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Daniel Collins
(Diablo-V) - F

Locale: Orlando FL
Ultralight dream clothing, what would you buy on 09/01/2013 05:50:26 MDT Print View

Folks please be patient with me here - I have read several books now
and am still exasperated and confused over wind shells vs rain shells.
I am wanting to buy the best gear for my needs and something that will last
for more than a couple of hikes.
I would like to use a single article for wind and rain ie; wind/rain pants and wind/rain jacket. (Edit- if this concept is workable, not sure it is).
I own (for pants) the O2 "3flow" supposedly waterproof and windproof breathable, and a pair of Marmot Driclime stretch pants.
For jackets I have a Marmot Mica(rain) and MH Ghost Whisperer hooded wind shell.
None of those items are particularly durable although I am happy with the weights.
I have been looking at reviews of the Arcteryx Alpha FL, SL, and Beta AR (maybe too heavy)outerwear and those look tempting (and yes pricey).
My goal is to find something light and durable that I can carry always, excluding desert hikes which are not in my future as I know it.
My hiking aside from areas of Florida will most likely be in the North Cascades and I want to be ready for any weather. I would also like to hike the JMT someday soon.
Seeing as how I will miss this years Cascades season I will have time to carefully choose gear, unlike the last time I strolled into the Seattle REI not knowing what I wanted, and left with all the wrong stuff. My budget is around 3-400 for a jacket and 2-300 for the pants, but I could go higher if the logic is there.

So the question are 1) if you wanted the best gear to cover wind and rain, light and durable, what would you buy ?
2) If you think it is wrong to try to deal with wind and rain with a single article of outerwear, please explain, and tell me what you would do instead.

Although I was born and raised in Wash State, most of my adult life has been spent in the South Pacific, and all of my hiking has been heavy jungle bushwacking, so I need to reacquaint myself with the alpine thing. Guidance is appreciated.
Thanks

Edited by Diablo-V on 09/02/2013 03:26:37 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Ultralight dream clothing, what would you buy on 09/01/2013 10:47:25 MDT Print View

Waterproof breathable clothing is neither. Eventually it leaks and you will get soaked from sweat.

Wind and rain gear should be be separate items, forget the multi-use mantra here.

For more of my thoughts The Seaarch for the Holy Grail

Peter (Taking a break)
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
Separate on 09/01/2013 10:51:19 MDT Print View

Agree with Nick. Separate wind and waterproof clothing nirvana search.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Already have it on 09/01/2013 11:31:59 MDT Print View

REI Sahara shirts and pants

Kimtah eVent rain suit (not UL)

Merrill Moab Ventilator shoes

Much lighter and reasonable durablity is lost.

steven franchuk
(Surf) - M
Re: Re: Ultralight dream clothing, what would you buy on 09/01/2013 12:59:51 MDT Print View

"Waterproof breathable clothing is neither. Eventually it leaks and you will get soaked from sweat. "

I find this statement an exaggeration. Ves eventually every rain jacket will leak. But that doesn't tell you anything about the durability which can very considerably. Is the cause of the leak is caused by heavy use with caused tears or holes? Or is it because the membrane has aged and pealed or turned brittle?

From my experience polyurethane coated fabrics all tend to get age related failures which includes membrane pealing, flaking off within about 5 years. Sometimes you will get one that will last longer but eventually the polyurethane will fail, even if the packet sits in the closet most of the time. So a Event or Gortex jacket will typically only fail when you wear through the fabric or tear or puncture the fabric.

Getting wet from sweat is not a durability issue. If you get wet from sweat it simply means you chose a material that cannot keep up with your sweat output. Unfortunately manufacturers frequently don't tell you when the breathability spec is and if they do they use a test method that will show the best possible number. In my opinion Event is the most breathable.

As to DWR it is not and essential feature of the fabric. The DWR does not make the fabric waterproof, the membrane does. The DWR is only there to help maintain breathability. If the fabric gets wet breathability drops. However once the rain stops the jacket starts to dry out the breathability will return to normal. If the DWR fails you can reapply it using a wash in or spray on product.


Fabrics with PTFE membranes (Gortex, Event) in my experience doesn't suffer age related failures. If the membrane does fail it is often due to a defect and in many cases will be replaced under warranty.

When I was growing up in the PNW I saw a lot of bad weather. My first rain gear was a poncho which didn't work well in wind blowing rain. Later i got a rain jacket and rain pants (none breathable polyurethane fabric) which kept me dry in rain although sometimes you would have to take shelter to allow any sweat to evaporate. later I moved to california and got a gortex jacket. It breathed better then my old rain jacket (which delaminated while I was going to collage in arizona). Bit in the worst conditions sweat was still an issue with Gortex. Now I have a Event jacket (with no pit zips or vents) which is noticeably more breathable than Gortex. While I can work hard enough to get some sweat accumulation inside the jacket, I cannot maintain that pace for very long. When I slow down to a sustainable pace I can feel the sweat slowly evaporate. My older Gortex jacket is still waterproof but now the DWR needs to be reapplied regularly and by todays standards is very heavy.

Note wind shirts are not waterproof and will not keep you dray and safe in long rain storm. I consider windshirts and optional item since all rain jackets will block the wind even though they don't breath as well as a windshirt.

Edited by Surf on 09/01/2013 13:01:16 MDT.

Peter (Taking a break)
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
Simple on 09/01/2013 13:21:30 MDT Print View

I have an Arcterryx Squamish windshirt. I've used an Event rain jacket. The rain jacket is only preferable when it rains or it's pretty cold and windy. The only nirvana to gain by not bringing a windshirt, is in a spreadsheet calculation.

This has been discussed multiple times. I think the consensus is pretty clear.

Sorry for being so direct ;-)

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Ultralight dream clothing, what would you buy" on 09/01/2013 13:38:29 MDT Print View

The op is going to be hiking in the PNW. He wants one piece to handle all conditions. No way a windshirt will cut it as a do-all piece in the pnw. Having grown up hiking and doing trail work in the pnw, I'd suggest full on 3 ply event.

As for "all wp pieces will eventually wet out", do you mean over the life span of the piece or 'after 8 hours of heavy rain'? Look, shoes will eventually wear out; it doesn't follow that everyone should go barefoot. And so on. A wind shirt will "eventually" wet out too--in about four minutes of pnw rain. Three ply event will keep you dry much, much longer than that.

My Rab Demand did not wet out over 10 hours of heavy rain and sleet earlier this season. I didn't even have condensation problems. I would have gone hypothermic in a windshirt.

Peter (Taking a break)
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
Clear on 09/01/2013 13:46:58 MDT Print View

Just to be clear. I'm not advocating to only bring a windshirt.
That's been discussed multiple times too.

Bring a windshirt and a waterproof jacket. End of discussion. ;-)

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Ultralight dream clothing, what would you buy" on 09/01/2013 13:55:54 MDT Print View

oops, sorry Peter if I sounded like you meant something else...my bad.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Simple on 09/01/2013 14:00:34 MDT Print View

"This has been discussed multiple times. I think the consensus is pretty clear."

