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Cordura Vs Gore Tex (Which is best?)

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As an outdoor enthusiast, I’ve always been fascinated by the different materials used in our gear and clothing. Two of the most popular and widely used materials in outdoor apparel and equipment are Cordura and Gore-Tex.

The main difference between Cordura and Gore-Tex lies in their functionality: Cordura is known for its durability and resistance to abrasions, while Gore-Tex is famous for its waterproofing and breathability properties.

Both of these materials have their own unique features and benefits, but which one is the better option? In this blog post, I will discuss the differences between Cordura and Gore-Tex, their applications, and help you decide which one is the right choice for your needs.

What is Cordura?

A Brief History of Cordura

Cordura is a brand of high-performance nylon fabric that was first developed by the American chemical company DuPont in the 1970s. Originally designed for use in military gear and apparel, Cordura quickly gained popularity in the civilian market due to its exceptional durability and resistance to wear and tear.

The Composition of Cordura

Cordura is made from high-strength nylon fibers that are typically woven together in a tightly-knit pattern. This construction makes the fabric highly resistant to abrasions, tears, and scuffs. The density of the weave can vary depending on the intended use of the fabric, with denser weaves providing greater durability and lighter weaves offering more flexibility and breathability.

Applications of Cordura

Due to its durability, Cordura is commonly used in a wide range of outdoor gear and apparel, including backpacks, luggage, workwear, and footwear. It is also used in military and tactical gear, such as body armor and load-bearing equipment.

What is Gore-Tex?

A Brief History of Gore-Tex

Gore-Tex is a brand of waterproof and breathable fabric that was invented by Wilbert L. Gore and Robert W. Gore in 1969. The unique properties of Gore-Tex are the result of a microporous membrane that is laminated to various textile materials.

The Composition of Gore-Tex

Gore-Tex is made up of a thin membrane of expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE), which contains over 9 billion microscopic pores per square inch. These pores are approximately 20,000 times smaller than a water droplet, making the fabric completely waterproof.

The structure of most Gore-Tex Garments. Source: Wart Dark and User: Solipsist – based on Image: Goretex schéma.gif, CC BY-SA 3.0.

At the same time, the pores are also 700 times larger than a molecule of water vapor, allowing perspiration to escape from the inside of the garment.

Applications of Gore-Tex

Gore-Tex is used in a wide variety of outdoor apparel and gear, including jackets, pants, gloves, and footwear. It is particularly well-suited for use in wet and cold environments, where its waterproof and breathable properties can help keep the wearer comfortable and dry.

Comparing Cordura and Gore-Tex

Durability

Cordura is renowned for its exceptional durability and resistance to abrasions, tears, and scuffs.This makes it an ideal choice for gear and clothing that will be subjected to rough treatment or harsh conditions.

In contrast, while Gore-Tex is a durable material, it is not specifically designed for extreme abrasion resistance and may be more prone to wear and tear in high-stress situations.

Waterproofing

Gore-Tex is famous for its excellent waterproofing capabilities.The microporous membrane effectively prevents water from penetrating the fabric, making it an ideal choice for wet environments.

Cordura, on the other hand, is not inherently waterproof, although it can be treated with a water-repellent coating to improve its resistance to moisture.

Breathability

Gore-Tex is highly breathable, allowing perspiration to escape from the inside of the garment.This helps to keep the wearer dry and comfortable in a wide range of weather conditions. Cordura, while not as breathable as Gore-Tex, can still offer a decent level of breathability, particularly in lighter weaves.

Weight

In general, Cordura is a heavier fabric compared to Gore-Tex. The dense weave of Cordura adds weight to the material, making it less suitable for ultralight gear and clothing. Gore-Tex, with its thin membrane, tends to be lighter and more packable, making it a popular choice for lightweight outdoor apparel.

Cost

Both Cordura and Gore-Tex are considered premium materials, and their cost reflects this. However, because Gore-Tex requires a specialized manufacturing process and is often used in combination with other high-quality fabrics, it tends to be more expensive than Cordura.

The Verdict: Which One is Right for You?

Ultimately, the choice between Cordura and Gore-Tex will depend on your specific needs and preferences. If durability and abrasion resistance are your primary concerns, then Cordura will likely be the better option. On the other hand, if waterproofing and breathability are more important to you, then Gore-Tex may be the more suitable choice.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the main difference between Cordura and Gore-Tex lies in their functionality: Cordura is known for its durability and resistance to abrasions, while Gore-Tex is famous for its waterproofing and breathability properties. Here are 10 facts about Cordura and Gore-Tex to help you make an informed decision:

1. Cordura was first developed by DuPont in the 1970s.
2. Cordura is made from high-strength nylon fibers.
3. Cordura is commonly used in outdoor gear, workwear, and military equipment.
4. Gore-Tex was invented by Wilbert L. Gore and Robert W. Gore in 1969.
5. Gore-Tex is made up of a thin membrane of expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE).
6. Gore-Tex is used in various outdoor apparel and gear, especially for wet and cold environments.
7. Cordura is highly durable and resistant to abrasions, tears, and scuffs.
8. Gore-Tex is waterproof and highly breathable.
9. Cordura is generally heavier than Gore-Tex.
10. Gore-Tex tends to be more expensive than Cordura.

By considering these factors, you can determine which material is the best fit for your outdoor adventures and gear requirements.

FAQs

Is all Cordura fabric waterproof?

No, not all Cordura fabric is waterproof. While Cordura is known for its durability and resistance to abrasions, it is not inherently waterproof. Some Cordura fabrics may have a water-resistant coating or treatment applied to them, but this is not true for all Cordura fabrics.

Is Cordura fabric water resistant?

Yes, Cordura fabric is water resistant. It is made of high-tenacity nylon fibers that are coated with polyurethane, making it highly durable and resistant to water.

Is CORDURA tear proof?

CORDURA is a highly durable and abrasion-resistant fabric, but it is not completely tear-proof. However, it has a high resistance to tearing and is designed to withstand heavy use and wear.

How durable is CORDURA?

CORDURA is a highly durable fabric that is known for its resistance to abrasions, tears, and scuffs. It is designed to withstand harsh conditions and heavy use, making it a popular choice for outdoor gear, military equipment, and workwear.

How water resistant is 500D Cordura?

500D Cordura is water-resistant to a certain degree, but it is not completely waterproof. It can withstand light rain and splashes, but prolonged exposure to water or heavy rain may cause it to become saturated and eventually allow water to seep through.

Is CORDURA fabric waterproof?

No, CORDURA fabric is not inherently waterproof, but it can be treated with a waterproof coating to make it water-resistant.

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