REVIEW: Gore-Tex vs Paclite vs Stretch C-Knit

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They're all waterproof. They're all breathable. So which Gore-Tex jacket should you buy?

Galvin Green are clear market leaders when it comes to waterproofs. They don’t make shoes, or gloves or balls – just clothing that’s been designed to perform on the course. And as clothing is their No.1 priority – and waterproofs in particular – Galvin’s design team spend every waking hour thinking of nothing else.

They scour the globe for new fabrics. They obsess over zips that keep water out. They spent months creating the perfect pocket that won’t collect water.

This quest to find the ideal outwear means Galvin offers three different Gore-Tex fabrics in 2017, all of which boast of their own tech and price point. That led us to ask – which is best? How different are they? And how do you go about choosing one? We spoke to their lead designer Mats Lundqvist to find out.

Gore-Tex Shell Layer with Mesh

Galvin Green Allen Jacket

Designed for...

Golfers wanting a high performance breathable waterproof jacket, but who also desire the extra comfort a liner delivers. They’re perfect as a multi-function jacket, for those who do outdoor pursuits like walking. TG equipment Ed Simon Daddow has even climbed mountains in his.

Galvin Green says...

The shell layer is Galvin’s original Gore-Tex fabric. It’s completely waterproof, windproof and breathable. The weight’s heavier than later fabrics (Paclite and Stretch with C-Knit), but most of that extra weight comes down to the mesh liner inside the jacket, not the Gore-Tex. The loose inner liner gives a softer feel (which lots of golfers prefer), and because it’s another layer more body heat is trapped to keep you warmer.

Verdict:

If we’re splitting hairs the liner adds a little extra bulk and inhibits breathability a fraction over a non-lined garment. But it’s the comfort and durability a liner delivers that for many golfers is a trade-off worth making to be comfortable. A shell-layer jacket is truly an all-rounder that’s just as at home off the golf course as it is on it.

Details:

Price: £340 (example jacket Allen) Medium sized jacket weight: 420g

Why this is my choice...

Camilla Tait - TG Online Editor (Handicap 10) 

“I’ve had a shell layer Galvin Green jacket for years and it just keeps on giving. I put a premium on warmth, but also want the lightest, least swing inhibiting waterproof jacket I can get my hands on. I like to use my waterproof jacket away from the golf course (country walking), so the Shell layer offers everything I need in a single jacket.”

Gore-Tex Paclite

Galvin Green Avery Jacket

Designed for...

Thanks to being lighter and less bulky Paclite jackets are perfect for golfers who want to take up as small a space in their bag as possible. They’re the ideal choice for golfers who hate wearing waterproof jackets as they’re so lightweight. If you hate fastening cuffs round your wrists, Galvin also offer several half-sleeved models.  

Galvin Green says...

Until we launched C-Knit in 2017, Paclite was our lightest Gore-Tex jacket. The whole idea was to create a super-lightweight garment which is guaranteed water and windproof, but combine it with ultimate breathability. Some of the latest Paclite jackets incorporate areas of stretch material (back and elbows) to increase flexibility, too.

Verdict...

The lack of a liner means this jacket’s less bulky making it very much a performance garment for the course. No liner also means the fabric touches your skin if you’re wearing a T-shirt, giving a cooler, harsher feel than a lined alternative. Most golfers layer up properly beneath Paclite jackets to ensure comfort and warmth on the golf course.

Details:

Price: £280 (example jacket Avery) Medium sized jacket weight: 290g

Why this is my choice...

Simon Daddow - TG Equipment Ed (Handicap 10)

“I don’t like wearing a waterproof jacket; no matter how light they are I just feel restricted. Paclite is my choice as I really want the least amount of bulk from a jacket and I’m happy to layer up under a half-sleeved waterproof top. I only carry a pencil bag, so space for packing a waterproof is severely limited, too.”

Gore-Tex Stretch (with C-Knit Backer)

Galvin Green Achilles Jacket

Designed for...

Primarily down to the cost the C-Knit will find its place on the backs of serious golfers who demand to play in all conditions and don’t mind shelling out for the privilege. Galvin realises there’s a market for this type of jacket, but it’s only available at selected stockists.  

Galvin Green says...

The lightest waterproof jacket in Galvin’s range has a revolutionary Japanese fabric inside which delivers a silky-smooth feel, eliminating the cooler, rougher feel of Gore-Tex Paclite. This is the material that was given to the European Ryder Cup team at Hazeltine.

Verdict...

Thanks to some serious R&D work the C-Knit backer barely impacts on breathability and because it’s the only jacket made entirely from stretch material you get a more personalised fit to you and your swing than any other. For us the C-Knit is the ultimate waterproof jacket when it comes to keeping out the wind, staying dry and being comfortable on the golf course, but it does come at a cost.

Details:

Price: £380 (example jacket Achilles) Medium sized jacket weight: 275g

Why this is my choice...

Chris Jones - TG Editor (Handicap 11)

“I’ve owned both other types of Galvin Green Gore-Tex jackets, but for me the C-Knit is the ultimate. It is the most lightweight, natural feeling waterproof jacket I’ve owned, and the stretch fabric (over the whole jacket) is a bonus. The best part for me is that you can wear it over a T-shirt and it doesn’t feel clammy or sticky, like other waterproof jackets.”