> there comes a time when you have to say that a SAFETY article of clothing like a
> parka or anorak must be durable and reliable.
As a motherhood statement this is obviously unarguable. But what it does not address is just does 'durable and reliable' mean? Opinions differ, based on experience.
If I am thrashing through heavy Australian scrub I may leave my rainwear off. Why?
* I am going to get thoroughly wet anyhow.
* There is negligable wind in thick scrub, so windchill is not a problem.
* Wearing ANY rainwear in our bad scrub will simply shred the rainwear quickly.
If the weather is too bad for that, I stop and camp. It seldom happens.
If I am up in the alpine regions (where windchill can be severe), then 'durable and reliable' have to be interpreted in the light of experience. I have found that silnylon will last in a howling gale for weeks on end. I have also found that the very lightest Malibu EPIC fabric will also survive the wind, snow and ice, and falling over cornices.
What I have not done is to go sliding down scree and shale slopes in the rain in UL fabrics. But now you are talking serious mountaineeering, and that should be treated a bit differently imho.
My experience has been that nylon, even at 30 denier, is quite strong enough for walking use, provided the wearer does not treat it as some sort of armoured outer layer. PacLite is quite heavy stuff in comparison.