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Thread: Reliable waterproofing that doesn't weigh a ton

  1. #1
    Mini Goon Dr Gorbstein's Avatar
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    I am one of the gullible that paid loads a couple of years ago for a flimsy glorified freezer bag, ie: a Goretex paclite jacket.

    Took it on the west highland way and realised I'd basically bought a leaky sponge that also risks me drowning in my own sweat. Before I was able to return it, I managed to tear it just by looking at it the wrong way. How naff.

    I'm still on the search for some waterproofs that don't weigh a ton and will stand up to some proper rain. I've went through countless (cheapo and expensive) jackets that seem to be designed so that yuppies can walk their dogs through town in a light drizzle but no more. As soon as it start to rain in a more Scottish fashion, they just don't work.

    Any suggestions? I was actually considering going the cheap poncho route since I know that the materials are actually waterproof, and hoping that the open style would give some ventilation.

    D

  2. #2
    Ultra King Diddi's Avatar
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    I hear umbrellas are pretty breathable these days and very fashionable .
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Gorbstein View Post

    I am one of the gullible that paid loads a couple of years ago for a flimsy glorified freezer bag, ie: a Goretex paclite jacket.

    Took it on the west highland way and realised I'd basically bought a leaky sponge that also risks me drowning in my own sweat. Before I was able to return it, I managed to tear it just by looking at it the wrong way. How naff.

    I'm still on the search for some waterproofs that don't weigh a ton and will stand up to some proper rain. I've went through countless (cheapo and expensive) jackets that seem to be designed so that yuppies can walk their dogs through town in a light drizzle but no more. As soon as it start to rain in a more Scottish fashion, they just don't work.

    Any suggestions? I was actually considering going the cheap poncho route since I know that the materials are actually waterproof, and hoping that the open style would give some ventilation.

    D
    If the jacket leaks you will be under Gore's lifetime guarantee so regardless of the rip send it back,but i really think its condensation that's your problem.

    If you do find the perfect light/tough/reliable jacket that does all let me know,i too will be one of those g

    ullible ones and rush out and buy it,as tbh it does not exist... not for every single individual one of us anyhow,tho i have found my perfect JACKETS for my needs,winter,summer,allrounder..



    DIDSTER!!

  3. #3
    Goon
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    ive found event is the best of a bad bunch.

    once the outer fabric on any waterproof gets wet the there's no way its going to breathe as its cocooned in water. no proofing can change this either.

    rain lands on jacket- jacket gets wet- owner inside steams up- jacket gets clammy-water then seeps in through neck and pressure points of rucksack- owner of jacket slowly gets damp.

    oh yes, i bought paclite too. bollocks isnt it.

  4. #4
    ‹bermensch
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    I quite like my Paclite jacket. I don't wear it unless it's really raining, so it spends most of its life in my pack where its low weight is a real boon. If proper rain is expected then I take another jacket, generally a Paramo VAL. Doubtless some day a jacket will be invented that combines the strong points of Paclite/eVent/Paramo, but I'm pretty sure it ain't happened yet.

  5. #5
    Ultra King Parky Again's Avatar
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    membrane jackets are perfect condensation vehicles - the arms especially.

    you will not remain dry inside inmembrane jackets until it stops raining and the jacket has a chance to get rid of the condensation. you need lots of venting to stop/mitigate the build up of warm wet air inside.

    i've made rudimentary experiments using a really cheap waterproof with lots of vents through to event. event is the best of the bunch but you'll still get wet inside - it just takes longer for it reach that point. the conclusion i came to is that the fabric matters far less than the amount of sensible venting available.

    you get wet inside windproofs too but they and you will dry considerably faster than anything else by a wie margin so control of condensation by a waterproof breathablefabric just isn't going to happen. it is something you just have to accept.

    of course paramo type construction available from many sources does address this issue and is by far the most comfortable and dry of any jacket i have tried as condensation condenses outside of the inner layer.

  6. #6
    Goon
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    paramo doesn't have a membrane it has what can best be described as a layer of sponge running behind the outer shell.

    This can fool you into thinking you dry for a while........you then notice it getting heavier and heavier until it gives up 'pumping' (ha, pumping wot is it an innertube?) and so leaves you in a soggy mess.

  7. #7
    Ultra King Peter Clinch's Avatar
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    Up to a point, Toblerone... but that point isn't actually very far along.

    The main issue with Paramo isn't that you get wet but you get hot. The liner makes it about the same as wearing a windproofed microfleece, which is not an issue in winter but on a day like today... no thanks! (and I say that where it's about 15 degrees cooler than peaks in England, and pouring with rain).

    Pete.

  8. #8
    Mini Goon Dr Gorbstein's Avatar
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    If the jacket leaks you will be under Gore's lifetime guarantee so regardless of the rip send it back,but i really think its condensation that's your problem. [/QUOTE]

    Interesting, has anyone ever been able to get anything out of this?

    It possibly is condensation, although the jacket is definitely leaking at just about every part. Last week I walked from a minibus out to my tent (about 20 seconds) in a moderate downpour. By the time I got back into the van the rain had soaked through my two inner layers. Either I have a serious sweating problem or it's a bit leaky

    I understand everything is a compromise. But I've just yet to find that perfect item that just works (even if only for 1 season of the year) and I don't have to worry about tearing if I so much as lean the wrong way.

    Cheers!

    D

  9. #9
    ‹bermensch John Burley's Avatar
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    Dr G,
    There are a few compromises available to staying fully dry while fully active in fully wet weather. And I don't believe any of them are perfect.