I agree

discussed multiple times

consensus is that some people like windshirts, some don't, depends on conditions,...

for me, wind shirt is redundant, no need for it, rains too much in PNW so I need better rain jacket. For any conditions, I can either wear just base layer shirt or add WPB jacket.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
wind on 09/01/2013 14:13:24 MDT Print View

remember that if its REALLY windy enough for you to use a windshirt ... youre already getting quite a lot of cooling even with a rain jacket ... you can simply use the zip to vary the amount of "cooling" in good wind

nor are all windshirts very "breathable" ... some dont breath well at all IMO

windshirts are optional, no one is going to die without one

as to WPB being "waterproof" after the DWR has totally worn off ... i suspect not for 2.5 layers ... look at what happened to the great skurka's UL WPB golite jacket during his great alaskan trek

;)

Edited by bearbreeder on 09/01/2013 14:14:12 MDT.

Serge G.
(sgiachetti) - M

Locale: Boulder, CO
PNW on 09/01/2013 14:19:16 MDT Print View

I'd agree with jerry that in the PNW its worth having a nice 3 layer wp/b like event or neoshell. I've worn my rab demand in all day rain, up over passes etc. & stayed dry. I will add that renewing the dwr is crucial to tje functioning of these shells.
I'd get a demand or a westcomb shift (very high quality jacket) regardless. Test it out as a windshirt, & if you're not happy, add a nice breathable windshirt. Either way, when it rains hard, you'll be happy to have the quality rain shell. There's something to be said for the simplicity of just having one shell even though I'd agree that the functionality of a windshirt is nice for long days above treeline, or early starts.

Peter (Taking a break)
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
Jeffrey on 09/01/2013 14:51:08 MDT Print View

Jeffrey, no worries at all :-)

Peter (Taking a break)
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
Still on 09/01/2013 14:58:16 MDT Print View

I agree, that on some trips you can foresee, that a waterproof shell is all you need, but I read the post as he wants to have something that covers a broad spectrum of weather. Hence a windshirt is needed. And a good one of course that's nice to wear when it's hot.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Ultralight dream clothing, what would you buy on 09/01/2013 14:58:47 MDT Print View

Rab Boreas for a windshirt - not quite as effective as a full-on windshirt but effective enough and much more breathable. A favorite piece for cool/cold weather trekking.

Rab Demand smock or Westcomb Focus LT hoody - great rain jackets, IMO. I own both, and always have difficulty in choosing one or the other when I go out. For the PNW I'd probably opt for the Rab Demand.

Daniel Collins
(Diablo-V) - F

Locale: Orlando FL
re dream gear on 09/01/2013 21:35:00 MDT Print View

I have been reading the replies with gusto and appreciate the help.
I have an engineering mind and the problem with that is we get obsessed with theory.
All of the theory and calculations cannot stand up to your own field experience,
thus this post ....

Nick Gatel - That was a very informative read, my mind is open to using a poncho but I'm still soaking this up .....no pun.

To many others - I got a bargain on the MH ghost whisperer hooded wind shirt, and it's like 2 ounces, so it will not be too terrible to have on hand for the extra weight.
I will look at better ones too, so keep the brand/model suggestions coming.
As I understand so far, I would NEVER be using it at the same time as rain wear. Correct me here if needed. Wind shirt for warmth in dry, cold, windy conditions.

The arcteryx gear I referenced is Goretex active and goretex pro, depending on the model chosen. huge weight differences. Good reviews but I am skeptical of how thorough those reviews are.
To clarify my OP - I am not hell bent on one piece of gear, it was a philosophical goal and not necessarily well informed. That's why I made the post, needing input.

I will look at the RAB gear as I recall reading about it in Townsend's book also.
Keep it coming please.

Peter (Taking a break)
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
Middle layer on 09/02/2013 01:49:55 MDT Print View

Hi Daniel, if the windshirt is breathable and comfortable enough against bare skin, you can easily wear it as a middle layer under a waterproof shell.

Daniel Collins
(Diablo-V) - F

Locale: Orlando FL
middle layer on 09/02/2013 04:05:55 MDT Print View

Quote: " if the windshirt is breathable and comfortable enough against bare skin, you can easily wear it as a middle layer under a waterproof shell"

OK I'm a noob but wouldn't that make it a NTS layer instead of a middle layer ?

I have not tried out the Ghost Whisperer yet - it is being shipped to me now.
I am unsure of its breathability at this point.
You are the first to suggest this (wind shell under rain shell). One thing I've heard is the Whisperer is delicate , so protecting it from pack straps by hiding it under a rain shell would be Ok.
But there I go with theory again, haven't seen seen the wind shirt yet ....

So, I gather thus far that I should invest in a better rain shell than the MICA (09 or 10 model) and get a membrane style, lots of good recommendations for E-Vent so far ...
I checked out RAB and it looks like they have not only discontinued the models that have been suggested, but that they no longer offer E-Vent at all. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Unrelated but I'm wondering if GORE forces clothing makers to exclude competing membranes if they are using goretex. The reason I ask is that as I recall everything offered by Arcteryx was some form of goretex.

My clothing plan so far:
Base: merino top and bottoms, lightweight, on hand.
Walking pants: Railriders adventure pants, regular, not the extreme version, on hand.
Walking shorts: Nylon light surf trunks.
Walking shirt: ExOfficio nylon long sleeve.
Warm synthetic insulation jacket - I have a MH pullover half zip, model unknown but looks too light, will be looking for something else. Maybe fleece instead.
Walking hat: Tilley airflo, on hand.
Warm hat: Integral Designs Primalid
Socks: Smartwool Med cushion Hiker or light Hiker, season depending.On hand
Gloves and rain gloves - undecided.
Shoes : undecided, perhaps Merril Moab ventilators.

Edited by Diablo-V on 09/02/2013 04:09:45 MDT.

Pete Staehling
(staehpj1) - F
Breathable? on 09/02/2013 07:00:58 MDT Print View

"Getting wet from sweat is not a durability issue. If you get wet from sweat it simply means you chose a material that cannot keep up with your sweat output."

In my experience the list of garments that can't keep up with my sweat output would include all garments listed as waterproof whether they are supposed to be breathable or not.

J C
(Joomy) - M
Shell and windshirt on 09/02/2013 07:56:42 MDT Print View

Well for what it's worth I am planning on "downgrading" to a Patagonia M10 for my shell (lightest non-cuben 3-layer shell I believe) and a Houdini for a wind shell. Total weight for both is something stupid like 350g. I've heard great things about both so that's my next gear experiment.

