wanted: good waterproof breathable jacket

Discussion in 'Gear Talk' started by nora, Mar 7, 2010.

  1. AM

    AM Paddler

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    Hey Rob,

    Thanks for the info on Gore's latest material. You echoed what was said above: venting the garment interferes with the membrane's breathability. I hadn't thought of that before.

    Question: I know all about keeping DWR fresh on non-paddling wear, but what about dry jackets and suits? You can't throw them in the dryer because you'll ruin the gaskets. Do you use an iron?

    Thanks,
    Andrew
     
  2. thief

    thief Paddler

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    if i remember correctly a drysuit could take a bit of a dryer session....just not totally high heat.... that question would be pertaining to the gaskets not the rest of the materials....so a Kokatat rep would be able to better answer that part....

    you can easily just reapply the dwr on the suit and let it dry and it will be good to go....the dryer session just reactivates the dwr already on the garment so you are not preemptively spraying more money - i mean dwr- on it.

    personally on my stohlquist drysuit i have not had to redo the dwr on it or my drytops....but since my dry gear has a large amount of neoprene i will jsut spray more revive'x on.....
    but all of the other gear goes right into the dryer no matter what....

    another good thing to do is grab a bottle of Tech-Wash (or the like) from the outdoor shop....it is a non-phosphate detergent....this is what you should use to wash your breathable gear...works great...
    there is also wash-in dwr coatings from the makers of tech-wash (for get the name) that works just great....i prefer the spray so i am not wasting water...

    get on the water!
    r
     
  3. Quickbeam

    Quickbeam Paddler

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    Hello Rob,

    I am wondering if you could answer a couple of questions for me? I am looking for a light, waterproof jacket to take traveling with me. We plan on going to Asia next year, and I am looking for something to keep me dry in any kind of downpours that may occur. So, I want a material that will keep me dry, and that will also pack light, as I plan on using a back pack.

    I have a Gortex paddling jacket, and it is Paclite. I haven't used it a lot, but when I have used it have liked it. It would seem to fit the criteria I have, in that it has kept me dry and packs light. Would this be the best material for me? Or what about the new ProShell material you mentioned? Would that be better for me?

    Also, you said that Gortex works best when it is dry and cooler outside. I am pretty sure it will not be "dry and cooler" outside if I am in Asia in a rainstorm. It will more likely be hot and humid. Should I be looking at a different material than Gortex?

    Thanks so much for any help you can provide. [/quote]
     
  4. sushiy

    sushiy Paddler

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    See! That is why I would buy cheaper not so durable one if I need the jacket only ocasionally!! Always something better comes up on the market!!
    I am still using an old Goretex rain jacket from 14 years ago...
    For the drysuit, I am all for Kokatak Goretex because I got to use it every week.
     
  5. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Quickbeam wrote: Also, you said that Gortex works best when it is dry and cooler outside. I am pretty sure it will not be "dry and cooler" outside if I am in Asia in a rainstorm. It will more likely be hot and humid. Should I be looking at a different material than Gortex?

    The short answer is that nothing will pass water vapor from one hot humid environment (inside the garment) to another hot humid environment (the air in a tropical rainstorm, surrounding you). You're stuck.

    Water vapor will only transpire from an area of higher humidity to an area of lowr humidity. Your best bet is to not wear any rain gear at all, allow yourself to get wet, and then when done traveling and exercising, remove the wet clothing, put on dry clothing while resting, and wear a waterproof poncho over it all. A poncho will give you good ventilation and will keep the dry clothing reasonably dry.
     
  6. Quickbeam

    Quickbeam Paddler

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    Thanks Dave,

    I appreciate the response, although I absolutely hate rain. I know, why am I living on the Westcoast. Well, I love the westcoast, just don't like the rain. Seriously though, getting soaking wet without at least trying to stay dry is just not an option for me.

    When I was at one outfitter store, they had suggested that for what I was looking for, a jacket made from eVent might be better, as apparently it would breathe better in a warmer climate. Am not sure about this, but I guess it is something I'll need to look into.
     
  7. thief

    thief Paddler

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    fools gold.....(trying to come up with another term other than the one that first popped into my head).

    Goretex® is til the best, highest performing waterproof breathable material out there. There are some videos out there that showing how eVent is better but that is unsubstantiated.

    personally i go for the piece that fits me best and then look into what it is made for....if it does not fit me well i am just not going to wear it. (the main reason i have a Stohlquist Drysuit made with their waterproof breathable coating).
     
