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Waterproof breathable laminates

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Whats your experience with the various waterproof laminates on the market such as Goretex, Membrain, Hyvent etc.
The Microshed laminate in my Solstice jacket has started to breakdown and flake off .I've had this jacket for some years
I spoke to the Solstice rep and was told that it was just part of wear and tear. In other words it wasnt covered under warranty
Please keep in mind that I am not trying to get anything for free .
Has anyone with a goretex product or any other product for that matter experienced anything as I have described?
I would appreciate your responses
I have been very pleased with the product and just dissapointed that I would have to retire it because it would no longer be functional due the Microshed flaking. Not waterproof anymore
I have other jackets that I use but this was a great storm jacket
Thank you
post #2 of 15
In my view, goretex is king, but I have other stuff with other laminates and have had no problems.

Goretex seems to be the most breathable, but all the laminates I have used are windproof and waterproof. That is why I have a marmot membrain jacket for my everyday ski area jacket. It is cheaper than goretex. I do some hiking in it at ski areas (Alta) but not enough to overload the breathability.
post #3 of 15
Gore-tex isn't a laminate, but a membrane. Many think Gore-tex is a type of fabric, or a coating (like the coating you have flaking off). Gore Tex is really this thin, white, rubbery-feeling membrane between the shell and the liner. It is made of a very thin membrane of teflon. If a jacket has a mesh liner you can actually see and feel the membrane. For added protection, Gore-tex jackets are usually treated with DWR on the shell, which is why water beads up on them. However, even when the DWR has worn out and your shell is soggy, the Gore Tex should still keep you dry as long as it is clean and in good condition, even though the shell will wick some water in around the cuffs and collar.

DWR can also be refreshed, so a real membrane, Gore-Tex type jacket should last much longer than your jacket. I bought my last Gore-Tex parka at REI in 1997, and even wore it almost every day all through college. It looks great and still has many years of wear left in it.

There are other membrane systems that I *think* are imitation Gore Tex. They may work just as well, but I wouldn't know.
post #4 of 15
Goretex is the original and still the best waterproof/breathable material. It is probably the most expensive as well. Gore apparently has to "certify" the garment before it can carry the Goretex label.

W.L. Gore was a chemist that worked for Dupont. He discovered that when Teflon was stretched it became porous. The pores were large enough to allow water molecules to pass through, but too small for a water drop. He then developed a process for laminating it to fabric like nylon. For 17 years he had the patent. Other manufacturers came up with similar fabrics but not based on the same PFTE material. The product you purchased probably was some form of a polyurethane coating which is more waterproof than breathable when new. Poor quality control and exposure to sun and other things caused the sprayed on waterproofing to peel off.

The membrane is very much like the tape you use to seal threads in plumbing. It is also used in air filtration media, medical products and of all things, dental floss!

A few years ago W.L. Gore was listed on the Forbes wealthiest list (not sure he is still on the list). Not bad for a chemist with some imagination.
post #5 of 15
The inner side (white) of my Marmot Precipe (Membrane) jacket started to flake off, it wasn't keeping me very dry after that.
post #6 of 15
It's even better than that. It was an "accidental" discovery (as I understand it), like Post-It Notes. Bob Gore was actually working for Gore (http://www.gore.com/en_xx/aboutus/timeline/index.html) in 1969 when he discovered it.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Have you asked Marmot if they would warranty the flaking?
post #8 of 15
Thre have been a few recent threads on waterproof/breathable and Gore-Tex in particular:

Is Gore-Tex Still King?

Gore-Tex, DWR effectiveness and Laundering

Laundering Label 'Icons'
post #9 of 15
Originally Posted by ssh
It's even better than that. It was an "accidental" discovery (as I understand it), like Post-It Notes. Bob Gore was actually working for Gore (http://www.gore.com/en_xx/aboutus/timeline/index.html) in 1969 when he discovered it.
Interesting trivia, FWIW: W.L. Gore is consistently ranked in national lists of the 'best companies to work for', usually near the top of the lists in the past few years.
post #10 of 15
ladat- I have not because I got quite a bit of good use out of the coat. I wouldn't really classify it as a defect or abnormal... just kinda what happens when the coat gets old. Just like a ski loses camber with use.

Marmot has always been good with their warranty, either replacing the product or fixing problems you caused for cheap money.
post #11 of 15
Patent run out some years ago. Still IMHO it has best breathability, as the companys sewing it in need to watch out for quality to have the gore-tex certified label.
post #12 of 15
I've had great luck with solstice..I have been using their shell for 6 years without a problem. My ski pants (solstice) busted a seam after 4 years and they sent me a new pair.

I'm a little confused about your post though, I don't think microshed is a laminate (Like Conduit and Gore Tex) but rather a deep fabric coating...which is why it can be revived with dwr wash and a dryer. The microshed lacks the same waterproofness of Goretex...but, it breathes way better, it's lighter and less bunchy...all desirable qualities in a ski jacket IMHO.

Check their websire (not the local dealer) and just send it back...I bet they replace it.
post #13 of 15
This link provides more than enough info about the various fabrics and technology for keeping you dry.


You can subscribe to the site for even more articles.

It is a little technical at times, so beware. My usual ski jacket is a Marmot Liquid Steel jacket from a few years ago. It is made of Gore-Tex® XCR which is the most breathable in the Gore-Tex® family.

For hiking I use the Integral Designs eVENT® jacket. It is very lightweight, waterproof and extremly breathable. eVENT® is probably the most breathable laminate on the market today and is just now being made into garmets.


I prefer a more breathable jacket because I just hate the clammy damp feeling that some fabrics give like Marmot Pre Cip.

post #14 of 15


Try an Arcteryx jacket they use gore-tex xcr which is excellant, warm breathable and comfortable.
post #15 of 15
Arcteryx makes great shell jackets. Gore-Tex XCr, waterproff zippers, offset zipper at the collar, pitzips, waterproof radio pouch. Lots of features and not cheap. Great warranty too. My zipper came off after 2 season and they gave me a new jacket no questions asked

Also like Phenix Aerothermo for spring or mid layer. Hard to find their Aerothermo jackets or vests right now!
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