Now you can get your hands on Gore-Tex Infinium ‘climate science’ inside The North Face’s stretch performance glove. The catch: Unlike the brand’s mainstay products, this fabric is not waterproof.
But you might like it for just that reason. Infinium is Gore’s first foray into performance apparel driven by lifestyle. It’s an expansion in weather-resistant, multipurpose gear that you might wear to a soccer game instead of a mountaintop.
To be clear, some of this is just rebranding of the popular Gore-Tex for lifestyle purposes. The Gore-Tex Infinium fabric line will start showing up in stretch performance wear, soft-lined shells, and insulated garments and footwear.
These products are not waterproof, but instead highly water resistant and breathable. The hang tag will not have the recognizable Gore black-diamond logo. Instead, a white diamond logo will brand Infinium products.
TNF Gore CloseFit Glove
And among one of the first Infinium products to market is this glove from The North Face.
The North Face debuts the Gore CloseFit Glove in three models for men and women: tricot ($45), fleece ($50), and soft shell ($55). Highly weather-protective for their light weight, the snug gloves are touchscreen compatible.
The Infinium fabric adds dexterity, which allows wearers to do things like type on their phones. The gloves are also 3D-molded to fit hands. That also means fewer seams — and less chafe potential.
Waterproof vs. Weather-Resistant
Most people know Gore-Tex for its original waterproof fabric. Engineered in 1969, the outerwear innovation was the first to truly enable outerwear to repel liquid while allowing water vapor to pass through.
Besides Windstopper, Infinium if the first non-waterproof fabric technology for the brand.
Infinium uses ePTFE, a strong, synthetic polymer already inside the membrane of Gore-Tex waterproof fabrics. Apparently, the application of ePTFE changes the feel and use of these hybrid lifestyle-leaning fabrics in gloves, jackets, and even shoes.
Brands can pair the light and adaptable ePTFE exterior membrane with soft-lined, insulated inner material. That makes Infinium garments weather resistant and significantly more breathable than standard waterproof fabrics. The brand claims it also feels pleasant against the skin.
Infinium in Clothes, Gloves, Shoes
There are three subsets of Infinium textile technology: Stretch, Soft-Lined & Insulated, and Thermium. TNF is using the stretchy application first in its Gore CloseFit Glove, available now.
Infinium soft-lined and insulated fabrics are rolling out first in Europe. But snowboard maker Burton is already using the insulated version in one jacket aimed at North American consumers. And Norrøna, which is hitting the U.S. market, is already using Infinium in its Iyngen down850 Hood Jacket.
Also this fall, Shoe brand Ecco is introducing a small line of women’s casual shoes with Infinium Thermium, a compression-resistant composite that’s being tested as a low-profile insulator for shoes and boots.
Other brands, including Mammut, K2, and Montbell, have shown interest in applying the Infinium technology to forthcoming products. Expect to see more brands adopting Gore-Tex Infinium technologies in 2019.