Peter (Taking a break)
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
Re: middle layer on 09/02/2013 07:58:04 MDT Print View

Daniel, you're ½ right... as i'm always wearing a merino t-shirt as my first layer, it will never touch my torso, but maximally just the most of my arms.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
middle layer on 09/02/2013 07:58:42 MDT Print View

if yr wearing a windshirt UNDER your rain jacket ... you just sacrificed a good part of any "breathability" of your rain jacket

in high output activities youll sweat out the windshirt at that point ...

if yr going to wear something under your rain jacket for something more serious than walking around .... wear something thats highly breathable and wicking ... like a light fleece ... or just a base layer

the trick with not "sweating" out your rain jacket is to wear as little as possible under it when moving ... and use the zippers to regulate the temperature

remember that the MORE you wear under your rain jacket, the hotter youll be, which is why youll sweat ... and the more items that will get soaked in sweat, the more that needs to be dried out, and the more chilled youll get afterwards when you stop

the next time there a cold ~ 40F rain for hours, go out for a strenerous walk for hours around the city park with your packweight ... and youll find this out every quickly ... no cheating by stopping at the sbucks ;)

remember if yr sweating out everything in cooler temps ... unless yr a marathon runner, it means yr doing something wrong !!!

Peter (Taking a break)
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
Nope on 09/02/2013 08:05:18 MDT Print View

Eric, i promise you, it will not be more cool to wear a light fleece instead of my Arcterryx squamish under a shell...

Peter (Taking a break)
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
To be sure.. on 09/02/2013 08:16:40 MDT Print View

I've never said that it's good to always wear a windshirt under a shell. My step down in garments used under a shell when on a trip, would just be my merino t-shirt.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
Re: Nope on 09/02/2013 08:21:19 MDT Print View

Eric, i promise you, it will not be more cool to wear a light fleece instead of my Arcterryx squamish under a shell...

it will more BREATHABLE to wear something like a light base layer or a light R1 vest, which are infinately more breathable than ANY windshirt ... i "promise" you that

its useless to go worry about the "brethability" of a rain jacket when yr adding on a windshirt underneath ...

if you want to be "cool" dont wear anything under yr rain jacket other than very thin long sleeve base layer

im not saying all these fancy fabric dont make a bit of difference ... but at the end its the SKILLs that matter

;)

Edited by bearbreeder on 09/02/2013 08:24:12 MDT.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Ultralight dream clothing, what would you buy on 09/02/2013 08:24:58 MDT Print View

You might like these
The best clothing combinations for backpacking or hiking
Breathability: an explanation of its importance, mechanisms, and limitations
A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth
Ultralight Backpackin' Tips: Clothing

Peter (Taking a break)
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
Re: Re: Nope on 09/02/2013 08:36:52 MDT Print View

Eric, who cares about breathability if your garment isolates and makes you hot? ;-)

Haha, but a fleece vest is cooler than a long sleeved fleece, so you're on your way now... ;-)

Btw, have you tried the squamish material? It's one of the more breathable windshirt materials out there.

In the end, one clothing system that works for one person on a backpacking trip doesn't necessarily work for another person :-)

No worries in disagreeing, other than it makes Daniel more confused...

Sorry Daniel!

Peter (Taking a break)
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
The Skill card.. on 09/02/2013 08:39:29 MDT Print View

Hey, don't go pulling the skill card in an edit Eric... that's low ;-) haha

Peter (Taking a break)
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
Why add weight.. on 09/02/2013 08:48:07 MDT Print View

But why add a thin base layer to your pack weight if you don't need it? I'll either wear just my t-shirt underneath my shell or the next step up will be my Squamish that i'm already carrying - multipurpose.

If we were talking short day trips, and not extended hikes, well, then picking and choosing from a never ending gear closet would be another deal ;-).

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
Re: Re: Re: Nope on 09/02/2013 08:53:27 MDT Print View

Eric, who cares about breathability if your garment isolates and makes you hot? ;-)

Haha, but a fleece vest is cooler than a long sleeved fleece, so you're on your way now... ;-)

Btw, have you tried the squamish material? It's one of the more breathable windshirt materials out there.


i own and use a dead bird celeris windshit vest ... which is quite "breathable" as far as windshirts go

breathability DOES matter to a certain degree ... otherwise we would simply use silnylon rain jackets all the time

each time you add ANY layer the breathability gets reduced ... some like base layers and light fleeces are HIGHLY breathable so theres less impact ... others like softshells and windshirts are LESS so, and theres much more impact

using a windshirt under a rain jacket poses the following problems

- the windshirt is one of your LEAST breathable active clothing items, only the rain jacket is worse ... so you are layering your 2 least breathable clothing items to walk in the rain where theres high outside humidity

- by the time you decide to put on the rain jacket over your windhirt (i mean NO ONE here puts it on at the first few drops of rain really, they all brag about how their windshirt are water resistant) ... youll will have a significant amount of moisture already in the windshell ... that has to go SOMEWHERE ... and with the reduced breathability of your 2 least breathable layers, guess where its staying

- straight WET nylon is "clingy" ... throw your winsdshirt in the washer,dont dry it, put it straight on under your rainjacket and youll see what that means ... it sticks when wet, and the moisture doesnt wick very well when its under a layer ... because of its "fuzziness" fleece wicks moisture away from the skin pretty well ... which is why you can take a soaked fleece, wring it out and put it on right next to the skin, even under a rain jacket

now there ARE people who DO put on their rainjackets over their softshell/windshirts, but these are usually climbers or other such in the winter ... usually in activities where taking on/off multiple layers is more risky at belays than simply putting on another layer.... and even then in high output activities, they often take off the layers they dont need ... to sweat in winter is to die ... but most people here dont need to worry about it for what they do

at the end of the day its pretty useless to complain about breathability if you are layering you 2 LEAST breathable layers together when active

SKILLS trumps fancy fabric anyday

;)

Edited by bearbreeder on 09/02/2013 08:55:01 MDT.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
Re: Why add weight.. on 09/02/2013 08:56:24 MDT Print View

But why add a thin base layer to your pack weight if you don't need it? I'll either wear just my t-shirt underneath my shell or the next step up will be my Squamish that i'm already carrying - multipurpose.

If we were talking short day trips, and not extended hikes, well, then picking and choosing from a never ending gear closet would be another deal ;-).


you ALREADY HAVE a thin base layer

in fact in WET conditions you should have 2 ...

1 for use during the day, 1 for sleeping in ... unless you like bringing moisture in you nice down sleeping bag

;)

Peter (Taking a break)
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
Disagree on 09/02/2013 08:58:14 MDT Print View

I guess our climate we hike in and our minds differs - no worries Eric.

Daniel Collins
(Diablo-V) - F

Locale: Orlando FL
the big question on 09/02/2013 09:02:24 MDT Print View

I think so far from the knowledge presented here, for the climates I mentioned, it would be a good idea to have both rain shell and separate windshell. I *think* I read somewhere of the windshell being used as a makeshift vapor barrier by someone after a rain shell DWR failure in extreme cold, in an emergency situation, but not sure.

