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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: The Great Lakes Bay Region
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 ....