When it comes to selecting outerwear that is designed to keep you dry and warm, you want to go with something that’s reliable yet still stylish. You may have heard about two waterproofing fabrics that are touted as the best when it comes to outerwear, but you may not know the differences between the two. That’s why this article is going to discuss the details of the Hyvent vs Gore Tex conflict that many aspiring outdoorsmen face.
The Hyvent is a fabric that was designed with a polyurethane coating. It is also known as DryVent. The fabric comprises of a tri-component and multi-layer formula that has been lab tested to ensure that it delivers waterproof functionality, breathability, and long-lasting durability.
The HyVent technology was designed to offer excellent waterproofing, durability, and breathability for different uses. From daily tasks to outdoor adventures, the HyVent tech ensures premium quality as well as maximum performance. It is ideal for hikers traveling in the rain, and during winter. The HyVent can be found in various forms, such as:
- HyVent Alpha – This design was created specifically for the Summit Series. It has a unique laminate construction which gives it exceptional waterproofing qualities. It’s built with a microporous, hydrophobic lamination technology, which was designed to maintain performance in the harshest of weather conditions.
- HyVent 2L – The HyVent 2L has a two-layer construction, and it uses it to maintain breathability as well as waterproof protection. This feature makes it ideal for high adrenaline adventures and expeditions. It also has a sturdy woven outer layer which resists liquid while protecting the wearer against abrasion.
- HyVent 3L – This design has a 3-layer construction which provides breathability, superior moisture management, and durability. It is quite similar to the 2L design, but it is differentiated by the polyurethane coating in the mid layer instead of the inner layer.
- HyVent DT – The HyVent waterproof technology is similar to the HyVent 3L as well, but the former’s third layer was reduced in terms of thickness. This results in a lightweight protection that’s ideal for all outdoor adventures which require maximum protection without having to consume a lot of space.
- HyVent DT EC – The HyVent DT EC is more environmentally friendly, and it is constructed with natural castor oils instead of petroleum derived materials.
Gore-Tex, on the other hand, is a breathable, waterproof fabric membrane that can repel water and also allows water vapor to go through the fabric. Gore-Tex is made with stretched polytetrafluoroethylene, which is actually a trademark of Teflon. Gore-Tex fabric is commonly known for its role in the production of protective and breathable, rain gear. For more information on why you need to use Gore-Tex, see our article on this topic.
Like HyVent, this technology also comes in variants. Some include:
- Gore-Tex PRO – Abrasion-resistant face fabrics were used in making the Pro products, and the manufacturer only permits the use of higher face fabrics or 40-denier on jackets. Pro fabrics are very breathable and weigh a lot less than they should. The Gore-Tex Pro jackets often come with the features hikers expect from a four-season mountain shell, which includes large pockets, helmet-compatible hood, with lots of toggles for adjustments.
- Gore-Tex ACTIVE – The Gore-Tex Active product shifts emphasis firmly towards offering minimum weight and maximum breathability, without reducing its waterproofing quality. These garments have 3-layer laminates which create a single thickness, lightweight shell. The Active is built with intense activities in mind, like ascents, challenging multi-pitch climbs, and extreme snow sports. The Gore-Tex ACTIVE offers protection during intense pursuits. However, it may not be ideal in extreme conditions for an extended time because of the high wear and tear possibility.
- Gore-Tex – Despite being the most basic, this design is found in a variety of constructions, and they are the 2-Layer, 3-Layer as well as the Z-Liner. It was previously called the ‘Gore-Tex performance Shell.’ The 2-Layer construction has a membrane bonded to the face fabric as well as a distinct inner lining suspended inside the garment for both protection and comfort. The 3-layer construction has a membrane bonded to the lining inside and a face fabric outside, in a laminate construction. This feature restricts movement between the layers and increases durability. Lastly, the Z-liner has a suspended membrane on a lightweight fabric. It is commonly used in fashion apparels such as mountain jackets and classic walking jackets. However, it lacks the extreme breathability and weight-saving features in the Gore-Tex Active line.
- Gore-Tex Pro Shell – This membrane is windproof, waterproof, and breathable and it is typically used in socks, shoes, and gloves. It has a three-layer construction, as well as a taffeta lining, which offers abrasion resistance and comfort. The variant offers more breathability than some other types. This makes it ideal for waterproofing the wearer’s feet since it can be extremely uncomfortable and smelly if sweat cannot escape.
Comparison of Hyvent and Gore-Tex
The table below will highlight the main features of both technologies.
|Waterproof rating||More than 28,000mm||More than 15,000mm|
|Membrane||PTFE membrane||PU coating|
|Weight||Depends on fabric||Depends on fabric|
Gore-Tex has a PTFE membrane while Hyvent is made with PU films. Which of these is a better option based on its coating or membrane?
Advantages of PTFE
- PTFE membrane and fabrics around it are better equipped for long-term rugged use, so it will be some time before your garments will need replacing.
- It has better breathability when compared to other coatings or laminates, so you won’t feel wet on the inside of your jacket.
