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Ultralight Waterproof Breathable Jackets: 2012 State of the Market Report
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Ultralight Waterproof Breathable Jackets: 2012 State of the Market Report on 03/20/2012 17:12:21 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Ultralight Waterproof Breathable Jackets: 2012 State of the Market Report

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
WPB Jackets on 03/20/2012 20:32:16 MDT Print View

Awesome write up. This is super helpful. Too bad the Ozo is so pricey and hard to get.

FWIW, I cut the flaps off the pit vents in my Essence because I figured they pretty much blocked the vents and negated their existence. In extended hard rains you can now get a little wet in this area, as the insides of the arm sleeves eventually get wet which rubs into the mesh and then soaks into your shirt. The upside is that you get quite a bit better venting in moderate rains. Perhaps I should just cut out the mesh too.

I also replaced the waist hem shockcord with lighter (1/16") stuff, and snipped off the storm flap from behind the main zip to bring the weight to 6.20oz. Now it's a good light duty jacket but probably not the best choice for big rains.

Edited by dandydan on 03/20/2012 20:33:22 MDT.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: WPB Jackets on 03/21/2012 00:12:58 MDT Print View

Great stuff, Dave.

I also have the Essence, but unfortunately cannot comment on its comparison to other rain jackets as this is my only one. It's good to see where it stands in the group, and what I could be looking for with a future jacket.

Edited by T.L. on 03/21/2012 00:13:29 MDT.

Ceph Lotus
(Cephalotus) - MLife

Locale: California
Waterproof Jackets on 03/21/2012 10:34:30 MDT Print View

Thanks for the reviews!

There's been a couple of new rain jackets recently released, which didn't make the review:
Helium II and the Zpacks Cuben rainjacket

Kurt Lammers
(lammers8) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Good stuff on 03/21/2012 10:38:57 MDT Print View

Unfortunately I couldn't wait any longer to replace my not-super-breathable GoLite Virga but fortunately I have a Zpacks w/b jacket on order, I'll be happy to share my thoughts when it arrives in the near future - the Rab Pulse was high on my short list, happy to see that it held up to the very thorough report. Thanks Dave!

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Ultralight Waterproof Breathable Jackets: 2012 State of the Market Report on 03/21/2012 12:45:24 MDT Print View

Great review, but it is a bit disappointing that no Propore or breathable Cuben jackets were reviewed. I know Propore is extremely fragile and Cuben is extremely expensive, but I would like to know how those materials compare to the ones reviewed in terms of breathability and waterproofness. My understanding is that they both are great in both areas, but I would like to have BPL confirm (or refute) that.

Edited by rossbleakney on 03/21/2012 12:51:08 MDT.

Christopher Knaus
(Knaushouse)

Locale: Northern California
Complementary Data? on 03/21/2012 12:46:49 MDT Print View

Good stuff! Any chance of getting breathability data like Will published back in October & November for this set of jackets? This would complement the "subjective impression" on breathability and help us to understand the broader range of options in the market.

Phillip Damiano
(Phillipsart)

Locale: Australia
Montane waterproof on 03/21/2012 14:16:00 MDT Print View

Hmmm, now I'm concerned that my Montane jacket will keep me dry after reading this review.

I purchased a Montane Air eVent Jacket last week, is this jacket made of similar material to the Spectre reviewed here?

Should I send this jacket back?

Edited by Phillipsart on 03/21/2012 14:49:29 MDT.

Martin RJ Carpenter
(MartinCarpenter) - F
Probably OK on 03/21/2012 14:49:03 MDT Print View

I think Montane (and others?) have been using this grade of Event for a bit, and on multiple jackets. So probably more likely a one off problem. Maybe not a great failure rate, but goodness knows.
(As per Montane's website the Air, Spectre and Trojan use precisely the same fabric.).

The really bad thing about the Ozo is of course it seemingly having been discontinued. I do normally like Haglofs but sometimes....

Another one - Norrona's new version of the Bithorn Dri1 seems to have their usual big pit zips/side vents and claimed at 214g.

Edited by MartinCarpenter on 03/21/2012 14:49:48 MDT.

