Really, I’m asking not just about Gore-Tex but any and all of the “waterproof, breathable” (W,B) fabrics on the market. Are any of these actually breathable?
I’ve been wearing W,B jackets, shoes, etc. for years and I sweat in every single one of them. I buy the whole concept–tiny holes that are too small for water droplets to pass through, but large enough for gas to escape–but in practice I find W,B garments are just as stuffy as regular waterproof ones. What’s your experience?
That’s pretty much been my experience as well. Unless I’m in ideal temperature and physical exertion conditions, I end up sweating a ton. If it’s like 60 degrees, raining, and the trail isn’t too steep, it works as advertised.
I’ve had better results with Endura’s stuff, in particular their MTR shell has been impressive. They call the material ExoShell, which is a three layer construction.
I have use gore-tex for many many years for hunting and it works great. With that said, when talking about mountain biking it is still good, but being as you are usually doing more work than that of walking while hunting you will still sweat. Now it wont be as much as it is with non breathable stuff, but the question will be are you willing to pay the price for some improvement.
the only thing I can add is yes BUT pit zips are key. Additionally, while Gore-Tex is proprietary they are advancing their tech (which is expensive) and it may be that the higher end ($$$s) for example Arcteryx are tapping that technology. One other thing I have found is the wrong layer below has rendered my fancy pants shell useless! Also a question for you is back or no back pack? I think loosing that surface area would hamper a lot of gear as well.
Finally for what its worth, these manufacturers should be tripping over themselves to have you test their gear!!!