When do/don't 'breathable/waterproof' jackets work?

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When do/don't 'breathable/waterproof' jackets work?

Postby GrahameR » Fri 05 Feb, 2021 2:50 pm

Hi, there is a discussion elsewhere on MacPac jackets but I'm interested in something more specific re conditions of use. I can understand the jury might be out on what is effective in terms of breathability but at a minimum I want a jacket that keeps water out.

So before I return my latest (expensive) Goretex jacket - for something similarly limited but far cheaper - I'd like to find out more about when these type of 'breathable/waterproof' jackets do and don't work.

Obviously, the range of conditions can be pretty broad: warm to freezing, intermittent drizzle to prolonged downpour, vigorous to low activity, windy to calm. It may be that we are all finding that e.g. Goretex works fine in situations A, B, C but can't be relied upon in certain combinations of weather and activity. So what situations has Goretex worked or not worked?

Also it may just be that vigorous activity in nonstop rain (and little wind?) means that the outside humidity is the same as that inside the jacket. In which case the laws of physics may say no internal water vapour will escape regardless of the fabric.

So specifically I'm hoping to find out the exact combination of circumstances where such jackets do and don't work.

My two cents is that my jackets don't seem to have been very waterproof at all - regardless of activity intensity or rain duration. And they especially have not worked in mild to vigorous activity during fairly constant rain (even with pit vents fully open). And this includes the first outing of a Goretex jacket with DWR.

I guess I really need to test the jacket when it's raining but I'm doing no physical activity at all (or set it up on a hanger outside when it's raining).
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Re: When do/don't 'breathable/waterproof' jackets work?

Postby Dexter » Fri 05 Feb, 2021 3:28 pm

I've had similar experiences. Yet, I've also stood in the shower with it flowing steadily for a timed 5 mins (I'm sure I'd have looked properly insane to anyone who saw this) and nothing got through. It's tempting to say any dampness is water getting through, but I do think it's due to condensation in the right circumstances.

I actually don't think the current tech is properly suited to anything but our coolest conditions here in Australia. I'm sure others here have a more experienced view though. I've seen it mentioned here that breathable/waterproof jackets are a sham. I'm not sure I'd go that far, but they are certainly one of the least effective pieces of gear I've spent money on. That includes an Arc'teryx pro shell.
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Re: When do/don't 'breathable/waterproof' jackets work?

Postby wayno » Fri 05 Feb, 2021 4:34 pm

It's a sliding scale
the lower the humidity, and the less intense the exercise and low temps the better they work,
the higher the humidity the wetter the outside of the jacket and the more intensely you exercise the worse they work
3 layer works better, , the 2 layer ones often end up with the sweat inside smeared on the membrane and that blocks the vapour getting through, 3 layer stops the sweat getting smeared over the membrane but it can still wet out for the reasons mentioned above...
gore tex is one of the more durable materials and has a good warranty unlike some of the other generic lesser known membranes or laminates...
pertex is also high quality and anything polartec
a test done with various jackets showed the thinner materials worked better than the thicker ones...
thinner materials more threads for a given area, more gaps between threads , more ability for the moisture to move through the fabric... and lesser breathable membranes could trump more breathable ones with thicker fabrics,
also thicker fabrics are warmer and you're going to sweat more in them.. and pit zips and vented pockets make a big differences in letting the heat and sweat out.
in warm enough conditions and for people who know from experience they are ok using them, some people stick with wind breakers because they are cooler than rain jackets, breathe more, but let outside water in, that provides more cooling.... but get it wrong and you're in for hypothermia... provided its not too windy then theres the poncho option..
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Re: When do/don't 'breathable/waterproof' jackets work?

Postby wayno » Fri 05 Feb, 2021 5:24 pm

cant remember the models but have seen the odd design where the jacket was waterproof on the hood and the shoulders and the rest wasnt waterproof,
patagonia? or north face? from memory,
gore tex have a membrane called infinium, sounds like rebranded windstopper... its windproof but not waterproof, but is pretty shower proof. certainly not storm proof but those garments often arent seam sealed. the water will definitely get in through the seams and through capillary action on the uder garments will get you wet...


mont bell are selling a raincoat made from infinium though, its is seam sealed,

https://euro.montbell.com/products/disp ... id=2328169

tehy also do a rain jacket where the fore arms zip off completely...
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Re: When do/don't 'breathable/waterproof' jackets work?