Phillip Damiano
(Phillipsart)

Locale: Australia
Thanks on 03/21/2012 14:57:52 MDT Print View

I might have an option to upgrade to the Montane Venture Jacket, I believe is made of more durable eVent, although at a cost of weight at 439 grams compared to 330 grams for the Air Jacket. But if it means staying dry the Venture might be a better option for me. I don't really want to carry the extra 100 grams if I can help it, but I do want to stay dry.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: Spektr durability on 03/21/2012 18:20:41 MDT Print View

My issue with the Spektr is the only incident of it's kind of which I'm aware. I was quite surprised that it failed as it did, and what I wrote is merely the least unlikely explanation. If I hadn't seen to it myself, I'd have sworn the problem arose from negligent DWR maintenance. Montane has a great reputation, and I doubt they'd leave a consumer out in the wet should they experience a comparable materials failure.

Phillip Damiano
(Phillipsart)

Locale: Australia
Re: re: Spektr durability on 03/21/2012 19:00:01 MDT Print View

Have you contacted Montane in regards to this matter? Would be interesting to hear what they have to say about the failure.
Just spoke to a hiker that used the Montane Air Jacket on the Overland Track in Tasmania and he couldn't be any happier with the jacket. That's one week of backpacking. However it did not rain everyday.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Replacement for a Montane Quickfire on 03/21/2012 19:01:15 MDT Print View

I have been using a 320g Montane Quickfire for 3 years and recently have been keeping my eye out for a lighter weight equivalent and just cant seem to find one.

After using Event I just cant go back to a less breathable material.

William Moon
(moon) - MLife

Locale: Central Utah
Marmot Mica? on 03/21/2012 20:17:30 MDT Print View

David, this is really a helpful review. I was just wondering why the Marmot Mica at 7 oz was not included as it has been around for a number of years?

http://marmot.com/products/mica_jacket

Regards,
Bill

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: Marmot Mica? on 03/22/2012 00:50:06 MDT Print View

if you look at part 1 you will see the problem with the mica ... delamination ... this is not the first time ive heard of it happening on marmots or micas ... ive also seen someone post his experience that marmot refused to cover it because the "lifetime" of the product wore out ...

which is why i went to the OR helium and OR's no question asked warranty ...

from part 1 ...

Brian UL
(MAYNARD76)

Locale: New England
Re: WPB Jackets on 03/22/2012 15:01:22 MDT Print View

I have the TNF Triumph and like it for its simplicity and especially its very compact size. Its the closest in compressibility to a wind shirt I have seen.
But I still can't wrap my head around the idea of buchwacking in any of these? Im skeptical that they can stand up to a bushwack. I would not do it in my TNF anorak thats for sure.

Gerry Brucia
(taedawood) - MLife

Locale: Louisiana, USA
Montane Minimus with Pertex Shield on 03/22/2012 16:00:37 MDT Print View

For nearly a year I have used a Montane Minimus Jacket that uses Pertex Shield. It is light and very comfortable, breathes very well. But it has an "inner lining problem", according to the response I recently received from Montane after emailing them photos of my wet jacket. Just today I shipped the jacket back to the vendor to initiate the warranty replacement process.

When I first subjected it to a torrential storm (8"+ in a 24 hour period)in November, it did relatively well and only wetted out under the backpack straps. Shortly thereafter I washed it in a top-loading washing machine on a gentle cycle using Nikwax Wash, following Montane's washing instructions, and then re-did the WR with Nikwax TX Direct according to the bottle instructions.

Within a month, I noticed that the inner fabric was separating from the outer fabric. It did not rip, it just delaminated. And the jacket lost virtually all water repellancy.

It is a hassle having to return it but I hope that this is an anomaly and not the norm for Pertex Shield. I have had several Montane products and I really like them. If my replacement jacket does not exhibit this type of problem, I will tell y'all that this is a fantastic jacket. But until I get it and test it out for a while, the jury is still out!

Edited by taedawood on 03/22/2012 16:02:46 MDT.

