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Rain jackets

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Yes, I know this is a "Ski" gear forum. And spring is here, summer is inevitable. I apologize for reminding you all, since some of you are still(hopefully) skiing somewhere. Anyways, I am sure most of you all partake in warm weather activities and am looking for advice. I am looking for a very light rain jacket, with hood, that is also very breathable. I have one, which is supposed to be breathable. No. Even walking errands when temps are in the 50s to low 60s, I run hot, and am sweating underneath(wearing only a t). This jacket traps the heat. The jacket itself is totally waterproof, which I want. I've worn it in pouring rain, and the rain never penetrated. yet my arms were very wet, not sure if it was from the rain or perspiration. I understand that with temps in the 70s and above, nothing will be breathable enough though. I don't like umbrellas, since my pants and shoes still get wet anyway. And for my long, spring, summer walks/runs, would take the jacket only in case I get caught in a rain storm, otherwise carry it. Anyone own or know of any? Or can recommend websites reviewing them?
post #2 of 24

Gortex, the first and imo the best breathable membrane fabric. Most Gortex jackets have arm pit zips and some have mesh lined cargo side pockets for extra breathability. Great windproof too.

post #3 of 24

Find something made of gore active shell or paclite, I prefer active shell, but it can get a little wet on the outside, but it's been working great for me as a rain jacket, even though I don't usually find much rain! I use an OR Axiom jacket.

post #4 of 24

I own 2 jackets made with eVent material, and, in my opinion, are the outstanding as a warmer weather rain jacket. Sometimes, I think they are almost to cool in chilly weather.

post #5 of 24

http://www.sierratradingpost.com/marmot-precip-jacket-waterproof-for-men~p~2283a/?filterString=mens-jackets-and-coats~d~142%2F&colorFamily=48

 

That's a really lightweight rain jacket.  Ordered one for Old Boot last week, King Grump recommended it as he has one which looks great and works even after years of service.  It's well made.

post #6 of 24

Marmot Precip is a classic, for sure. I don't think it is quite as breathable as others, though. I bought a GoLite jacket a few years back that I like a lot better in warm weather, but I am not sure which model it was.

 

But I live in Colorado, and have never actually worn a rain jacket for more than about 15 min at a time. 

post #7 of 24
The recommendation of GoreTex fabrics is quite ill advised. The only truly breathable Gore fabric is the very latest ProShell and it's expensive as hell. The less I can say about breathability of Precip jacket, the better, the thing is practically a plastic bag. For breathability in warm weather nothing beats eVent and the current champ- Polartec Neoshell. The jacket that has this technology is Westcomb Apoc, but there are others as well.

For the lowdown on technologies, read BlisterGear articles Outerwear101 and Outerwear201. I do suggest you read those articles, they really help to cut through BS advice you can find on the interwebs. The Epic article on outerwear fabrics on the other hand is not nearly as good, so I strongly suggest you go to Blister.
post #8 of 24

Cheap and truly water proof

 

poncho - I have a decente that is actually water proof.

 

Cheap and breathable - eVent or Marmot precip 

 

expensive and more water proof and breathable than - eVent would be Neoshell, west comb has and Flylow has matching jacket and pants with it. 

post #9 of 24

+1 on the eVent or Neoshell.

 

Also, check out Mountain Hardware's DryQ Elite, it's a customized eVent technology.  Better than traditional Gore-Tex, though their new ActiveShell is getting some good feedback.

post #10 of 24
Josh- you need to get your facts straight. EVent is actually more waterproof (~28k or something like that) than Neoshell (10K). It is less breathable though. Precip is a simple polyurethane coating so it's significantly less breathable than most other membrane fabrics. Read the blister article, it's written by a guy who actually understand the technogy aas opposed to marketing speak.

+1 on DryQElite. It's indeed rebranded eVent.
post #11 of 24

I've been hiking, climbing, backpacking and skiing in Goretex since they invented the stuff. Before that I used urethane coated jackets. Compared to that Goretex is most definitely breathable. Understand that no matter how breathable a fabric is you will still get wet from sweat if you exercise hard enough. I run in a thin nylon track singlet. About as breathable as you can get. I still get wet from sweat. Waterproof breathable fabrics aren't magic. You still have to ventilate and layer properly. And no fabric will be breathable once the outer layer is wet from rain. Hard weaves and good DWR that shed water are as important as the membrane. The priority for a rain jacket is keeping out the rain. I've been using a Marmot jacket made with Goretex Paclite and am very happy with it. I haven't used other fabrics, other than a Marmot ski jacket made of Membrain, which works fine, so I can't tell you if something else will work better.. The purpose of a rain jacket is to keep the rain out. It's asking a lot to expect it to be fully breathable during extreme exertion and still keep you dry in the rain. A combination of a softshell midlayer/outer layer and a lightweight rain jacket that you only wear when it's raining might be the best answer. Add a lightweight synthetic puffy for rest stops and you're covered.

post #12 of 24

There are sooooo many water proof products out there now.  Some are more breathable than others and some are more water proof than others. 

