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Old 06-05-2012, 09:08 PM
the cow the cow is offline
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Default Goretex vs sympatex



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I've been using my Gore-tex parka for a number of years now and it has recently fallen on ill-fortunes in that the tape waterproofing the seams is coming apart. Getting the seams repaired will cost about as much as I bought the jacket for so there is little incentive to repair the thing and let it continue its sad decline. While I managed to obtain some of the tape used for it, it might become a weekend thing.

I've been looking into waterproof/windproof/breathable jackets and noticed more kinds of brands on the market (I've lived under a rock for this part) and I've come across jackets made of Sympatex that has all the same features as my Gore jacket for a fraction of the price. While I'm not one to skimp on quality when it comes to cost but if the two have the same/similar performance of each other, obviously the cheaper one is the way to go since I have little loyalty to any particular brand.

My question is what is the performance of sympatex for those who have used it? Is the durability/quality on par with your typical Gore product?

Edit: If you want to know what my usual use for the Gore-tex parka it is part of my cold weather gear (like the ECWCS), but I also use it as a rain jacket for..well the rainy days.
Old 06-05-2012, 11:21 PM
leaftye leaftye is offline
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There are a few different types of Goretex. I believe they're in the process of rolling out a new variation of Goretex that will make the original stuff in old jackets feel like a plastic bag. There's a good article about it on Backpackinglight if you care about the technical details. I think it was about one of the Outdoor Retailer shows.

All that aside, I'd look at other things before the actual membrane. The most important thing to me for my next jacket is an outer shell that doesn't wet out. I hate it when the outer fabric absorbs so much water that it takes hours to dry. Sure, it keeps me dry inside, but the inside then gets wet when I put the jacket down unless I hang it with the utmost care.

I wouldn't use a membrane jacket for cold weather. It doesn't breathe nearly well enough. I'd rather use a wind shirt when it's not raining. If I was in extreme cold, I'd use a cotton canvas outer shell.
Old 06-05-2012, 11:35 PM
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I heard about the lighter gore-tex thing. I'm curious if the new stuff will have the durability of the old stuff.


I tend to flipflop between a membrane and my softshell jackets rather indiscriminately for normal everyday use. For active use I only use softshell now after I sweated out the inside of the goretex after a little too much activity.
Old 06-06-2012, 03:58 AM
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Government tried to replace our Gore-tex rainsuits with the cheaper sympatex issues in the military.
Guess what?
It took half a year and we were back to Gore-tex.
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Old 06-06-2012, 04:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weasel View Post
Government tried to replace our Gore-tex rainsuits with the cheaper sympatex issues in the military.
Guess what?
It took half a year and we were back to Gore-tex.
This probably says it all.
Old 06-06-2012, 04:41 AM
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I have some boots that are lined with Sympatex. They're perfectly waterproof. But that's the extent of my experience with it. Can't really say anything bad about Gortex, other than it's expensive.
Old 06-06-2012, 12:38 PM
the cow the cow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weasel View Post
Government tried to replace our Gore-tex rainsuits with the cheaper sympatex issues in the military.
Guess what?
It took half a year and we were back to Gore-tex.
Did they say why they went back to Gore? Part of me wants to believe they played a little bit of the American v foreign company game or "why fix what ain't broke?"
Old 06-07-2012, 02:08 PM
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Simple to explain.
In that moment they started to spread Sympatex all Goretex rainsuits were 'lost'. We didn't want to have an rainsuit which does not keep you dry.
I know soldiers who refused to get issued a Sympatex rain suit. They prefered the good ole' poncho with the towel on the shoulders instead. There was a hell of complain with Sympatex. Nobody wanted that cheap crap.

I still have my lovely Goretex, issued in '96. Still in perfect working condition.
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:17 PM
the cow the cow is offline
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I guess that makes sense to move away from them if they were that inferior.
Ironically, Olive drab said they were better in rain than Goretex. They were also provided little cold weather protection compared to Goretex

http://olive-drab.com/od_soldiers_clothing_irs.php
Old 06-08-2012, 04:57 PM
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The cold weather protection has nothing to do with the membrane though. My goretex parka didn't come with the liner, so the IRS sympatex parka with a liner would work much better in the cold. Not apples to apples though.
Old 06-10-2012, 04:44 AM
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goretex is the best i have te british army goretex jachet and its the best i have used i have also a trial version soldier 95 and thats been very good also
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