Future gym clothes: Thermoregulation leggings
Gore-Tex is a waterproof, breathable fabric membrane which is designed to repel liquid water while allowing moisture vapour to pass through. Intended for exercising outdoors come rain or shine, the microporous membrane has a low resistance to moisture vapour from sweat, allowing it to be wicked away from the body easily by the fabric which in turn allows the body to self-regulate and avoid overheating.
The basis of the material is ePTFE – expanded Polytetrafluoroethylene – an incredibly light and versatile polymer, which is combined with different textile properties throughout the Gore-Tex range to allow the manufacturing of different products.
In the standard Gore-Tex range, the ePTFE contains over 9 billion micropores per square inch. At 900 times the size of water vapour molecules, these micropores which should completely prevent moisture from entering from outside but still wick away sweat, enhancing thermoregulation.
Gore R5 Women Gore Windstopper Tights reviewed
Gore-Tex supplied Verdict with the Gore R5 Women Gore Windstopper Tights, part of Gore-Tex’s Windstopper range. Windstopper is a waterproof breathable fabric laminate, the ePTFE in which has 1.4 billion micropores in each square inch of the membrane. This protects from cold air flow and moisture from the outside, reducing the risk of rapid heat loss and the feeling of chill when exercising outdoors.
A Gore-Tex representative tells us that the tights contain both Gore-Tex and Windstopper technology, meaning Windstopper should keep them windproof and highly breathable, while traditional Gore-Tex technology keeps them waterproof.
GORE-TEX application engineer and product range manager Anne Weir says: “Our materials work in collaboration with the body’s own thermoregulation system, which can also mean fewer layers are needed to stay comfortable and light during high aerobic activity.
“The garments must be made in approved factories, with Gore components, following Gore Standards and finally style approved to ensure the garments will meet our GORE-TEX Black Diamond Guaranteed To Keep You Dry brand promise.”
To put the leggings to the test, Verdict waited for the skies to grow cloudy and sent our reviewer out into the wild. Despite chilling winds and a bit of light drizzle, the Gore-Tex/Windstopper technology appeared to do its job, keeping the legs fairly dry and warm while the less high-tech upper body outerwear became damp and freezing.
Despite not being explicitly intended for indoor use the leggings also perform well in the gym, where they manage to keep the wearer cool and comfortable in warmer temperatures.