Gore-Tex is the most waterproof, most breathable material known to man! This incredible material is used in many outerwear pieces to elevate the functionality to the next level. If you are a tech-oriented rider, look no further than Gore-Tex!
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There are three main types of snow jacket. Depending on riding conditions, and your personal preference, you will fall into one of these three categories of jackets.
Soft Shell- Softer outer material that generally has a water resistant coating. Good for spring riding and warmer hoody type days. Lacks on wind resistance. Shell- A protective outer layer designed to keep the elements out. Insulated- Contains some sort of insulation or fill to create warmth. This type of jacket keeps the heat in, but generally does not breathe as well as a shell.
Breathability is a measure of how much water vapor can pass through your jacket and escape in a given period of time. In other words, how breathable the fabric is. Breathability is important because it keeps you from over heating as well as keeping your body dry! This measure is normally expressed in terms of (g/m2), or how many grams (g) of water vapor can pass through a square meter (m2) of the fabric from the inside to the outside in a 24 hour period. In the case of a 20k (20,000 g) fabric, this would be 20,000 grams. The larger the number, the more breathable the fabric.
Manufacturers typically describe the waterproof/breathability of fabrics using two numbers. The first is in millimeters (mm) and is a measure of how waterproof a fabric is. In the case of a 10k or 10,000 mm fabric, if you put a square tube with inner dimensions of 1” x 1” over a piece of said fabric, you could fill it with water to a height of 10,000 mm (32.8 feet)before water would begin to leak through. The higher the number, the more waterproof the fabric.