A suggestion for a durable rain shell and pants would be appreciated with lightness being my preference over price. See my previous post - the suggestions for the RAB products didn't pan out since those mentioned are all discontinued. So we are looking for a breathable rain jacket that wont fail me in the freezing rain on the west side of the cascades, and that should last through a long AT or equivalent hike, and that should not tear wide open at the mere sight of a blackberry bush.
I saw this:
ZPacks™ Waterproof Breathable Cuben Fiber-eVent Rain Jacket

but it looks like a garbage sack with arms, designed for the tin man from OZ.
If it's the best thing going however, I will gladly cast all fashion sense aside and get one.
If my Marmot Dri-clime stretch pants are acceptable as wind pants, then I can save buying something else.
If a cuben fiber poncho/tarp is light enough to replace the tyvek ground sheet for my Skyscape-X, then I might be able to use it primarily for that, and secondarily as a backup in case of a rain shell failure.
This query has opened some healthy discussion on clothing philosophy so I hope it will continue. Remember to tell us what your price-is-no-object dream system consists of.
I will check out the links posted above from the person named .. er ... Link.

Peter (Taking a break)
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
Re: Re: Why add weight.. on 09/02/2013 09:04:36 MDT Print View

"you ALREADY HAVE a thin base layer

in fact in WET conditions you should have 2 ...

1 for use during the day, 1 for sleeping in ... unless you like bringing moisture in you nice down sleeping bag

;)"

Nope, because i don't need a thin base layer during the day, i can take that weight and add it to my thicker sleeping baselayer, and thus, i'll be able to sleep comfortable at a lower temperature than you, for the same weight... ;-)

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
durable on 09/02/2013 09:07:29 MDT Print View

daniel ...

if you want "durable" get something thats 3 layer ...

but more importantly get something with a no questions, bring back for any reason WARRANTY

this and other board is littered with posts about rain jacket failures, principally from delamination

even the fanciest brand names have had their "bomber" jackets delaminate if your look for the threads here

and UL rain jackets are especially at risk of failure with their thinner fabrics, and 2.5 layer

;)

I *think* I read somewhere of the windshell being used as a makeshift vapor barrier by someone after a rain shell DWR failure in extreme cold, in an emergency situation, but not sure.

if a windshirt is used as a VBL ... its useless as a "breathable" windshirt =P

Edited by bearbreeder on 09/02/2013 09:11:01 MDT.

Daniel Collins
(Diablo-V) - F

Locale: Orlando FL
one more thing on 09/02/2013 09:08:08 MDT Print View

... and fer cryn out loud would you guys stop arguing long enough to tell me what a Squamish is ? Then keep arguing after that.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
Re: Re: Re: Why add weight.. on 09/02/2013 09:09:38 MDT Print View

Nope, because i don't need a thin base layer during the day, i can take that weight and add it to my thicker sleeping baselayer, and thus, i'll be able to sleep comfortable at a lower temperature than you, for the same weight... ;-)

of come on are you wearing NOTHING during the day at all?

yr wearing some kind of base layer ... whether a t-shirt, button up shirt, cap1, merino, etc ...

are ya going off about weight "bragging' over a shirt you bring anyways

;)

Peter (Taking a break)
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
Re: one more thing on 09/02/2013 09:13:08 MDT Print View

hehe :-)....it's just a windshell from Arc'teryx... nothing worth arguing over...haha :-)

What is more important is that you buy that Zpacks Event Cuben Fiber jacket, and make a great review about it after your trip!

Okay, got to run guys...take care :-)

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
Re: one more thing on 09/02/2013 09:13:42 MDT Print View

and fer cryn out loud would you guys stop arguing long enough to tell me what a Squamish is ?

the squamish is one of the most expensive windshirts you can buy ..

some people claim is highly breathable, there is some dispute however on the numbers if you read certain threads ...

some good climbers use and swear by it ... even more use some other brand and do just as crazy things in the worst conditions

you decide if the fancy gear is worth the $$$$ ;)

http://www.arcteryx.com/Product.aspx?language=EN&gender=mens&category=Jackets&model=Squamish-Hoody

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Poncho/Groundheets on 09/02/2013 09:17:00 MDT Print View

Daniel,

Sounds like a wonderful multi-use item. Past experience has taught me that heavy use as a groundsheet will leave a poncho full of holes. I used my zPacks Cuben poncho/groundsheet as a groundsheet a few times when new, just to test it. On most trips I use a polycro ground sheet or a waterproof sleeping pad. Long term use of a poncho as a groundsheet is not a good idea, IMO.

Peter (Taking a break)
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
can't pass on that one.. on 09/02/2013 09:22:49 MDT Print View

"of come on are you wearing NOTHING during the day at all?

yr wearing some kind of base layer ... whether a t-shirt, button up shirt, cap1, merino, etc .."

Nope, nothing...besides the chest hair i've grown being badass...

Se ya! ;-)

Daniel Collins
(Diablo-V) - F

Locale: Orlando FL
durable on 09/02/2013 09:23:41 MDT Print View

" if you want "durable" get something thats 3 layer ..."

Oh NO ! Not the tin man jacket I hope ! That's 3 layer it says ....

OK, statistically (somewhat) more reliable fabrics with "fewer" failures ?
Goretex Pro ? E-Vent ? Brands /models ?
What would you buy right now from the 2013 / 14 clothing line if you intended to make your outer shell an expensive and hopefully long term investment.
As a hiker this is where I want to throw the most money. I see the North Cascades in my future because that's where I'm from and that's where I want to hike, but the gear should hopefully work in other situations (within reason).

It is frustrating reading about ten year old fabric technologies in the various hiking books which were last updated in 2003.....

EDIT : thanks for the link to the Squamish, looks very good and perhaps tougher that the Ghost Whisperer. And it's named after a Washington State tribe too ...

Edited by Diablo-V on 09/02/2013 09:35:35 MDT.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
Re: durable on 09/02/2013 09:33:32 MDT Print View

What would you buy right now from the 2013 / 14 clothing line if you intended to make your outer shell an expensive and hopefully long term investment.

anything made by Outdoor Research ... not because i believe they are any more "reliable" ... but because they have one of the BEST warranties in the business ... a dog can eat your jacket and theyll take care of you

there are 3 types of "reliable/durable"

1. it has the features you want that prevent "failure" due to condtions ... ie the hood is shaped well so it doesnt "leak", the zippers are really waterproof or have storm flaps .... this depends on what you will do ... for example many UL rain jackets skimp on these features, but thats OK for their intended conditions ... you arent going to be in the middle of a storm on K2 with one of those

2. the fabric doesnt fail in the field ... either through abrasion or DWR failure ... generally 3 layer are more durable in that regard, and the importance of skills in that you reapply your DWR regularly ... also have a backup plan IF your jacket does fail in the field

3. long term durability ... delamination ... its that simple this is the killer of every jacket out there ... it happened to every brand no matter how cheap or expensive ... what matters at this point is the WARRANTY

rain jackets IMO are things you go through, eventually if you wear them enough, especially around town all the time in the PNW in the rain ... theres a good chance theyll fail eventually ...

personally i wouldnt call any a long term "investment" if you use it often enough ... except for OR or other brands with a no questions asked warranty where theyll just send u a new one every time

;)

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: durable on 09/02/2013 09:45:06 MDT Print View

The technology (Gore-Tex) has been around for almost 40 years. If you are hiking all day in cold rain (e.g., under 40F) you are going to end up being cold and wet. The interior gets soaked from sweat, then water starts coming in from the outside. eVent is more breatable than Gore-Tex. Most eVent jackets do not have zip pits, but I noticed the new REI jacket does, it is not a light jacket though.

