Gore-Tex PACLITE® Technology: Review and Performance

Gore-Tex PACLITE® Technology: Review and Performance

A few weeks ago we took a look at the C-Knit™ Technology by Gore-Tex, a fabric developed for hikers, freeriders, trekkers and skiers.

Prior to that we reviewed the ShakeDry Technology, and today it is time to review another Gore-Tex product, the Gore-Tex Paclite® Technology.

We mention this every time fabric technologies make it into our reviews and we will say it once more here. Fabric technologies, unlike regular fabrics like polyester or nylon, are in fact laminates that consist of layers.

They are developed to provide specific features to a garment, be it weather resistance, wind resistance or breathability.

No two fabric technologies are alike and we have seen that when we have compared Gore-Tex to many other technologies, such as DryVent, Texapore, Helly Tech and several others.

Some of them target a specific feature, whereas others, such as Gore-Tex, provide all three features to a jacket, meaning waterproof, windproof and breathable qualities.

We picked Paclite for a variety of reasons that we will explore in today’s piece.

Contents:

1. Gore-Tex®: The Technology

We find that a good way to better understand a specific fabric technology is to first learn a bit about the main technology from which the one we have chosen was based on.

Gore-Tex, as a fabric, is a laminate that consists of several layers, which affect the final performance of the fabric.

Typically, a Gore-Tex laminate consists of a bi-component structure, made of nylon, polyester, PU and most importantly, the ePTFE membrane.

The ePTFE membrane is what actually sets Gore-Tex apart from other technologies. This membrane was patented by the brand itself and consists of a porous surface that is made up of millions of micro pores.

Being so small and so many in number, the micro pores allow moisture vapor from perspiration to escape through them when wearing the jacket, for example, while at the same time they prevent water droplets from passing through.

Coupled with the DWR coating and the fabrics that make up the laminate, Gore-Tex is a waterproof fabric and breathable fabric.

There is not just a single type of Gore-Tex fabric because, depending on the layers of lamination, there can either be 3, 2.5 or 2 layer fabrics.

One of their 2-layer constructions is what we will be looking at today, also known as Gore-Tex Paclite.

2. Gore-Tex Paclite® Technology

Unlike the other 2-layer constructions by Gore-Tex, the Paclite technology was made with hikers, cyclists and runners in mind, primarily.

However, this is a very versatile fabric that works great for a variety of other activities as well, such as running errands or for casual wear in bad and unpredictable weather.

The reason for developing a technology that specifically targets groups such as the ones above is to provide them with the best protection against the elements, while at the same time improving on the comfort and practicality of a product.

While all Gore-Tex products perform to a very high standard, the classic constructions are notorious for their stiffness, which may not be too appealing to those who value comfort and ease in movement above all.

In order to remedy issues such as these, Gore-Tex has developed technologies like the C-Knit Backer that is made to be very comfortable for movement, and also the one we are discussing today, the Paclite technology.

What is the Gore-Tex Paclite® Technolgy?

Consisting of a 2-layer laminate, Paclite is a fabric technology that, as the name suggests, was made to be lightweight and packable, without compromising durability and weather protection.

As a laminate, Paclite consists of a tough outer shell, either nylon or polyester, which is bonded to the very thin ePTFE membrane, responsible for the performance features of the technology.

Unlike other constructions, Paclite does not have a backer fabric on the inside, which is done intentionally to reduce the weight of the finished product and to make it easier to pack.

The backer adds comfort to a jacket, as well as protects the membrane from damage and dirt.

In this case, to prevent the issues of stains and body odors latching onto the jacket, a protective layer made of carbon and an oil hating substance is used.

man hiking

Paclite technology is commonly used in hardshell jackets, which are made for protection against the elements and are best used as part of a layering system, especially in very low temperatures.

The Gore-Seam® tape technology is used in Gore-Tex Paclite to ensure that all of the seams are fully waterproof.

Does the Gore-Tex Paclite® Technology Work?

Made to be lightweight and packable, Paclite does not lack any of the other performance qualities that Gore-Tex fabrics are renowned for.

It is fully waterproof, windproof and breathable, protected by a DWR coating to repel water and it comes at such a light weight that makes it ideal for traveling with.

It also packs easily, taking barely any space in your backpack. This is why this technology works so well for those who partake in activities that a lightweight hardshell is necessary.

To answer the question, Paclite works as expected. Its protective qualities are commendable and its weight and small packing size are additional benefits of this technology.

Online consensus is very positive on this technology as the jackets and trousers that are made from it receive high ratings across platforms.

3. Products that use the Paclite Technology

Now, as we usually do, we will take a look at two jackets that use the Paclite technology.

Marmot Minimalist Men’s Lightweight Waterproof Jacket

Marmot Minimalist Mens Lightweight Waterproof Jacket

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The design we picked for men is the Minimalist Rain Jacket by Marmot. Made of Gore-Tex Paclite Technology, this design comes with 100% taped seams that along with the fabric guarantee that it will remain dry under the worst conditions.

It is a breathable design, made for practicality when traveling because it packs very easily, and for comfort when wearing as it weighs very little.

It comes with an attached hood, which adjusts with drawstrings on both sides, and a central zipper that is covered by a storm placket to prevent water from getting through.

With Velcro-adjustable sleeve cuffs and an adjustable hem, this jacket is perfect to take with you if you are hiking in unpredictable weather.

Arc’teryx Women’s Beta SL Jacket

Arcteryx Womens Beta SL Jacket

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The design for women that we have chosen is the Beta SL jacket by Arc’teryx. Made of N40r Gore-Tex Paclite Technology fabric, this jacket is designed for durability and practicality.

Fully weatherproof and highly breathable, it weighs only 9.9 oz (280 grams) and it packs easily, taking up very little space. It comes with a hooded high collar and sleeve cuffs that adjust with Velcro tabs.

Much like many other Arc’teryx designs, it has a drop tail hem that helps it provide better coverage of the back, especially when moving around.

This is a minimalist design, which comes with two outer pockets placed at the waist and its ergonomic design make it comfortable to wear and move.

The Beta range of jackets is designed for versatility, which makes this jacket suitable to wear in many different outdoor activities, as well as for casual everyday wear.

4. Conclusion

In our experience so far with reviewing and exploring different fabric technologies, we continue to be impressed with Gore-Tex fabric technologies.

Their products perform exactly as expected from the brand’s description of its features and the fact that so many high-end, renowned brands continue to use Gore-Tex fabrics in their products is also proof of their performance.

The Gore-Tex Paclite® Technology, too, lives up to its reputation.

It is one of the lightest fabrics available and the products made from it pack easily and are quite comfortable to wear.

It provides well-rounded protection against bad weather and it breathes very well, making it a high performance fabric.

Being made of the ePTFE Gore-Tex membrane it is also guaranteed to last for a long time and perform beautifully each time it is worn.

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