  8. thief

    thief Paddler

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    A paclite shell will probably works the best for you. It is still the lightest version of Goretex® that is out there. ProShell is a heavier more durable version that is great but it is heavier. Paclite also because it is a lighter thinner material can pack up smaller taking up less space than proshell can.

    yes in a hot and steamy tropical area have the breathable aspect of any waterproof material is a bit moot.

    all of the waterproof breathable materials out there (either 3 layer materials like Goretex® or laminated materials like hyvent, system111, precip or the like -not certain if eVent is a real 3 layer fabric or where exactly it fits into this grouping) will not be breathing that much in those conditions. The conditions are not optimal for that to happen. Just because there are not optimal conditions all the time does not mean that your garment will not breath at any other time...it will just not as quickly or fast - but it still will.

    So personally i would shoot for the best fitting jacket you can find. The lightest one that feels like you are wearing nothing. if the jacket is not comfortable then you are not going to be happy wearing it then why have it - no matter what materials are in it!

    my favorite ultra light waterproof jacket was a Golite wisp. siliconized nylon. packed to the size of a Cliff bar and was ultimately waterproof BUT did not breathe at all! sort of like wearing a greenhouse on your back. But as a last second get the rain off of me it works great! (Expedition essentials makes paddling storm cags out of the same stuff - great to have in your day hatch!)

    Paclite: there are some great options here http://www.gore-tex.com/remote/Satellite/men/outerwear/paclite-shell/jackets
     
  9. Quickbeam

    Quickbeam Paddler

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    Thanks so much for your help. Definitely given me some great information to go forward with. Thanks again.
     
  10. DarenN

    DarenN Paddler

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    i have Kokatat Paclite. great paddling jacket! going on five seasons and still dry on the inside, and very comfortable to wear. packs away nice and small.
    (don't expect to get your Hennessy back in the snakeskins if you forget to take it out of the under-cover though! :oops: )
     
  11. nora

    nora Paddler

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  12. greg0rn

    greg0rn Paddler

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    I use anorak

    http://www.kokatat.com/product_detail.asp?code=pla

    with great success. I like its extra length and loose fit. If needed, I wear it over life jacket. It packs very small and feels superlight.

    For some reason the anorak is not easy to find in retail. I bought mine from George (Kayak Academy), whose returning policy is great.
     
  13. Desertboater

    Desertboater Paddler

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    Ditto on what he said ^. My anorak is my go-to rain jacket for anything...definitely waterproof and has the best hood i've ever worn.

    Cheers,
    West
     
  14. Stumpy

    Stumpy Paddler

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    I have a pullover windbreaker I bought off a street vendor once for $7.00. It turned out to be the most waterproof jacket I've had for the first two years, using it 2-3 times a week bicycling, then I treated it with rejuvin-x that I had bought for my kokatat paddling jacket, and was back in business. the advantage is it folds down to fit in an old nylon camera case, stows in a deck bag, or backpack, is much easier to slip into than a semi-dry top, and I dont worry about trashing it someday. It's small enough to have in a day pack for impromptu hiking trips, but I have no idea where I'd ever find another one.
     
  15. kayakwriter

    kayakwriter Paddler

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    Hi thief,

    Don't want to sound pendantic, but since we are getting techy...

    I agree that probably in most scenarios of moisture/temperature gradients (the difference between the dampness and temperature of the air on the "inside" of a fabric and on the outside) if you lab-tested the moisture transmission rate of a plain panel of Gore-Tex vs any other waterproof breathable technology, Gore-Tex would win.

    However, there are a couple of variables beyond the raw technology used:

    The surface fabric used in the garment makes a significant difference, particularly the longer you go between restorative washing and spraying of the DWR (Durable Water Repellency). Some fabrics, particularly the higher thread count polyesters, have a better inherent repellency. That reduces the amount of water that soaks into the surface fabric. (A soaked surface fabric cools the inside face of the garment, causing more moisture vapour to condense on the inside before it can breath out.) To take an extreme imaginary example: an eVent jacket with a high-thread count polyester outer fabric and fresh DWR would probably outperform a Gore-Tex jacket with a coarse nylon outer fabric and worn-off DWR.

    Vents are another variable (I know they don't apply to drysuits, where underarm vents have never really caught on :D but we're talking shorewear jackets here). Pitzips make a real difference to moisture shedding. True, they aren't strictly speaking part of the waterproof breathable technology, but we want to consider real-world, total package results here, not theoretical lab outcomes. To take another hypothetical example: a Gore-Tex jacket without pitzips might well be less comfortable than a rival technology jacket with pitzips, even though the Gore-Tex fabric itself might be more breathable.

    Just as you disclosed your interest that you're a Gore product tester, I'll disclose mine: I work for a major Canadian outdoor retailer (rhymes with "grow-op"). We sell Gore-Tex and other waterproof-breathable garments. I've been to Gore's East Coast facilities, taken their course, and am a certified "Gore Tech."

    Cheers,

    Philip