My zPacks poncho vents, thus breathes, better than any rain jacket I have ever worn. It is smaller than the typical poncho, so it is not problematic as the typical poncho in wind and cross country work. It is not perfect. There is no perfect rain gear, as I have been dealing with this delimma for nearly 50 years.

Daniel Collins
(Diablo-V) - F

Locale: Orlando FL
warranty on 09/02/2013 09:57:32 MDT Print View

" because they have one of the BEST warranties in the business "

won't do me any good if I'm in a sleet storm and hypothermic, as at that time i would be thinking of what blunt object to use on the store salesman who hyped up the warranty and got me to buy the jacket ... but seriously, Craftsman power tools - best warranty - but you WILL end up using the warranty because they are junk.

Good points you bring up -if being that all other qualities equal, the warranty wins - THAT I can understand.
My uses: I won't use for daily wear - I live in the lightning capitol of the world here in Central FL and if I'm getting heavy rain that means I'm running as fast as i can to get away from a possible lightning strike. I have a Columbia rain jacket for that, no good for the hills. So my hiking shell is for that only - hiking/camping.

I won't be wearing a rock helmet or climbing harness, snow shoes, or skis. Just a ULA Catalyst pack and maybe a camera chest pack. I hope this clarifies a little better.

Daniel Collins
(Diablo-V) - F

Locale: Orlando FL
poncho on 09/02/2013 10:10:39 MDT Print View

Nick I have not altogether decided against a cuben fiber poncho yet.
But coming down the trail you must sound like a bunch of chipmunks fighting over a giant bag of Cheetos huh ?
I like the idea of sweat and breathability being a non-issue with ponchos.
I can see where the wind shirt would complement it in the cold.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
Re: warranty on 09/02/2013 10:21:01 MDT Print View

make sure it FITS then

OR helium if it does .. unless yr bushwhacking or climbing ... itll be fine for the rain most people here deal with, and it weights 6 oz

if yr going to hike in all day rain then id get something with 3 layer goretex pro with full length rain zips ...or event ... again from OR or some other manufacturer with a great, unlimited, no questions asked warranty ...

OR is not "junk" its used and tested by many alpinist around the world and they are a major brand name

the problem is that unlike some companies like dead bird (whose "lifetime" warranty on harnesses is only for 200 days) or TNF with their marketing budgets ... they dont spend as much time self promoting themselves or sponsoring the "coolest" athletes

what many people dont realize is that the "brand name" is irrelevant in quality outdoor gear except for the WARRANTY ...

all these jackets have been in the gnarliest places, all of them have been used by "top" athletes, all of them have products for gnarly/UL/whatever conditions, all of em have their screaming rabid fanbois in the intrawebs

the only real difference is in the fit of the particular product, the price they charge, and the WARRANTY

if youre spending $$$$$ ... that company should take care of you ... not argue about whether its covered or having to wait weeks

for example you can read about it here ...

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=73770&startat=22

if you are every unhappy with an OR product for ANY reason at all after ANY length of time ... theyll simply exchange or refund you the purchase

;)

Edited by bearbreeder on 09/02/2013 10:23:18 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: dream layers on 09/02/2013 10:23:04 MDT Print View

Rain gear:
GoLite poncho or if want a jacket, walk into Outdoor Research and buy one of the jackets with the Torsoflo side zippers. There are several models to suit your weight and budget needs. I went with the older Panorama model made with Pertex (the current model is OR's Ventia fabric). I'm of a mind to concentrate on ventilation features with whatever light 2.5 layer fabric du jour. As others said, DWR mainenance is key, with careful laundering, re-treatment and ultimately, a lifetime warranty.

IMHO, there's no free lunch on rain gear. Light stuff is either weak on breathability and venting options and/or durability. You can get more functional jackets, but it's no effort to have the weight double or even triple. I have conceded to heavier jackets for my PNW all day drizzle conditions: SUL options just don't cut it. I think a poncho makes a great summer CYA rain gear choice and you get emergency shelter and oack cover in the bargain with a 7oz load and $60 outlay.

I'm a big fan of wind shirts and have the previous Houdini model. I don't know what to suggest with Patagonia's recent fabric change on the Houdini. Montane is my first thought, and size up one size.

I use wicking polyester base layers. Patagonia is easy, and I've used REI, TNF, GoLite, Nike and others. I like the meshy-ier weaves vs the smoother silkier ones. I crank it up to cap2/3 to suit the season. I have an REI light Power Dry top that is great for cool weather base layer with a rain or wind shell. News to me, Power Dry comes in several weights.

Botton down shirts don't work for me when hiking hard. Great for travel, but just soggy when I'm going uphill. I verified this yesterday on a day hike with a 2000' gain in 2 miles and low 80's. I wished for a wicking shirt soon enough. Wind shirts will fill that gap well.

R1 (Power Dry) or Power Stretch for mid layers.

Use vests for warmer weather CYA layering to save weight and bulk.

Pants: REI Sahara zip offs, and to my surprise, Columbia Silver Ridge zip offs and shorts. The Silver Ridge fabric is comfortable and dries fast. Ex Officio Nio Amphi shorts are good too.

For cool damp weather, light soft shell pants are great. For all day rain, silk weight polyester long johns with 2.5 layer rain pants. I see rain pants as pretty much sacrificial garments as they tend to get trashed more than tops. Marmot Precip or the equivalent will keep you dry enough and balance weigh/cost/durability.

Shoes du jour are Patagonia Drifter AC. They have stiff rock resistant soles with great traction, good padding, and they breathe. Best for low volume feet I think.

For puffy insulation, I like 90/100g jackets like the Patagonia Micro Puff or First Ascent Igniter for colder westher. I do carry a Revelcloud vest for my summer day hiking CYA layer, but I prefer a Patagonia R1 with a windshirt vs a thin puffy like a Nanopuff or Thermawrap. That combo leaves all kinds of variations for those 45-50f days with sporadic rain and little sun.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: OR warranty on 09/02/2013 10:30:37 MDT Print View

OR really walks the talk on their warranty. I sent something in for replacement recently and it was quick and hassle-free.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Poncho/Groundheets on 09/02/2013 10:45:54 MDT Print View

The poncho groundsheet thing has never made sense to me. I'd love to have a SUL Cuben poncho, but I would never throw it down in the rocks and mud and sleep on it.

Ponchos can be great rain gear. They need to be properly cut to cover your pack and a simple waist belt of light cord with a toggle will tame the loose ends. They look bad, but if you can get overcthe fashion issues, they make a lot of sense for UL use: you get well ventilated rain gear with coverage to the knees, a pack cover that keeps the whole pack dry, and excellent emergency shelter as well.

