A rain jacket that relies on the fabric?
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Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
A rain jacket that relies on the fabric? on 02/19/2012 09:17:55 MST Print View

I am thinking of making a rain jacket that relies on more the fabric to be waterproof so I don't have to rely on proofing every so often. My main concerns are its long term waterproofnes and durability. I was thinking of using some 1.9oz silnylon with UV protection for the main parts, Cordura overpatches for where a pack might rub and waterproof main and pit zips. What do people think? Where are some store to buy fabric other than owf and thru-hiker that people would suggest?

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: A rain jacket that relies on the fabric? on 02/19/2012 10:15:02 MST Print View

The membranes don't require proofing, they are waterproof no matter what, even if the DWR is shot. The reason DWRs are used is because when a WPB jacket wets out, it pretty much lose all breathability and is little better than a plastic jacket.

So if you make a jacket using a non-breathable fabric you're not increasing the waterproofness over a WPB, you're just decreasing the breathability (and maybe weight). Without it being breathable you'll still likely sweat and get wet from perspiration, not rain.

Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
hmmm on 02/19/2012 10:36:14 MST Print View

Ah, now this makes more sense. All of the different people saying different things is quite confusing to me or maybe it is the dyslexia.

I currently use a Tumalo so I have plenty of venting from the pockets and pit zips so that is good to know.

German Hiker said 'Rain jackets: I have tried both Goretex Paclite and eVent - and have been disappointed with both of them. I first used a Hagloefs Oz Paclite Pullover and after a couple of months of use it started leaking like a sieve. I returned it under warranty and got a brand new one, but after a couple of months the same thing happened. I then changed to eVent and bought a Integral Designs jacket. Everything was fine, but after about three months of constant use it was leaking despite washing and ironing it. I am not back to cheap Tyvek rain gear - it might not be perfect either, but at least it is cheap. '

How does one stop rain jackets from leaking like a sieve then?

Edited by bpeugh on 02/19/2012 10:38:49 MST.

steven franchuk
(Surf) - M
Keep it clean and it will last longer on 02/19/2012 12:10:56 MST Print View

"The membranes don't require proofing, they are waterproof no matter what, even if the DWR is shot. "

While that statement is correct, Keep in mind abrasion will wear through the membrane eventually. Most waterproof breathable bembranes are bonded to fabric to protect it from abrasion from your backpack and trees and rocks you might rub against. The other side is often protected by another material to protect it from abrasion from your cloths.

Eventually you can wear through and damage the membrane. A dirty jacket will wear out faster than one that is kept clean. The dirt will act like the grit in sandpaper. Also check your cloths and pack for pin needles and twigs before you put on your rain jacket. They can poke holes completely through the fabric and membrane.

If you follow the cleaning instructions from the manufacture at home or periodically rinse it on a long hike it should hold up well.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Keep it clean and it will last longer on 02/19/2012 14:07:54 MST Print View

Steven's right.

Also take GT's gear report with a grain of salt. While I have the utmost respect for her long term commitment to living outdoors she is very hard on her gear. I think she purchases gear more on a balance between performance and cost. I get the sense she doesn't fully account for how durability changes between normal usage and the usage of 100% in the wilderness user and just how much more careful with your gear you have to be to ensure longevity.

With regards to goretex wearing out, paclite is not designed for day in and day out hard living. Goretex even warns against this. It's a 2.5 layer technology designed to pack small. As such you have your GTX membrane with a soft and supple outer face giving you 2 layers. This technology requires an inner face to keep your skin/baselayer/inner clothing from rubbing the membrane into shreds. So for 2.5 layers they usually just adhere a bunch of microdots (reduces breathability by covering some of the surface area) that raises the membrane and face layer off your clothes. So instead the micro dots get worn down instead of the membrane, but when they're gone in high wear areas like elbows the membrane will start to get worn down and eventually fail.

That's why 3-layer goretex pro shells are so much more expensive. They have a much more durable outer fabric, the same membrane, and a fully cloth inner layer to protect the membrane. Also makes them heavier. A quality goretex pro shell will last a long time unless you're constantly in harsh environments (usually climbing where rocks will scratch and rip, or accidents, and destroy the fabric eventually).

However for normal use, unless there's a flaw in the membrane used and they delaminate, a jacket taken care of will work for a long time. You'll probably want to replace it just for being "old" before it's worn out if you're like a typical 40hr/wk weekend warrior.

Also your silnylons and cuben type jackets will suffer similar degradation due to abrasion, and these fabrics are not designed for high abrasion use (they're made for catching wind!).

Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
more of a rounded jacket on 02/19/2012 16:43:24 MST Print View

I am looking for more of a shell that I can use outdoors when hiking and camping and around town for this and that, not just something for weekends or hen I go backpacking. If it rains or the wind is blowing, I am going to want to wear it. Not going up rocks or doing any heavy work in it.

Maybe I should keep that Westcomb Cruiser or make a better fitting version out of the 7' of 3 layer eVent I have. Is 3 layer eVent better than GoreTex Pro Shell?

Edited by bpeugh on 02/19/2012 16:45:21 MST.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: more of a rounded jacket on 02/19/2012 17:19:45 MST Print View

What I meant was weekends in the woods. In the city your clothes won't get nearly as much dirt on them, and even if you did fall into a mud pit cleaning is much easier than if your 20 miles from the nearest road =)

eVent is definitely more breathable than GoreTex, although often heavier. Depending on the face fabric the two are comparable durability. Your Westcomb is actually made of eVent already and has reinforced high wear areas. It's a cadillac of rain jackets and not terribly heavy. You'd be hard pressed to replicate it on your own but it might be a fun experiment to do anyway.

If you have eVent fabric it might be nicer to use that for some other MYOG projects (like a foot and head strips for a winter bivy).

Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
maybe some mitts on 02/19/2012 17:51:57 MST Print View

Thanks. Actually I will probably make some more durable mitts like the MLD ones but with Toughtek on the grips or something like that. I have already made some waterproof socks out of the stuff.