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Ultralight Waterproof-Breathable Jackets: 2012 State of the Market Report
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Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: re: long term durability on 03/15/2012 08:38:05 MDT Print View

Hi Roger - thanks, I will give it a try and report back.

"i believe that the OR helium uses pertex shield ... perhaps theres an even older version that uses gortex?"

Hi Eric - yes, it was the previous version that used Gortex Paclite (Roger actually tested one for BPL, come to think of it).

Carl Umland
(chumland) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Crest Trail, mostly
Ultralight Waterproof-Breathable Jackets: 2012 State of the Market Report" on 03/15/2012 10:22:33 MDT Print View

Have any of you BPLers tried the Castelli Sotelle cycling jacket? Seen here at Amazon;
It's said to weigh 3 ounces.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Ultralight Waterproof-Breathable Jackets: 2012 State of the Market Report on 03/15/2012 16:28:08 MDT Print View

A dang teaser article. I want the meat n' potatoes! Gimme some science, Dave. I've been slowly testing various jackets on my own for the past five years and curious if my conjectures will match yours.

René Jeninga

Locale: Near the coast in the Netherlands
Golite Malpais weight on 03/16/2012 08:36:25 MDT Print View

In the article the GoLite Malpais has a claimed weight of 7.0 oz / 198.4 gram and a measured weight of 7.2 oz/ 204.1 gram (weigths of a medium sized jacket). I have a Golite malpais jacket in medium and it has a weight of 7.9 oz / 224 gram. How can this be?

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Ultralight Waterproof-Breathable Jackets: 2012 State of the Market Report" on 03/17/2012 06:59:32 MDT Print View

Nice article, David

If the DWR has to work for the membrane to work, why even have a membrane? Or, rather than focusing on the membrane, all the WPB articles should focus on the DWR - difference between different jackets, technology,...

Why is it that Western outdoor people always have short jackets? Yeah, it makes it a little lighter, but the top of your pants gets wet and cold. I was watching a PBS show of a British guy in the Himalayas - he wore a short jacket, all the natives wore long coats - that seemed a lot more functional

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
short on 03/17/2012 08:30:50 MDT Print View

fashion and weight savings ...

if you go to one of yr local department stores youll see plenty of longer rain jackets, the problem is that they are heavier or made of non breathable material .... however plenty of people buy and use em in the city just fine, they just arent currently "outdoursy" fashionable

can you imagine the outcry here over a few extra oz. that you "dont" need off a longer jacket? ... why people would bash that jacket on posts as being "overweight" ... everyone knows that all you need is a cuben poncho or dri ducks in any condition ;)

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Ultralight Waterproof-Breathable Jackets: 2012 State of the Market Report" on 03/17/2012 08:42:23 MDT Print View

> If the DWR has to work for the membrane to work, why even have a membrane?

Just DWR can be effective provided what's under it dries quickly and you aren't looking to stay perfectly dry. Good DWR + quick wicking layer is can work well, especially in cold weather. Paramo is best know for this approach. There are limitations, especially as it gets warmer. Just DWR doesn't do so well in the face of high hydrostatic head (hard / wind blown rain, kneeling, pack straps, etc). When facing a lot of brush, I doing take a traditional shell because I know the DWR will get killed. I use a jacket made from EPIC which is DWR through and through rather than being a coating… it doesn't wear off. I have written a bit about this on my recommended soft-shell page.


Melanie Simmerman
(msimmerman) - MLife
Re: Ultralight Waterproof-Breathable Jackets: 2012 State of the Market Report on 03/17/2012 12:22:10 MDT Print View

Good article with one major drawback: as usual, all the examples of jackets are for MEN. As far as I'm concerned, that means this article tells only 50% of the story. It really burns me up to walk into gear store after gear store to see a wall of stuff for the guys and half the stuff for the women. More and more women are out there equally with the guys - and if you keep not marketing to us - you deserve to lose.

Come on ladies, we have to start complaining about this. Gear makers sit up and take notice -- if you treat women badly I will not purchase your stuff. For example, NIKE treated women as though they were invisible for YEARS - I will not buy NIKE products.

Backpacking Light - sit up and take notice, too. Do you speak for us?

A disgruntled TRIPLE CROWNER!!! I'm out there as much as the guys.

Barbara Karagosian
(Barbara) - M

Locale: So Cal
including women on 03/17/2012 13:09:03 MDT Print View

Thanks for that Melanie. It is so true - REI is a prime example with their racks of gear and options for men, and few serious options for women, other than cutesy tshirts. They have half the choices for shoes and boots too. I wonder how many women there are on BPL staff? Or women doing gear reviews in general? Yes I know, I could step up!

