ski touring.

Best Gore-Tex Jacket For Skiing And Snowboarding

Best Choice

Norrøna Lofoten Gore-tex Pro 2024

goretex ski jacket
  • Designed specifically for big mountain freeriding, but it’s versatile enough to handle general ski/snowboard activities
  • GORE-TEX® PRO fabric, Waterproofness (28,000mm), optimized breathability, windproof
  • 3-layer plain weave 70D GORE-TEX® PRO fabric
  • One-hand adjustable storm hood
  • Two-way underarm and front zippers
  • Napoleon chest pocket, an inside mesh pocket
  • Mesh-lined front ventilation, a keycard pocket on the overarm
  • Asymmetric cuffs with Velcro adjustment
  • Integrated hand-gaiters
Best Value

Burton Gore-tex Pillowline 2024

goretex ski jacket
  • Lightweight and breathable Gore-Tex jacket for skiing and snowboarding
  • 2-layer Gore-Tex Paclite Plus membrane
  • Waterproofing and breathability ratings above 25k.
  • With a thermo-regulating liner
  • Asymmetrical zipper
  • No-snag breathable pit
Premium

Arcteryx Sentinel Jacket

arcteryx ski jacket
  • With specific snowsports features for better protection and movement
  • Waterproof/breathable N70p 3L GORE-TEX with flannel backer
  • Taped seams
  • Large and Relaxed cuff for better glove fit
  • Easily adjustable hem drawcord
  • Helmet compatible
  • RECCO reflector aid
  • WaterTight™ zippers
  • Regular Fit

Best Gore-Tex Jacket For Running

Best Choice

R5 GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ INSULATED JACKET

gore-tex running jacket
  • GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ fabrics with GORE® WINDSTOPPER®
  • Windproof
  • Breathable
  • Durably water resistant
  • Highly reflective tapes and logo
  • Close-fitting hood
  • 2 side zip pockets
Best Value

R3 PARTIAL GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ JACKET

r3 women goretex running jacket
  • GORE® WINDSTOPPER® product technology
  • Windproof
  • Breathable
  • Durably water resistant
  • Stretch fabric panels
  • Stretchable inserts at the cuff hold sleeves
  • Reflective details
Premium

Arc’teryx Norvan LT Hoody Lightweight Gore-Tex Trail Run Shell

norvan lt trail run
  • Gore-tex 3L for complete weather protection
  • GORE C-KNIT™ technology
  • Breathable and lightweight
  • Articulated sleeves and gusseted underarms
  • Elasticized bottom hem for a secure fit
  • Adjustable hood with front brim for full weather protection
  • Single hip pocket, with an invisible zipper and low profile TPU pull

Best Gore-Tex Jacket For Cycling

best choice

GORE WEAR Race SHAKEDRY Jacket

gore wear race jacket
  • GORE-TEX Active SHAKEDRY Technology
  • Waterproof, windproof
  • Ultra-light cycling jacket
  • Ideal for all weather conditions
  • Slim fit for optimal performance
  • Special stretch technology
  • Minimal pack size
  • Extended back
  • Back zip pocket
Best Value

C5 GORE-TEX ACTIVE JACKET

gore wear c5 active
  • GORE-TEX Active Technology: Waterproof, windproof, and extremely breathable
  • Extended back as a splash guard
  • Versatile jacket for cyclists in cool weather conditions
  • Form fit/bike-specific cut
  • Back pocket with zip
  • Can be worn with a backpack
Premium

RAPHA BREVET Gore-Tex Rain Jacket

RAPHA cycling goretex jacket
  • Lightweight and Packable
  •  2L GORE-TEX Paclite Plus shell 
  • Designed for use in wet, rainy conditions
  • Ripstop structure
  • Reflective chest stripes, armband, and logos for visibility
  • Elasticated hem and cuffs
  •  Suited to longer rides

What is Gore-Tex?

Gore-Tex is a waterproof, breathable fabric membrane and a registered trademark of W. L. Gore & Associates. Invented in 1969, Gore-Tex has the unique ability to repel liquid water while allowing water vapor to pass through. It’s a patented type of waterproof fabric made with a variant of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) known as expanded PTFE (ePTFE)2.

The core of GORE-TEX’s cutting-edge technology involves an extremely thin membrane that’s durably waterproof, windproof, and breathable. This membrane has over nine billion pores per square inch3.

Types of Gore-Tex Jackets

Gore-Tex jackets come in several varieties, each designed to meet specific needs and conditions. According to the information I found, here are the primary types of Gore-Tex jackets:

Original Gore-Tex Products

  • Durably waterproof: Gore-Tex membranes are made of microscopic pores that are large enough to allow water vapor to escape from your body, but small enough to keep water droplets out. This makes Gore-Tex jackets extremely waterproof, even in heavy rain or snow.
  • Totally windproof: Gore-Tex membranes also block wind, keeping you warm and comfortable in cold weather.
  • Reliably breathable: Gore-Tex membranes allow moisture vapor to escape from your body, but they prevent water droplets from entering. This makes Gore-Tex jackets very breathable, even when you are working up a sweat.

