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5 oz Hardshell?
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Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: On the other hand on 05/06/2013 20:52:21 MDT Print View


Edited by idester on 05/06/2013 21:28:35 MDT.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Re: Re: On the other hand on 05/06/2013 21:28:47 MDT Print View


steven franchuk
Re: 5 oz Hardshell? on 05/07/2013 00:22:00 MDT Print View

It's easy to make a waterproof jacket that weighs less than 7 oz. However it is very hard to make one that waterproof and breathable and lightweight. The lightest Event rain jackets come in at 9 to 11oz which is about double the weight.

Today most people don't want a just waterproof jacket. Instead they want one that is breathable and waterproof. So when a gear manufactures is selecting a fabric for a new rain jacket They have a choice of a really good fabric like neoshell, Event, and Gortex. But these fabrics are heavy and costly. So if you want to target the light low cost market the good fabrics are out leaving the manufacture with a selection of polyurethane Waterproof breathable fabrics.

Polyurethane is a vapor permeable membrane not air permeable. As consequence of this breathability rating of polyurethane is mainly determined by how thick it is. Thick is more durable but less Breathable. Thinner make it more breathable and less durable. Most polyurethane WPB fabrics are however cheap and lightweight.

But the manufactures don't talk about the limitation of Polyurethane and it wouldn't surprise me if most gear manufactures are also unaware of it. Polyurethane works best when the humidity inside the jacket is high. The amount of moisture that moves through the fabric is very low in dry air and reaches a maximum at about at at least 80% humidity. Most people are comfortable at a humidity of 50% or less where polyurethane doesn't work well At humidity over 50% most people people feel damp and start to open vents in the jacket.

So in the end you have a jacket that does appeal to people because it is light and not that expensive when compared to Gortex, Event, or Neoshell. However the final product is also less durable and less breathable. Now a manufacturer can compensate for this by offering a warranty and raising purchase price to cover the warranty costs.

So when other report it's not durable and doesn't breath well, I am not surprised.

Alasdair Fowler
(MessiahKhan) - F

Locale: Newcastle, UK
5 oz Hardshell? on 05/07/2013 02:24:29 MDT Print View

I looked at and tried on the Montane Minimus Smock about a month ago. I ended up getting the Montane Minimus Jacket instead in the end, as I found the smock too hard to get in and out of and it would likely just annoy me. So far I am loving the Minimus Jacket. It has held up well in the rain we have had so far, is comfy, looks good and relatively breathable.

Although I understand some of the concerns about durability of these garments, I also think some of them are somewhat unfair and misplaced. These products have been designed for fell/ultra/mountain running and light weight hiking where they would get minimal abrasion and wear & tear. They weren't necessarily designed for backpacking or biking where they are going to get a lot more abuse. It's like taking Ultra Light Weight Cuben gear and saying it doesn't stand up to heavy weight backpacking.

Montane (or any of the other companies) could have made the product a lot more durable, but then it would be heavier and not suit the niche it is designed for in the first place. There are also a lot of other products that are heavier and more durable out there that may better suit a user that needs it to be durable.

I certainly am a very happy customer;

Montane Minimus Jacket

This is my new UL overnight setup. 10lbs base weight with enough clothes to go below freezing, and a MLD supermid to be a huge home for me and my wife. As you can see I am a Montane fan, with Montane Minimus Jacket, Montane Terra Convert trousers and Montane Ultra Tour 22 Pack!


Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
rain tops on 05/07/2013 19:38:31 MDT Print View

"I haven't been impressed with Pertex Shield. The WP/B coating is way too thin/non-durable."

Yes, and the RAB barely covers the nethers. Another concern was that the DWR seemed barely there, an invitation to wetting out, and that is born out by the posts here.

So back to the Patagonia Specter until an M10 can be afforded. It is frightful how companies produce items that are in no way up to the job. But folks who are determined to save another 2-3 ounces buy up these garments, so they make them.

Michael B
(mbenvenuto) - F

Locale: Vermont
o2 rainwear on 05/07/2013 21:06:10 MDT Print View

The O2 jacket is a 5 oz hardshell too for $30. I have been thinking about the 4 oz version for bike touring, and have also been looking at some of more expensive shells discussed here. Obviously the O2 is going to be coated tyvec paper like frog togs, but is very light and seems to get good reviews for waterproofness and breathable. And oh so fashionable. For most trips, biking or otherwise, I end up carrying and rarely wearing a hardshell. There are several biking wind jackets in the 2-3 oz range too. Seems like there should be more cross over between biking gear and ultra light hiking gear.

Edited by mbenvenuto on 05/07/2013 21:06:53 MDT.

Michael Gillenwater
(mwgillenwater) - M

Locale: Seattle area
Re: o2 rainwear on 05/07/2013 21:48:35 MDT Print View

Michael B, how do the O2 stuff fit? The DriDucks fit like baggy trash bags on me (call me thin). I like the concept but need something that fits.