Daniel Collins
(Diablo-V) - F

Locale: Orlando FL
helium on 09/02/2013 11:00:03 MDT Print View

I looked at the OR helium, rave reviews on the site I visited, not expensive either.
Synthetics are out of the question for me as far as NTS wicking layers.
I'm a merino kind of guy, that much I know.
The only reason I like the Exofficio shirt is because its light, breathes, sun and bug proof, and has pockets ... OK that was six reasons ... but light merino long sleeve would be my next choice. Merino just wont hold up to pack straps etc very well.
Keep it coming .. thanks.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: helium on 09/02/2013 11:58:26 MDT Print View

I would like to hear first hand feedback on the Helium. What I get fron OR's description is that it is not waterproof enough for all day drizzle and better for summer/occasional rain--- a slightly more waterproof windshirt?

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Lartnec Nagihcim
Re: Re: helium on 09/02/2013 12:11:49 MDT Print View

Hi Dale,

I have the original Helium but only used it light showers and it was fine, I don't think its breathable enough to be used in lieu of a windhshirt though.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: helium on 09/02/2013 12:19:51 MDT Print View

That too was my impression from the specs-- not a windshirt and a short duration rain jacket. It sounds okay for the Sierra or the like, but not for 3-season use in the Cascades and Olympics.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
Re: Re: helium on 09/02/2013 12:28:50 MDT Print View

ive used the original in all day PNW drizzle fine ... as you know there no way yr going to keep totally dry regardless if yr active for hours in such conditions ...

now if yr going out for days on end in non-stop heavy rain ... nothing short of a full ledged rain jacket will be sufficient IMO ... and youll stll get damp regardless

which is what gets me ... when people talk about "waterproofness" and "breathability" they are really talking about occasional storms, thundershowers, climbing ice where theres some drip, shorter duration trips ...

anyone who has been out in non-stop PNW rain where there no letup for days, the trails are total bogs, theres no dry wood in sight, there no sun at all, humidity is near 100% forever ... knows that there is NO such think as "keeping dry" or "breathable" ... once the DWR gets so saturated, it aint breathing, period ... once you become a steaming pile inside yr overwhelmed rain jacket due to dampness, it doesnt matter

at that point you just want to keep WARM ... and get things less damp, ie quick "drying"



;)

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: poncho on 09/02/2013 12:34:11 MDT Print View

After looking at the weights on the Cuben poncho, I would just but the GoLite if not using it as a ground sheet (which I wouldn't).

The MLD version is listed at 4.6oz and $165. The GoLite is 7oz and $60. The zpack double groundsheet model is 6.1 oz and $170.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Lartnec Nagihcim
Re: Re: Re: helium on 09/02/2013 12:44:43 MDT Print View

Its definitely only a summer piece for me and normally only bring it on overnights if the forecast is good, if out for more than 1 night or if rain is the forecast I will pack an event jacket (weighs about 3oz more)

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Helium II on 09/02/2013 13:12:23 MDT Print View

I just picked one up for $80 for trailrunning/fastpacking but have yet to use it.
Given the majority of the rest of the contenders in this weight range are twice the price, I'm satisfied. For the High Sierra and 4 season Southern California trail running, it seems like it will fit the bill fine. It's only a few ounces heavier than my Houdini, which wets out incredibly quickly in rain or rubbing wet vegetation.
If I were expecting days and days of rain, I'd carry my heavier GTX shell instead.
As to breathability while running, it's not a concern to me. Nothing stays dry inside while running or working hard. And as Eric said, maintaining warmth is the primary concern.

_______________________


http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/ul_wpb_jackets_sotmr_part2#.UiTihBZBSu4

"Aside from the excellent face fabric and poor hood design, the rest of the Heliums are as identical as they are unremarkable. This last is a good thing. The waterproof front zip functioned well, and the single front pocket, elastic cuffs, and drawcord waist do their job quietly and well. The fit is good, trim but not too trim, with room for a light puffy coat and plenty of sleeve length for active pursuits. Even with a sub-par hood, the Heliums are an excellent value. With a better hood, they’d be at the top of the PU heap.

Overall: Solid, bargain rain coats characterized by excellent face fabrics and mediocre hood designs."


___________________________

Good enough for me.

ROBERT TANGEN
(RobertM2S) - M

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Un-button the buttons? on 09/02/2013 14:43:42 MDT Print View

Re; "Botton down shirts don't work for me when hiking hard. Great for travel, but just soggy when I'm going uphill." Have you tried unbuttoning all the buttons on a full-button shirt, then opening both sides all the way out?

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Ultralight dream clothing, what would you buy on 09/02/2013 16:04:23 MDT Print View

So the question are 1) if you wanted the best gear to cover wind and rain, light and durable, what would you buy ?

I don't think there is one perfect piece of rain gear. Durability, waterproofness and breathability are often at odds within a particular jacket. In other words, I don't think you will find any garment that scores a five star rating in all three categories, regardless of price or weight (which are another two important categories).

You might consider buying a variety of gear and matching your trip to your gear. The Northwest climate is rather dry in the summer. There are rainshadows. We get stretches of good, dry (and predictably dry) weather in the summer. In the other seasons, we get really long stretches of bad weather. The weather to the east tends to be drier, but gets more thunder and lightning. In other words, you will probably bring different gear on a three day trip to the Teanaway in August versus a week long trip to Olympic Coast in November. Likewise, I would bring a different jacket if I was hiking on the PCT versus a bushwhacking extravaganza.

As far as particular gear is concerned, I would read the "State of the Market Reports" on Rain gear. Here is a link to the State of the Market Reports: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/xdpy/sf/Gear/State%20of%20the%20Market%20Reports/index.html
(just search for "rain").


2) If you think it is wrong to try to deal with wind and rain with a single article of outerwear, please explain, and tell me what you would do instead.

A windshirt is redundant. The only reason people bring them is because they tend to more breathable than a rain jacket. This means that they provide for a far more comfortable range of conditions for which a puffy jacket is too much, and a T-Shirt is too little. Whether you want to bring a wind shirt depends a lot on how much discomfort you are willing to endure. You need to provide for the extremes; you need to be prepared for heavy wind and rain. But dealing with the in between weather is not essential.

Fleece breathes really well but is heavy for its weight. When day hiking, I bring fleece on every trip, every condition, rain, wind, sleet or snow. For backpacking, I count every ounce and bring a synthetic puffy. It won't perform as well as fleece if it if is under a rain jacket while under heavy exertion. However, when I've encountered those situations, it has only been for relatively brief periods (a few hours, not all day). In other words, I've never had to travel miles and miles in a hurry while under relentless rain (I've hunkered down or the rain stopped). In that situation, a poncho would be better than a rain jacket. As it is, it performs just fine under those conditions. The jacket loses some warmth, but not as much as down does. I think a synthetic puffy is a great compromise between fleece and down. Of course, if the treated down works well, then it could replace the synthetic puffy.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Ultralight dream clothing, what would you buy on 09/02/2013 18:33:41 MDT Print View

If you are looking for a 3-layer eVent jacket, the 12 oz Rab Momentum is pretty nice. I bought one last year on clearance and haven't yet worn it hiking but I'd take it to North Cascades or a PNW sustained-rainy trip. It's not made anymore, but campsaver has some for $195 on clearance although you can't be choosy on color (only one medium).

http://www.campsaver.com/momentum-jacket-men-s

Edit: definitely too much jacket for Florida, but there's good advice here about needed multiple upper body shells to handle the range of conditions you're looking for. I do carry a windshell AND rainshell in the PNW, mostly because I think it's a great 5 oz layering piece.

