Rab (owned by Equip Outdoor Technologies Ltd.) has updated its Autumn/Winter 2023 waterproof GORE-TEX glove collection, replacing the former membrane with Gore’s new ePE membrane, which is free of fluorocarbons of environmental concern (PFCec-free).
The new membrane is used both in Rab’s existing GORE-TEX glove offering as well as in its new Khroma Tour GTX Gloves.
The Khroma Tour GTX are the ultimate backcountry adventure gloves offering warmth and dexterity, and are built with recycled PimaLoft® Gold insulation. Made with GORE-TEX® ACTIVE, they’re windproof and breathable. The soft, grippy Pittards Armor-Tan® leather is exceptionally durable, abrasion-resistant, and externally seamed on the palm to give dexterity where needed most.
GORE-TEX’s ePE (expanded Polyethylene) membrane technology is a complimentary GORE-TEX material produced without fluorocarbons of environmental concern. Data shows that these new membranes have a lower carbon impact* than their predecessors, while offering comparable performance, still Guaranteed to Keep You Dry. At the same time, the membrane is lighter and softer, enhancing overall comfort.
Fluorocarbons, often referred to as PFAS, are a category of synthetic chemicals that are used to make man-made products waterproof. The most frequently referred to, are PFCs which have commonly been used in DWR finishes. When it comes to clothing, adding PFCs to a fabric means water beads on its surface and rolls off, rather than being absorbed. However, although these substances do not occur naturally in nature, they can now be detected everywhere on earth. This has a negative impact on the environment, especially since the substances do not degrade on their own. Moreover, research has shown that the substances accumulate not only in nature, but also in the human body. This is why Rab is committed to finding alternative solutions that provide an equal amount of protection and performance.
Rab’s Material Facts tables, launched in AW23 for all Rab apparel and sleeping bags, transparently indicate where fluorocarbons are still in use. For AW24, these tables will also be available for equipment, packs and accessories; moreover, they will include detailed information on the percentage of renewable energy used in the production process.
Apart from incorporating the new GORE-TEX ePE membrane in their AW23 waterproof glove collection, Rab also utilizes it in their Namche GTX Jacket. For Autumn/Winter 2024, the membrane additionally will feature in Rab’s new Khroma Converge Jacket and Pants designed for skiing.
To ensure optimal performance, waterproofing, and resistance to dirt, Rab encourages consumers to regularly maintain and wash their waterproof items, particularly as these are updated to fluorocarbon-free membrane alternatives. The Rab Service Centre provides professional wash services as well as care repair tutorials aimed at prolonging garment lifespan and maximizing performance longevity.
*Through the laminates innovative membrane and select textiles (per Higg MSI).