Jim Sweeney
(swimjay) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Invisible Durability on 03/22/2012 18:55:34 MDT Print View

The problem of continued jacket/fabric performance that many have mentioned here is, I think, basically one of visibility. Weight, features, cut, are all parameters that are visible when we purchase a garment, perhaps more or less understood, but able to be factored into our decisions. Fabric durability, and, to a lesser extent, construction durability are not. Nor is performance under extreme circumstance--it's one thing to keep out the rain, and maintain breath-ability, in a 1/2 hour shower, but quite another in a day-long rain. As soon as the external fabric wets out, breath-ability goes down the tubes.
And considering that an enormous amount of sold backpacking equipment spends most of its time in the closet, manufacturers don't have an enormous incentive to make their gear actually reliable in difficult environments. A great many jackets probably only come out of their closets for a run to the movies.
One way to change this--unlikely, I admit-- would be to have some kind of event like a NASCAR race, in which 10 walkers, each wearing a different manufacturer's garment, spent a day walking across some forsaken moor in a pelting downpour, the winner being the walker with the driest base layer at the end of 10 hours. Part of the route would be over scree, through brush, past artificial snow machines, uphill and down. Heck, you could probably even use a NASCAR track, with strategic artificial obstacles, and televise the thing.
Right now, simply being able to make a plausible claim is good enough. Consider Goretex, in its original forms--almost completely worthless as vapor transport in real world situations, but it had a good enough story to build an empire.

Edited by swimjay on 03/22/2012 18:56:13 MDT.

Brian UL
(MAYNARD76)

Locale: New England
Re: Invisible Durability on 03/22/2012 19:15:55 MDT Print View

"plausible claim"

I think you nailed it.

Ron Bishop
(Compass) - MLife

Locale: Ontario
Haglofs Ozo on 03/24/2012 11:13:53 MDT Print View

Dave,

As mentioned in another post, I believe the Ozo has been discontinued, as I can't find it on Haglofs' web site.

Did you happen to find any jackets with Gore-Tex construction that fit the category? I own a Marmot Nano with GT Paclite, which Gore-Tex claims is durably waterproof and extremely breathable. It weighs 8.5 oz (size L), but I haven't used it enough in rainy conditions to provide constructive feedback.

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
OMM Cypher Smock on 03/24/2012 11:18:59 MDT Print View

Just outside the weight cut-off, but the eVent OMM Cypher Smock is worth a look.

John Topping
(JohnT) - MLife

Locale: Peak District
Foresaken moors on 03/24/2012 15:15:13 MDT Print View

Great write up Dave and this has likely convinced me to catch a Haglofs Ozo while I still can.

James, your proposal for a "foresaken moor in pelting downpour" test has been enacted a fair few times by me in the company of my hiking partners over the years although I haven't managed to assemble a group of ten at any one time (typically max four)! My observations as follows using the following garments over the last 6/7 years (lots before that with around 6 years of using Buffalo pertex/pile clothing in winter with no WPB shells at all):

* Montane Quickfire/(other similar Event jackets from Montane worn by others but unsure of name) - more breathable than Goretex Paclite but simply doesn't keep enough water out to be considered an all day waterproof jacket (not just a bit damp but serious and chilling with water running down my skin). This happened very quickly with all the jackets the various members of the group (the face fabric on mine is still in very good condition) and I should have returned mine but didn't get round to it. I now use this as a beefy wind jacket in winter when I don't expect much rain just to get some value out of the garment. Personally I have completely given up on Event based on our collective experience.

* TNF Triumph - this was cheap and I bought it primarily for the weight. It is taken along mainly on trips to places like the Alps/Pyrenees/Sierras in summer when I don't expect to wear it much but my observations chime with Dave's - great construction, average fit (baggy and short), breathability poor, weatherproofing pretty good. Bought at the right price this is a good summer choice.

* OR Zealot - Hood could be better and jacket slightly longer but this has worked over a greater range of conditions than any of the others. Getting very tired now and sadly discontinued which is why the Ozo is looking favourite. I understand that people feel that Goretex advertising is overblown but if I ignore that Paclite delivers the best blend of breathability v waterproofing for me (and I wear a windproof when it is not actually raining). Going back to a non-breathable garment for a short while ~ 2000/2001 reminded me that Goretex does actually let some moisture out.....

