The making of our Gore-Tex Pro

The latest evolutions of our GORE-TEX PRO range are all engineered to provide outstanding fit and functionality, stemming from a crafted approach to design and construction which involves hours of work, countless people and years of experience.

Mountain Equipment began designing and manufacturing GORE-TEX jackets in 1977 with the launch of its Cascade Jacket; that same year Apple launched the series II, its first home computer.

The Cascade Jacket

By the standards of today, it appears rather rudimentary, yet whilst fabric and manufacturing technology has advanced considerably since the fundamental design ethos behind our jackets has not. Constructed from GORE-TEX Strata and featuring a highly durable high tenacity Cordura Yarn face textile, the Cascade Jacket was utterly functional. Like the Series II, it was for its day, state of the art.

Each and every Mountain Equipment product starts its life at our offices in Hyde, Greater Manchester. It is here where our team of designers, materials specialists, machinists, product managers and engineers all come together as one.

It is a place where expert craft and practice meet head-on. Jackets of every colour and iteration, used prototypes, worn production garments, zips and patterns litter the floor and hang from sample rails.

Behind every product and every iteration there is a story, a post-trip tale, an idea, occasionally an epic. Nothing is done by chance or on a whim and every feature and every component has a reason for being.

Of course, none of this can happen without also having state-of-the-art manufacturing and for seventeen of those forty years we have partnered with the same Hungarian based manufacturing facility. Whether its production runs, prototypes, small-runs for mountain rescue teams or one-offs for expeditions, all are overseen by the same dedicated team of people.
On average, a Mountain Equipment GORE-TEX PRO jacket is made up of 58 individual pieces, more than 13 metres of seam-tape and takes around 5 hours and a team of thirty people to assemble.
Over the course of that 5 hours, a total of 203 procedures are carried out. Each step of the process is a skilled process involving machinists with years of experience and managed by a team who between them have decades worth of experience in making jackets which meet the standards necessary to carry the Gore-Tex mark and that of our coveted ‘M’.

The hood alone requires 34 individual procedures and despite all the advances in machinery and technology still takes nearly half an hour and a team of 9 people to assemble.

Much of the devil is in the detail and in the craft required to incorporate and construct features which you hopefully never notice (other than because they work) but which from a manufacturing perspective are challenging and time-consuming.