Gear Review Feature Image - NRS GORETEX

Published on août 8th, 2023 | by Kayak Session https://www.kayaksession.com/img-current-issue/upload-your-video.png

The Product Profile | NRS GORE-TEX Range

Welcome to « The Product Pro-File » at Kayak Session! This new section is all about helping paddlers learn more about the latest products on the paddlesports market. By chatting with designers and experts within the brands, we uncover the design and function behind these products. Explore the stories, craftsmanship, and innovative features that make these products stand out. Join us as we bring you exclusive insights to help you to make the right decisions for your paddling sessions.

We had a chat with NRS’s Chief of Marketing Officer – Mark Deming where we were able to gain a better insight into the new GORE-TEX line from NRS.

Mark Deming – Chief of Marketing at NRS

In his 12 years with NRS, Mark Deming has helped complete the company’s transformation from a mail-order retailer and distributor to a leading global brand manufacturer. As Chief Marketing Officer, he focuses on shaping and executing growth strategies while overseeing marketing and customer experience. A lifelong outdoorsman from the Pacific Northwest, Mark enjoys working at the confluence of commerce and conservation and using the power of business to affect positive change in the world.

What inspired NRS to integrate GORE-TEX into your new line and when was this introduced?

GORE-TEX is the gold standard for waterproof protection, breathability and sustainability. Not only is their technology best in class, but they go to great lengths to ensure that GORE-TEX partner brands meet the highest standards for quality and integrity. When their team expressed interest in working with NRS, we jumped at the opportunity.
Our relationship with GORE-TEX has allowed us to combine the most sophisticated materials with state-of-the-art design and manufacturing to create the best technical outerwear in paddlesports. We released our first GORE-TEX offerings in 2022 and are adding more models to our GORE line for 2024.

NRS GORE-TEX Rev Drytop Close-up | Photo Courtesy of NRS

Which NRS products can we see produced with the GORE-TEX material?

NRS designers went back to the drawing board to create an entirely new line of dry suits, dry tops and bibs developed from the ground up to take paddling gear to a new level of functionality and durability. We examined every detail with input from the world’s top professional whitewater and sea kayakers—plus support from Gore’s in-house technicians—to maximize performance and longevity.
Current NRS GORE-TEX Pro Models include men’s and women’s Axiom, Navigator, and Nomad dry suits and the Rev dry tops. We also offer the men’s Jakyl back-zip dry suit.  We continue to provide a full line of technical outerwear in our tried-and-true Eclipse fabric for paddlers who don’t need the extra performance, or expense, of GORE-TEX.

NRS GORE-TEX Kit | Photo Courtesy of Kayak Session

How does the inclusion of GORE-TEX enhance the performance and functionality of the mentioned products?

First and foremost, GORE-TEX keeps you dryer and more comfortable than any comparable material. The GORE-TEX Pro Most Rugged material we’ve chosen for NRS dry wear is also incredibly durable and long lasting. Finally, GORE-TEX serves its partners with expert consultation in patterning, production and repair to ensure we are meeting the highest standards for design, workmanship and customer care. We can say without a doubt these are some of the highest-quality, best-performing products we’ve ever built, and we back it up with our industry-leading warranty and service.

Are there any additional technologies or materials from NRS that are combined with GORE-TEX to further enhance the performance?

Anyone old enough to remember stiff metal dry suit zippers will appreciate the YKK Aquaseal zippers we are now pairing with GORE-TEX. These zippers are lightweight, flexible, and highly waterproof—by far the most reliable zippers we’ve found. We’ve specified the best available materials and components for every feature of these garments, obsessing over each cuff, pocket, flap, zipper, gasket, fastener and seam to maximize performance and longevity to perfectly serve the planet’s most demanding paddlers.

YKK Aquaseal Zips in Action | Photo Courtesy of NRS

Did the integration of GORE-TEX in your new line affect the overall design of your new products?

Much of the work that went into designing and building our GORE-TEX products is having a positive influence on other NRS products. The athlete feedback we collected for the development of our GORE-TEX Pro lineup has informed technical apparel designs throughout our assortment. Working with Gore, we’ve also established advanced repair capabilities that allow us to better service not only our GORE-TEX products but any dry wear from NRS or other brands.

In terms of sustainability, does NRS involve the use of environmental materials in their products?

We approach every new and revised NRS product around three design pillars: performance, longevity and sustainability. Each of these three qualities drives—and depends on—the others, creating a virtuous cycle of innovation. Dry wear is one of the most challenging categories for sustainable materials because of the longstanding reliance on PFAS “forever” chemicals in Durable Water Repellents (DWR). We are working with GORE-TEX to make NRS dry wear PFAS free by 2025 while maintaining our high standard for waterproof-breathable performance and durability. All current NRS GORE-TEX Pro technical outerwear features 100% recycled face fabrics.

Does the use of GORE-TEX align with companies’ commitment to environmentally friendly practices?

As the world’s leading provider of waterproof-breathable fabrics, GORE-TEX is at the forefront of sustainable innovation. Their chemists and engineers are leading the way in developing a PFAS-free water-repellency solution that meets performance standards with a greatly reduced environmental impact. We couldn’t ask for a better partner in pursuing our sustainability goals.

Photos Courtesy of NRS

Check Out the GORE-TEX Range on NRS’S Website Here

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