* Paramo Quito - lots of rave reviews and I bought a Quito as the lightest garment of the "waterproof" range. Fit through the chest and arms is okay but it is far too short (for me) and is unsatisfactory for that reason alone but again this doesn't keep enough water out to be of any use to me and it didn't even with the factory DWR. Yes, it is breathable and can be considered an all day garment for conditions cool enough to wear it (absolute max 10degC but better below 5degC) but is no better than an R1 with a windshirt in that respect ( a combination which also fits far better, is more flexible and is lighter). Short showers are okay but prolonged rain results in cold water running down my skin. Relegated to short dog walks only! The hood also suffers from "ski skins" syndrome (or velcro head as my wife prefers to call it!), rotating around my head to cover my left eye, due to the nature of the lining fabric. Very annoying all round really, although Paramo has a cult following in the UK.

Actually having gone through that process, I need to get online to order one of the last discounted Ozos....

Nigel Healy
(nigelhealy) - F

Locale: San Francisco bay area
Re: Foresaken moors on 03/24/2012 17:06:11 MDT Print View

Oh dear John sorry to hear you've had so many failures. The most typical cause of eVent "leaking" is still the fact that the most breathable fabrics still aren't breathable enough and its condensation, although in your case it sounds like actual garment failure as condensation is usually in colder spots like in the arms.

Paramo Quito, yes its short, annoyingly and needlessly short like they kept taking a bit more off the length to hit a magical weight number, but I've not found it fail, and I've been out for hours in heavy rain. It does need one to be a little too-warm to work though as gives the outward pressure required, otherwise it gets progressively sodden and eventually fails, so you have to carry an overlayer to keep yourself warm if its cold. It is often too-warm so solves its own needs mostly. There is NO DWR, it simply needs to be clean and kept clean properly, I hand-washed wearing gloves mine in the sink using Techwash a few days ago for example. Paramo is not superlight but its not meant to be packed its meant to be worn continuously with high breathability you keep it on when its not raining so in that sense its a waterproof with zero backpack weight, BUT temperature management is the problem to work out.

Mica delamination, well I own a Mica and I wear as little as possible, I can tell it won't last many days of use under a backpack but I knew that when I paid for a relatively low cost shell.

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
Ultralight Waterproof Breathable Jackets: 2012 State of the Market on 03/24/2012 18:42:36 MDT Print View

The more I read on this and other sites on this subject, the less I'm inclined to replace the rain gear I have. Too bad about the problems with the light weight eVent covers (OMM, Montane). Not about to double my weight by trying a heavier US eVent item, like the REI jacket, when it might not even keep me dry. A whole lot less bloviance and a lot more work on product development would be a good start in this area.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
Ozo replacement on 03/24/2012 18:46:00 MDT Print View

Sorry to see that the Ozo has (it would seem) been discontinued. Looking around there are still some in stock, though medium and large look to be scarce.

If you're willing to deal with a bit more weight there are a number of still light Paclite jackets to be found. Montbells new Torrent Flier is 8.6 oz, and has pitzips. I would worry that the hood is the same as the Versalite. The Arc'teryx Alpha SL jacket and anorak compare favorably to the Ozo. I had the anorak, and the fabric is very similar. The Arc'teryx hood isn't as good, and the various zips and pockets add weight, but I found it to be very good in very bad weather.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Rab Demand pullover on 03/24/2012 19:00:06 MDT Print View

The Rab Demand pullover is a solid shell, 3-layer eVent, stripped down to the essentials and sits right around 9-10oz. Was this out of the scope of this article for weight purposes? I would say it is a good replacement to the Ozo.

I've only had a chance to wear mine half a dozen times since I picked it up. I was pleased with how it functioned on a few snow runs this winter. Durability is very good, snagged several thorny acacia trees on a long run and thought for sure I would tear into the jacket, but it came our unscathed to my surprise.

Edited by Eugeneius on 03/24/2012 19:03:18 MDT.

