Membran Technology

Photo: Hans Kristian.Krogh-Hanssen
All membranes used in Bergans garments are hydrophilic, meaning that they utilize moving molecules, as opposed to most other membranes which have micropores. This offers a number of advantages and makes Bergans shell clothing the very best on the market thanks to its high performance and superior durability.



The membranes we use are extremely flexible. Dermizax® has an elasticity of more than 200%. In practice, this means that the membrane can be stretched up to twice its own length in four directions. This ensures that Dermizax™ garments are very comfortable to move in, while reducing the risk of delamination during extreme activities.


The mobile polymer molecules also move faster at high temperatures or during high-intensity activity. This means that breathability improves when you get hot and sweaty. When it’s cold and you want to retain excess heat, the polymer molecules slow down, and heat loss is reduced to a minimum.


Our membranes do not have micropores that can get clogged by dirt, or by salt crystals from saline water. You also avoid water sticking to the pores and expanding when the temperature drops below freezing. Dermizax®, Bergans Element Active® and Bergans Element® retain their unique functions even when soiled and after years of wear.


The high quality of the membrane is retained even after countless washes using regular washing powder. In contrast, the quality of micropore materials deteriorates with each wash, as the ceramic particles in regular washing powder clog the pores. Do not use fabric softener.


The waterproofing, or water resistance, of a textile or membrane is measured by the height of water which can be suspended above the fabric before it seeps through. In other words, it is the material’s resistance to water pressure. The degree of waterproofing is stated as the height in millimeters of the suspended water column at the moment when the water penetrates the garment.
Bergans rates 5,000 mm as the lower limit for a garment to be termed waterproof. However, all things are relative in waterproofing, since it also depends on how much wear and tear the garment is subjected to. The higher the water column above 5,000 mm, the greater the impact the garment will stand up to before the water seeps in. The water column value, the measure of waterproofness, is at least 20 ,000 mm for Dermizax®, 10,000 mm for Bergans Element Active® and 5,000 mm for Bergans Element®.


Shell garments are often referred to as “breathable”. What this actually refers to is the membrane’s wicking ability, that is, its ability to remove moisture from the garment to keep us dry on the inside.
During physical activity, the body gives off moisture in the form of vapor. The membrane’s ability to transport this vapor out of the garment before the vapor turns to liquid is what we refer to as “breathability”. Wicking ability is measured and stated in grams per square meter per 24 hours.

Breathability is up to 30,000 g/m2/24h for 3-layer Dermizax® and up to 40,000 g/m2/24h for 2-layer Dermizax®. Breathability is up to 10,000 g/m2/24h for Bergans Element Active® and up to 5,000 g/m2/24h for Bergans Element®.


There is basically no need to impregnate Dermizax® or Bergans Element Active® and Bergans Element® garments. These garments will retain their waterproofness even after long-term wear and tear and innumerable washes in a washing machine. However, it may be beneficial to reimpregnate the shell fabric to ensure that the garment surface repels water more quickly and that it maintains its good breathability. If you wish to do so, we recommend using impregnation intended for breathable synthetic materials. Our proprietary membranes will nevertheless remain waterproof and breathable as they are well protected on the inside of the outer material.

DWR finish

All products featuring Bergans proprietary membranes are protected by a coating known as DWR (Durable Water Repellent). This treatment makes the outer fabric water repellent. Our DWR waterproofing finish is PFOA-free.


Waterproof shell garments are often divided into 3 groups according to their difference in structure. What they all have in common is that the membrane is laminated onto the outer fabric.

3-LAYER: Consists of three layers that have been laminated together to make one fabric. The outer layer is made from water-repellent microfiber. The membrane sandwiched in the middle ensures that the garment is waterproof and wicking. The inner layer, closest to the body, consists of a mesh lining that protects the membrane and provides extra durability.

2½-LAYER: Garments made from this material are principally characterized by being very lightweight and offering minimal packing volume, as well as being windproof and waterproof. The lining is replaced by a coating on the inside of the membrane. The superior durability of our other 3-layer fabrics is not achieved, but superlight shell clothing is in any case not intended for daily wear.

2-LAYER: Consists of two layers that have been laminated together to make one fabric – an outer fabric in microfiber and the membrane. It also has a loose mesh lining next to the body. This lining wicks moisture away from the body, protecting the membrane and retaining body heat. Since garments made from 2-layer fabric have a loose lining made from wicking mesh, they often feel warmer than 3-layer fabric.


Any seam in a garment poses a risk of leakage. For this reason, all seams in garments featuring Dermizax® and Bergans Element Active® membranes are tape-sealed. This guarantees full waterproofing of the garment. In garments featuring Bergans Element® membrane, the seams are fully or partially tape-sealed. The extent of the taping determines the intended use of the garment.