Pertex® vs Gore-Tex® Technology: Which One Is Better?

Pertex vs Gore-Tex Technology: Which One Is Better?Pin

In these past few weeks, we have taken an interest in waterproof fabric technologies and because of that, we have looked at several of the top-quality options that are available today.

Gore-Tex®, being the staple of waterproof and breathable fabric technologies, has been the reference point in our comparisons of different fabrics and how they perform.

We have also seen different fabric technologies that are great alternatives to Gore-Tex, some of them being also a lot more affordable and today it’s time to look at one of those alternatives: Pertex®.

As per usual, we will first get started with the newcomer, in this case Pertex®, and then move on to Gore-Tex® and see how the two compare, while ultimately deciding which one is better.


1. Pertex® Technology

It was in 1979 that the concept of capillary action in fabrics was first observed by Hamish Hamilton, who later went on to found the Pertex® brand along with Perseverance Mills Ltd..

In the beginning, the main focus was on creating a very breathable fabric, which would be able to allow moisture vapor to escape through the aforementioned capillary action. What this refers to, is the movement of water droplets through the fiber filaments of the fabric.

The way this is achieved is by the use of two yarns of nylon, one thicker and the other thinner. The thicker filaments are placed on the inside, while the thinner ones are placed on the outside. In this way, helped by the body heat, moisture moves from the thicker inner filaments to the thinner ones on the outside, which then quickly evaporates, leaving the fabric dry.

Pertex was first used in down clothing and sleeping bags, due to its high breathability which helped prevent overheating and excessive sweating.

What we will be focusing on is Pertex® Shield, a more modern version of the original fabric, which is designed to be water and windproof, while not compromising breathability.

We mention that last part as breathability is incredibly important when it comes to jackets, and waterproof ones usually lack in that regard considerably.

Similar to what we have seen with DryVent by The North Face, Pertex Shield comes in three laminate variants: 2, 2.5, and 3-layer constructions.

These variants serve different purposes and differ in their weight and waterproof rating, but all three are indeed water and windproof, with the 3-layer one being considered as more “heavy duty” since it is quite durable and weatherproof.

The use of thin PU layers is also incorporated in Pertex Shield laminates that are used with jackets, which help boost the fabric’s performance.

A great feature of Pertex fabrics, in general, is that they are extremely packable. This is noticeable in some of the jackets that use this fabric, which is always a huge plus as it is very practical to have a jacket that you can easily pack into a small size and take it anywhere with you.

You might also like: Helly Tech vs Gore-Tex Technology: Which is Better?

2. Gore-Tex® Technology

Gore-Tex®, as we have seen before on previous comparisons with OutDry and DryVent, is a fabric technology that comes in different variations, which fulfill different requirements.

Gore-Tex LogoPin
Image: Gore-Tex Logo

The brand itself was established in the 70s, just like Pertex, and they went on to patent ePTFE (expanded polytetrafluoroethylene), a versatile material that is extremely durable and resistant to water.

The main feature of this material is the presence of billions of micro pores, which help wick moisture away, make the fabric itself very breathable, and they also prevent water from getting through and into the fabric, leaving the fabric dry.

What is GORE-TEX Product Technology

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As a fabric technology, it is a combination of three elements, its versatility, it being a membrane because of the numerous pores that are estimated at around 9 billion per square inch, and lastly, a laminate due to its construction. This construction consists of an ePTFE layer that is bonded between two fabric layers.

Gore-Tex Threefold Nature IllustrationPin

Performance-wise, Gore-Tex is fully waterproof and also water-repellent, due to the use of DWR coatings on the outside, just like Pertex, as we will see below.

It is windproof and, of course, highly breathable as we mentioned above due to its numerous pores.

Read also: Patagonia H2No vs Gore-Tex Technology: Which is Better?

3. Comparison: Pertex® Shield vs Gore-Tex®

Waterproof Rating and Performance

When determining a fabric’s ability to resist water, the water column rating is used. For fully waterproof fabrics, a rating of at least 10000mm is required, and, of course, the higher the rating, the more water-resistant the fabric.

In the case of Pertex Shield+ the water column is 20.000mm, which categorizes this fabric as fully waterproof. Due to the use of a DWR finish on the fabric, it is also water-repellent.

Gore-Tex, on the other hand, starts at 28.000mm and goes way beyond that. The fabric is also coated with a DWR finish that further helps with not only resisting water but also repelling it.

While both fabrics are water-repellent and waterproof, over long-term wear and through consistent washing, Gore-Tex is a lot more capable to withstand heavy rain and snowfall.

GORE-TEX Products Test #1: Waterproofness

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When looking at a waterproof fabric that claims to be high-performance, breathability is a very important factor that needs to be taken into consideration, as it is often what makes or breaks the performance of jackets.

As a point of reference, any jacket that you intend to wear on sports where you will for sure sweat, must have a breathability rating of at least 15.000 g/m2/24h.