Edited by saparisor on 09/02/2013 18:36:12 MDT.

Daniel Collins
(Diablo-V) - F

Locale: Orlando FL
Thanks on 09/02/2013 21:11:45 MDT Print View

Thanks for the info so far.
I should say that yes I will be planning any hikes based on weather.
No, this jacket (or jackets) are not for Florida weather - I think my MICA has me covered there.

I am thinking the poncho would be better on a long AT hike, and the Cascades would be better with a jacket. So the next question is - Goretex Pro or E-vent.
I will read the state of market link, and I appreciate the time everyone has spent on this dilemma. Hopefully this will be helpful to others who read it as well.

I do understand the "no free lunch" concept very well coming from aviation. This is why I posted the thread in the first place - because I an skeptical of the wondrous claims in sales literature for these jackets. I want confidence in my gear.

I am resolved to carry a 2 or 3 ounce wind shell, done deal, that question is answered although I do want to see suggestions on good brands. As mentioned I got a deal on a Pat Ghost Whisperer hooded, but there may be better options for the weight.
This brings the issue down to which (rain shell )membrane technology has a good track record. I'm not looking for perfect, just reasonable expectation of reliable.
Thanks.

steven franchuk
(Surf) - M
Re: Re: durable on 09/03/2013 00:12:18 MDT Print View

"2. the fabric doesnt fail in the field ... either through abrasion or DWR failure ... generally 3 layer are more durable in that regard, and the importance of skills in that you reapply your DWR regularly ... also have a backup plan IF your jacket does fail in the field"


DWR failure is not a big deal. If the DWR failed your jacket is still waterproof. The jacket will however loose some or most of its breathability. To help prevent condensation open any vent, slow down to minimize heat, or setup camp early so that the condensation can dry off. Once the rain stops and the jacket starts to dry breathability will be restored to it original level.

If you have a puncture or rip in the fabric use plastic tape to plug the leak. then when your hike is over get it fixed or replace it.

Note that no polyurethane WPB fabric currently sold breaths as well as event despite all the claims to the contrary (or at least I have not found one that lists the cup upright test and list a number as high as Event).

3. long term durability ... delamination ... its that simple this is the killer of every jacket out there ... it happened to every brand no matter how cheap or expensive ... what matters at this point is the WARRANTY

Delamination is mostly a issue for WPB fabrics that use polyurethane membranes (typically clear). Polyurethane is sensitive to moisture in the environment. Over time it can get sticky, start to disintegrate or completely peel off. Besides after extensive reviews of the specifications and test methods listed for fabrics, I have not yet found one that breaths as well as well as Event. So for me Polyurethane WPB arn't worth it. they will eventually fial and it doesn't breath well enough.

Gortex, Event, and other generic WPB fabrics use a PTFE (teflon) membrane. PTFE is typically white. Unlike Polyurethane which is applied to the fabric as a liquid and then allowed to dry, PTFE is attached to the fabric using a separate glue. For Gortex or Event delamination is very rare and is typically covered by the manufactures warranty. Gortex had delamination issues when it was first released in 1970;s and Event also apparently had similar problems right after is was released. Both treated it as a warranty issue and I have not seen any recent reports of Gortex or Event delamination.

If your worried about delimination get a jacket with a 3 layer fabric. The 3rd layer will preevent you from tearring or puncturing the PTFE when you put it on. I have not read of any 2.5 layer Gortex or Event fabric delaminating.

Before you hike check the jacket for delamination. Delamination is typically not a sudden event. It typically starts in one area and speads slowly. Delamination is mainly an issue if you don't check for it before you start hiking and then in a sever rain storm find out the jacket is no longer waterproof due to delamination.

PS: I Spent half my life in the PNW and I am well aware how bad the weather can get. In my experience with a poncho, it is not adequate in PNW weather. I have never hiked in Tropical conditions. The breathability of a poncho may be better in warm high humidity conditions.

I recently upgraded from my old REI Gortex jacket to a Westcomb Specter LT 3 layer Event jacket.

Edited by Surf on 09/03/2013 00:50:54 MDT.

Serge G.
(sgiachetti) - M

Locale: Boulder, CO
arc or westcomb on 09/03/2013 00:47:31 MDT Print View

considering the demand is discontinued, I'd take a look at the westcomb shift, of if you're not in a rush, wait till spring when arc teryx comes out with their new goretex pro Alpha FL jacket --http://www.thegearcaster.com/the_gearcaster/2013/07/arcteryx-fast-and-light-climbing.html

Its seriously worth ordering the shift from somewhere with free shipping just to try it on and check out the quality. If you're making your decision based on durability/weight/quality and breathability, than the shift strikes the right balance. Mind you, I don't have long term experience with the shift, but its pretty obvious that its a tougher and more breathable jacket than other stuff in its weight class.

I would bet that the new arc will be even tougher with the new pro shell, but maybe a little less breathable.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
Re: Re: Re: durable on 09/03/2013 01:18:46 MDT Print View

DWR failure is not a big deal. If the DWR failed your jacket is still waterproof. The jacket will however loose some or most of its breathability. To help prevent condensation open any vent, slow down to minimize heat, or setup camp early so that the condensation can dry off. Once the rain stops and the jacket starts to dry breathability will be restored to it original level.


skurka's DWR on his 2.5 layer shell failed ,,, and he got soaked from the outside ... on BOTH of his rain jackets ...

DWR failure is a serious issue if you cant renew it ... ie a hot dryer


The two other jackets were production models, and I didn't treat those -- I used them as rain gear. If I could have re-treated the jacket during the trip, I wouldn't have needed two since there was nothing structurally wrong with the jacket -- it was just that that the DWR coating had worn off and there was no hydrostatic head, so I got soaked whenever it rained. "Mom, send my other blue rain jacket."

In general I've never been impressed with rain gear, especially on a long trip. It fails, period. The Pertex fabric is no different, except its heavy face fabric tends to absorb a lot of moisture -- I think its weight skyrocketed to about double when it got wet, and then it got mildewy because it never had the opportunity to dry in some of the most prolonged wet storms.


http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=38291

also read ... http://andrewskurka.com/2012/breathability-its-importance-mechanisms-and-limitations/

Both treated it as a warranty issue and I have not seen any recent reports of Gortex or Event delamination.

If your worried about delimination get a jacket with a 3 layer fabric. The 3rd layer will preevent you from tearring or puncturing the PTFE when you put it on. I have not read of any 2.5 layer Gortex or Event fabric delaminating.


http://tramplite.com/2012/11/montane-spectr-vent-smock-failure.html

http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php/239147-goretex-delamination-question

http://www.clubtread.com/sforum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=37976

http://www.outdoorsmagic.com/forum/gear/delaminating-paclites/30098.html

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=73770&startat=22

http://www.outdoorsmagic.com/forum/gear/me-changabang---delamination-issues/48732.html

http://bushwalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=11231

but the best of all is from our very own BPL SOTM rain jacket test ...

