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Loss of water resistance in Gore-tex rider gear

After repeatedly getting wet I have come to the conclusion that Gore-tex rider gear loses its water resistance over time.

My experience has been that the gear works exceptionally well the first ride season then the water resistance next season is slightly less but still passable if not all day rain however from there on it no longer works so well and gets clammy inside and damp right through after 3 years at which stage anything more than light shower or short exposure will defeat the Gore-tex. This is not limited to just one item but has been repeated on two riding outfits affecting jackets and pants of both as well as three pairs of Gore-tex gloves.

From what I have learned online one part of the issue is washing the gear. This will partly remove the water proof coating to the outer layer of the garment. So what you say - its the Gore-tex membrane that stops the water entering right? Yes and No.

Surprisingly it seems the Gore-tex only works if the outer shell is water resistant – which has me wondering how effective Gore-tex actually is by itself?  But washing is not the only thing causing this problem as my first Gore-tex outfit lost its waterproofness without being exposed to any detergents. I put that down to other reasons at the time blaming the zipper and small storm flap and thought the jacket must be then causing the leak down into the pants but now I think that was not the case. Also my gloves have never seen any washing machine so this gear loses it’s effectiveness all by itself simply by exposure to the elements.


There may be a solution. There is a special washing liquid for technical water resistant garments and a ‘wash in’ treatment to restore water resistance to the outer layer. I’m doing this to all my gear.

I have some doubts… but lets see what pans out. I will update this post with the results (or do a new post) but I will need an extended time before I can get back to you with a conclusive answer as I obviously try to avoid riding for long periods in rain. So for now this is a heads up.

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