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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Ultralight Waterproof-Breathable Jackets: 2012 State of the Market Report on 03/13/2012 11:05:00 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Ultralight Waterproof-Breathable Jackets: 2012 State of the Market Report

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Durability on 03/13/2012 18:18:39 MDT Print View

Good stuff.

> Durability is the chief objection to the first two, with climbers, bushwhackers, the indelicate,
> and the paranoid expressing concern that the fabric required to crack 8 ounces (227 g) will
> be too fragile for their needs. Coating durability is also a concern.
OK, I agree 100% that the careless are going to trash almost any fabric, and that both manufacturers and retailers hate returns (and the winges on blogs from the idiot few). Can't argue with that.

But I have taken my poncho, made of the standard light (Westmark) silnylon, through Australia scrub in the rain, and guess what? The fabric slid over the sticks and spikes. it was so smooth on the surface and so light, in contrast to a heavy Gore-Tex fabric, that it just did not catch. I was fascinated.

Um - yes, silnylon is definitely not breathable of course, but my loose flappy poncho substitutes air movement for breathability. Works pretty well for me.

But, perception by the general public and the retailers ...

Cheers

Edited by rcaffin on 03/14/2012 14:57:43 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan)

Locale: Cascadia
WPB on 03/13/2012 18:40:24 MDT Print View

Awesome article so far. Thanks for the engaging, well articulated and intelligent discussion on a complex topic. I'm looking forward to part II.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Coating on 03/13/2012 18:56:54 MDT Print View

Good write up David. Most of us probably haven't tried non-WPB raingear (except ponchos) so its good to remember it could always be worse.
Thanks for the side bar on the DWR coating, I was beginning to think my old Golite Virga was trashed but I'll try washing it and maybe a new coating and we'll see how that works.

Edit - I'm looking forward to Part II.

Edited by Cameron on 03/13/2012 21:01:10 MDT.

Brian UL
(MAYNARD76)

Locale: New England
Re: Durability on 03/13/2012 19:51:18 MDT Print View

Havn't read the article but, as it concerns durability I've been a little confused. If you are in a situation that you need durability like bush whacking won't you just destroy your expensive jacket anyway? I mean the DWR coating is not going to last very long in a bushwhack. I would look for the cheapest possible jacket to use in that situation since it will be destroyed in no time. So it seems no matter what if I buy a wpb jacket IM going want to baby it. Another reason I like DRi ducks.

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
Ultralight Waterproof-Breathable Jackets: 2012 State of the Market Report on 03/13/2012 21:11:05 MDT Print View

Great report - can't wait for the reviews.
Since you twice mention Patagonia Specters, please note that there were two Patagonia Specters. The first was a heavier material with minimal pockets, but only weighs 8.5 oz in a size XL. You could even say there were 3 Specters, because when the first one came out, it was very large around the torso; supposedly so climbers could wear gear under it, but they soon thinned it out. The later Specter was made of a gossamer-like material, but with a kangaroo pocket, much beloved in anoraks. Could never find a 2d edition on sale, so still use the 1st. Around a decade old and still works fine, all day in the rain; but I trek at below average speed, with a light pack, thanks to BPL. It has been used mostly in Colorado, where, with some care, hiking off trail is seldom "bushwacking" of the prickly sort done back here in the Northeastern Forests.

Roman Vazhnov
(joarr) - MLife

Locale: Russia
Ultralight Waterproof-Breathable Jackets: 2012 State of the Market Report on 03/14/2012 01:02:14 MDT Print View

I have to mention Sivera Gvor :) 170 gramms, Japan hydrophilic PU membrane (WP 18 000 mm/H2O, MVTR 25 000 g/sm/24hrs (B1)).
http://sivera.ru/catalog/mens_t2/hardshell/344/
Gvorcompressed

But right now on russian market only.

Edited by joarr on 03/14/2012 01:31:49 MDT.

Marco A. Sánchez
(marcoasn) - M

Locale: The fabulous Pyrenees
Re: Re: Durability on 03/14/2012 02:28:09 MDT Print View

In fact, DriDucks/RainShield jackets aren't cheap for (real) bushwhacking, since they won't last even a trip.

Yes, they breathe wonderfully, are pretty light... but I ended up not wearing them anymore because they need too much care.