Postby Neo » Fri 05 Feb, 2021 6:34 pm

They don't work east coast Australia in summer rain. Thats when you want a brolly with rain pants/skirt.

From what I've read they don't work in Australia. Due to our generally humid situation including winter.

From my experience, note it hasn't really rained for a decade, W&B fabrics seem to work better in cooler weather. They originated in dryer alpine conditions.

Overall I would say if the particular item doesn't wet-out, it is probably going to be a little better than a straight plasticy 100% waterproof fabric. So may be worthwhile anyway.
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Re: When do/don't 'breathable/waterproof' jackets work?

Postby andrewa » Fri 05 Feb, 2021 8:31 pm

Having spent lots of $ on jackets over the years, I'm left thinking that the DWR is the key, and the lighter the jacket, the easier it is to carry, mainly for the windproofing.

I've ended up with Zpacks jackets. About 200g, and as waterproof as anything else.
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Re: When do/don't 'breathable/waterproof' jackets work?

Postby GregG » Fri 05 Feb, 2021 10:35 pm

The answer is pretty simple: goretex jackets work best when it is not raining. Seriously.
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Re: When do/don't 'breathable/waterproof' jackets work?

Postby wayno » Sat 06 Feb, 2021 4:10 am

softshell was the answer to hardshells for alpine environments, more breathability, has DWR... not waterproof, but if its not going to rain much.... durable..
a british brand Paramo is a thin two layer softshell with dwr without a fleece lining.
fjallraven does some waxed cotton jackets

, field test here , have to pay to view it, measuring how much various materials built up moisture and heat... its an old test but its good at showing what happens, its in dry conditions but still relevant.


https://backpackinglight.com/waterproof ... ies_part2/

https://backpackinglight.com/waterproof ... ies_part3/
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Re: When do/don't 'breathable/waterproof' jackets work?

Postby wildwanderer » Sat 06 Feb, 2021 6:46 am

Grahame I don't think there is an exact set of circumstances where dwr reliant membrane jackets work/don't work because effectiveness (of a new jacket) it's highly dependent on individual propensity to sweat. Girls tend to sweat less than guys and some guys sweat more than other guys..

A good way to test if a 'leaking' jacket is really water proof is to wear the jacket (hood drawn tight), with your usual bushwalking shirt/tshirt underneath. under a coldish shower for 5-10mins. If the shirt comes out dry you know it's not the jacket that's leaking.. it's you.

Make sure your not sweating or been exerting yourself before you enter and that the shower is cool so no water vapour is generated. Also don't try it on a humid day.

Obviously get out before you turn hypothermic :lol:

From this method I discovered several jackets that 'leaked' a great deal when bushwalking in the rain actually weren't leaking at all. I was just stewing in my own sweat.

As for recommendations. Try Columbias ex dry fabric. Get one of their jackets with pit zips/vented pockets. The membrane is very durable and it's on the outer face of the jacket so it's impossible for the jacket to wet out. It's like permanent dwr.
Their jacket cuts daren't the best (too fitted/short) and the hood drawstring lock is ridiculous but aside from those shortcomings it's the only thing that's kept me dry in torrential NZ rain while walking quickly (generating body heat). Have used in multiple trips where it's rained and still working well. Had mine for about two years now
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Re: When do/don't 'breathable/waterproof' jackets work?

Postby rcaffin » Sat 06 Feb, 2021 10:00 am

the lower the humidity, and the less intense the exercise and low temps the better they work,
the higher the humidity the wetter the outside of the jacket and the more intensely you exercise the worse they work

A good summary.

The real problem is the idea promoted by nearly every marketing department that the 'perfect jacket' exists, or even could exist. It doesn't, and it can NOT. That is basic physics, but it gets ignored. Come in sucker.

If the material is waterproof then you WILL get condensation inside it when you exercise in cold weather or cold rain. That is basic physics after all. Gimmicky efforts like pit zips are just that: gimmicks, and they don't work. If the outside surface of the fabric is cold, condensation from your body will form on the inside.