K Magz
(lapedestrienne) - F

Locale: somewhere without screens
runs big on 05/08/2013 08:42:05 MDT Print View

I crossed O2 off my list when I looked at the sizing chart. Size small hooded jacket has a 48" chest. I think the cycling jacket runs somewhat smaller--maybe a 40" chest? Still way too big for me, and no hood.

For a while, I preferred the Frogg Toggs poncho--oversized by design. A lousy investment though, since the loose fabric likes to catch on branches and tear.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: runs big on 05/08/2013 09:41:34 MDT Print View

I think O2 and Frogg Toggs stuff runs big as the fabric won't stretch and might tear if stressed. You get some "bellows effect" ventilation too.

I think this class of jacket is good for those climates where rain is rare or short duration, and for summer CYA when rain isn't forecas, but I wouldn't plan on wearing one for days on end. I keep a flat pack of 18" duct tape in the pocket.

There's no free lunch or miracles on rain gear. Typically, high budget fabrics will come with quality construction and hardware, and a warranty to suit. Any unlined interior coating is exposed to wear and delamination over time (warranty time again). Any of the super light shells will be more fragile and subject to wear from inside and out, as well as attack from sharp stuff on the trail. I look for lots of venting and "tough enough" fabric. That leaves most of the 2.5 layer jackets with pit zips and weights around 12oz.

If you want 5oz and no venting features, you are relying on the fabric coating and the front zipper for breathability. The lighter fabric and coatiings will take a beating from your pack straps inside and out. IMHO, the light coated jackets are just a sweatier version of a windshirt.

You can pray, hope, scream and cry, but there ain't no miracles, yet. We'll hear about it when it happens :)

Edited by dwambaugh on 05/08/2013 10:05:48 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: rain tops on 05/08/2013 09:51:36 MDT Print View

One way to cut weight is to make it small - around and in length

You want extra room around you for air to circulate inside

You want it longer to protect the top of your pants

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
wet on 05/08/2013 10:04:38 MDT Print View

if yr in serious rain when active you should plan on getting wet/damp ... period

as for hardshells ... always buy em from somewhere with a no questions asked unlimited return policy ... its that simple

if my OR helium doesnt work theyll send me a new one or give me a credit ;)

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: wet on 05/08/2013 11:22:16 MDT Print View

I'm with Eric. If you don't want to get wet, get out of the rain. Otherwise expect to deal with some overall dampness.

During the summer its often warm enough that the rain is actually nice and cooling sometimes.

I've never found anything to keep me legitimately dry while moving. As such I just want the lightest shell that helps mitigate internal humidity better than a plastic bag. Durability would be nice, but a lifetime warranty trumps that in my book.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: wet on 05/08/2013 11:31:14 MDT Print View

If it's an intermittent rain, or a drizzle, then I'll stay pretty dry in hard shell. If it's fairly cool. Need to be able to unzip front and have it be a bit baggy so there's as much airflow inside as possible.

(xeren) - F

Locale: Southern California
Wool on 05/08/2013 11:51:46 MDT Print View

and I'm sure the majority of people here know this, but a wool baselayer goes a long way toward not being uncomfortable when you're unavoidably damp in the rain.

Loren B

Locale: London UK, Greenville USA
Re: rain tops on 05/08/2013 12:29:53 MDT Print View

These light/cheaper pertex shells make perfect sense to me. If paired with a windshirt you are afforded much more versatility and comfort.

Your average goretex/eVent shell is 13oz+. Instead of lugging one of these around I carry a RAB Spark (8.8oz) rainshell and an Arcteryx Squamish (4.6oz) windshirt. So for 13.4 ounces these two are equivalent in weight to a pretty light alternative event shell. I only wear the rainshell when it is raining and wear the windshirt the rest of the time. As a result any wear and tear is spread between two jackets. I find that the only time I ever bring my heavier eVent jacket with me is for climbing where I know will be scratching up against rocks etc. Other than that, it's the spark every time.

I got both jackets for the same price or less than a good event shell which is a bonus. The rab spark was $120 and the squamish was $127.

Peter Bakwin
(pbakwin) - F
Re: Re: SD Cloud on 05/08/2013 13:23:25 MDT Print View

Had my first rain test of the SD Cloud. I have men's S and it weighs in at just 3.3oz. I ran for 100 min. In intermittent, moderate rain, temps in 50s, so rather warm for a shell of any kind. The shell seems decently rain proof, and it seems to breathe fairly well. Overall, much more rain-proof and a little less breathable than a typical wind shirt. I'm thinking I'm going to use this for the SHR, plus I'll have my poncho trap in case it really rains. The shell fits quite big - I would normally wear M (5'8", 140lbs).

Edited by pbakwin on 05/08/2013 13:31:26 MDT.