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Are waterproof coatings better now, or still stay with a membrane?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I've had a Red Ledge Thunderlight Parka and Pants in the past that have used a waterproof coating:

 

http://www.amazon.com/RED-LEDGE-AO80-Thunderlight-Jacket/dp/B0009Q2GPM

 

I've also used REI Elements stuff with a coating as well.

 

The problem with these coatings is that eventually they all began to peel off. Well, maybe it wasn't the coating, but it was a thin layer of silicone-like stuff on the side of the fabric facing your body. Give it a year or two and there will be considerable peeling. I'm also going to guess that washing them would make the coatings come off *faster* right? Whereas membranes actually require consistent washing to perform at their peak.

 

So now I'm scared to buy into any clothing that purports to use coatings:

 

Any kind of HyVent other than the Alpha, Marmot Precip, Patagonia H2NO, Pertex Shield +, Columbia Omnishield

 

Any comments and experiences? 

 

Should I stick to Pertex, GoreTex, DryQ Elite, HyVent Alpha, Spyder XT.L, and eVent membranes?


Edited by fuzzybabybunny - 1/26/15 at 5:28pm
post #2 of 11
Uh, I'm not sure what you're asking.
If you need waterproof stuff you should get a "breathable" membrane like goretex, and if you need something that breathes get a softshell. Both will need to be treated with a waterproofing agent like Nikwax from time to time. If you spend more money they will last longer.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by clink83 View Post

Uh, I'm not sure what you're asking.
If you need waterproof stuff you should get a "breathable" membrane like goretex, and if you need something that breathes get a softshell. Both will need to be treated with a waterproofing agent like Nikwax from time to time. If you spend more money they will last longer.

Waterproof apparel either use a waterproof membrane like GoreTex or a waterproof coating on a layer of fabric, all in addition to a DWR treatment that makes water bead off. With the membrane the waterproofness is built into the fabric. With a coating, like with the Marmot Precip line, the waterproofness is gone if the coating somehow gets removed or worn out. This is totally separate from the DWR treatment.

post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzybabybunny View Post
 

....

 

Should I stick to Pertex, GoreTex, DryQ Elite, HyVent Alpha, Spyder XT.L, and eVent membranes?

 

You / we know that, if you treat it right, GoreTex works, works well and will work for many years...  If you follow the directions, the GoreTex will probably not fail you -- the outer layer might, or the inner lining might, but not the GoreTex.

 

Some will spray water proofing on the outer layer of a GoreTex shell.  I don't.  The GoreTex will prevent any moisture from penetrating and getting you wet -- it doesn't matter if the outer layer is wet -- it's what happens on the inside.   But, waterproofing the outer layer could cut down on the GoreTex's ability to 'breath'.

 

But, quality does count -- not only in durability but also in effectiveness.  Years ago GoreTex would only license their product to those manufacturers who maintained the highest quality in sealing and taping all seams.  I think those standards have been relaxed.  Now, more than ever, you get what you pay for.   The GoreTex will keep the moisture out -- but if it can get through a seam, you will still get wet.  

post #5 of 11
If you don't replenish the DWR coating on goretex or other membraines water will cover the surface and prevent it from "breathing". That's why the makers put it there, and they say it needs to be reapplied.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Do waterproof coatings wear or peel off now like I described in the OP?
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzybabybunny View Post

Do waterproof coatings wear or peel off now like I described in the OP?

 

I don't know about "peel off," but they do fade with time. Hence the need to reapply DWR.  Which this thread reminds me I need to do with my ski pants. 

post #8 of 11

Here:

 

http://blistergearreview.com/features/outerwear-101

 

educate yourself

 

BTW, what you are describing, and what you linked is just cheap raingear. those kinds of laminates will peel, and generally not last as long as some more snow specific gear.

post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzybabybunny View Post
 

Waterproof apparel either use a waterproof membrane like GoreTex or a waterproof coating on a layer of fabric, all in addition to a DWR treatment that makes water bead off. With the membrane the waterproofness is built into the fabric. With a coating, like with the Marmot Precip line, the waterproofness is gone if the coating somehow gets removed or worn out. This is totally separate from the DWR treatment.


Not exactly. Depends on how many layers you want. Membranes vary, several good ones, and yep, some kind of DWR on any decent parka. But my understanding is that the Precip and others simply have the membrane bonded to the outside instead of the middle in a sandwich, or the inside as with a summer rain parka. And IME a middle layer membrane is significantly more rugged than one on the outside, while an inner membrane falls in the middle. Finally, cheaper parkas simply have waterproof coatings, which work fine but don't breathe. 

post #10 of 11
Read the Blister article and educate yourself first.

The DWR is a separate issue, it's super important issue, but it's seaparate from the membrane issue. Now, the coRing you refer to are usually the polyurethane coatings, which work but not nearly as well as porous membranes such as GoreTex, Event etc.
hyVent, Precip etc are polyurethane membranes and are complete garbage relative to porous membrane fabrics. They are only good gir non active uses, such as waiting for a bus under the rain. There are always good materials jackets for sale, so spend a little more and get the good stuff. Washing is again tricky. You don't need to wash GoreTex or dryQ often, eVent you need to do.
post #11 of 11
Imo the only membranes worth buying are GoreTex, event, DryQElite and NeoShell. The bargain champ I s H2No which breathes almost as well as old GoreTex. The new GoreTex is much better though.
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