Cheers.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Ultralight Waterproof-Breathable Jackets: 2012 State of the Market Report on 03/14/2012 03:29:34 MDT Print View

Alas, once again, Paramo rain gear is denied consideration. I can't understand the resistance to it; it fundamentally works differently to all other forms of WPB technology and I'd think people would at least give it a proper try. It's has it's drawbacks... it's heavy and, for some, too warm. Personally I find that it does, by including the pump liner (it doesn't use a membrane of any kind... it works on the physics of the fibers in the liner mechanically pulling water from one side of the fabric to the other...and not chemically, as hydrophobic and hydrophilic fabrics do, though adding the DWR treatment that it is designed for, makes it much more effective) exactly what the fear of hypothermia in wet environments is trying to prevent: keep you warm. If it is too warm to wear a shirt underneath, just remove your under layers and the jacket is soft and pliable enough to wear on it's own. But in most rains that I have walked in, the ambient temperature is either chilly and therefore requires some kind of insulation, under most rain garments, even if it is light, or else it is warm enough to walk without anything waterproof, in which case my movement will generate enough heat to evaporate what moisture my clothes have accumulated.

Maintaining the DWR treatment is an easy thing most of the time... just throw the garment in the washing machine with the Nikwax TX-Direct Wash-In and let the garment dry afterwards (no ironing). Out in the field long term, however, finding a way to get the DWR treatment in, might be a challenge. However, Paramo still work when the DWR treatment is gone... just not as effectively.

This, from http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/expert-advice/guide-to-waterproofing-:

"Advanced Moisture Management - Paramo

"This is a membrane where the outer layer sheds most of the water. When water penetrates the outer it comes into contact with the “pump liner” or drop liner, which forces any moisture back out of the jacket. The “pump liner” effectively dries faster than it can get wet as the waterproof element is within the lining.

"Paramo works like the fur of an animal whereas conventional waterproofs work more like a sheet of plastic. There are three constituent components: two layers of fabric and a waterproofing agent. The fabric is impregnated with Nikwax TX Direct treatment that leaves a water-repellent finish on each individual fibre so that the outer layer, as well as being fully windproof, will deflect at least 90% of water that hits it.

"This unique system of water transfer control, insulation and waterproofing is derived from observations of how an animal’s fur works. The inner layer is a very short-haired fleece which is reversed, so that as water enters the fleece and moves down towards the base of the fibres, it comes under increasing pressure; eventually it cannot get any further and is pushed back up the fibres.

"In addition, the waterproofing treatment causes the garment to treat water directionally, so that any water that hits it is deflected. It also means that any moisture that is created on the inside will be drawn away.


"Advantages of Paramo

"Paramo is extremely breathable: no matter how hard the wearer works, or how much they sweat, body moisture will be moved away. Due to the way it functions, and the type of fabric used, fewer layers of clothing are required underneath. Paramo jackets do not appear to have a finite life: as long as they are periodically reproofed (about every 12 months) by washing with either TX Direct or Granger’s Extreme and then tumble-dried, they will keep on working.

"For comparison, a Gore-Tex or other membrane jacket will have about an eight-year life and a coated jacket five or six years, before they are worn out. Punctures do not harm the material and rips can be easily repaired.


"Disadvantages of Paramo:

"The material is comparatively heavy. It is questionable whether it is sufficiently durable to be recommended for serious mountaineering use. It has no hydrostatic head. When it needs reproofing water can be pushed through the fabric, e.g. by the weight of a rucksack; however the water will disappear soon after the pressure is released."

Edited by butuki on 03/14/2012 03:31:17 MDT.

wander lust
(sol)
paramo again on 03/14/2012 03:50:35 MDT Print View

Miguel, we all know how much you love Paramo. No offence, but it is too warm for most 3 season scenarios, unless one is high up in the mountains. You might sweat and heat up less than the average hiker.

I have tried it myself and there are too many drawbacks if it is used in warmer weather for me. It has to be around freezing or I will overheat in it. The pit zips do not help that much once it is warmer than 50F. Furthermore I had some bad experience with my Quito. Which is even not recommended for hiking, as I've just figured out in the Vista review on bpl. Paramo doesn't say that on their product page though. I got wet in Paramo, soaked to the bone. It kept me reasonably warm, though.

As far as I remember you use a thicker and warmer Paramo garment, which probably won't leak. But the thinner stuff is not recommended in my opinion. Paramo is probably the best raingear for cold weather.

An ul rainjacket combined with a micro-grid fleece vest is still lighter as any Paramo garment and more versatile in the warmer months.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: paramo again on 03/14/2012 04:10:00 MDT Print View

I run very warm, wander lust. Warmer than most of the people I've walked with. So that is not the problem. (perhaps I may ask why you don't phrase that suggestion as, perhaps you run too hot?)

