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Ultralight Waterproof Breathable Jackets: 2012 State of the Market Report
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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

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

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

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

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.