Shower Testing Waterproof Gear
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Delmar O'Donnell
(Bolster)

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Shower Testing Waterproof Gear on 12/19/2013 19:01:59 MST Print View

I'm about to test the waterproofness of a new piece of gear -- I've seen plenty of examples where people wear the gear in the shower to test it. Is this a reasonable test? If so, for how long?

I don't think I've ever been in a rainstorm that can put out the volume and force of a showerhead, so do you think the shower test is reasonable? Or too severe to be realistic?

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Re: Shower Testing Waterproof Gear on 12/19/2013 19:21:38 MST Print View

Outside wind is a big factor in how rain interacts with WPB gear. If the wind is strong enough, it can add a lot of energy to those little droplets. Hard to replicate this in a shower..

But for mild to moderate rain with little to moderate wind, shower test is probably a good indicator.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Shower Testing Waterproof Gear on 12/19/2013 19:28:45 MST Print View

I've experienced plenty of cloudbursts that approximate a shower. However, it depends on the shower. Some of those water-saving ones only approximate a light drizzle. I hate those because I can't get the shampoo out of my hair!

Assuming you have a shower with a nice strong flow, you could always put a big fan in the bathroom blowing towards the shower (which hopefully will keep spray from hitting the floor when the shower door is open).

That being said, I do use my shower to test rain gear, and stay in there for about 30 minutes. I have a shower head which can take a small volume of water and turn it into a really strong spray (small area, but lots more pressure than any rain storm I've ever been in).

Edited by hikinggranny on 12/19/2013 19:31:56 MST.

Delmar O'Donnell
(Bolster)

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Re: Shower Testing Waterproof Gear on 12/19/2013 20:30:20 MST Print View

> I have a shower head which can take a small volume of water and turn it into a really strong spray (small area, but lots more pressure than any rain storm I've ever been in).

Right, exactly, that's at the heart of my question. Some of the "water saver" shower heads give you a mist or steam (and are worthless for washing hair! just as you say). But others send needles into your skin. It's the needle type of showerhead that seems to really drive water hard, and would seem an extreme test, but I was curious if that's what people were using to test.

John Harper
(johnnyh88) - M

Locale: The SouthWest
Re: Shower Testing Waterproof Gear on 12/19/2013 20:34:32 MST Print View

Sure, why not? If it works under a high pressure shower that should give you some confidence it will work when you need it.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Shower Testing Waterproof Gear on 12/19/2013 21:36:21 MST Print View

I use a sink sprayer to evaluate DWR all the time. It doesn't approximate an all day drizzle with my sweating hulk underneath, but you get a good idea of the condition very quickly. Getting in the shower with a dry dark shirt on and standing there for a while should identify any leaks and as above, will test the DWR. I think the volume and pressure of the shower head can be equal to a good rain shower. Many people have tested shelters with a lawn sprinkler, which is pretty much the same idea.

Nothing, but nothing beats testing by use in the field over a period of time. Abrasion, folding and packing, good old trail dirt, skin oils and sweat all take their toll.

I wear a large if you need help :)

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
Shower Testing Waterproof Gear on 12/20/2013 19:46:46 MST Print View

Back when Epic Malibu was being used by BD, adjusted a hose nozzle to narrowest and strongest setting, and held it a few inches from the fabric, stretched taut over a plastic embroidery loop, for a minute or so. No wetting out, no penetration.

Then attached another swatch in the loop over a pail, and left it in autumn rain for over a month. It was a rainy fall. Checked regularly. Only slight wetting out, no penetration, after a month.

Then Roger tested a swatch for me. Good to ~1500mm HH, then became a sieve.

Shortly after that we got a record heavy rain. The fabric over the pail wetted out, and there was maybe an ounce of water in the pail.

That's when I realized how much we owe Roger and Richard.