Nigel Healy
(nigelhealy) - F

Locale: San Francisco bay area
OMM Cypher Smock on 03/24/2012 19:17:23 MDT Print View

Review from a TGOC 2011 podcaster extraordinaire Bob Cartwright
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=iiiICwZDdSA#t=565s

Translation for USA of the UK phrase "everything on the tin" = "it does what it claims" from an old UK TV commercial
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Does_exactly_what_it_says_on_the_tin

OMM Cypher Smock

http://www.theomm.com/products?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=12&category_id=12

Edited by nigelhealy on 03/24/2012 19:20:20 MDT.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Ultralight Waterproof Breathable Jackets: 2012 State of the Market Report" on 03/24/2012 20:50:42 MDT Print View

+1 on the Rab Demand. Very happy with it after 1 1/2 seasons. My go-to shell, for sure.

I also own TNF Triumph anorak, which is great for weight and imo reasonably waterproof, but hardly breathes at all. I wouldn't want to climb a pass in tnf anorak.
But I could see using it in summer on the jmt, for example, if you understand it's limits.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Ozo sale on 03/24/2012 21:36:25 MDT Print View

Haglofs Ozo, all sizes, $179 USD....kind of a weird check out though.

http://www.haglofsjackets.org/haglofs-men39s-ozo-pullover_p426.html


Nevermind...it's a scam probably. The site was just registered 10 days ago so I highly doubt it's legit.

Edited by dandydan on 03/24/2012 21:48:16 MDT.

Jim Sweeney
(swimjay) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Ghost site on 03/24/2012 21:55:52 MDT Print View

Yes, Dan, I ordered a jacket there a few days ago, but never heard from them. Seems like a lot of work to go to if they're just fishing for email addresses/ credit cards. Have tried emailing them, but one of their addresses came up empty. So far nothing on my credit card.

Martin RJ Carpenter
(MartinCarpenter) - F
Quito on 03/25/2012 02:28:47 MDT Print View

The quito might be Paramo's lightest jacket but its very compromised to achieve that - no real flap behind the non waterproof main zip, no double layer in shoulders vs pack pressure etc. They seemingly aimed at it at cyclists and the like where it'd probably do fine, but still can't help thinking it was a slight mistake in some ways.

Rachel Frendrup
(naturligvis)
Re: Haglofs Ozo on 03/25/2012 02:44:12 MDT Print View

They might may have replaced with with the LIM series, also paclite.I have both the LIM jacket and the pants and love them.

http://www.haglofs.com/en-us/products/clothing/layers/shell-layer/men/lim_jacket_en-us.aspx

http://www.haglofs.com/en-us/products/clothing/layers/shell-layer/men/lim_pant_en-us.aspx

I have quite a lot of Haglöfs gear and have never been disappointed in anything, usually very impressed.

Nigel Healy
(nigelhealy) - F

Locale: San Francisco bay area
Re: Quito on 03/25/2012 03:07:32 MDT Print View

Yep agreed Quito is very compromised, yep has many mistakes. However, I've yet to find better in some contexts. It is more of a walking than a cycling cut due to the excessively shortness at the rear, it is about 6" too short for cycling. However, if you're wearing waterproof pants then the short cut is not really that much of a problem.

Paramo's waterproofness is not a function of zips, you'd be allowing water in via zips and aiming to be warm for baselayer to evaporate and the Quito liner to let that pass through, it might condense on the inside face of the outer layer but the inner layer won't let it pass back in, and then let body heat keep the moisture going in a generally outward direction.

I biked today for an hour doing grocery shopping in the Quito in constant rain, I was dry.

Compromised, yes, example of dumb designers, yes, ignoring customer feedback, yes, but it still can defeat the wet stuff if you know how the fabric works, and do it better than many alternatives. The key positive points are the fabric, the hood, sleeves and the pitzips.

Martin RJ Carpenter
(MartinCarpenter) - F
LIM on 03/25/2012 03:26:36 MDT Print View

Doubt it - they've always had the two together and a big weight difference. I think it must be active shell making premium paclite a harder sell.

Still, the LIM jacket would have been a much easier target (basically total overlap with their Endo). There are notes about a (still?) planned Endo pullover online and maybe they didn't think they could sustain two smocks. Still its a lot heavier than the Oz(o) so not a replacement.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
UL and merely light on 03/26/2012 22:27:58 MDT Print View

These reviewed parkas are UL and a few MAY be durable enough for my uses.