Most disturbing of all, the Spektr failed utterly in the waterproofness department, and after a modest amount of use. I noticed some significant fabric fuzzing after my testing, but thought little of it when I sent it to Alaska for BPL writer, champion wilderness racer, and notorious gear killer Luc Mehl to use. He took it on a travese of the Aniakchak crater out near the Aleutians and got “pretty much soaked” by rain leaking in under the pack straps. I was shocked to hear this, as the test jacket had, by that point, fewer than 20 days in the field. I had even cleaned the jacket before sending it north to ensure the DWR was in good shape. The only conclusion I can draw is that fabric abrasion caused laminate failure, and that Montane has some work to do on the durability of this particular form of eVent.



http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/ul_wpb_jackets_sotmr_part2.html

you get the point ... i can of course find many many many more "examples" ...

;)

Edited by bearbreeder on 09/03/2013 01:27:22 MDT.

Daniel Collins
(Diablo-V) - F

Locale: Orlando FL
Alpha FL and OR Helium 2 on 09/03/2013 06:01:35 MDT Print View

I just want to correct Serge first of all, in my earlier post, towards the beginning
I said " I have been looking at reviews of the Arcteryx Alpha FL" among other jackets, and that was on the top of my list, but it is NOT, I repeat, NOT Goretex Pro. It is another called Goretex Active. Unless ARC has decided to redesign the jacket for next year, and I doubt that would happen without giving it a different name, it will be using the same membrane. The Alpha FL is available right now, and Amazon has my size. I suspect you were thinking of the ARC BETA series, which are Goretex Pro, heavier, and much costlier.
I haven't seen a bad review of the ARC Alpha FL yet so it's on the list of finalists.

Regarding the OR Helium 2- its virtue so far is its light weight but it is Pertex shell, not eVent, and is less breathable that either eVent or G-Pro. OR literature suggests that it is for limited use "for flash storms" and not for anything but emergency use.
One thing is certain, most users liked it, but most users were not thru hikers either.

I haven't found any eVent jackets yet, still looking at the Rab Momentum, one left, in a weird color in my size, and that's on the possible list as well. Looks like I have a lot of reading to do with all the links posted. Much appreciated.

Serge G.
(sgiachetti) - M

Locale: Boulder, CO
gore pro on 09/03/2013 23:46:24 MDT Print View

Hey Daniel, check that link I posted: "The updated Alpha FL Jacket is made completely from the new breathable yet durable three layer Gore-Tex Pro material. The 310g jacket features a trim fit in a hip length cut, with no extra bulk to weigh you down or get in the way.
I don't know enough about new goretex pro material, but from my understanding its suppose to be about as breathable as goretex active, but more durable.

Daniel Collins
(Diablo-V) - F

Locale: Orlando FL
shift and Alpha FL on 09/04/2013 05:59:02 MDT Print View

The gearcaster link does indeed say the alpha FL will use the goretex but nowhere else has that info so I suspected an error. If it will be Goretex Pro in 2014 you can forget about the ultralight part ... we will see.
The Alpha FL is on my short list.
Another one as you suggested, the $400 Westcomb Shift. Only bummer is no pit zips, but so far great reviews.
I have the Shift in my wish list at REI

I might get the Super Mica or Helium 2 for Florida hikes later.
Still trying to find warranty info on the Shift.
And I don't yet know anything about the polartec neoshell used in the shift.
There was one other jacket with Goretex pro in the shoulders and Paclite everywhere else, looking for the link again - it looked interesting.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: Tokyo, Japan
Re: shift and Alpha FL on 09/04/2013 06:15:15 MDT Print View

Might want to check out the Outdoor Research Axiom. Gortex Active, 13oz, stuffs into its owm pocket and the mesh lined pockets serve as vents. Outside Magazine Gear of the Year 2012 award winner. I got mine on sale a few weeks ago for $135.

Daniel Collins
(Diablo-V) - F

Locale: Orlando FL
short list on 09/04/2013 06:22:11 MDT Print View

The dual fabric jacket I was trying to remember is:
Arc'teryx Alpha SL Hybrid Jacket
$350, 13 oz and has pit zips, good reviews so far.
I will check out the Axiom, thanks.

Richard May
(richardmay)

Locale: Costa Rica
breathability and ventilation on 09/04/2013 07:37:51 MDT Print View

This thread got me to study up on rain and wind gear. Boy, did I find some treasures here on BPL.

Before deciding on a jacket you might want to read this article:

High Exertion Moisture Accumulation in Rain and Wind Shells
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/00030.html

The Science of Breathability and Its Impact on Raingear Selection and Use
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/00037.html

In summary they conclude that ventilation is a lot more important than breathability to keep you from getting wet from the inside out. So, check out those vents.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: breathability and ventilation on 09/04/2013 10:31:30 MDT Print View

"In summary they conclude that ventilation is a lot more important than breathability to keep you from getting wet from the inside out. So, check out those vents."

Some of us figured that out decades ago. Although not always ideal, it is why I use a poncho. Afternoon thunder showers are one thing, day after day rain is another. At the end of the day there is no perfect solution. So instead of worrying about it and constantly searching for the perfect rain gear I just plod along with what works for me and spend the time saved not looking for the perfect gear on more important endeavors.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Lartnec Nagihcim
Royal Clothing on 09/04/2013 10:57:49 MDT Print View

how about some of those new clothes the Emperor wears?

Daniel Collins
(Diablo-V) - F

Locale: Orlando FL
emperors clothes on 09/04/2013 21:18:34 MDT Print View

I'm not furry enough and I got no fat under my skin.
When I scuba I sink with no weights without a wetsuit.

I have to admit I get cold easily when not moving.
I spent most of my life in the south pacific although I was born in Washington.
I am acclimatized for the tropics. I go to Washington about once per two years and I always get sinus shock from the drier air. So I'm really trying to be thorough now in selecting my clothing system for a week in the Cascades.
I don't want to overpack and I don't want to be cold either ......
As the philosophy goes - I want to be prepared for the worst possible weather.
The short list is narrowing down to about 5 possibles, which is a good thing.
Arc Alpha SL, Rab Momentum, Westcomb Shift LT Hoody, and a couple of others.

Daniel Collins
(Diablo-V) - F

Locale: Orlando FL
Mont-Bell Storm Cruiser on 09/06/2013 06:54:53 MDT Print View

I added the Montbell Storm Cruiser to the short list.
$260, 12 oz, Goretex Pro with pit zips.
I will hold off on pulling the trigger right away since I will not be in the
Cascades this season, and maybe some new stuff will show up or other stuff might go on clearance.
So I spent this weeks allowance on a Caldera Cone Tri-Ti with all the bells and whistles and a MLD 850 ML pot for it.
I got my MH Ghost Whisperer wind shell in the mail and eegads it looks delicate.
I guess we can't expect too much from 2 ounces ....