However, PTFE is not as flexible as PU films, so garments with this kind of coating tend to be a bit stiffer and more difficult to move in.
Advantages of PU films
- Typically results in smaller, lighter-packing garments that are easier to fold.
- It is flexible. The intrinsic stretchiness of the PU films might make them more equipped to take on hard impacts like a fall on ice or rock.
- It costs less.
PU films, on the other hand, aren’t as breathable and have a lower tear strength, so not only will you feel a bit sweaty under your garments, but they’re not going to last as long as those equipped with PTFE films.
What it really comes down to is how often you’re willing to replace your waterproof clothing; Gore-Tex is a bit more expensive but is designed to last longer, while Hyvent is affordable, but you might have to replace it sooner than you think.
Features to Consider
Outside of these two products specifically, there are specific features you want to look for when it comes to finding waterproof garments to ensure that you’re getting exactly what you pay for.
All outerwear made for winter sports or hiking has different degrees of water resistance when in use. However, it will eventually start to leak with time and water pressure. Understanding the waterproof ratings will give some clarity about outwears. The table below contains the waterproof ratings in millimeters, the resistance it offers and the conditions it can withstand.
|0 to 5,000 mm||Little or no resistance to moisture.||Dry snow, light rain, no pressure.|
|6,000 to 10,000 mm||Waterproof and rainproof under light pressure.||Average snow, light rain, light pressure.|
|11,000 to15,000 mm||Waterproof and rainproof except under very high pressure.||Average snow, moderate rain, light pressure.|
|16,000 to 20,000 mm||Waterproof and rainproof under high pressure.||Wet snow, heavy rain, some pressure.|
|20,000 mm and above||Waterproof and rainproof under very high pressure.||Wet snow, heavy rain, high pressure.|
It is recommended that you get a 5,000 mm minimum waterproof rating for snowboarding and skiing, as anything less than this will leave you cold and wet during a storm. For riders who stay out for longer periods of skiing trips, they should consider 5,000 mm to 10,000 mm in all weather conditions.
Ardent snow sports enthusiasts in wetter climates should opt for waterproof ratings between the 10,000 mm and 20,000 mm range. It will protect them during their long adventures in the backcountry.
It is tempting to point out what level of breathability you need because it depends on the particular activity. If you will be hiking for short periods and you’ll take breaks often, a 5,000 – 8,000-gram breathability rating will be fine. However, if you plan to engage in “high energy” riding, look for the 10,000 -15,000-gram range breathability.
For hardcore people who usually hike for longer periods should look for garments that have its breathability rating in the 20,000 range. Breathability is influenced by activity levels, the environment, cleanliness of the fabric along with its DWR.
Remember that ratings are merely a guide and shouldn’t be the only factor in selecting which fabric to buy. To maintain breathability, the wearer must clean and reproof the garment regularly.
Coating or membrane
Waterproof and breathable fabrics that have PTFE membranes such as Gore-Tex offer the best blend of waterproof breathability. Since technology permits manufacturers to create thinner layers, high-performance Polyester and Polyurethane membranes have begun to dominate the market. See our article on how to use Gore Tex spray for more information.
Membranes come in several different price ranges and types, but you’ll probably want the 2-layer or the 3-layer fabric which has a laminated membrane. Three layer fabrics have three layers, and the lining is bonded together, but two-layer fabrics have a distinct fabric lining, and this makes the garment bulkier.
The 2.5 layer fabrics, on the other hand, have a raised pattern separated on the interior to keep it away from the wearer’s skin. They are typically used to make super light rain garments.
Taped or Sealed seams
A lot of waterproof outwears have this feature, and they wouldn’t be waterproof if they didn’t have it. More expensive outwears feature double or even triple sealed seams to ensure that it withstands all weather condition.
For jackets, the hood is an important asset. It should be easily adjustable to ensure that it fits and is comfortable for the wearer. The hood shouldn’t obstruct the wearer’s vision and must offer complete visibility with freedom of movement. There are bulkier hoods available, and they may be a bad choice on windy days.
Adjustment Cords and Ventilation Zips
Ventilation zips can come in quite handy during a hiking or trekking trip in warmer climates. They improve the jacket’s functionality beyond waterproofing to provide the wearer with comfort and ventilation. The adjustment cords ensure that the jacket is snug to allow you move around freely.
Internal pockets are quite useful for valuable or more fragile items. But, if you fill up your pockets, you’ll probably be hindered by them, so opt for tinier, more important items.
Realistically, there aren’t any really good or really bad fabrics. If you buy from top outdoor shops, you’ll probably get an outwear that’ll keep you dry during your adventure. However, this article shows that there are some principal things to look out for such as breathability, durability, and long-term waterproofness.
This Hyvent vs. Gore-Tex comparison has outlined the principal features of both fabrics. Both are durable, but the Gore-Tex has some superior features. The difference between coating and membrane was also highlighted with the latter having the upper hand with just one disadvantage.
This doesn’t make the Hyvent a lesser option; it solely depends on the particular activity you plan to use it for. Consider the waterproof ratings, breathability along with the activity you have planned out and then make an informed decision.
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