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wetting out
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Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
wetting out on 02/24/2013 13:44:43 MST Print View

So let me see if I can get this straight. With most rain wear once the DWR wears off or is overwhelmed 'wetted out' the humidity inside a piece will increase. With eVent the fabric can get dirty or clogged with oils and the same thing will happen. So there is no real long term piece for the field then, correct? And the cheapest I have seen eVent is for $250 for a suit (REI).

Now I understand that most people do not have to deal with long term rain (8+ hours) for long periods of time. I am trying to come up with an alternative rainwear system that will breath some and have some durability and flexibility with a lower that could possibly handle that once in awhile as a backup but mainly take 2-3 hour long showers. I am thinking about using a trash bag rain skirt and a good wind shell along with an umbrella. The windshirt is not good for prolonged exposure but maybe it would be better with a trash bag over it. Maybe some thing better than plastic bags on my feet and hands but I have not thought of anything better yet. Any thoughts?

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: wetting out on 02/24/2013 13:53:25 MST Print View

You can always wash your gear and re-treat or re-activate the DWR from time to time.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: wetting out on 02/24/2013 14:16:49 MST Print View

"With most rain wear once the DWR wears off or is overwhelmed 'wetted out' the humidity inside a piece will increase."

Possibly. Depends on whether you can vent with pit zips.

Also, the DWR will eventually wear and fail and the fabric will wet out from rain but the membrane will remain waterproof. Then the humidity can start.

Re-applying or re-stimulating DWR is a no hassle affair, however. Apply and throw in the dryer. It will ebad water nicely for many, many trips.

Warm rain, then I don't mind getting a little wet assuming when the rain stops the sun comes out and temperatures are high. Cold rain is a different animal. EVent works best here but sweat is sweat. Not much you can do about it.

Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
ah on 02/24/2013 18:24:23 MST Print View

Quite but it would be nice it there was something that would last 6 months without much fuss or muss.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Wash it! on 02/24/2013 18:29:33 MST Print View

It takes a lot for e-Vent or Goretex to be rendered useless in terms of body oils and sweat. If you're wearing a merino layer that wicks up the bulk of that kind of thing, you'd never deal with a reduced transfer of humidity based on oils.

All you'd have to do is wash both pieces after serious, long term use.


Put it this way: If you want to NEVER get wet, good luck. It's the nature of water to get things wet. Mitigating the effects of moisture using high-tech shells is a blessing, and recent to the last decade. The fact that things are as good as they are is pretty remarkable.

If you want to stay dry, buy the best rated and reviewed raincoat you can find and take care to keep it reasonably clean, and it will keep working well.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: ah on 02/24/2013 19:30:43 MST Print View

Reading the blogs of the long distance hikers like German Tourist, Colin Ibbotson, Andrew Skurka, Justin Lichtner, etc., folks that spend 4 consecutive months and more a year on a trail every year it becomes obvious that none of the WPB fabrics or clothing wears well. It's just not the DWR that wears thru, but the fabrics delaminate and the seams eventually leak too. It's really too bad as rain gear is usually the most expensive/least used pieces of clothing in a pack. At least in mine!

So sure, if one is only putting in a few weeks a year on the trail and nurses the rain gear it can last for years. But to live in it months on end for years? Doesn't seem possible.

Edited by rmjapan on 02/24/2013 19:34:39 MST.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: wetting out on 02/24/2013 20:07:14 MST Print View

Long lasting. You'll have to go with non breathable.

Warm and slightly damp is the best one can hope for in prolonged wetness.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: DWR on 02/24/2013 20:20:11 MST Print View

The best DWRs can be killed by a day or two of burly bushwacking. Quality DWRs are dead easy to rekindle in civilization. The only folks for whom this is a problem are techs who work in the field everyday, and backpackers on big expeditions in wet and brushy places. The former use fleece and Helly and don't worry about it. There are so few of the later that the issue will likely never come to a head with a major manufacturer.

A few people make sil rain coats: problem solved (at the expense of other problems created).

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Wash it! on 02/24/2013 20:31:19 MST Print View

"It takes a lot for e-Vent or Goretex to be rendered useless in terms of body oils and sweat."