Permeable materials, like soft shells, are fine in light mist and light rain - what one might call 'English' weather. They are made for those conditions and can allow some vapour diffusion outwards. But they can NOT handle an East coast downpour. But then, they are not designed for that.

So what should one do?
In 'warm' weather, skip the jacket and just get wet. You will get used to it, you won't suffer, and it is a lot cheaper too. If it fines up your clothing will dry off; if it keeps raining you won't get any wetter.

In cold wet weather, try an umbrella or my definite preference, a poncho. They are also good against really cold wind. Note well: the inside of the poncho may get condensation from your body (OK, WILL get), but a little condensation is far better than a load of cold rain pouring over you continuously sucking out your body warmth.

In sub-zero conditions (eg ski touring), try a fleece or a softshell or a windshirt to stay warm enough. I wear an EPIC windshirt in the snow: the snow brushes off and the wind (mostly) goes around. I can of course open it up if I get too hot - or take it off.

In snow when it is raining - well, that is hard. I put a poncho over the top of the rest to keep that very cold water off me. Under that I have a light fleece and a windshirt. Then I work hard to stay warm.

Goretex is excellent stuff for TV crews in the rain and traffic police. No sweating. But it is expensive, and scrub pokes holes in the membrane which then leaks like a sieve - as I found out long ago.

Cheers
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Re: When do/don't 'breathable/waterproof' jackets work?

Postby wildwanderer » Sat 06 Feb, 2021 1:01 pm

rcaffin wrote: Gimmicky efforts like pit zips are just that: gimmicks, and they don't work.


Not sure if it's as black and white as that Roger.

Pit zips and vented pockets do help in my experience. Close them up and the extra moisture is evident.

They are not the panacea of course but they do help.
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Re: When do/don't 'breathable/waterproof' jackets work?

Postby wayno » Sat 06 Feb, 2021 1:12 pm

pit zips help but your pack straps cut them off from venting the front of your jacket.... if its too wet to open the front its of limited help, vented pockets help that, having both , even better,, some outdoor research jackets can be unzipped right up the side, you can put the front half of the jacket him over the front of your belt letting it vent better.
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Re: When do/don't 'breathable/waterproof' jackets work?

Postby GrahameR » Sat 06 Feb, 2021 4:05 pm

A lot good discussion here. Thanks.

My experience with B-W jackets has mostly been - until Covid - in high (dry) alpine environments. They seemed to work pretty well. The disappointment has come with the rain and (relatively) warmer temps in Victoria.

My intent was to decide whether it's worth keeping my brand new Goretex jacket - it's a lot of money to have invested in a product that may not perform much better than something much cheaper.

Is another aspect what is worn underneath? Obviously, it's wise to minimise sweating by not have any more on underneath than necessary. And of course that can be dangerous where it is really cold and/or there's significant windchill i.e. must have something warm to put if stopping.

In warmer wet weather I use my fabulous Gondwana trekking shirt - while it gets wet it also dries quickly. However, in cooler weather just a thermal may be better. Maybe?

And I also find pit vents really useful (won't now buy a jacket without them).

I'll look into the OutDry though - sounds promising. Thanks.
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Re: When do/don't 'breathable/waterproof' jackets work?

Postby Aardvark » Sat 06 Feb, 2021 7:34 pm

Long ago i spent a few years working in retail, selling outdoor gear. My need to keep questioning things helped me gain a better understanding of how and why Gore-tex works.
We had a glove provided by GORE P/L . Just the membrane. PTFE. Poly Tetra Fluro Ethylene. Basically the same as the white plumbers tape you use to wrap around the thread of a garden tap to prevent it leaking.
We would put the glove on one hand and tie it off with a rubber band. The other hand would have a plastic glove tied off similarly. We would wear them both for a half hour or so. Even move around as normal to increase the heart rate. We would take turns immersing each hand in water to verify both were waterproof.
When they came off, the plastic glove held perspiration but not the PTFE glove.
The PTFE membrane consists of thousands of tiny microscopic pores being something like 20000 times smaller than a water molecule.
Water vapour however, is a gas until the quantity of molecules bind together to create a larger molecule (SWEAT). Each pore is larger than a vapour molecule and they can transpire out through the membrane using temperature differential. That is the difference between the temperature outside the membrane and that inside the membrane. The greater the differential, the more effective the transpiration.

