New Gore-Tex is the company's thinnest, lightest ever – and these brands are signed up already

New ePE by Gore is thinner, lighter, more eco-friendly, and 12 years in the making

(Image credit: WL Gore & Associates)

Gore-Tex has unveiled a new version of its waterproof membrane that is significantly thinner, lighter and more sustainable than its predecessor. Leading brands, from Adidas to Arc'teryx, Salomon to Patagonia, will be adopting it into their wet-weather gear for Autumn/Winter 2022. 

Gore-Tex has long been the waterproofing technology of choice across outdoor footwear and apparel, from best hiking boots to waterproof jackets to top ski gear. This new fabric, dubbed 'ePE by Gore' is the first major shake-up to the technology for some time – it's been 12 years in the making – and it's a pretty Big Deal for outdoors lovers. 

The change is thanks to the introduction of a basis of expanded polyethylene (ePE). This is combined with polyurethane to create a microporous material that has a high strength-to-weight ratio, and delivers durability with less weight and bulk. In fact, it's around half the thickness of regular Gore-Tex, making it much easier to work into outdoor apparel and footwear while keeping things lightweight and streamlined. 

The performance gains are one thing, but the use of ePE means this new version of Gore-Tex is much more eco-friendly than the current material. ePe by Gore is free of PFCs of Environmental Concern, and the low membrane mass means a lower carbon footprint, as measured by Higg MSI, too. It's a big positive step for a company that has struggled with to marry high-performance and eco-friendliness in the past (Gore-Tex is stubbornly non-biodegradable). 

Ruth is currently on secondment as Sleep Editor for Tom's Guide and TechRadar. The role is an extension of her work on T3, where she ran the site's Wellness channel, which includes sleep, relaxation, yoga and general wellbeing. She was also Outdoors editor, reviewing and writing about everything from camping gear and hiking boots to mountain bikes, drones and paddle boards. She has tested more mattresses than her small flat can handle, and has had to implement a one-in-one-out pillow policy, for fear of getting smothered in the night.