The entire evolution to date of GoreTex, eVent and the others has been a search to mitigate the effects of oils and other contaminates while maintaining transport capabilities. It is non-trivial.

Articles here by Alan Dixon, et al, cover it pretty well.

And IMHO the industry is still faking it.

steven franchuk
(Surf)
Re: wetting out on 02/24/2013 20:41:51 MST Print View

"With eVent the fabric can get dirty or clogged with oils and the same thing will happen."

Event is like any other peice of clothing. It needs to be cleaned periodically. Cleaning will remove the oils and dirt and will restore the breathability of the fabric. Cleaning also restores the DWR finish. Not cleaning a rain jacket is a quick way to wear it out.

"Now I understand that most people do not have to deal with long term rain (8+ hours) for long periods of time."

I have been in rain for 8 hours (actually 8 hours in and 8 hours out the next day) and my rain pants didn't wet out. My old Gortex jacket did have some problems spots (back and shoulder strap area but most of it didn't wet out. Virtually all rain jackets out there have DWR coatings that will easily handle 2-3 hour long showers without any difficulty. When they don't reapply the DWR using a wash in or spay on product.

"I am thinking about using a trash bag rain skirt and a good wind shell along with an umbrella."

In wind driven rain your wind shell will not work and your umbrella won't help. Plants can easily damage trash bags.

"Any thoughts?"

You are seriously underestimating the durability of a good rain jacket. Yes there are people out there that have had problems with DWR, breathability, etc... But most people will use a jacket for years before it needs to be replaced. If Event only lasted a few months would anyone buy it?

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: wetting out on 02/24/2013 20:46:54 MST Print View

Has anyone tried wearing a hooded windshirt with a wool or fleece layer underneath and doing the wet but warm thing? The windshirt should block the wind and slow the rain considerably.
I have let myself get wet in the rain like this a few times, but never in really cold and prolonged weather.

Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
trying to clarify on 02/25/2013 08:10:28 MST Print View

So, I have a Golite Pertex Shield Tumalo jacket. Let us say that I am going going out and about for 6 months at a stretch with no real chance to reapply a DWR to it. Eventually the DWR is going to fail and the outside of the jacket will become sodden with rain. At this time the humidity inside would start to increase to the point that it could possibly become more than what it is outside. At this point I could then use the pit zips or open up the pockets that use mesh to vent out the jacket and my body heat would help accomplish this. If it is cold and raining I could wear my Patagonia R2 under it. I would still remain dry from the rain but damp from perspiration and water vapor in the air and be either a cold or warm damp on the inside but there is no way to mitigate that anyways. Correct?

And for my REI KImtah eVent jacket with the same scenario it would still be waterproof and maybe a little sodden but it would act more like a vapor barrier in that it could not breath, has no pit zips but has some mesh pockets?

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Warm when wet on 02/25/2013 08:45:53 MST Print View

@Justin "Has anyone tried wearing a hooded windshirt with a wool or fleece layer underneath and doing the wet but warm thing?"

I hike in the rain a lot, sometime days on end with rain every day,
I do not fight to stay dry in such situations, it's not possible for me.
I wear clothing that is warm when wet.

My typical clothing for 38 degree (f) rain and snow is a combination of merino wool, hooded grid fleece top synthetic light fluffy vest and thin synthetic long underwear under light thin hiking pants.
I'll usually just wear a hooded wind shirt over the top with baseball cap to keep the rain off my face and to keep the hood from blowing around.

This works in 95% of rain and snow above freezing temps. I will be damp, but not cold as long as I hike.

If conditions get really bad, I'll throw on a silnylon cape and my groundcloth as a skirt and/or wind pants.

Yes, water does penetrate the windshirt and windpants, but only a small percentage. Hydrophobic inner layers don't hold that much water and so most of the moisture either runs to the ground our evaporates.

I quit wearing my expensive goretex rain jacket when I realized it didn't work so well for it's weight.