Gore-tex was designed for the space industry and space suits needed to be light, waterproof and breathable. Apparently temperature in space is something like -50 C and with the human body inside a suit it would be more like +37 C.
Like all new technology it filtered down to the general public in the form of rainjackets. It really best suits those risking life in threatening environments with extremes in weather. The fact is however, some people have disposable income.
Over time as patents elapsed, copies came onto the market and variations in how the membrane was used helped create more products.
eg GORE windstopper simply stretched the membrane , altering pore sizes and making it less waterproof but with greater breathability.

In a rainjacket the membrane is fixed to other layers of fabric. It obviously affects the properties of the membrane somewhat.
The outer layer requires a DWR (Durable Water Resistance), allowing moisture to bead much like that on a freshly polished car . Less moisture on the surface means more effective transpiration. A breeze also helps remove moisture to create more effective transpiration.
Over time as the jacket is worn, creased, folded etc, the DWR is affected and may need renewing. Ironing the jacket or applying a hand dryer to heat the surface can revive it a little. It allows the molecules of the DWR to bind again, stand up and provide a better barrier to moisture.

It is this knowledge that has allowed me to demonstrate in the field, the use of a Gore-tex jacket. All to often, it is an unnecessary item because of circumstances. For those without the disposable income to comfortably afford a breathable jacket, an umbrella can be useful too or any one of the many options in between.
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Re: When do/don't 'breathable/waterproof' jackets work?

Postby Aardvark » Sat 06 Feb, 2021 7:47 pm

Just a note on pit zips. If you were wearing a breathable jacket and you lowered the temperature inside by opening zips, then you decrease the temperature differential. It may create the perception of cooling the wearer but the breathability will be compromised. That is a classic example of not really requiring a breathable jacket.
If you are not staying out in weather and you are getting back to a vehicle to change clothes, you probably don't need breathability in a jacket.

Imagine you are in antarctica and staying out overnight after sweating profusely pulling a sled all day. It is extremely cold outside and hot in the jacket.
Doing the jacket up at all the possible points of heat loss will maximise temperature breathability. In a while, you would find yourself dry inside the jacket.
Believe it OR not.
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Re: When do/don't 'breathable/waterproof' jackets work?

Postby CraigVIC » Sat 06 Feb, 2021 7:53 pm

GrahameR wrote:I'll look into the OutDry though - sounds promising. Thanks.


The US Columbia site has more colours, sizes, fits and models of Outdry than the local distributor and is a lot cheaper. You have to use a forwarding service (to have a US postal address) but it still works out costing less.
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Re: When do/don't 'breathable/waterproof' jackets work?

Postby GrahameR » Sat 06 Feb, 2021 10:18 pm

Each pore is larger than a vapour molecule and they can transpire out through the membrane using temperature differential. That is the difference between the temperature outside the membrane and that inside the membrane. The greater the differential, the more effective the transpiration.


Just a note on pit zips. If you were wearing a breathable jacket and you lowered the temperature inside by opening zips, then you decrease the temperature differential. It may create the perception of cooling the wearer but the breathability will be compromised.


Good to know that temp differential is important. (BTW is it temp differential or humidity differential?) But, if there is not much differential then the breathability is pretty limited anyway so then I assume that the only way to get any water vapour out is e.g. via pit zips.

Cheers.
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Re: When do/don't 'breathable/waterproof' jackets work?

Postby wayno » Sun 07 Feb, 2021 4:12 am

temperature difference becomes academic when it means you're so hot you're sweating heavily inside the jacket, the gore tex won't have a hope of shifting the mositure.
you're letting moisture out with pit zips as well reducing the amount that needs to move through the gore tex....
you can talk all you want about temp differential. i've walked on cold dry days with a rainshell on and even on the flat with plenty of wind, i built up sweat inside, gore tex can't cope with the sweat generated during prolonged exercise...
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Re: When do/don't 'breathable/waterproof' jackets work?

