Why did it take you 10 years to get over the Paramo systems if they were catastrophically failing you at times?
Alan wrote, "As you point out, I did not send my jacket back to Paramo as I had already deep-cleaned and re-proofed it myself on three occasions, all to no avail. I saw no point in Paramo doing the same. They were only trying to save face."
I read that thread very carefully, some had offered you tips of how to deep clean it properly yourself, and you brushed them off saying basically it was too much work for a WPB jack ("Faff" was the specific term you used), but Rolf pointed out that all WPB jackets--especially ones with a membrane occasionally need to be fully and properly cleansed.
When asked at the end of the thread, if you had deep cleaned yourself (per suggestions given on that thread) OR had sent it back to Nikwax, you answered no to both. This seems to contradict the above statement some.
Yes, granted cheap ponchos are not ideal for some conditions, but if you go up to a sturdier kind, there are easy and simple ways to make sure it doesn't fly away to Norway. Perhaps going to that "trouble" is not worth it for some.
However, wouldn't you agree that every current WPB system out there has both strengths AND weaknesses? You mentioned Goretex a number of times on that thread, well even their most current and "breathable" stuff is still not all that breathable realistically. You could at least recommend a better alternative like eVent.
But, if Paramo type technology works well 95% of the time, even in Scotland, England, and Ireland (all places i've been to btw ;0 ) then doesn't it have it's place in the grand scheme of things?
Here's the thing, even in the best membrane type WPB systems, in a hard, driving, torrential long lasting downpour the DWR on most of these jackets will wash out under those conditions. What then happens, they become super unbreathable, and your sweat is going to wet everything out.
Either way, with either system, you're going to get WET eventually. The important difference is that Paramo type system, in not having a membrane and the inside also being treated with DWR (takes much longer for that to wear off), will dry much faster. That is something important to consider, i think.
Yes, admittedly i have not been using this system for long. However, if I find it catastrophically fails me just a few times, it won't take me 10 years to switch to something that works better. Probably will make the switch quite fast. Also, i have not invested that much into it. All i have is a pump liner, which i can combine with different windshirts and was relatively cheap compared to a full on Paramo jacket (especially with the currency conversion rates).
Alan, it's not that we are outright disagreeing so much per se, it's just that i'm taking a less black and white and more balanced and holistic approach when comparing various different systems. As you noted, i do recognize that it has it's weaknesses, but why aren't you talking about the weaknesses of other systems more? (to be fair, you did mention it some in the beginning of that article you wrote, but your focus of weaknesses was on Paramo).
Many, many, many people have reported getting very wet in various membrane jackets, whether from outside or inside. Also somewhat common are issues of durability and delamination of the membranes. There is NO perfect system yet.