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: women's sizing on 03/17/2012 15:08:43 MDT Print View

Melanie, you'll be pleased to know that most of the coats in this review come in a women's version. I ought to have been more plain about that.

I've always assumed that the percentage of BPL female readership is much greater than the (seemingly tiny) percentage of BPL forum participants. I'd like to see more of them writing articles, too.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: re: women's sizing on 03/17/2012 16:08:08 MDT Print View

while i understand some of the frustration .. for this particular article i dont think thats particular fair ... the fabrics and construction from what i see in the store are generally the same, so the waterproofness and durability tests should be similar

the problem IMO would be the fit, which as any other item, you should try on or buy from somewhere with a very good return policy ... as a short person i find it frustrating sometimes that testers on BPL tend to be taller and skinnier than me, but thats a fit issue

i often see articles that will or roger write, where their significant others also tests womens versions of the gear

the solution of course, is to get more women to test on bpl

David Hankins
(hankinsohl) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Weight of GoLite Malpais on 03/28/2012 03:44:32 MDT Print View

Rene - I too own a GoLite medium Malpais jacket. My jacket weighs 7.35 oz. I imagine that there's some variability in the manufacturing process which causes some jackets to weigh more than others... but a measured weight of 7.9 oz does seem a bit high.

Shane Eleniak

Locale: Norcal
Great Article - Quick Question on 04/17/2012 19:13:45 MDT Print View

Great Article David.

Any thoughts on breatheability and durability of the Rab Pulse (pertex shield) vs an equivalent eVent jacket like the Rab Demand?


Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Ultralight Waterproof-Breathable Jackets: 2012 State of the Market Report" on 04/17/2012 19:28:56 MDT Print View

> If the DWR has to work for the membrane to work, why even have a membrane?
Well, if you follow that train of thought you end up with a soft-shell jacket. Yes, these work great under the right conditions.

If you are standing around directing traffic, a long (bright orange) PVC coat is ideal. You might sweat a little bit inside it, but it WILL keep the rain out forever.

If you are exercising hard under moderate rain/mist/snow but very cool conditions, a soft-shell jacket (EPIC, DWR, pile, whatever) will work wonderfully. The heat gradient will drive your sweat out through the jacket fabric, while you are working.

If you working under torrential rain in mild conditions ... try an umbrella, a big hat, or just get wet. It's all the same in the end. (Yes, we often just get wet.)

If you are trying to work hard under cold torrential rain ... you have a problem. with no solution. About all you can do then is to wear a poncho OVER your pack and hat to deflect the rain. You will get sweat condensing inside, but you are guarranted to get wet anyhow, to misquote one of our betes-noir. At least the poncho will largely prevent the cold rain from washing away your body heat. (Tested down to freezing with success.)

Any claims by manufacturers to have the perfect solution for all conditions are just lies. You have to adapt to the conditions.


Edited by rcaffin on 04/18/2012 02:16:31 MDT.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: Pulse durability on 04/17/2012 21:55:08 MDT Print View

It seems to me that laminate durability (and fabric durability, they're not necessarily the same) needs to be taken on a case by case basis. I see no evidence thus far to suggest that a problem with one particular jacket should in any way point to a problem with that construction method. One obvious example being the well known problem with one or two generations of the Mica (I've had other PU jackets that wore fine year after year), another (perhaps) being the issues we had with the Spektr.

That being said, I've not used a Demand myself, so I cannot meaningfully comment. It's been around long enough to have plenty of user feedback available.

As for the Pulse, the problem zipper failed a few months ago (the weird crease created a stress point, and my repeated yanking at this point eventually caused the teeth to tear out from the zip fabric). I saw the production one Clayton M purchased, and it does not have this issue. I have a replacement waterproof zip on order and once I get around to fixing it I'll put it back into the rotation and try to at least occasionally leave the Ozo at home. Other than the zipper issue the Pulse has been great (having a large was nice for winter use), but I haven't put enough wear into it really speak on fabric and laminate durability.

Brendan S
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Re: re: Pulse durability on 04/17/2012 22:21:08 MDT Print View

I just picked up a Pulse and can't speak to the durability yet, but after a few weeks of use I can say that I'm extremely pleased with the jacket. The Pertex Shield is far nicer feeling than any PU jacket i've seen and the construction is super high quality. The fit is indeed generous; I ordered a medium and ended up sending it back for a small.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
PACKA parka/pack cover on 05/25/2012 14:05:23 MDT Print View

I'd like you to include the PACKA parka in its Gore-Tex version (or eVent if it's available). That parka vents very well due to its better inherent bottom venting.

BTW, I bought an REI Kimtah eVent parka on sale. Not the very lightest WPB but light enough, durable AND priced right.

I bring my GTX PacLite rain pants when on high alpine trips or when the forcast calls for it.