The Best Gore-Tex Jackets to Buy in 2020


Outdoor Research Furio

Outdoor Research Furio

For outdoor activities such as hiking, backpacking and mountaineering, it is good to have high-quality rainwear which protects you against the elements (rain, wind, snow etc.) and at the same time provides good breathability, so you don’t soak in your own sweat. Today there are many so-called waterproof/breathable fabrics available, but Gore-Tex remains the most popular one due to its good reputation.

Here we selected the five best Gore-Tex rain jackets. We only listed high-quality rain jackets which besides from the qualities of Gore-Tex also offer good durability and functionality (freedom of movement, pockets, hood etc.). Note that not all Gore-Tex jackets use the same material as the Gore-Tex fabric is available in three different types: Gore-Tex, Gore-Tex Active and Gore-Tex Pro. In the following we’ll also explain the difference between these three types of Gore-Tex fabric. As Gore-Tex is a high-end fabric, Gore-Tex jackets are not inexpensive. Therefore, if you don’t have the budget for the jackets in this review, check out our review of the Best Hiking Rain Jackets which also includes budget products. To see how Gore-Tex compares to other waterproof/breathable fabrics in terms of breathability and water resistance, see the chart in our article Rainwear: Hydrostatic Head and Breathability (MVTR).

We regularly update our reviews and selections to always recommend you the best products on the market.

1. Buying a Gore-Tex Jacket – What is important?

Type of Gore-Tex Fabric:

Gore-Tex fabric is available in three different types – Gore-Tex, Gore-Tex Active and Gore-Tex Pro.

Gore-Tex:

The Gore-Tex fabric is the most versatile and can be used for almost everything, from around-the-town wear to hiking. It is less expensive than the Gore-Tex Pro but on the other hand it is also less breathable and heavier. Therefore, it is best for everyday use and low intensity outdoor activities. There is also a variant of this Gore-Tex fabric called Gore-Tex Paclite which utilizes only 2 layers. Gore-Tex Paclite is constructed to be lightweight, breathable and packs very small. It has similar characteristics as the Gore-Tex Active fabric below.

Gore-Tex Active:

The Gore-Tex Active fabric is very light and provides superb breathability. However, it doesn’t match the other two types of Gore-Tex fabric when it comes to protection against the elements. The Gore-Tex Active fabric is designed for highly aerobic activities such as running, cycling and cross-country skiing.

Gore-Tex Pro:

The Gore-Tex Pro fabric is the most advanced fabric from this iconic brand. It provides great breathability, durability and protection against the elements. However, jackets made of Gore-Tex Pro material tend to be very expensive. These jackets are primarily intended for alpinism, mountaineering and expeditions but can also be worn for other activities.

Hood:

Gore-Tex rain jackets typically have an adjustable hood for good fit. If you often do technical activities which require a climbing helmet, go for a jacket that has a helmet-compatible hood (in the table below you can see which jackets offer this feature). All jackets in this review are equipped with adjustable hoods.

Pockets:

Because a rain jacket is worn as an outer layer, it is a great benefit if it has pockets for storing accessories. The pockets should be waterproof to keep your gear dry.

Taped Seams:

High-end jackets have taped seams which ensure that water doesn’t leak through them. All jackets in this review of the best Gore-Tex rain jackets naturally have taped seams. To learn more about taped seams, read the Trespass article What are Taped Seams. 

Zippers:

High-end rain jackets use waterproof zippers (such as the YKK Aqua Guard zipper) which repel the water, so of course all jackets listed here have waterproof zippers.

Expert Selections
We only list top-tier products. Read how our selections of best hiking products differ from others here.
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2. The Best Gore-Tex Jackets Review

Best Gore-Tex Jackets

Best Gore-Tex Jackets

The Best Gore-Tex Jackets – List

  1. Arcteryx Beta SL Hybrid
  2. Outdoor Research Furio
  3. Arcteryx Norvan SL
  4. Outdoor Research Foray
  5. Marmot Knife Edge

Comparison

Feature/Product Arcteryx Beta SL Hybrid Outdoor Research Furio Arcteryx Norvan SL Outdoor Research ForayMarmot Knife Edge
Weight12.7 oz.19 oz.4 oz.16.3 oz.11.5 oz.
Weight (Metric)360 g539 g120 g463 g 326 g
MaterialGore-Tex PacliteGore-Tex PacliteGore-Tex ActiveGore-Tex PacliteGore-Tex Paclite
External Pockets24 /32
Helmet-Compatible HoodYesYesNoYesNo
Arcteryx Beta SL Hybrid

Arcteryx Beta SL Hybrid

1. Arcteryx Beta SL Hybrid

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Trekking
  • Mountaineering
  • Alpine Climbing
  • Backpacking

The Arcteryx Beta SL is currently one of the most popular Gore-Tex jackets on the market. Despite being very robust, it weighs only 13 ounces. Therefore, it is perfect for fast alpine ascents in challenging weather conditions. The Beta jacket has two zippered hand pockets which are climbing harness compatible and a helmet compatible StormHood with good adjustment options. It also features an adjustable hem and cuffs. The face fabric is made of 40-denier nylon and therefore the jacket is sturdy. The high-wear areas are additionally reinforced with Gore C-Knit backer technology. The Arcteryx Beta SL jacket is available in six different colors: Black, dark green, blue, red, yellow and purple.