Gore-Tex 2L and 3L

  • 2L: Gore-Tex 2L jackets have two layers of fabric, with the Gore-Tex membrane sandwiched in between. These jackets are lightweight and packable, but they may not be as durable as 3L jackets.
  • 3L: Gore-Tex 3L jackets have three layers of fabric, with the Gore-Tex membrane sandwiched between two layers of waterproof fabric. These jackets are more durable and waterproof than 2L jackets, but they are also heavier and less packable.

Gore-Tex Pro (3L)

Enhanced ruggedness: Gore-Tex Pro jackets are made with a more durable version of the Gore-Tex membrane. This makes them ideal for demanding activities such as mountaineering and skiing in extreme conditions.

Gore-Tex Active (3L)

Lightness and packability: Gore-Tex Active jackets are made with a lighter and more packable version of the Gore-Tex membrane. This makes them ideal for high-intensity activities such as running and cycling, where breathability is essential.

Gore-Tex Paclite (2.5L)

Lightweight, packable waterproof protection: Gore-Tex Paclite jackets are the lightest and most packable type of Gore-Tex jacket. They are made with a two-and-a-half-layer construction, with the Gore-Tex membrane bonded to the outer fabric and a lightweight backing.

Gore-Tex Infinium

Windproof protection: Gore-Tex Infinium jackets are not waterproof, but they do offer excellent windproof protection. This makes them ideal for layering in cold weather or for activities where breathability is more important than waterproofing, such as hiking in warm weather.

Each type of Gore-Tex jacket is engineered to offer different levels of protection, durability, and comfort, ensuring there’s a suitable option for every outdoor adventure.

How to Choose the Right Gore-Tex Jacket

Selecting the perfect Gore-Tex jacket is more than just picking a stylish design; it’s about ensuring you have the right protection for your adventures. Here’s a guide to help you make an informed choice:

Consider Your Activity Level

High-intensity activities: If you’re into activities like trail running, mountain biking, or alpine climbing, you’ll need a jacket that offers excellent breathability. Consider the Gore-Tex Active range, designed specifically for high-aerobic activities. These jackets are lightweight and ensure you don’t overheat.

Moderate activities: For activities like hiking, camping, or casual skiing, a standard Gore-Tex jacket will suffice. It offers a balance between breathability and protection.

Low-intensity or stationary activities: If you’re into activities like fishing, bird-watching, or photography, you might prioritize protection over breathability. The Gore-Tex Pro range offers extended durability and protection for prolonged exposure to harsh conditions.

Think About the Climate You’ll Be Wearing the Jacket In

Cold and Wet: For snowy or rainy conditions, look for jackets with an insulated layer or those that can accommodate layering underneath. Ensure the jacket has a reliable waterproof rating.

Warm and Wet: In tropical or summer rain conditions, breathability becomes crucial. Opt for lightweight Gore-Tex jackets that offer ventilation features, such as underarm zips.

Dry and Windy: In windy conditions, especially in desert or high-altitude areas, a windproof Gore-Tex jacket is essential. These jackets block the wind while allowing moisture from sweat to escape.

Choose the Right Fit

Snug Fit: Ideal for high-intensity activities where you don’t want excess material flapping around. Ensure it’s not too tight, restricting movement.

Regular Fit: This is a versatile fit suitable for most activities. It allows for layering underneath and offers a balance between comfort and function.

Loose Fit: Suitable for low-intensity activities or if you prefer a more relaxed style. It offers maximum room for layering but might not be as thermally efficient.

Conclusion

Not all jackets are created equal. Depending on your adventure, some are more suited than others. Here is a quick guide for you:

  • For High-Intensity Activities: The Gore-Tex Active Range is your best bet. Lightweight and highly breathable, these jackets are designed for those always on the move. Whether you’re trail running or alpine climbing, this range ensures you stay dry without overheating.
  • For Moderate Activities: Regular hikers, campers, and casual skiers will find the standard Gore-Tex Jacket range to be a perfect companion. Offering a balance between protection and breathability, these jackets are versatile for varied terrains and conditions.
  • For Low-Intensity or Stationary Activities: If you’re spending extended periods in harsh conditions, such as bird-watching in the rain or ice fishing, the Gore-Tex Pro Range offers the durability and protection you need. Built for prolonged exposure, these jackets are the ultimate shield against the elements.
  • For Urban Adventures: If you’re looking for a jacket that protects against sudden downpours during city explorations, the Gore-Tex Paclite Range is ideal. Stylish, lightweight, and packable, they’re perfect for those on-the-go moments in the city.

In wrapping up, the right Gore-Tex jacket can elevate your outdoor experience, ensuring you’re shielded from the elements while enjoying your chosen activity to the fullest. Choose wisely, and let your adventures begin!

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