Pertex Shield+ has a breathability rating of 20.000 g/m2/24h, whereas Gore-Tex ranges from 17.000 to 25.000 g/m2/24h.

people with snow jacketsPin

As you can see, they are both considered highly breathable fabrics, so which one is better in this regard? Depending on what variant of Gore-Tex you are looking at, the answer to this depends. However, overall, Gore-Tex is regarded as one of the best breathable fabrics.

Wear and Durability

In terms of which of these fabrics would wear better on a jacket, without lingering too much on the jacket’s particular design, then Pertex most definitely. It is extremely lightweight and easy to move around in, which can be attributed to its nylon and sometimes PU use, which are flexible and light materials.

Gore-Tex, due to the ePTFE, is a little stiff, which makes for less comfortable wear as compared to Pertex Shield.

As for durability, then hands down Gore-Tex. ePTFE is renowned for its durability and fares much better than most materials through wear and tear and other environmental conditions.

Pertex Shield vs Gore-Tex Performance Levels Table IllustrationPin

Which One Is Better?

Depending on what you expect from a jacket, the answer to this question can be found in the comparison of these two fabrics.

If it’s weather-resistance and long-term durability you are looking for, then Gore-Tex is the better option. On the other hand, Pertex Shield is lighter, packable, and highly breathable, while also being able to resist weather conditions quite well.

A factor that might help you determine is the price difference, which is considerable, with Pertex Shield being the cheaper of the two.

Also, depending on how often you will be using the jacket, opt for Gore-Tex if you need a high-performance option that you will be wearing extensively, especially in bad weather, or go with Pertex Shield if you need a practical and well-rounded jacket that will be used in milder conditions.

As a side note, recently we’ve seen an interesting trend when it comes to outdoor clothing and jackets: many enthusiasts choose to use personalized patches on their outdoor gear. If you want to take a look, you can check out Patches Co. for custom patches to embellish your outfits. It’s also a smart solution if your clothes get damaged outdoors.

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Read next:
Gore-Tex vs Dermizax Fabric Technology: Which is Better?
Gore-Tex vs Jack Wolfskin Texapore: Which is Better?


  1. I own a couple of Gore Tex jackets, from a paclite to Pro jackets, including a Arcteryx Theta AR. I also have a Montane Ultra Tour Jacket, which is Pertex Shield. The Montane is by far my favorite jacket. The Montane feels very light, supple and soft, where the Theta AR feels somewhat heavy (although only 60g heavier) but most importantly: very stiff. I must say however, the Theta feels indestructible. My paclite jacket feels supple and light too, comparable to the Montane. The Paclite feels quite vulnerable, though, since it is only 2,5 layer. And it feels clammy to the bare skin (although not to bad). The Montane is price wise less than half the price of the Theta, and even cheaper than my paclite jacket. I wore a C-knit Gore Tex jacket a few times. I found that to be comparable in comfort to the Montane. Supple, nice feel to the skin. But again: way more expensive. For me the clear winner is Pertex Shield, both for its comfort and price.

  2. I like goretex for the hardest downpours or the hardest use scenario is, but for everything else I like petted shield+, so I guess I agree with your review and takeaway. I definitely wear my perfect pieces more often, but it’s nice to have goretex when the occasion calls for it

  3. Any comments on which material is recommended for a sleeping bag? I’m trying to decide between a -10° (or -25°) Western Mountaineering bag with the Gortex Wind-stopper and a -10° (or -25°) Feathered Friends with the Pertex Shield bag. I’m climbing the seven summits – Everest this spring – and otherwise generally do tent backpacking/camping, though I’d like to do a big wall. I already have a -40° Feathered Friends bag with the Pertex.

  4. Depends if you prefer your sleeping bag to be heavier or lighter, and how small you want it to pack… Pertex outer shells are now common on medium to higher end down sleeping bags and it helps to greatly reduce both the weight and pack size of down sleeping bags. For instance, my high end Marmot Phase 30, with it’s Pertex outer shell, has a comfort rating of -1’C, yet it weighs just 504g and packs down into a tiny Trekmates 6 Litre ultralight compression sack, along with my thermal underwear, thermal hat and gloves, thick night socks, and my Klymit Pillow X inflatable pillow!

    • I’ve had multiple GoreTex Jackets, most recently the Haglöfs Roc Spirit, and I’ve been more than disappointed with how long they stayed really waterproof. Moved on to the Salomon Outpeak 3L Pertex now.. lets see how it compares over this winter.

  5. I’ve been so impressed with Pertex I don’t think I’d ever go back to goretex. I’ve read all the science, and maybe it’s just me, but I’ve never had a pertex jacket wet out (crossing my fingers). I’ve had it happen more than a few times with goretex. I know you have to keep up with the DWR and I think I’ve done a fine job with both, still with similar use I’ve never had a pertex wet out and I find it so much more breathable in hot weather. If you don’t have a pertex jacket, it’s worth a dry… make that try.

    • yet to try pertex – in jackets the goretex in rain has often proved amazingly disappointing. i’m not sure what makes a difference. i had a Moonstone goretex jacket that was impressive for over 20 yrs, yet on a casual walk w no backpack in pouring rain in redwoods the alpha sv was very wet on the inside

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