Postby Aardvark » Sun 07 Feb, 2021 9:16 am

wayno wrote:temperature difference becomes academic when it means you're so hot you're sweating heavily inside the jacket, the gore tex won't have a hope of shifting the mositure.
you're letting moisture out with pit zips as well reducing the amount that needs to move through the gore tex....
you can talk all you want about temp differential. i've walked on cold dry days with a rainshell on and even on the flat with plenty of wind, i built up sweat inside, gore tex can't cope with the sweat generated during prolonged exercise...


That's exactly right. It's only when you stop exercising and generating sweat that it can begin to make any progress on transpiration.
And only if you maintain or increase the temperature differential.
It is important to note the technology was not initially brought about to cater for your needs as the general public.
Space men may generate some sweat through the stress of the functions they perform but they're not really out there to exercise for the sake of exercise.
This highlights the fact that technology is not the answer for everything. It just provides a little assistance.
I make it a point to tell people they probably don't need a breathable jacket. Particularly if the cost is bothering them.
Most of them are not in remote environments doing life threatening things such as explorers or true adventurers.

Opening pit zips will reduce the process of transpiration so dramatically that the membrane is no longer relevant for breathability.

wayno wrote: i've walked on cold dry days with a rainshell on and even on the flat with plenty of wind, i built up sweat inside, gore tex can't cope with the sweat generated during prolonged exercise...

Well,... havent most people. point is though , you are still moving.
If you stop and wait long enough and ensure maximum temperature differential, you will become very dry inside the jacket.
People are impatient.
They don't want to listen to the facts . They just want to hear it can work. They expect too much from what is obviously limited technology.
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Re: When do/don't 'breathable/waterproof' jackets work?

Postby wayno » Sun 07 Feb, 2021 9:32 am

problem is a lot of outdoor shops only sell expensive jackets that let the moisture through the membrane or laminate and , recommendations from experienced outdoor organisations often say avoid using rain gear that doesnt let the moisture out at through the membrane at all...
hiking shops tend to be located in places where people with more disposable income shop, they pay more rent and that just increases the cost of already expensive gear... unless you know how gear is going to fit and buy it online..
and gore tex spends a fortune on marketing their products... BUT the companies using it often have better designed clothing that is well cut and very functional for hiking, as opposed to cheaper brands where you may end up wearing an ill fitting tent...
gore tex has obtained widespread acceptance amongst hikers,,, which just helps maintain their sales... if so many people wear it then people think it must be what you should be wearing.. and you have cheaper waterproof gear that is even worse at sweat buildup or less durable..
we've debated on here how useless gore tex foot wear is except to a certain extent in cold alpine conditions, how its far more unsuited for footwear..
yet, its in widespread use in footwear, people see the recognisable brand name and it encourages them to buy it... manufacturers will put the technology in their gear that sells the gear...
all the younger hikers go out and outfit themselves from head to toe in gore tex thinking they've done the right thing, they've spent a lot of money do get good gear...
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Re: When do/don't 'breathable/waterproof' jackets work?

Postby Aardvark » Sun 07 Feb, 2021 10:06 am

This is what becomes of a society that is sold on the idea that technology is the be all and end all.
It would truly be a great thing if the long awaited promise that lower prices came about through volume of sales of a particular type of technology.
In effect, the market uses the increase in sales volume to feed the upper end and bring on higher priced items (ie with the better fashion sense or design) We get stores competing on the basis they have the latest and best and people often buy on the basis that the most expensive is best.

I used to work in banking and back in the eighties they told us electronic banking was going to mean lower fees on transactions with greater volume of business. We all know how that has worked out.

Back in the days when we paid for telephone calls by the number of units used. They told us they were changing things. Contracts would be implemented. We could get unlimited numbers of calls for a fixed price.. We had to pay for the hardware though. That only works for those who make a lot of calls.
I typically only ever made a few dozen calls every quarter and had low bills.
No matter how you look at it now, you spend more on telephone activity overall than you ever did before.
One day, i accidentally put the mobile into the washing machine when it was on top of a load, i found out i had to buy a new phone AND pay out the existing contract etc . I am someone who hates talking on the phone.
I dropped out at that time and have not dealt with a telco since. They don't know i exist anymore. I only have a mobile now because my partner of twenty years maintains an account for me. It's really her phone. If i lived alone i probably wouldn't have one.