Right now I have two LIGHT parkas that have held up well in bushwhacking and working under pack harnesses. Namely:
1. Cabela's Rainy River PacLite GTX (size XL, Tall, 1 lb.)
2. REI Kimtah eVent (size XL)1 lb. also)

Both are 'lite enuf' for now but as technology marches on I may be tempted by a UL parka that seems very durable. Will the new "Never Wet" DWR technology teamed with a tougher WPB laminate be The Next Big Thing in backpacking parkas??

Stephan Doyle
(StephanCal)
Re: Rab Demand pullover on 03/26/2012 23:49:31 MDT Print View

I, too, have the Rab Demand. Great hood, simple cuffs (elastic), and a clean aesthetic. I use it from desert backpacking to alpine climbing and mountaineering. I like to fiddle and tweak my kit, but this piece is here to stay and converted me to Rab in general.

Tim Lawes
(Tim.Lawes) - M
OZO Pullover on 03/27/2012 05:36:48 MDT Print View

I contacted Haglofs about the OZO Pullover to ask if it is being replaced with a similar shell. They advised that the closest is the Endo and they will release an Endo pullover soon but it is significantly heavier. This is the reply that I got.

We will not produce more OZO Pullover and I do not why , unfortunately.
Endo II Pullover weighs more than OZO pullover, and it is explained to the membrane of Endo is heavier, but it breathes much better.
The difference is 120 grams between OZO and Endo.

Endo II Pullover ( size L ) : 300g
OZO Pullover ( size L ) : 180 g

David Colbert
(adkphoto) - M

Locale: Central, New York
Great article on 03/27/2012 10:09:40 MDT Print View

Great article and feedback. I've been looking for a new jacket for quite a while, so the timing was perfect for me as well.

My question is, does anyone have any feedback on how long to expect the waterproofing to last before wetting out on any of these lightweight options? In particular, I've been considering the OR Helium II. (I was disappointed to read that the hood wasn't particularly good on this model.)

Also, does anyone have suggestions for pants to complement these jackets?

Thanks!

David

David Hankins
(hankinsohl) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Scam websites on 03/28/2012 04:40:00 MDT Print View

Just a warning. There appear to be a lot of scam websites selling Haglof merchandise. I naively attempted to purchase an Ozo pullover from one of them for $179.00. Their secure payment webpage informed me that my purchase was refused due to "my bank's policy." So I called my bank only to find that the scam company had attempted to charge my credit card over one thousand dollars! Wow!

Since I had provided both my credit card number and 3-digit security code via the purchase page, I decided that I'd better cancel my card. Ugh, what a pain.

Anyhow, this is the site that fooled me:

http://www.haglofsjackets.org

This site was created on 2/17/2012. Another website also created on this date:

http://www.haglofsjackets.co.uk

And finally there's this one:

http://www.haglofsjacketssale.com

This was created on 11/8/2011 but is registered to somone in China.

So if the price is too good to believe and if they've got every single piece of gear in stock, all sizes, even gear that's been discontinued, it's best to run a whois check on the domain. I foolishly did not.

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
eVent failure - Rab Super Dru on 03/28/2012 06:57:02 MDT Print View

I have a 5 year old Rab Super Dru, which generally I love. Given the weather in Australia the last two years I've actually got to wear it in the rain. I noticed though on a recent bike ride in heavy rain that I did get quite wet, particularly on the arms. I dismissed it as condensation or water getting down the neck but then saw a post on another site talking about the same thing. I haven't been particularly assiduous in giving it washes, so I wonder if it had become dirty/contaminated and therefore ineffective, in the same way that early Gore-Tex did. Of course the whole point of eVent is that the membrane is supposed to be oleophobic so that it doesn't fail when contaminated, but that's not what I experienced. I have now given it a good wash and will see how it performs in the next heavy rain.

I recently bought a Montane Air jacket - at $135 it was hard to say no - and walked home in the rain in it the other day. I had no problems with condensation or leakage but will keep an eye on it.

It's worth saying that I had a succession of Gore-Tex jackets over the last 20 years that simply failed, PU coating or not. One simply stopped being waterproof, without any explanation, and the other delaminated and was replaced.

