Durability can easily be confused with ruggedness. Of course, the outer fabric of an outdoor jacket has to be suitable for wear with a backpack. Of course, mountain boots have to be able to withstand walking through sections of loose scree and gravel. Durability means an awful lot more. Namely, that the functional performance of a piece of kit is maintained over time.
What does Durable Performance mean? Robust? Rugged?
The term durability describes the ability of a system to withstand change without impairing the stability of its initial structure. Wet weather GORE-TEX apparel is waterproof, windproof and breathable. We can assume that the apparel has these properties when new. But are they still present after repeated use? The term durability is used to talk about the properties of a product and to what extent these can be guaranteed. GORE-TEX apparel is durably waterproof, windproof and breathable.
In other words, when we talk about durability we are talking about the entire lifetime of the product. There's nothing more annoying than when a product doesn't live up to expectations. If the functional performance you have been promised starts to deteriorate, you will be disappointed and wonder why you paid so much money for it. However, when you buy a product, it is difficult to know whether it really has been built to last.
Gore is so confident that products with the GORE-TEX brand logo will perform as promised that they even carry a guarantee, the GUARANTEED TO KEEP YOU DRY™ promise. This means that if you’re not completely satisfied with the waterproofness, windproofness or breathability of the product, it will be repaired, replaced or refunded. You can’t get much fairer than that. The other advantage of a durable product is its reduced impact on the environment thanks to a longer useful life. Any product that does not have to be replaced because you can continue to use it helps to reduce our environmental impact.
Maintenance and repairs
What can you do to ensure that the functional performance of the product is maintained for as long as possible? Routine cleaning and good care is important for a long product life. Gore provides detailed instructions on how to look after your garments. Nevertheless, damage can still occur, if you fall or get caught on barbed wire, for example. This might be annoying, but it’s not a problem.
Gore authorised repair centres will be happy to help you. They are experts at repairing GORE-TEX garments so that they are almost as good as new. The combination of proper care and repair service can prolong a product’s useful life even further.
Fitness for use
GORE-TEX apparel must be fit for use. This means that the product is optimised to cater for the intended use. The product needs to meet the users requirements, withstand the conditions for which it is intended and offer the perfect amount of protection without unnecessary weight or bulk. On a bike, a motorcycle jacket would be heavy and unwieldy, a case of over-engineering . On the other hand, a lightweight cycling jacket would not be suitable for motorcycling as it would not offer sufficient protection. GORE-TEX products are always tailored to a specific end use.