I use both the older and newer versions of Paramo (Cascada jacket... one 15 years old, the other the newer lighter version..., Vista jacket, Velez Adventure Light smock, Cascada trousers, and Velez Adventure trousers). They all work for me. I'm sorry it doesn't work for you. The only reason that I don't use the Velez and Vista as much is that they are both cut too short. My shirts stick out of the hems.

I use mine all year, even in the very hot and humid summers here. As I said, if it is too warm for the Paramo, I don't don it, just go in my baselayer shirt and let myself get wet. If it were to suddenly get cold, I'd just don the Paramo and it would dry my out very quickly, since it sucks up the moisture.

It works for me. Just expressing that here. Would like to see other people try it out. I think a lot of people would be very happy with it. That some don't or that it doesn't work for them... well, that comes with the territory.

Edited by butuki on 03/14/2012 04:14:42 MDT.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: WNC
Re: Re: paramo again on 03/14/2012 05:19:22 MDT Print View

There is a separate review (also just posted) of the Vista that I did. I've really enjoyed wearing it in the Winter and like Miguel, when it starts getting above about 65 here (SE US), I just go with no rain gear and get wet. With that said, it's weight alone would preclude it from being in this SOTM given the selection criteria.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: paramo again on 03/14/2012 05:46:06 MDT Print View

Apologies, Chris. I hadn't noticed the forum link to the article. Very nice review. Would be interesting to hear your long-term impressions of the Vista. I've had mine for two years now, and I love it.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Durability on 03/14/2012 10:39:04 MDT Print View

Roger said,

"But I have taken my poncho, made of the standard light (Westmark) silnylon, through Australia scrub in the rain, and guess what? The fabric slid over the sticks and spikes. it was so smooth on the surface and so light, in contrast to a heavy Gore-Tex fabric, that it just did not catch. I was fascinated.

Um - yes, silnylon is definitely not breathable of course, but my loose flappy poncho substitutes air movement for breathability. Works pretty well for me.

But, perception by the general public and the retailers ..."

------

Agree! I have tried a few WPB jackets over the years and none with great success. But year after year, decade after decade, the poncho keeps me dry and I don't sweat like a pig. And most are much cheaper than a jacket, not to mention multi-purpose. But hey, the manufacturers create the demand and consumers wait in line for the next Holy Grail. I have been observing this every year, since Gore introduced GoreTex in 1976. All I see is billions and billions of dollars spent on jackets that wet-out and hikers with soaked inner layers.

Scott Ryskamp
(grimloch)
Polartec NeoShell on 03/14/2012 11:31:59 MDT Print View

It's too bad that aren't yet any ultralight Polartec NeoShell jackets. Could be the answer!

If you haven't read about NeoShell yet... www.neoshell.com

Paul Melzer
(pmbooks) - F

Locale: SoCal
too heavy? on 03/14/2012 11:31:59 MDT Print View

Agree, why no mention of Neoshell, Dry.Q, etc. Perhaps because they came to market after author summer 2011 testing, but I think some mention is warranted. (Or are they heaped into the "just more holy grail hypes" bin?)

Edited by pmbooks on 03/14/2012 11:33:32 MDT.

Scott Ryskamp
(grimloch)
haa on 03/14/2012 11:33:27 MDT Print View

Wow, Paul.. we posted at the exact same time. Crazy! lol

Paul Melzer
(pmbooks) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: haa on 03/14/2012 11:35:37 MDT Print View

Yes, same wavelength (geez, you're right...down to the same second, even). I've purchased a Rab neoshell that I'm taking to the Barkley in a couple of weeks. I really don't care that it weighs 17 oz. Did I buy another "holy grail?" Time will tell.

Edited by pmbooks on 03/14/2012 11:37:53 MDT.

Rob Vandiver
(ShortBus) - M

Locale: So Cal
UL WPB Jackets on 03/14/2012 12:04:32 MDT Print View

Very much looking forward to part II.

Maury Hall
(Deacon) - M
Re: Ultralight Waterproof-Breathable Jackets: 2012 State of the Market Report on 03/14/2012 12:51:23 MDT Print View

In regard to your comment about the Packa. Cedar tree Industries, maker of the Packa, for some reason doesn't advertise that they do use eVent if you request that. I Iove my eVent Packa. It keeps me dry even in hot humid weather, even though it's 17 oz. I never go without it.