 

The product that I was most skeptical about was Dermizax because the claim was that it was able to be used with 4 way stretch.  My thought was, how can it be 4 way stretch and waterproof.  I've worn at least 6 pieces of clothing with Dermizax and have not been wet once.  

 

I'm not saying Dermizax is the absolute best, because there are so many great products on the market, but I love how soft and movable the fabric is with Dermizax. 

 

Brands that use it include but are not exclusive to: 

  • Descente
  • Helly Hansen
  • Kjus
  • Mountain Force
  • Toni Sailer
post #13 of 24
post #14 of 24

REI has a great article discussing how the waterproof fabrics work and comparing Gortex and eVent:

http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/rainwear-how-it-works.html

 

Here's what they say about the eVent breathability:

Quote:
 While no universally accepted lab tests for fabric breathability exist (discussed later in this article), claims by media reviewers, customer reviews at REI.com and anecdotal comments from REI staffers suggest eVent enjoys an edge in breathability.
post #15 of 24
There is a lot of misinformation or imprecise information on the web, the blister article is special because it's written by a guy who understands the underlying technology and tests used to measure performance. Saying that eVent has the edge says nothing. You need numbers and preferably numbers that come from the same test.

TC - Dermizax is a polyurethane coating, it's a solid membrane that's why it can stretch. Unfortunately breathability kind of stinks. The only other stretchable membrane is Neoshell, which is composed of electrospun polyurethane fibers. Fiber mesh is way more breathable than solid membrane. Makes sense? Given the today performance of eVent and Neoshell it's a waste of money to spend top $ on Dermizax outerwear (keep that in mind before you pay for Kjus).

Oldgoat- if you never tried an event or Neoshell garment you may be in for a surprise. They are noticeably more airy than GoreTex.
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post



Oldgoat- if you never tried an event or Neoshell garment you may be in for a surprise. They are noticeably more airy than GoreTex.

The next time I need a jacket I'll probably try Neoshell or DryQ

post #17 of 24
Thanks @alexzn for the detailed info and the heads up about the blistergear review. I just read it and learned a lot. That is a great site. My experience has also been that Dry Q Elite and eVent both do breathe better than standard gore-tex, although gore-tex pro is a significant improvement over standard gore-tex. Excited to try Neoshell someday.
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post

 

But I live in Colorado, and have never actually worn a rain jacket for more than about 15 min at a time. 

 

Ha!  That's what I thought until I spent all day in the rain a couple times during ultra distance bike rides.   After that I broke down and bought some eVent rain gear from a Portland, OR company, designed where they have the perfect testing ground!

 

http://www.showerspass.com/

 

A big takeaway from how they design their rain gear is you still need great ventilation even with the very best fabrics.  In addition to pit zips, their jackets have "airflow–regulating gusseted cuffs" on the sleeves that prop open to ventilate your arms, for example.

post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post

Neoshell, west comb has and Flylow has matching jacket and pants with it. 

I have the neoshell compound pants/lab coat from flylow and it's worked great for me but I only have a few days on it <10, still can say I trust it, I've seen some issues with neoshell losing the waterproofness after a few washes and reaplying dwr didn't help much on beading water, so time will tell so far it's working great for me and it's bomb proof!
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

The recommendation of GoreTex fabrics is quite ill advised. The only truly breathable Gore fabric is the very latest ProShell and it's expensive as hell.

activeshell works pretty good! I really like it!

I used to like dry.q elite, but I gave up when it failed on me after about 15 days of use, also MH seems to be in need of getting their design team to work, lots of weird fit in the past 2 seasons!

few pictures from my dog walk this morning on my or axiom

post #20 of 24
post #21 of 24

It would be nice if the companies that have dozens of jackets would make the brand name of the waterproofing one of the search criteria. On most sites you have to click on the specific model to see if it is Goretex, Neoshell, or whatever.

post #22 of 24

I went through this search last year.  I wanted a super-light, waterproof jacket for hiking.  Did some research and tried many on.  It's a crude way to test, but to test relative breathability, I just zipped them up and wore them around the store for a bit.  I can't remember all the ones I tried...North Face, Patagonia, Columbia, and a couple others.

 

The one I got was the Mountain Hardwear Plasmic.  

It's been a year, and I've been happy with it.  I stay dry, and it's a tic more breathable for me than the others I tried, but I'm not much of a sweater anyway.  Fit is fine for me, but I wish the draw-cords on the hood were more user-friendly.  So, a 8 or 9 out of 10 rating, I guess.


Edited by Skierish - 4/24/14 at 9:14pm
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post

It would be nice if the companies that have dozens of jackets would make the brand name of the waterproofing one of the search criteria. On most sites you have to click on the specific model to see if it is Goretex, Neoshell, or whatever.

arcteryx is pretty good on search, like trying to search for some goretex whatever and it will show all gear made with that fabric
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by mfa81 View Post


arcteryx is pretty good on search, like trying to search for some goretex whatever and it will show all gear made with that fabric

No experience searching the arcteryx site. Out of my price range.

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