    Membrane waterproofs are really only as good as the DWR coating that is on them and this can be refreshed/replenished in a variety of ways from time to time. If you want more detail look up Ken Ledward's http://www.klets.co.uk/ site and read his functional test reports.

    Now funnily enough some face-fabrics take a DWR coating better than others... but everybody seems to concern themselves with (almost) pointless numbers like hydrostatic head.

    Personally I am very happy with my crux eVent jackets. Happy in the sense that I have realistic expectations of how dry they might be able to keep me in various conditions. Not expecting to be 100% dry 100% of the time.

    They recently switched to a beefier fabric, brought out the 'shok' and put riri zips on the whole range. But the old flak jacket and smock are still great bits of kit and can now be had for a reasonable price e.g. http://www.jackson-sports.com/Models.aspx?ModelID=6214 .

  10. #10
    ‹bermensch Jake's Avatar
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    I agree with a couple of other posters that eVent seems to be the best ofthe bunch.

    I took my Montane eVent Superfly on the West Highland Way last year when it rained pretty much constantly for most of the time. I did get a bit clammy but it was bearable.

    I too made the mistake of buying a Paclite jacket and it was terrible. Paclite overtrousers, however, seem to work well. A tougher and cheaper alternative for overtrousers areBerghaus Deluge - well cut, good venting and only £40. I also used these on the WHW and they were surprisingly efective.

  11. #11
    ‹bermensch Bedouin's Avatar
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    Being slightly spoilt for choice when it comes to jackets I find (without wishing to state the bleeding obvious) is to match the coat to the expected conditions. its all well and good to bang on about weight BUT if the conditions merit it then the weight WILL BE a necessary evil.. no way around it. I was in Guatemala fairly recently and it rained for 8 days solid not your usual UK rain but what seemed like gobstopper sized rain drops and managed to stay relatively dry.... condensation was an issue.

    I have a Paclite Beta SL but it wouldn't be my first choice for the West Highland Way unless possibly in the hight of summer with only the risk of showers and then possibly only as a short term fix item backed up with a more full on jacket.

    Name and shame.... whats your current Paclite that leaked?

  12. #12
    Ultra King Diddi's Avatar
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    Never had my paclite leak,well not unless you can count a pocket filling with water and wrecking my phone ..

    I use my Haglofs Lim Ultimate jacket for light summer backpacking use (mostly in pack) and also when out cycling (mostly carring again).

    Leave the Rab Demand smock more for day walks when not being battered by heavy packs.

    And my Haglofs Spitz for full on winter use..tho i tend to carry that more than wear it..


  13. #13
    ‹bermensch Bedouin's Avatar
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    Didster, I Had a Samsung G600 in the pocket of my Changabang and it expired in a pool of waterl! 20 minutes of driving rain was all it took.

    Have no experience of Haglofs but at the price they SHOULD be good!

  14. #14
    Ultra King Diddi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bedouin View Post
    Didster, I Had a Samsung G600 in the pocket of my Changabang and it expired in a pool of waterl! 20 minutes of driving rain was all it took. Have no experience of Haglofs but at the price they SHOULD be good!
    It is Top Quality made stuff and thats the main reason i opted for Haglofs stuff,although it was more to do with the Brand appearing in my local shop a few years ago and me being on very good terms with them ( i coukld try before i bought) and that covered tents,rucksacks,jackets etc .

    Do not fear i am slowly down sizing .

    Still looking for that perfect jacket tho,one that will do all.

  15. #15
    ‹bermensch Bedouin's Avatar
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    Horses for courses I guess... Arcteryx got to me first!

  16. #16
    ‹bermensch Salmon Shirted Panther's Avatar
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    Montane atomic is waterproof and breathable. I only have the trousers (my waterproof jacket is Helly Hansen) but they are really light and 100% waterproof.

  17. #17
    ‹bermensch Nigel Healy's Avatar
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    Yes, eVent is up there on a breathability scale but as Parky says all membranes will fail to let enough sweat out and will progressively soak. So its not just about the fabric but the venting options. Pitzips seem to be idealogically not used in eVent jackets, but I got a Marmot Aegis, which has comparable fabric performance to eVent, with pitzips and they seems to handle warm rain quite well, and replaced the Rab Drillium I had before.

    The other key point is to not wear the waterproof, that thing which becomes progressively less breathable is it gets grimed from use, whenever its simply cool enough to need a windproof, but pack it and don't wear it as much as possible. Hence part of your waterproofing strategy is your windproof strategy.

  18. #18
    ‹bermensch Salmon Shirted Panther's Avatar
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    Those umbellas that Didster mentioned look ok, totally waterproof & plenty of venting too.

    They can even double up as walking sticks............

  19. #19
    Goon Daniel Shannon's Avatar
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    Have to agree with both Parky and Nigel---live in Michigan so Paramo suits me well much of the time but can get hot here too so Nigel's suggestion to "pack" the "waterproof" whenever possible is spot on for me

    Dan S.

  20. #20
    Goon Neil1's Avatar
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    I've found the Montane Atomic to be a very good; packable waterproof jacket. I prefer the design improvements on the newer version (better hood, improved cut). The Entrant DT fabric is breathable enough for all but the stickiest days (such as those we've had of late) when it can become slightly clammy. All in all a good value packable waterproof. For 'non-packable' I couldn't be happier with my Paramo Vasco, so much so that I've rarely used my Quito since buying the Vasco. The back vent on the Vasco is a fine idea as are the arm vents for when things get a bit too hot.

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