Women's Version: Available - Arcteryx Women's Beta SL

Note: Women's version might slightly differ from the men's version.

 

Pros:

  • Durability
  • Breathability
  • Weather Protection
  • Quality

Cons:

  • /

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Outdoor Research Furio

Outdoor Research Furio

2. Outdoor Research Furio

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Trekking
  • Mountaineering
  • Alpine Climbing
  • Backpacking

The Outdoor Research Furio jacket is made of Gore-Tex Paclite fabric which is lightweight and very minimalistic. However, it is not the lightest jacket in this review because it has many pockets and uses a sturdy 70-denier face fabric. The Furio jacket has two zippered hand pockets and two zippered chest pockets. The hand pockets are positioned high, so they don’t interfere with wearing a climbing harness or the hip belt of your backpack. The jacket also has large pit zips for extra ventilation (pit-to-hem). It provides great freedom of movement and features an adjustable helmet-compatible hood, adjustable wrist cuffs and adjustable hem. The Outdoor Research Furio jacket is available in several different colors.

Women's Version: Available - Outdoor Research Enigma

Note: Women's version might slightly differ from the men's version.

 

Pros:

  • Durability
  • Breathability
  • Weather Protection
  • Pit zips

Cons:

  • Weight

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Do you have this product? Tell us what you think about it and help others decide what to buy!

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Arcteryx Norvan SL

Arcteryx Norvan SL

3. Arcteryx Norvan SL

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Trekking
  • Trail running
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Backpacking

The Arcteryx Norvan SL jacket is made of the Gore-Tex Active fabric and is super light – it weighs merely four ounces. Therefore, it is best for highly aerobic activities such as trail running, cross-country skiing and speed hiking. The Arcteryx Norvan SL jacket has a minimalistic, but adjustable, hood which can be rolled away and secured with a snap if not needed. It also utilizes the Gore-Tex ShakeDry technology which eliminates the need for a face fabric (typically rain jackets have a nylon face fabric) and therefore the jacket dries very fast. The Arcteryx Norvan SL jacket also features elasticized cuffs and hem for good fit.

Women's Version: Available - Arcteryx Women's Norvan SL

Note: Women's version might slightly differ from the men's version.

 

Pros:

  • Weight
  • Breathability
  • ShakeDry technology

Cons:

  • Durability
  • No pockets

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Outdoor Research Foray

Outdoor Research Foray

4. Outdoor Research Foray

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Trekking
  • Mountaineering
  • Backpacking
  • Cross-country skiing

The Outdoor Research Foray jacket is made of Gore-Tex Paclite fabric like the Outdoor Research Furio jacket mentioned above. However, the Foray jacket is less expensive as it’s primarily designed for hikers and mountaineers rather than alpinism. Nevertheless, the jacket does have a helmet-compatible hood and is also slightly lighter than the Furio jacket. The jacket has three zippered pockets, elasticized hem and adjustable wrist cuffs. The left-hand pocket doubles as a stuff sack for the jacket. The Outdoor Research Foray jacket is available in several different colors.

Women's Version: Available - Outdoor Research Aspire

Note: Women's version might slightly differ from the men's version.

 

Pros:

  • Breathability
  • Pockets
  • Quality
  • Price

Cons:

  • Weight (for Gore-Tex Paclite)

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Marmot Knife Edge Jacket

Marmot Knife Edge Jacket

5. Marmot Knife Edge

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Trekking
  • Backpacking
  • Mountaineering

The Marmot Knife Edge jacket is a very lightweight rain jacket which is made of Gore-Tex Paclite fabric. The jacket is perfect for hiking, mountaineering and similar outdoor adventures. Nevertheless, due to its appealing look, it can also be worn for everyday use.  The jacket has three zippered pockets, adjustable wrist cuffs and a drawcord hem. The two large pit zips for extra ventilation allow you to easily regulate your body temperature. The hood is adjustable but not helmet-compatible. The jacket is available in six different colors and is one of the least expensive jackets in this review.

Women's Version: Available - Marmot Women's Knife Edge

Note: Women's version might slightly differ from the men's version.

 

Pros:

  • Durability
  • Price
  • Pit zips

Cons:

  • /

Share your opinion and help others!

Do you have this product? Tell us what you think about it and help others decide what to buy!

 

3. Questions and Answers

Are Gore-Tex jackets warm?

Gore-Tex jackets do not provide insulation/warmth. A Gore-Tex jacket is a shell garment which in simple terms means that it provides protection against wind, rain and snow. It is typically worn over the insulation layer (mid-layer) which is the layer providing warmth.

Are Gore-Tex jackets waterproof?

No so-called waterproof/breathable fabric is completely waterproof because there is always a tradeoff between waterproofness and breathability. Garments need to be breathable because otherwise you would soak in your own sweat due to your perspiration getting trapped.

Can you re-waterproof Gore-Tex?

Yes, you can apply DWR (Durable Water Repellant) to Gore-Tex garments. DWR ensures that the fabric repels the water rather than absorbs it.

Can you wash Gore-Tex jacket?

Most Gore-Tex jackets are machine washable. After washing, you should apply DWR because it will get washed off.

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Post Author

Post Author

Blaz

Outdoor enthusiast with experience in all types of hiking and mountaineering. Hiked in the Alps, Iceland and other countries. In love with via ferrata trails and snow-covered slopes. Check out my hikes.

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