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Thread: Rab suilven/leaking

  1. #1
    ‹bermensch
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    Yesterday I spent around about 4 hours in constantly atrocious conditions wearing my Suilven. Within 20 min I started to feel damp but just assumed that I was sweating too much for the jacket to cope with. An hour in thogh and i had slowed my pace and I was just continuing to get wetter and wetter. Eventually I abandoned the hike and headed back to the car (other reasons for this also) When I got out of the wet kit and into some dry with a wee heat in the car I inspected the jacket.

    The inside was completely sodden but at the edges of all the seam tapes the inside fabric looks very dark? I can see the colour of the outer shell coming through? there is also an area on the bottom front of the jacket that looks like this but not near a seam. I also did Parky's 'sooking' of the base layer test! deffo not sweat. Ill see if I can get a photo or two on here.

    I bought the jacket in January this year and have only had it in wet conditions for no more than an hour each time and it performed brilliantly. Yesterday was massive droplets being driven into me by at least 30 MPH wind constantly for around 4 hours(I could feel them stinging the back of my head through the hood during gusts!) I know I was really testing the jacket and fully expected some dampness but not total failure. It was honestly like Id not had the jacket on.

    Anyway I take the first thing I should do is contact the shop I bought it from (theoutdoorshop.com) or should I speak to RAB?

  2. #2
    ‹bermensch Smeg's Avatar
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    Hey Sandy, don't bother speaking to RAB, I recently had a similar experience (twice actually so it wasn't a one off) in winds of over 40mph with driving rain. I contacted RAB and the suggest taking back to retailer (really annoying when bought on-line unfortunately).
    I have the Super Dru and although it's a really well cut, light and nice looking jacket, I found my VR top underneath was soaked too. I never noticed this on the walks as the VR is really good and just the outside was wet. Though it was soaked all over! I can't imagine it's the seams leaking, and on close inspection the seam tape is fine, and if you shine a light through it there are no obvious defects.
    My Montane eVENT trousers also seem the same, though on these the water noticeably enters the seams on the inner of the knee and then runs down my legs.
    Someone here in a review I read suggested that as eVENT is supposedly really breathable, if your in cloud and a lot of moisture, this good breath ability can work against you. It got me thinking that could possibly be a reason for this?? My super dru at first was really good; it kept me very dry every time. That was when the DWR was at its best and water would bead upon impact. Now that the DWR is not quite as good, it will wet out in prolonged rain. Same goes for the eVENT trousers.
    I need to send both items back and I reckon I'm going to go for a Cioch jacket and some paramo trousers instead. Come summer again I may kit out with some light stuff but for now I need better performance then this!

  3. #3
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    hold on smeg Im trying to connect my phone with PC and Ill upload some pics. The area on the front deffo has water coming throu I just tied it in the sink.

  4. #4
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    I have to go meet "she who must be obeyed" for lunch will upload them later this afternoon.

  5. #5
    Ultra King ptc*'s Avatar
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    Smeg, aRab VR under a shell will slow down moisture transfer and you'll get condensation all the time. You're creating a vapour barrier, which is actually a proper alternative layering technique. The VR stops enough heat getting to the shell later, that hinders the breathability.

    You'll also get the same effect with Powerstretch under a shell, but less obviously. A 100weight fleece ar a baselayer and you'll notice a huge drop in condensation.

    In constant wind and rain any membrane will give up eventually and you'll get damp. It is sweat though. And overtrousers with exposed water resistant zips always let the rain in. I've given up and gone back to lower legs zips these days.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Jon Doran's Avatar
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    It's not so much the membrane that gives up as the DWR. Before sending anything back, I'd suggest washing and reproofing the jacket meticulously and see if that improves things. You may as well since you're going to have to wash the jacket before sending it off anyway.

    Fwiw, most DWRs will give up in four hours of constant use.

  7. #7
    Ultra King imported_Scott's Avatar
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    Really -just 4 hours Jon? If it only lasts about half a decent day out it's not what I'd describe as durable!

    Food for thought right enough.

    Edit: maybe abit more than half - on reflection it's a wee while since I've spent 8 hours in a day walking.

  8. #8
    ‹bermensch Smeg's Avatar
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    The thing about what you say though ptc* is that in summerwhen it was warmer, and I stil lwore the same VR underthe same Super Dru, the problem never happened. And I can tell you at tiems then I was actually really hot. More lately I have not felt myself overheating at all when wearign the same layering system, so if it was all down to sweat I would have thought the problem would be worse in summer months

    As for the trousers, it elaks through the inner side, opposite the zips. Last time in the rain I could feel the wet pouring in after 10 mins, and its always in the same location. This was definately a leak, nothing else could psosibly explain the very fast soaking of such a localised area, and it is where 3 seams meet.

