With the INFINIUM branding, Gore moves past its venerable waterproof roots. The most ubiquitous name in outdoor materials technology made the Breeze INFINIUM Shirt for running. This is our first look.
W.L. Gore is an enormous technology brand. W.L. Gore is an enormous technology brand. Beyond its ubiquitous GORE-TEX, renowned worldwide for waterproofing laminates, it makes everything from heart stents to Elixir guitar strings.
But last year, it announced the INFINIUM branding of non-waterproof technical products for outdoor apparel. This includes such longstanding products such as Windstopper and new, non-waterproof layers for lifestyle consumers. And now, the confusing (to us) new moniker launches its first foray into fibers with INFINIUM Performance Fiber Technology.
In short: This T-shirt comprises 90 percent polyester and 10 percent ePTFE fibers. These are the same materials the brand uses to make GORE-TEX laminate fabric, but it’s not waterproof. Read on for details.
INFINIUM Performance Fiber Technology
We received an INFINIUM Performance Fiber technology running shirt back in April. In the heat and humidity of central Texas, we’ve been testing the only sample available at the time.
The brand chose a single jersey knit made with a blended polyester-ePTFE fabric to represent its INFINIUM Performance Fiber Technology. ePTFE (expanded polytetrafluoroethylene), discovered by Gore in 1969, is waterproof and breathable. It’s used in the new INFINIUM fabric to provide the following claimed characteristics:
- Holds less moisture and dries faster than 100-percent polyester fabrics of the same weight
- The yarn is strong, allowing lighter-weight fabrics
- High air permeability
- Maintains softness and low cling to reduce chafing
INFINIUM T-Shirt First Impressions
The INFINIUM Performance Technology running shirt Gore provided has a generic look and weighs a verified 3.8 ounces for a men’s medium. Closer inspection reveals a very sheer and open structure with the ePTFE visible as white yarns (the ePTFE can’t be dyed like polyester). The shirt isn’t remarkably lightweight compared to my other synthetic running shirts, but it does have a much softer feel than most.
Central Texas harbors high heat and humidity in late spring and early summer compared to other areas of the country. This makes the area ideal proving grounds for garments intended to avoid moisture absorption and foster air permeability. The GORE-TEX INFINIUM Performance Fiber technology did deliver in these two areas, but not noticeably better than other high-performance fabrics.
But the fabric does excel in two other areas: the feel and low cling. Even when sweating profusely, the INFINIUM fabric didn’t feel sticky or cling to my skin, preserving its softness. Other fabrics can attach themselves to skin under extremely sweaty conditions, creating an irritating, clammy feel.
The fabric also proved to be admirably resistant to odor buildup.
Under Armour just released GORE-TEX INFINIUM Performance Fiber Technology in its Breeze running tops for men and women as an exclusive soft launch. The breeze running top costs $55.
At the time of publication, only the women’s is available. But the Breeze GORE-TEX INFINIUM running top will also be available for men.