No wonder old people are treated so badly or so differently to how they once were. The gap between them and the younger generation these days is insurmountable. I feel as if i have a leg on each side and it's getting hard to stay straddled over it.
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Re: When do/don't 'breathable/waterproof' jackets work?

Postby Nuts » Sun 07 Feb, 2021 11:02 am

wayno wrote: some outdoor research jackets can be unzipped right up the side, you can put the front half of the jacket him over the front of your belt letting it vent better.


Furio is a great design (100mm longer would be nice). The long zips allow a chance for drying soggy underclothes while moving.
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Re: When do/don't 'breathable/waterproof' jackets work?

Postby Lamont » Sun 07 Feb, 2021 2:58 pm

When don't they work?
I just have one thing to say. (As Ron Barassi famously said.......)...firstly.
One common error I see people make all the time, over and over in regards to raincoats (or really any bushwalking clothing) is overheating-why do Ozzies always rug up so much?!
Out for a run through the bush this morning and came across five or six separate groups day bushwalking, most people were older and fit looking but very red faced and wearing heavy shell/fabric GTX I suppose or variants rain jackets (and long thick pants, boots and I'm guessing a 300wt/m fleece underneath) the temp was about 12 degrees.
Rugged up as if going to the footy at Waverly Park in the 1980s. Anything faster than a slow dawdle they would have been perspiring buckets. There was the lightest of drizzle but more off than on.
I see people often throw the rain jacket on with their normal clothes underneath, without thinking "I'm putting another very heavy layer on perhaps I should strip something off".

Secondly-wearing a very heavy winter (non mild weather) fabric/shell GTX etc jacket outside winter and expecting it not to cook you like a spatchcock casserole is just odd. Tho' I know cost often has a bearing on this and the number of jackets a person can afford.

The one thinker I saw- brolly and what looked to be light pants and light top. Strolling along happy as. I'm guessing there was a rain coat in the wee ruckie she was carrying.

I'm a convert to front vent/pockets-that sit above a waist belt line-that's all I look for on a WR jacket. For most walking, most of the time they are fabulous.
Like WW I have used two jackets like this in torrential rain in NZ in cold weather never leaked a drop through the vents. Forget about them as pockets-they are vents.
Even if you do have a waist belt on they allow some steam out, especially if you don't tie up the sternum strap. Columbia with their Outdry stuff does these vents/pockets really well I think.
Pit zips -not too fussed-shoulder straps and the ruckie on your back seem to stop them really working. Wearing appropriate clothing under the jacket is far more important than having pit zips I'm feeling.
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Re: When do/don't 'breathable/waterproof' jackets work?

Postby slparker » Mon 08 Feb, 2021 2:25 pm

As a few people have noted membrane jackets work best for the environments that they are not specifically designed for - dry cold conditions as this maximises the temperature and humidity differential between inside and outside of the jacket.
As soon as it is humid enough to rain the water vapour transfer properties of the jacket fail to work as well. This is exacerbated by aerobic activity which raises humidity inside the jacket. This wicked problem means that you can never be dry when walking at a reasonable clip in the rain. Of course, the jacket will still keep the outside water off, if it is properly constructed, so you won't get cold from water ingress.

I am satisfied with my columbia outdry jacket except the hood is pretty rudimentary but the combination of vents in the front of the jacket and a permanent DWR makes it the most comfortable jacket for trudging in the rain. The problem with previous jackets (GTX and equivalents) that I have owned is that the dwr wears off pretty quickly and the jacket quickly condenses water on the inside of the jacket. This can make you quite chilled as heat conducts from your damp clothes to wet jacket.

I find pit zips fairly pointless as I walk with my arms close to my body, not extended outwards at 90 degrees - so my pit zip vents are permanently closed unless I flap my arms.

Either way I am always at various degrees of damp when walking in constant rain but so long as I am at a comfortable temperature I am satisfied.
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Re: When do/don't 'breathable/waterproof' jackets work?

Postby GrahameR » Tue 09 Feb, 2021 3:13 pm

Thx everyone. Lots of good info'. I'll consider returning the Gtx for something cheaper. Might also consider Outdry.
And it may be that a cheap light poncho may suffice at times.
Cheers.
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Re: When do/don't 'breathable/waterproof' jackets work?

