eVent® or Gore-Tex®? Which membrane is better?
Gore-Tex® is the first choice in the world of technical materials. As a waterproof material, it also excels in its breathability, which is a combination that is not easy to achieve. Due to this, it became the holy grail of all those who were looking for a proper jacket for sports activities, in the mountains, and for unstable weather.
There is no doubt that Gore-Tex® excels in all these areas and will always be a good choice. However, the world of breathable and at the same time waterproof materials do not end here.
In the world of materials, there are several interesting alternatives that offer not only comparable properties but in some cases are even preferred. One of such materials is the eVent® material, which we use on our "créme de la créme" jackets Karakorum, Reykjavik, Annapurna, and Silvretta - the top jackets from our portfolio.
What is the difference between the two materials? Is Gore-Tex® the king in this category of materials for the right reasons? Or is the eVent® alternative able to cope? With the promise of maximum objectivity, we will try to solve this question in the following lines.
By analyzing the three key properties that such material should meet - waterproofness, breathability, and durability.
What is eVent®?
eVent is a waterproof and windproof membrane composed of millions of micropores. These pores are able to wick sweat and moisture effectively outwards, but they also act as protection against the penetration of raindrops.
Unlike similar materials, eVent repels sweat and moisture immediately, without the need to accumulate a certain amount of body heat, which is one of its biggest benefits. This technology is called Direct Venting ™.
Conventional PU membranes, on the other hand, retain sweat and moisture directly in the material, which thus remains moist. Subsequently, this moisture is expelled by body heat towards the surface of the material, where it evaporates. It's a functional technology, but not as effective, especially for athletes.
Waterproofness - eVent wins, but it also depends on the details
In order for a material to be marked as waterproof, its water column should be higher than 10000mm. However, eVent and Gore-Tex avoided this number with a huge gap. While the water column of eVent jacks starts at 30000mm, in the case of Gore-Tex it is from 28000mm. However, this difference, in reality, is not noticeable at all and both materials are at the forefront of their field in this category.
In addition, this number does not have to mean anything if the jacket is poorly processed. This is because any waterproof material is useless if the jacket does not have waterproof zippers, taped seams and similar details that will also protect those parts of the jacket that could be prone to getting wet.
However, both materials are used in hi-tech jackets, where these details are properly taken care of and waterproofing should therefore not be a problem in any circumstances in either case.
Breathability - Benefit called Direct Venting ™
As we have already mentioned, creating the material that is waterproof and breathable at the same time has always been a great challenge in the world of materials, but in the case of eVent and Gore-Tex (but also other alternatives), it has succeeded.
In terms of breathability, both materials are absolutely exceptional within their field, in mutual numerical comparison they are practically at the same level, with a value of 15,000 - 25,000 g / m2 / 24 h.
In this case, however, it is important to mention the already mentioned Direct Venting™ technology, which makes eVent the winner not only in this comparison but also in comparison with other materials. And that's why eVent is often considered the best choice.
Durability - Gore-Tex is a legend
In terms of durability, it is difficult to determine the winner - in both cases, these are extremely durable materials that have proven themselves in the long run, and with good care, they will normally last for years, perhaps even decades.
Especially in this respect, however, it must be said that Gore-Tex is literally legendary for its durability, and a jacket (or other products) with this membrane is a guarantee that it will not be disturbed by anything.
So which membrane is better?
Difficult choice - Gore-Tex is a membrane that people know and trust. In addition, materials with this membrane are extremely durable and will certainly not disappoint you in terms of waterproofness and breathability. If you care more about the well-known brand and are willing to pay extra for it, we are convinced that with this choice you will get an excellent jacket for all conditions, which will serve you for many years.
The eVent membrane does not have such a status in the outdoor world, but it is commonly considered one of the best alternatives to the Gore-Tex, as it excels over it, especially in terms of breathability. In terms of other properties, both are on the same level. In addition, it is also a bit cheaper, so jackets made of this material are more accessible. So if you're looking for a jacket that will keep you dry in all circumstances, eVent will be a better choice.
What is eVent®?