If it's cold and raining I prefer to ride in my Paramo jacket but if the temperature is above 15C it's just too warm.

Nigel Healy
(nigelhealy) - F

Locale: San Francisco bay area
Re: eVent failure - Rab Super Dru on 03/28/2012 11:16:51 MDT Print View

"If it's cold and raining I prefer to ride in my Paramo jacket but if the temperature is above 15C it's just too warm."

I also migrated away from shells as primary form of waterproofness, I primarily use windproofs which are much cheaper, even two layers can be better than a shell, and Paramo. Although:

"If it's cold and raining I prefer to ride in my Paramo jacket but if the temperature is above 15C it's just too warm."

For me its about 11C and I'm bordering on too-warm if active, at 15C I'm having to seriously slow myself down to not crank up water consumption. At about 4C its perfect. Having given up on Goretex, and hearing rave review of eVent's breathability, I did own for a year a Rab Drillium thinking it would bring waterproofness into higher temps than the Paramo, I believed the hype but it didn't have pitzips and it was too warm easily also so sold it and got a waterproof with pitzips (happens to be a Marmot Aegis which has a terrible hood by the way). All my waterproofs have pitzips, Paramo having too-warm issues and all shells simply can't breathe enough unless you move slow. Backpacking on rough ground tends to make you slow as does descending steeply but climbing or good surface flat, the shell just gets wet inside. Pitzips help enormously as pointing downwards and you can close the side facing crosswinds. The ultalight shells don't have pitzips, they add probably 100g, but the shell is mostly useless many times without.

jacob sullivan
(jakenz)

Locale: The Windy City (NZ)
More eVent experiences on 03/28/2012 15:39:07 MDT Print View

(long time listener, first time caller)

So just to add to what was said above I've also been using a RAB super dru eVent jacket (~400gms from memory) for 3 years or so here in NZ. The cut in the body, shoulders, elbows and lower arms is/was superb and I guess reflects RAB's climbing lineage - certainly much better than a Macpac Traverse eVent jacket I picked up on sale recently. The breathability of both is of course terrific compared to various Goretex jackets I've had over the years.

Alas the Super Dru's eVent layer has been delaminating steadily since it was under a year old, admittedly after very regular use (3+ hours every week) and only very occasional washing. The delamination started with the creases on the inside of your arms/elbows, which I noticed because water would "get through" there - not condensation either, we're talking moderate exertion, low humidity cold conditions here. Then other little bubbles appeared on the chest and then large sections around the hood and neck and shoulders where water would also get through and my shoulders would get quite wet.

After observing my jacket change over the years my take on the possible eVent delamination causes is:(i) areas of repetitive creasing (arm creases); (ii)areas where sweat/body oils build up (neck/hood); (iii) areas of higher than average water pressure (shoulders).

To be fair to Rab & eVent given my slackness on the washing front it may be that all three are body oil buildup related, but I'd have my doubts that would fully explain either the shoulders or the elbows/arms. That said, I'm not quite ready to go backwards on the breathability front so am giving Event another go, this time being a bit more diligent on the washing. Will see how we go!

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F - M

Locale: NW Montana
Rab Pulse Sizing on 04/09/2012 19:18:37 MDT Print View

Thanks Dave on an excellent write-up.

I picked up a Rab Pulse as a result of this article. It came at the perfect time as I am in need of a new rain jacket.

Bear in mind that the Pulse came out size-wise under its listed specs. Technically, the measurements for a Large are exactly my measurements. But when I got it to try on, I could barely fit my shoulders in the jacket at all, and it was tight through the waist. So, I sent it back to Campsaver, and they sent me an XL. The XL is just a hair tighter in the shoulders than I would rather it be, but nothing to be concerned about. Just know that Rab's shoulders are very much on the narrow side.

For many on here, that's no problem. But for broad-shouldered guys like me, keep it in mind when ordering.

(Also, the XL is 7.72 oz (219 g) on my scale. Very happy hiker.)