Postby Ms_Mudd » Mon 15 Feb, 2021 1:37 pm

Lamont wrote:
The one thinker I saw- brolly and what looked to be light pants and light top. Strolling along happy as. I'm guessing there was a rain coat in the wee ruckie she was carrying.

I am a brolly convert, use it for almost anything other than Winter rain. Can exert myself and radiate heat to my hearts content without turning my clothing into a sweat lodge. I attach it to my pack shoulder straps using some rubber bands that were around a bunch of asparagus previously.
Also use it for sunshade in camp or meal breaks or when I want to take my hat off to vent heat from my head. It has been useful in heavy rain for toilet breaks from the tent, much more convenient than trying to put a wet jacket on and off.

A poncho is my 2nd preference as can get some air circulating under it.

In Winter, I do use a rainshell (My opshop Salomon ul one works just as well as the more expensive but still opshopped Didriksons storm jacket) in combo with my brolly if it isn't too windy. I don't think I would bother overly much with expensive rain gear for where I live, sure it snows, but it isn't dry cold and just about anything will get wet on the inside. As long as I can block wind, I can stay warm.

I am yet to see anyone else with an umbrella and I do feel like a bit of a tool for having one, however the comfort it brings me outweighs any embarrassment.
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Re: When do/don't 'breathable/waterproof' jackets work?

Postby Lamont » Mon 15 Feb, 2021 2:30 pm

Ms_Mudd wrote:
Lamont wrote:
The one thinker I saw- brolly and what looked to be light pants and light top. Strolling along happy as. I'm guessing there was a rain coat in the wee ruckie she was carrying.

I am a brolly convert, use it for almost anything other than Winter rain.
I am yet to see anyone else with an umbrella and I do feel like a bit of a tool for having one, however the comfort it brings me outweighs any embarrassment.


Viva brolly!
Used my brolly in the open in NZ in a good Autumnal 20-30 km/hr wind with my head tucked in to canopy, canopy convex faced into the wind. All the kiwis were looking at me oddly (and scoffing loudly- 'suffer in your jocks' thought I :D ) until the third hour -I was still strolling along, no hood, looking at the view hearing the mildish storm. They were still, and had since the beginning of the day, been looking fixedly at the ground to stop the rain hitting them in the face and filling their jacket's. One blokes poncho blowing everywhere. He was soaked under it. All of them were soaked after a few hours as the rain eventually made it into the hood running down their faces and froze many- so they said. Was only about 10-12 degrees but out all day, wet, in the wind...you know it can get ugly.
They all said they were going to buy a brolly after that. Maybe Muddy, they weren't the dills they seemed :wink:
On another occasion a DOC bloke called me Mary Poppins. :lol: Cheeky bleeding kiwis.
Last edited by Lamont on Mon 15 Feb, 2021 2:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: When do/don't 'breathable/waterproof' jackets work?

Postby wayno » Mon 15 Feb, 2021 2:45 pm

30kmh is a calm day in nz. been in more severe gales than i can count...
from the land of the long white clouds...
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Re: When do/don't 'breathable/waterproof' jackets work?

Postby Eremophila » Mon 15 Feb, 2021 4:14 pm

Ms_Mudd wrote:I am yet to see anyone else with an umbrella and I do feel like a bit of a tool for having one, however the comfort it brings me outweighs any embarrassment.


Has anyone read "Clear Waters Rising" by Nicholas Crane? Epic tale of a brolly user.
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Re: When do/don't 'breathable/waterproof' jackets work?

Postby peregrinator » Mon 15 Feb, 2021 4:39 pm

Ms_Mudd wrote: I am a brolly convert, use it for almost anything other than Winter rain. Can exert myself and radiate heat to my hearts content without turning my clothing into a sweat lodge. I attach it to my pack shoulder straps using some rubber bands that were around a bunch of asparagus previously . . .


Ms_Mudd, I'd like to see a photograph of that ingenious solution. Could you post one please? I've done some experimenting with my brolly after reading your tip, but can't manage to secure it very well. Will need straps of some kind, I think, rather than lacca bands. I hope you enjoyed that asparagus.
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