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Chockstone Forum - Gear Lust / Lost & Found

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Author
Are there better waterproof fabrics than Goretex

Pat
15/03/2013
6:44:25 PM
My old WE technical jacket (from 1982!) will no longer repel any water - no matter what I proof it with. Time to upgrade. Are there better breathable fabrics than goretex now?

Do all the main manufacturers have pretty much the same level of permeable membrane fabrics in their top line jackets? Does anyone actually know if some brands are better than others?


Miguel75
15/03/2013
8:17:13 PM
eVent is pretty groovy. I much prefer it to Gore-Tex as I reckon it's more breathable.

phillipivan
15/03/2013
8:28:46 PM
Who's marketing do you want to believe? There are quite a number of similar fabrics on the market. Some brand specific, others like eVent, are used by many companies.

There are a number of shell fabrics available now that are supposed to be (slightly) stretchy, which might be neat; though I have never laid a hand on them.

Don't sweat the fabric so much, get something that fits your body, budget and application.

Eduardo Slabofvic
16/03/2013
12:10:16 AM
On 15/03/2013 Pat wrote:
> Does anyone actually know if
>some brands are better than others?
>
>

Yes

Pat
16/03/2013
7:12:23 AM
Had a name upgrade Ed?

BoulderBaby
16/03/2013
9:00:29 AM
Event is more breathable than gortex, patagonia's H2no is more breathable again (apparently)
I personally still use gortex proshell, but it would be worth looking at polatec's new nano shell or whatever it's called. I haven't seen it yet. My mate rates hydronaught for being super durable particually for scrub bashing... but honestly, it's all kinda the same. As long as you keep cleaning and re-treating they're all the same. If you want a tougher jacket, look for a tougher outer etc..
dan_b
16/03/2013
6:30:30 PM
I was using a 7+ year old Patagonia Goretex hard shell until recently, which I replaced for a similar jacket using the H2No treatment. The H2No appeared incredibly
hydrophobic with water just beading and running off it, and never soaking through. It is a highly breathable jacket, but tbh, no more water repellent nor breathable than the old one which I retreated before the final season before retiring it.

Edit: on further reflection the H2No is more breathable, but that's is compared to an old jacket
Mr Poopypants
17/03/2013
8:19:05 PM
Hey Pat.

I have had several goretex jackets, still got one, but I have used Mountain Hardwear stuff for about 9 or 10years ? now. Their jackets are awesome for skiing. Lightweight and full length pit zips. I reckon they breathe as well as goretex but are way lighter and less bulky. I've got a stretch cohesion, which is pretty groovy, stretches as you move. Don't know how they manage to make them stretchy and waterproof but the are. They have taken most of the stretch stuff off the market, so might be longevity issues. They are less than $200, so very replaceable even if shorter life than goretex.
I reckon it comes down to design. If you want a bushwalking jacket, different to climbing, to skiing, etc. but I wouldn't buy goretex again, too heavy and cumbersome. Lightweight is freedom.
Cheers

G.
Mike Bee
17/03/2013
10:11:30 PM
I reckon the main thing is to get a jacket that you like the fit and features of. All the big brands will offer good performance, and while may be slightly better than others, it's splitting hairs really.

Make sure it fits right, has good pockets, pit zips if you like them are awesome, a hood that fits over a helmet etc, these should be the main priorities.

For the record though, Arc'Teryx make the best waterproof jackets in the world, but the price tags are outrageous.
Damo666
17/03/2013
10:42:56 PM
On 17/03/2013 Mike Bee wrote:
>I reckon the main thing is to get a jacket that you like the fit and features
>of. All the big brands will offer good performance,

Yeh, if it doesn't fit you the rest is irrelevant and in some cases will nullify any fabric performance.