Kathleen B
(rosierabbit) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
RAB sizing on 04/09/2012 21:22:42 MDT Print View

I, too, bought a RAB Pulse based on this article. I returned it, because the cut was too tight in the hips. I hope RAB makes it in a woman's style soon, because the fabric did seem wonderful. As an aside, Campsaver is great to deal with.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F - M

Locale: NW Montana
Re: RAB sizing on 04/09/2012 22:24:57 MDT Print View

+1 on Campsaver. This was my first time with them--very impressed.

Cameron Lindsay
(hikingoz) - MLife

Locale: Huon
Triumph Anorak on 05/24/2012 00:49:16 MDT Print View

I was suprised with the rating of the TNF Anorak of C for durability. These jackets are only held together by tiny welded seams which are not durable. I've had one split apart across the back between the shoulders whilst taking it off. I would only hope those rated equal or worse in this review do not hold up as poorly.

Ian Clark
(chindits) - MLife

Locale: Cntrl ROMO
Rab rain jacket, a good wind breaker on 05/05/2014 10:24:00 MDT Print View

No offense intended, but I purchased the Rab rain jacket after this review. I found that the fabric did little to keep me from getting wet. Even standing around in camp in a gently falling snow, I would find water would soak through the shoulders and get my down jacket wet. This is a jacket that was very lightly used in the Colorado Rockies, so typically not a lot of use due to not a lot of rain. Almost never used with a pack. So this was not a "worn out" jacket. No chance of internal moisture with just standing around in camp. The down jacket should of mimimized the internal and external temp differential, so I discount condensation specifically to the shoulders. I interpret that snow fell hitting my shouders. The snow would melt and the water would soak through to get my down jacket wet.

In my uninformed opinion, I feel it is more important to have a rainjacket keep the external moisture out during times like camp or hunkering down waiting out a storm then it is to stay dry while on the move. For on the move, you can self generate heat to compensate for the internal moisture build up of condensation and sweat. When you are in camp or hunkered down or on the slow stalk, you are not generating the heat so it is more important to keep your insulating layers dry. So I am going back to a less breathable but more waterproof raingear, weight be d**mn.

Nigel Healy
(nigelhealy) - F

Locale: San Francisco bay area
Re: Rab rain jacket, a good wind breaker on 05/05/2014 10:48:29 MDT Print View

"The down jacket should of mimimized the internal and external temp differential, so I discount condensation specifically to the shoulders."

Huh? Insulation MAXIMISES differential inside vs outside, it is trapping heat so is making the outer side colder, by definition. A non-insulating item doesn't trap heat, lets the heat pass through so making the outside nearer to inside temperature.

So down should force condensation if under a shell if you done enough to get to the condensation point.

Not disagreeing your wider comment the jacket failed, regardless of why, it still failed.

Agree on keeping insulating layers dry, but what most people do is use down for camp wear to not wear when it is raining, you'd swap to down once out of rain. If you put a shell over, you are trapping your own moisture and of course if the shell is leaking letting the rain in too.

I can't wear down when moving above freezing, I get too hot, so my down is for stationary or moving in very cold.

Edited by nigelhealy on 05/05/2014 11:39:36 MDT.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
Re: Rab rain jacket, a good wind breaker on 05/05/2014 11:38:10 MDT Print View

That's a vexing problem Ian. It's certainly possible you got a bad jacket, or that the Pulse is just not suited to you.

I think it's also possible that the WPB outer layer was working as a moisture trap. PU is not especially breathable, especially when you use insulation under it, which lessens the ability of body heat to push moisture out.

Probably not relevant in this case, but just because a jacket hasn't been worn much does not mean the DWR is still virgin. Dirt contamination can certainly take place while stuffed in the bottom of your pack.


As a general update, the Ozo is still going strong, after having been used for every serious trip in the past 3+ years. I've been using a non-breathable OR jacket I picked up last year for less weight sensitive trips, to prolong the Ozo's life. Good WPB jackets are expensive after all.

Cas Berentsen
(P9QX) - MLife
another OZO update on 09/01/2014 15:08:19 MDT Print View

Well, after 2.5 seasons of moderate use my Ozo definitely became permeable to water somewhere around the zipper. Maybe bad luck, but anyhow disappointing.

Some other paclite jackets (of Salewa and a Mammut), albeit double in weight, fared better for half the price. The Salewa is still going strong after multiple years of intense daily usage.