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Will an excessive amount of water/moisture ruin the fabric of my ski jacket?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

I just bought a new Marmot ski jacket for this upcoming season. A couple of days ago it rained like crazy here in Colorado and I decided to wear it. After an hour itt got absolutely soaked. I'm just wondering if this amount of water on the jacket would affect the fabric at all. Its a very waterproof jacket, but when its raining as much as it was it tends to get soaked. 

 

My guess is that it has no affect on the jacket and its future use in snowing conditions. But I'd hate to have ruined it so I thought I'd check here and see if anyone knows or has had experience with this. Thanks!

post #2 of 18
It won't hurt it. None of these breathable fabrics are heavy duty waterproof.
post #3 of 18

waterproof breathable clothes have two parts--to oversimplify: an inner membrane of some sort that lets water vapor pass out but won't let liquid water pass in. and an outer layer of cloth, treated with some kind of water repellent (DWR) which allows water to roll off instead of penetrating the fabric. The DWR is only effective up to a point--in a heavy rain the outer fabric gets saturated and water vapor can no longer pass through the inner membrane--so you get wet from your own sweat. Once the fabric dries out it's ok. eventually the dwr will wear off, but it can be replaced by a wash in or spray on (better) treatment, although that's not usually as effective as the factory treatment.

post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post

 None of these breathable fabrics are heavy duty waterproof.

Wrong. As Oldgoat explained, a fabric like Goretex Pro used in a properly constructed jacket is completely waterproof. Bottom line is you could stand in a cold shower for an extended period and not get wet particularly if the DWR is in good condition. That's one of the things you are paying for when you buy an expensive garment like Arcteryx.

post #5 of 18

   Right on the money guys...you get wet from the fact that the jacket cant breathe as well due to diminished beading and your sweat cant escape. However, if you don't hang your jacket to dry after getting home the residual moisture can, over time, harm the lamination because it promotes mildew growth. Same holds for tents and other outdoor gear...

 

   zenny


Edited by zentune - 9/15/13 at 10:39am
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Castle Dave View Post

Bottom line is you could stand in a cold shower for an extended period and not get wet particularly if the DWR is in good condition.

Exactly. The jacket is not waterproof, it just has a coating that wears off that creates good water resistance. Does anybody here have a jacket they could stand in a shower with halfway through a typical resort season and stay dry?
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post
 Does anybody here have a jacket they could stand in a shower with halfway through a typical resort season and stay dry?

. Sure - My Taiga Proshell Alpinist parka, my Patagonia H2No parka, my wife's Arcteryx Sidewinder parka. They all rely on the water vapour permiable/liquid water iimpermiable film laminated to the inside of the fabric not the DWR which as you point out, wears off because it is only sprayed to the outside surface of the jacket. Cheap jackets (and not so cheap jackets like Bognar) just have the DWR.

post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post


Exactly. The jacket is not waterproof, it just has a coating that wears off that creates good water resistance. Does anybody here have a jacket they could stand in a shower with halfway through a typical resort season and stay dry?

 

I do.  I have a 13 year old triple layer Gore-Tex jacket that was manufactured by Moonstone Mountaineering (no longer around).  The original DWR coating still causes water to bead on the jacket and moisture does not get through the triple layer membrane. Waterproof/breathable outer wear has more than a just a DWR coating.  There are various proprietary barriers such as Lowe Alpine's ceramic, Marmot's Membrain, etc. in addition to Gore-Tex.  Under normal use, a person should stay pretty dry when using a quality jacket.  With proper care and laundering, a quality jacket should give years of good service.

post #9 of 18

The point is that without the DWR or when the DWR is overwhelmed by heavy rain the jacket is still waterproof, due to the membrane. But it is no longer breathable. So you stay dry standing in the shower, but not skiing, or climbing, or anything else that makes you sweat. And people forget that Goretex is basically rainwear--the emphasis is on waterproof, more than breathable.  You have to remove layers, open the pit zips and front zip, etc, if you expect to stay dry with heavy exercise. Other fabrics--more breathable, not as waterproof-- are probably better choices for resort skiing, where you aren't likely to be skiing in a downpour, and if you do get wet you go home, not die. I picked up a Marmot jacket with Membrain cheap end of last season--first time I won't be using Goretex in decades. We'll see.

post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone. I guess what I'm asking is, as long as the jacket is hung up and dried after it has been soaked by the rain, it should perform just as well in the snow as it would have if I never took it out originally right? I just want to make sure I didn't damage my new jacket at all before the season even started. I'd like for it to be just as waterproof and breathable as it would be if I still havent worn it yet.

post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by RainWhenIDie View Post
 

Thanks everyone. I guess what I'm asking is, as long as the jacket is hung up and dried after it has been soaked by the rain, it should perform just as well in the snow as it would have if I never took it out originally right? I just want to make sure I didn't damage my new jacket at all before the season even started. I'd like for it to be just as waterproof and breathable as it would be if I still havent worn it yet.

