Gore-Tex is Meaningless

I think it’s common knowledge now — or SHOULD BE — that Pyrex hasn’t been Pyrex in a long time. The old promise of Pyrex — that you could take it from the stovetop to the freezer without fear of thermal shock — was abandoned when Corning sold the brand in 1998. One must go elsewhere for actual borosilicate glass (which is what made the Pyrex of old Pyrex).

BUT! Here comes a new let-down. Outdoorsy folks the world over trust something called GoreTex, but the truth of the matter is this: Gore-Tex isn’t Gore-Tex anymore, either, because the OG version of Gore-Tex had Teflon in it, and Teflon isn’t something you really want to be selling in the 21st century.

Instead, the “Gore-Tex” you buy today is probably exactly the same breathable, waterproof membrane that Gore’s competitors were using before Gore’s patent ran out 25 years ago. Gore-Tex only maintains its market position because, candidly, Gore is super vindictive and protective of their now-meaningless brand, and punishes outerwear makers who stray too far from the light.

Canadian motorcycle retailer Fortnine covers this (as relates to moto jackets but it cross-applies to any other kind of jacket) in this video, which is pretty fascinating and worth your time. (10 minutes, but it works fine at 1.5x.)

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