  9. #9
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    bottom of jacket

    This bit is deffo leaking thru the dark patch i just tried in in the sink

    At the base of the hood, its like this round most of the seams

    More funny looking fabric around the seams

    The DWR gave up way before 4 hours I did the whole TX direct thing last month and it has only been worn twice since with just drizzle. I did at first think it was sweat as it wasnt beading after a litte while but Im pretty sure that it was letting in. The jacket is still soaking wet lying on my kitchen floor where I just took the photies. Ive never seen the dark patches like this before.

    I fully expected to get damp but this was completely soaking, honestly like i said it was like I just wasnt wearing it at all.

    On a lighter note........When I stopped for brekkie on the way up!

  10. #10
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    yeah smeg I deffo wasnt overheating either especially after I slowed my pace down. Ive never seen the fabric look like that before either, its kinda hard to tell in the pics but its the darker areas mostly around the seams.

  11. #11
    Ultra King ptc*'s Avatar
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    Sandy, the one at the bottom of thejacket looks like it's where a rucksack buckle or trouser belt buckle or button has rubbed?

    It actually just looks like the jackethas beenwell worn, I'm assuming it's not? That pattern of dark is what you get when moisture soaks into the scrim and either hasn't dried out yet or can't get out. The cause is another thing altogether though, age, wear, chemical (including everything from washing stuff to your deoderant), leaks.

    Shell jackets as Jon says are only good for a while, you get used to it.

    Smeg, the season and your own hotness is only part of the story, the MVTR of the fabric and the external humididty count for more.

  12. #12
    Ultra King imported_Scott's Avatar
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    Hotness?


  13. #13
    Ultra King ptc*'s Avatar
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    PS moisture usually soaks in around the seams first for a few reasons, the build up of moisture on the unbreathable taping seeps in and the edge of the taping is crimped a little by the process making it easier for moisture to get sucked in.

  14. #14
    Ultra King ptc*'s Avatar
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    Hotness is a well respected technical term....

  15. #15
    Ultra King imported_Scott's Avatar
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    I tell you, you're losing touch with the common man, with all your fancy technical terms since you started writing for that magazine.


  16. #16
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    Im beginning to think it may be wear on the bottom of the jacket, its deffinately leaking I can see liquid seep thru in the sink. Do you think this is repairable?

    The other darker bits at the seams I dont think can be wear. Ive only worn the jacket with a pack maybe 3 or 4 times and its less than a year old. I bought the suilven mainly because its touted as being bombproof. If thats enough to destroy a £200 "bombproof" waterproff then I pity the likes of folk with items like a super dru or montane superfly.

  17. #17
    Ultra King ptc*'s Avatar
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    That innocent look was for Scott

    It'll be repairable, but to get a breathable patch put in, it's a cut, sew and tape affair and it might not be worth the money. An iron on Gore Tex patch will sort the area out and stop the water getting in. I widnae worry, patched gear looks cool

    You're right about the wear rate, even lightweight jackets take a concerted effort to destroy. Something askew somewhere.

  18. #18
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    PTC on another completely unrelated note what knind of wind/rain abuse do you think a Laser comp would take? Im sure Ive read somewhere that you useone. I was getting a little concerned that the weather I was in was getting a bit too wild for it. also the lightning thunder that was very pant wettingly close made me decide to bail.

  19. #19
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    I thought the look was for him I seem to be typing while you read and vice versa.

    Yeah a patch would be kinda cool in a "I'm hard as nails" way.

    On the wear issue do you think I should phn Rab and see what they say or should I just get on to the retailer?

  20. #20
    Ultra King ptc*'s Avatar
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    I know it takes much more than it's rated at. I use it all year round. It sheds snow after a fashion and takes wind very well if you pitch it end-into the wind direction. More than once now I've had the outer bowed by the wind so much that it's been down at my face and never even lost a peg. Out of the thre of them that we use, we 've had one rip in a ground sheet on rocks and a slightlt bent pole. None of the carbon end rods has ever even flinched. Genuinely, the lowest I've ever pitched it is 807m.

    It's loud inside in high winds, though. Oh aye.

    I've got an eVent poled bivy coming for test that will stand up the wind better that I'm going to try on summits and the like. Breakfast, I'll worry about how I'll approach that later.

    EDIT; A phone call to Rab would be a good idea.

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