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Gore-Tex

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Brand name for breathable membrabe fabric clothing originally manufactured by the US Gore-Tex company, but now used to describe any breathable material.

The issue DPM waterproof suit is probably one of the most taken-for-granted items of kit. When the whole breathable concept came out in the early 1980s it was received with awe: what? Waterproofs that you don't sweat like a rapist in?

It was true, but it came at a price. Gore-Tex kit was the Gucciest of the Gucci... provided:

  • You could find a stockist.
  • You had sufficient vital organs to sell to a Pakistani research clinic to be able to afford it.

Prior to the introduction of Gore-Tex, the alternative was either the issue poncho, or - if you were 'lucky' a waterproof suit. Those who remember the 'Suit Crisp Packet' may look back fondly now, but then? Wearing one generated enough sweat to make the inside as wet as the outside during a downpour.

The possibility of Gore-Tex becoming an issue item was an impossible dream, but by the late '80s is was on ticket - and in DPM to boot! This was probably the first instance of top quality gear becoming general issue. Who would've believed it?