Richard Fischel
(RICKO) - F
damp but warm on 02/25/2013 08:53:20 MST Print View

"Has anyone tried wearing a hooded windshirt with a wool or fleece layer underneath and doing the wet but warm thing"

that's pretty-much what i do. epic windshirt with the hood and shoulders seam-sealed. no dwr issue with epic, but the fabric will wet-out. i never really get wet, more like damp. i wear a power stretch hoody and i'm good to go. with any head of steam i *bake* myself dry, or throw on an epic-shelled primaloft jacket.

Edited by RICKO on 02/25/2013 09:10:36 MST.

Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
damp but warm on 02/25/2013 09:27:27 MST Print View

I am thinking of trying out something similar next time it rains. Synthetic T, Patagonia R2 and a homemade Momentum wind shirt with fleece bottoms and a trash bag rain skirt. I wear wool socks with my Chacos so I can always wear the thicker ones. I figure if it always gets bag also I can bring another trash bag or one of those cheap rain ponchos to put over me.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: wet but warm on 02/25/2013 09:33:00 MST Print View

Wet but warm is a typical state when it's 40F-50F, 90% humidity, drizzling all day and tackling 2500 certical feet of switchbacks. Even with the vents open, there is nowhere for the sweat to go.

But you can't count on the warm part. Plainly put, you could die. Bad hiking technique! You need some backup clothing and ways to get warm and dry. If you are going for a run from from home, you can get sloppy with no worries. You might think the same on a day hike and plan on changing back at the car, but if anything goes wrong to delay your return, or you find that you don't tolerate it well, you will find yourself to be a quivering mass of stupid, uncoordinated jello in the middle of nowhere. That's not just unpleasant, it can be life threatening.

So, as policy and practice, you need decent rain gear and a dry layer if you are going to be out all day in cold, wet, high humidity conditions with lots of activity. We would all like to drop the extra weight, but there's no free lunch.

The only effective non-breathable rain gear I know of is a poncho. It's not a bad alternative and gives coverage to the knees and keeps you pack dry too. You get a backup shelter in the bargain.

If you are through hiking or doing a long travel journey, you might need some replacements along the way. Hand laundering can be very effective, although access to a modern dryer may be a problem.

Edited by dwambaugh on 02/25/2013 09:40:29 MST.

Richard Fischel
(RICKO) - F
wet but warm on 02/25/2013 10:53:55 MST Print View

"you need some backup clothing and ways to get warm and dry." any of the primaloft jackets that come in around a pound will do the trick in most cold/wet situations. that's one of the beauties of synthetic insulation, you can use it to dry out inner layers. throw your jacket on over your windshirt and it may get steamy, but you will dry. and yes, knowing your limitations is important. some people do much better when they are cold and wet than others. a lot of gear selection comes down to what you can tolerate and your acceptable level of discomfort.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: wet but warm on 02/25/2013 11:04:44 MST Print View

I was assuming that puffy layers would be set aside for rest and camp use. A spare base layer is what is needed in the cold wet conditions I had in mind. Many mid-layer synthetics would work as a backup wicking base layer and build some versatility to a layering scheme.

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: wet but warm on 02/25/2013 11:23:36 MST Print View

How would a synthetic insulation piece work to keep you warm and dry out your other gear if you don't have a waterproof layer with you to keep that from wetting out in the rain?

Richard Fischel
(RICKO) - F
warm and wet on 02/25/2013 12:12:14 MST Print View

"How would a synthetic insulation piece work to keep you warm and dry out your other gear if you don't have a waterproof layer with you to keep that from wetting out in the rain?" i'm not planning on hiking in my primaloft insulation, but it is also epic-shelled and even if it wasn't, (short of falling into a lake or stream)and having been in heavy rain, i've not experinced my jacket getting sufficently wet that it still wasn't providing quality warmth. i'm not saying that what is describe is the best or only option, i'm saying what's worked for me and the level of comfort that i'm ok with. is it dangerous or risky, i don't think so. i own an event hard shell. the thing is brilliantly designed and executed and in certain situations i will add it in as part of my kit, but those situations are the exception, not the rule.

having a second base/mid layer to change into makes things much more comfortable.

Edited by RICKO on 02/25/2013 12:17:03 MST.