Marketing aside, the accepted basics:
- eVent is more breathable than Gore-Tex but requires more regular cleaning and care
- Gore-Tex ProShell is pretty much as breathable as eVent, maybe more waterproof and doesn't require *quite* so much cleaning and care. But it's more expensive
- H2No has changed over the years, so comparing old and new might be pointless
- eVent is now supplied generically to garment producers and they can rename it to their product if they wish. So there are lots of garments out there with some proprietary fabric name that are really eVent.
- Gore-Tex Active first generation (18m-2yr ago) had serious waterproof problems but these were to be fixed in more recent production. It's light, not durable enough for some climbing, but essentially windproof and rainproof.
- Neoshell is good as it's basically waterproof, more breathable than Gore-Tex, plus it's stretchy, but jury is out on durability and some other things. Opinions vary. It too has changed and now comes in a slightly insulated version we should see in shops next year.
- Gore Paclite is waterproof but less breathable than ProShell or eVent. When it came out it was more breathable than Gore-Tex 3 Layer or whatever that one was that came after 3 Layer and preceded ProShell.
- North Face Hyvent has appeared in various forms so it's impossible to compare it to something else because you don't really know what it is.
- Pertex Shield is interesting but I've not tried it - light, thin, supposedly waterproof but not sure how breathable. Cheaper than Gore.

Eduardo Slabofvic
18/03/2013
9:40:56 AM
On 17/03/2013 Damo666 wrote:
>>Marketing aside, the accepted basics:
>- eVent is more breathable than Gore-Tex but requires more regular cleaning
>and care
>- Gore-Tex ProShell is pretty much as breathable as eVent, maybe more
>waterproof and doesn't require *quite* so much cleaning and care. But it's
>more expensive
>- H2No has changed over the years, so comparing old and new might be pointless
>- eVent is now supplied generically to garment producers and they can
>rename it to their product if they wish. So there are lots of garments
>out there with some proprietary fabric name that are really eVent.
>- Gore-Tex Active first generation (18m-2yr ago) had serious waterproof
>problems but these were to be fixed in more recent production. It's light,
>not durable enough for some climbing, but essentially windproof and rainproof.
>- Neoshell is good as it's basically waterproof, more breathable than
>Gore-Tex, plus it's stretchy, but jury is out on durability and some other
>things. Opinions vary. It too has changed and now comes in a slightly insulated
>version we should see in shops next year.
>- Gore Paclite is waterproof but less breathable than ProShell or eVent.
>When it came out it was more breathable than Gore-Tex 3 Layer or whatever
>that one was that came after 3 Layer and preceded ProShell.
>- North Face Hyvent has appeared in various forms so it's impossible to
>compare it to something else because you don't really know what it is.
>- Pertex Shield is interesting but I've not tried it - light, thin, supposedly
>waterproof but not sure how breathable. Cheaper than Gore.

See. I was right.
martym
18/03/2013
2:00:05 PM
My understanding, and this is completely hearsay, was Goretex had the patent on the membrane for 10 years, so it was ultra expensive & super marketable. As soon as the patent expired everyone jumped on board, prices dropped and you get a whole variety of options.

Common sense says the more breathable, the more compromise on water proofing.
adrian
18/03/2013
3:43:10 PM
One of the better resources I've found for gear reviews is the Cold Thistle blog:
http://coldthistle.blogspot.com.au/

While it clearly has a very alpine focus, if you search on there for jacket reviews you will get hours of reading about fabrics, technical features and design - not all of it transfers across to non-alpine environments, but there's a lot of generic information.

In my experience, some of the new Polartec PowerShield Pro and Neoshell fabrics are very good, and well worth looking at - I have a PowerShield Pro 'softshell' that sheds moisture so well that I almost never take out the Arcteryx Goretex shell anymore unless I'm expecting it to solidly rain for hours. Unfortunately the price tags on some of these new jackets are as you would expect for the latest and greatest bits of gear...
bones
18/03/2013
4:24:44 PM
Also a very detailed article on UKClimbing relating to waterproof fabrics
http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=4556

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