You didn't hurt your jacket.  It's just fine. (This from an "expert," in living with rain.)

post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post
Does anybody here have a jacket they could stand in a shower with halfway through a typical resort season and stay dry?

Anybody that skis in regions where snow guns are blasting all day, almost every day for months on end spends half of a typical season skiing in front of fire hoses and manages to stay dry as long as the gear still has some coating.  I'd think that the wet/freeze/thaw rinse and repeat all day would be pretty tough on outer wear.

post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post
Does anybody here have a jacket they could stand in a shower with halfway through a typical resort season and stay dry?

Anybody that skis in regions where snow guns are blasting all day, almost every day for months on end spends half of a typical season skiing in front of fire hoses and manages to stay dry as long as the gear still has some coating.  I'd think that the wet/freeze/thaw rinse and repeat all day would be pretty tough on outer wear.

 

Soak/Freeze/thaw kills unfaced fleecy garments because the chunks of ice provide leverage for tearing apart the 'felting' of the nonwoven fabric.

Soak/dry/soak kills "waterproof-breathable" jackets with cheap nylon facings.    Cheap (read: available in lots of pretty colours) nylon with scuffed-off or overloaded DWR can absorb up to 8-9% moisture by weight, making a waterlogged garment saggy and baggy.   If the garment is used while waterlogged the bonding sites where the facing is bonded to the membrane are stressed and possibly torn.    If the garment is then allowed to completely dry on a hanger, the saggy and baggy bits will shrink back, but will also sag downwards with gravity making it very easy to tell a new garment from a used one.    If the garment is instead allowed to dry on a person, the garment will shrink back but will also tend to adapt to body contours (elbows and shoulders will print through frex), and might for a while feel tighter than when new.        My old (2000) Marmot did this.    My old Salomon (the red one from BK Gathering) does this.

Pricier nylon doesn't do this so much, but tends to feel heavy and un-drapey to the hand.  Polyester doesn't do this (but can rip more easily).   Polyurethane-coated fabrics do not do this (but have problems of their own).


Edited by cantunamunch - 9/16/13 at 10:23am
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

If the garment is used while waterlogged the bonding sites where the facing is bonded to the membrane are stressed and possibly torn.    If the garment is then allowed to completely dry on a hanger, the saggy and baggy bits will shrink back, but will also sag downwards with gravity making it very easy to tell a new garment from a used one.    If the garment is instead allowed to dry on a person, the garment will shrink back but will also tend to adapt to body contours (elbows and shoulders will print through frex), and might for a while feel tighter than when new.        My old (2000) Marmot did this.    My old Salomon (the red one from BK Gathering) does this.

Pricier nylon doesn't do this so much, but tends to feel heavy and un-drapey to the hand.  Polyester doesn't do this (but can rip more easily).   Polyurethane-coated fabrics do not do this (but have problems of their own).

So are you saying that I damaged the jacket? I was walking around while it was waterlogged but not doing anything too rigorous. The shell is nylon and the membrane is polyester. Will I notice a drop in performance as far as waterproof and breathability go when I'm on the mountain?

post #15 of 18
You're really over-worrying. I've had a jacket that has 400 ski days on it, it's been covered with rime on numerous occasions (look where I ski), melted on the way home, I've stripped as I come in the door, toss it in the dryer, and in 15 minutes, it's good to go. I've skied in rain as well, but not as frequently. If you weren't knocked on your butt by the rain, it'll be just fine. And this is not some uber pricey jacket, just an Eddie Bauer Weatheredge 360.
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by RainWhenIDie View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

 

So are you saying that I damaged the jacket?

 

'Damaged'?  No.   The garment can last a long time (until you rip it or lose it) but will never be any better in the rain.    If you had damaged it, you would have known it already without asking us.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RainWhenIDie View Post The shell is nylon and the membrane is polyester.

 

Yup, yup. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RainWhenIDie View Post Will I notice a drop in performance as far as waterproof and breathability go when I'm on the mountain?

 

 

No.   It won't be worse and it won't be better.     I'm saying you will notice a difference in the appearance and fit.    It won't look new.      Don't try to iron it - that never works and it stuffs up the DWR.

post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

No.   It won't be worse and it won't be better.     I'm saying you will notice a difference in the appearance and fit.    It won't look new.      Don't try to iron it - that never works and it stuffs up the DWR.

Yup, I definitely can see that the fabric looks a little wrinkly. Not too bad at all but not as new as it looked before. I'm just relieved that it doesn't affect the performance at all. Thank you for help!

post #18 of 18
Spray it with silicone. It'll be good as new ; -)
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