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GoreTex PacLite - breathability?
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John Harper
(johnnyh88) - MLife

Locale: The SouthWest
GoreTex PacLite - breathability? on 01/30/2013 08:22:50 MST Print View

I'm considering buying this rain jacket made of GoreTex PacLite from Luke's Ultalite:

I have never used any GoreTex shells before. I know on paper there is a difference in breathability. But when hiking, would you expect to see any noticeable difference in breathability between this jacket and one like the Outdoor Research Helium II?

The GoreTex Paclite jacket weighs 7.2 oz (size M). The Outdoor Research Helium II weighs 6.4 oz (size L). Would I be gaining much for the small weight increase?

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: GoreTex PacLite - breathability? on 01/30/2013 08:53:03 MST Print View

I use paclite pants and a helium II jacket. Both work well for me here in PNW.

My wife wears a Paclite jacket with no probs.

Maybe a nerdier person with numbers and pie charts would give a better answer...

FWIW the Helium is amazing to me. when you fold it in the stash pocket it fits in the back pocket of my jeans. The hood stayed on in prob 25-30mph winds- strong enough you could lean into it. Keeps me dry.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Paclite On Today on 01/30/2013 09:14:20 MST Print View

My Paclite pants and jacket are getting a workout today. Temps in the 50's and I'm biking furiously all over. I'm wearing them now.

Feels like I'm not wearing anything. Cool, airy, and light. Very breathable. A+

Haven't owned them in hot weather yet.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
thumbs up on 01/30/2013 10:13:16 MST Print View

I've been very happy with Goretex in general, and have had zero problems with my Paclite jacket.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: GoreTex PacLite - breathability? on 01/30/2013 10:44:25 MST Print View

In real world conditions I have found the breathability of all rain shells to be quite poor, but Gore Tex seems to hold up better than anything else I have tried.

I have tried:
Event (1 shell)
GT Packlite (3 shells)
Gore Tex (1 shell)
Mont Bell breeze dry (1 shell)
Marmot Precip (1 shell pants)
Marmot Membrane Strata (1 shell)
Golite Reeds (not sure what they call their wp/b coating)
Dri ducks (1 shell)

Currently I keep using 3 rain shells
OR Zealot 8.2oz Gore Tex Packlite
Haglofs Ozo Pullover 7.5oz. Gore Tex Packlite
Dri Ducks

Golite Reeds 5oz

Ben Smith

Locale: Epping Forest
RE: "GoreTex PacLite - breathability?" on 01/30/2013 10:45:45 MST Print View

I'm not a fan of Gore-Tex's WP membrains anyway but I have read a number of times that the breathability of PacLite is slightly worse than regular GoreTex.

I don't know how much worse they are than each other but I understand this is their order of breathability; PacLite, Performance, Pro Shell, Active, Pro.

Edited because it was a mess.
Edit again: "Pro" is the shell they haven't released yet.

Edited by bsmith_90 on 01/30/2013 10:54:11 MST.

Justin McCabe

Locale: Southern California
Re: GoreTex PacLite - breathability? on 01/30/2013 11:44:43 MST Print View

+ for Jeff.

I have a little heavier Arc'teryx Alpha SL made with Paclite and have taken it on a few trips. Holds up well and breathes welll.

That being said, mine has long pit zips that I use often, it works for me.

As Jeff said, on paper, everything is a different story. In practical application, there are always trade-offs, there is no perfect shell!

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: GoreTex PacLite - breathability? on 01/30/2013 14:42:12 MST Print View

IMO, the main benefit of GoreTex is durability and warranty. Gore will replace the jacket if it leaks due to non-wear related problems (i.e. tearing it open on a stick).

If you don't care about those two factors, get the Helium. The breathability of rain jackets are all about the same - very very minute differences in real world use. They all suck. (caveat: haven't used Neoshell)

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
warranty on 01/30/2013 15:00:35 MST Print View

OR has a "my dog ate it but they still covered it warranty" ...

John Harper
(johnnyh88) - MLife

Locale: The SouthWest
Re: GoreTex PacLite - breathability? on 01/30/2013 15:53:40 MST Print View

Great feedback, I appreciate the comments everyone. It sounds like the GoreTex PacLite may be slightly more breathable than the Helium II, but that I may never be able to tell any difference in the field? If so, I might go with the Helium.

One thing about GoreTex though is that I wouldn't have to worry about the material delaminating or wetting out. Not sure if this is a problem in the real world, though, and OR has an excellent warranty.

It seems the Helium II packs down really small. How would you expect the packability of the GoreTex PacLite jacket to be?

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Re: My Dog Ate It on 01/30/2013 16:09:14 MST Print View

Is it strange that that picture of the jacket makes me cringe more than the bodies on Law and Order?

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: Re: GoreTex PacLite - breathability? on 01/30/2013 16:17:52 MST Print View

gore tex has delaminated and wetted out ...

even the famous dead bird ones ...

all materials can fail if you have a bad batch or with enough use ...

the question you should ask ... its this a wear constantly in the rain jacket ... or one that is a "just in case"

Edited by bearbreeder on 01/30/2013 16:19:01 MST.

John Harper
(johnnyh88) - MLife

Locale: The SouthWest
Re: Re: Re: GoreTex PacLite - breathability? on 01/30/2013 19:01:33 MST Print View

If that's true, Eric, then it looks like the Helium is the way to go.

This jacket will only see occasional use for the first few months, but it will probably see a lot of use in the long run - I'm doing some longer trips in Oregon and Northern Utah this summer and then work is moving me to Oregon in 9-12 months.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Re: Re: GoreTex PacLite - breathability? on 01/30/2013 19:03:28 MST Print View

For me the Helium is my all the time jacket for backpacking/ hiking in the PNW. (constant rain)

Hasn't failed me yet (of course its only got about 30 or so miles on it so its still beautifully waterproof)

eric- You don't use yours 'all the time'?

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
all the time on 01/31/2013 01:20:05 MST Print View

my helium is most carried, least used jacket ... i try not to climb in the rain ;)

for occasional use the helium is my choice ... for wetter constant weather where youll need to hike uphill ... i prefer something with big pitzips ...

i havent heard of many helium failures ... the most common complaint is breathability and the hood may not work for some people

if it doesnt work out OR will take care of you ...

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: all the time on 01/31/2013 10:29:15 MST Print View

oh yeah- I forget your climbing

I look for uphills and its usually raining, but I got my clothing pretty dialed so I havent missed the pit zips.