Sorry to resurrect this, missed it before...Trashmore in Evanston??
Sorry to resurrect this, missed it before...Trashmore in Evanston??
eVent surpassed everything in the US ARMY test. Westcomb Outerwear ( www.outerwear.com) based, tested and made in Vancouver has a great line of outerwear. More stores are carrying them in the US, especially out west. I think you will see them more in the east in the not so distant future because of their quality. Westcomb also uses schoeller in jackets and pants as well as other fabrics.
Ortovox (www.ortovox.com ) has a very nice 3-layer hard shell that uses Toray Dermizax EV along with some Merino. That jacket kept me very dry and comfortable backpacking on the Appalachian Trail. I found Ortovox merino base layers to be equally as good.
"The US Army’s Natick tests of waterproof-breathable laminates reported that eVENT fabric proved to be the most breathable of all materials tested, averaging twice the breathability of its closest competitor."
What differentiates eVENT fabric technology from other ePTFE-based waterproof-breathable laminates?
Lately we have had a number of questions about the breathability of Showers Pass Elite 2.0 Jackets and eVent Pants. Here to follow in this blog is a summary of eVent vs other polyurethane breathable fabrics. Check out our Showers Pass selection here
Open-pored ePTFE membranes have been used in waterproof apparel applications for over 25 years. But they have been used in a “bi-component” fashion that covered the open pores with a layer of polyurethane (PU). This PU layer reduced inherent breathability by inhibiting the free escape of perspiration vapor. The eVENT fabric approach is different and avoids the use of that polyurethane layer. Explains Vishal Bansal, Director of Product Development for eVENT fabrics: “Rather than take an open-pore membrane and turn it into a closed-pore laminate, our patented process lets us retain the natural venting ability of all those microscopic pores.”
The US Army’s Natick tests of waterproof-breathable laminates reported that eVENT fabric, a patented ePTFE-based membrane produced and marketed by BHA Technologies, Inc. proved to be the most breathable of all materials tested, averaging twice the breathability of its closest competitor. Testing included the likes of Gore-Tex XCR®, Sympatex®, and various other waterproof-breathable fabrics. “As a premium, technical brand, ground sought to utilize today’s top technologies to create our high-end apparel line,” stated ground’s CEO, Tucker Hacking. “After reviewing the government’s Natick testing we were sold on using eVENT fabric to achieve the technical pinnacle in our soft shell, hard shell and down product categories.”
All my ski apparel is Gore Tex, pants, softshell jacket and gloves. Why? Partly because it was the best thing that was easily available at a reasonable price (I got my Burton, Gore-Tex gloves for $30 at a major retailer in town). The other part is when I was skiing in the rain all day. I stayed out all day because I was dry all day even though it was raining pretty hard at times especially sitting on the wet lift. If I was uncomfortable at anytime I would have gone to the lodge with most of my friends. All I'm saying is that it worked, I didn't waist time looking for stuff that is better and didn't pay an arm and a leg for it. That, to me, is worth something. So when I'm shopping for stuff and one pair of outdoor pants is Gore Tex and the other is not, while all the other technology is no where to be found. I'll gladly grab the Gore Tex. When eVent makes it into my path I'll definitely give it a try but I have something that works so they will have to come to me.
A bit of tech-ie information for those so inclined. I actually saw the full results of the Natick test, and it is not quite as staightforward. Gore membrane is seriously behind at low humidities, but it manages to catch up significantly at high humidities- that is there the thin PU coating swells and becomes more permeable. So, basically if you are looking for a high-end hiking jacket, you will be stupid to pick up anything but eVent at this point. Skiing is more nuanced- you still get better breathability with eVent and it is a much more versatile fabric, but the difference in a snowstorm won't be as dramatic. Still, I am half eVent (pants) and most likely will convert to an eVent jacket as well. Arcteryx fans- there is always Westcomb.
That's what makes me weary. I can't figure out what's hype and what's not. I've seen companies try to create these buzzes that may be nothing more then marketing. For instance I've researched another product I use in my life, one in particular where all of the "tests" and statistical graphs I could find were replicas of what they had on their website. I give them credit because I could not find any independent testing on there product, they seemed to have saturated most sources people may use with their own test results, I did't trust it so I stayed away. Also there are marketing ploys like my camera that supposedly has "improved" weather sealing when there has been discussions on popular forums that no one has really had or known anyone who has had a problem with the weather sealing of the previous model. I work in an advertising agency and a couple of years ago the big thing was viral marketing, through Youtube, Twitter, etc. So I'm not ready to believe the military testing until I can find it myself on an official government website and I have looked. Maybe I missed it. Could someone please post a link?
Also I use this stuff mainly in cold weather so what Alexzn said makes sense. Gore Tex seems fine to me in the cold.
I'm not saying eVent isn't better then Gore tex, it may well be. Right now there's some corporate struggle for our souls and I'd rather wait til the dust settles. Again, if I come across eVent in the form that I'm looking for at my price point I will give it a try. I guess all this buzz has worked on me because that's what they want us to do is to give it a try. Besides, the longer they duke it out the better the prices and products will be. Soon it will be beyond anything we need where only in the most extreme conditions can you tell the difference. That would great, we can't lose either way.
Toray Dermizax is very water and wind proof. Has some stretch, a lot more breathable, good feel and comfortable.
Ortovox, is one company that comes to mind that uses Toray Dermizax for their hardshell.
eVent was the clear winner when the US Army conducted a test for waterproof, breathable fabric.
Westcomb is one company that uses this fabric. Mountain Hardware has a similar product and I'm pretty sure that Rab does as well.
Neoshell by Polartec is a water proof, breathable softshell with plenty of stretch.
Westcomb and Rab use this fabric.
Those are three good water proof choices that also offer breathability, stretch and durability.