‘Waterproof’ clothing – bollocks!!! (kind of a rant…)

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  • ‘Waterproof’ clothing – bollocks!!! (kind of a rant…)
  • psychle
    Member

    So I had to ride down to indoor cricket last night in the pouring rain, something I’ve managed to avoid for quite a while thankfully (the riding in the rain, not the indoor cricket!). Thought to myself: “excellent, a serious test for my new Endura Stealth jacket, Shimano MW02 boots and Sealskinz socks, along with my existing 3/4 eVent trousers, I’m sure to be nice and dry with all this expensive kit on!” So, full of confidence, I layered myself up and headed off into the night…

    25 minutes later I get to cricket, absolutely soaked… The supposed waterproof jacket is sodden and freezing me half to death, the supposed waterproof shoes are soaked through and my feet are swimming in icy water and my supposed waterproof trousers, well they actually held up OK, thankfully… just a little damp on the arse for some reason (maybe because I was sitting on a sodden saddle?)

    So… what’s the fricken point of all this expensive ‘waterproof’ gear?? The Stealth jacket particularly galls me, water just soaked into it! WTF?? I’d expected water to roll of it like a fricken ducks back, not be absorbed like a fine Egyptian cotton towel!!

    Yep, I’m disappointed in my expensive ‘waterproofs’… so, what have been your experiences?

    Digimap
    Member

    My own experiences have been 100% disappointing with endura kit. My paclite jacket however, dry, breathable, pocket stuffable. Ace.

    scruff
    Member

    3/4 will let water in through tops of socks & boots, and if its proper pissing down in can come though the neck of your jacket. I got soaked in my Gill eVent jacket in the Lakes, came in through seams, which are supposedly sealed.

    will
    Member

    Did you have to apply waterproofing stuff to it?

    But it does seem rubbish i agree!

    fbk
    Member

    That doesn’t sound good! Although the water-in-shoes thing probably stems from the use of 3/4 length trousers – it’s amazing how much water gets in over the top of the socks!

    As for the jacket – I’ve never been entirely convinced by the light weight breathable ones. My Endura eVent jacket holds up pretty well most of the time but does seem to soak through after about 20-30 minutes in really bad conditions. Still keeps me warm though for the most part.

    I guess there’s always going to be a trade off between boil-in-the-bag completely waterproof stuff and not quite 100% but breathable!

    Premier Icon nickjb
    Subscriber

    Very impressed with my Peter Storm trousers. About a tenner from the LBS 15 years ago, 100% waterproof, no sweat build up.

    Water proof Helly Hansen jacket is a bit leaky on the arms and shoulders and does get a bit sweaty but with a decent wicking layer I stay pretty dry.

    Had mixed success with water proof boots, pretty water proof but too sweaty for everyday use so I tend to go with wet feet a have spare socks to hand.

    joemarshall
    Member

    I’ve got a 10 year old goretex jacket. It weighs a ton, is a bit hot, but is still 100% waterproof. I also have some cheap waterproof trousers, which do the job – not sure what the point of breathable waterproof trousers is – I don’t sweat massively through my legs, especially not when it’s absolutely minging weather, which is the only time I’d bother wearing them.

    Waterproof socks are sometimes okay as long as you have waterproof trousers that go over the top of them – the inevitable hole at the top that your feet go into lets water in otherwise. Once you have water in them, they’re horrible.

    Best piece of waterproof gear I ever bought is mudguards though. Makes way more difference than any jacket.

    Joe

    steve_b77
    Member

    Could this be the reason why I ride in non-bike specific jackets, like a Berghaus Aquafoil when it’s wet or a snowboarding shell jacket when it’s **** hooning it down!!

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    I thought a stealth jacket was a soft shell basically?

    tam
    Member

    I rod ehome from work last night in my £10 lidls cycling jacket.
    which kept me dry as a bone.

    carlphillips
    Member

    an old £40 altura jacket here free with an *cough* MBR subscription ages ago 4-5 yrs has kept me dry in the most horrendous downpours, only just being replaced for an altura attack extreme this week because of zip failure..

    Premier Icon funkynick
    Subscriber

    The likely thing with you feet was that water was running down your legs, inside the tops of your socks, and thus we feet…

    I’ve found the only way to stop that is to wear full length waterproof trousers.

    As for the Stealth jacket, that’s a big of a bugger, but good to know as I was going to buy some Stealth tights! Maybe not now…

    psychle
    Member

    I thought a stealth jacket was a soft shell basically?

    Endura claims the Stealth is waterproof to 10,000mm (stealth spec’s)

    Bah humbug I say…

    Premier Icon twinklydave
    Subscriber

    give the jacket a go out in the rain while you’re not riding – just walking or something. I found that my waterproofs would “let water through” while riding, but if was just out wandering about in even the heaviest downpours, they’d keep my dry for, literally, hours.

    I’m guessing either the water gets ‘forced through’ while riding, or i’m just a reet sweaty bugger..

    psychle
    Member

    give the jacket a go out in the rain while you’re not riding

    It’s a cycling jacket FFS… it should be able to cope with riding 👿

    Not directed at you twinklydave, angry with Endura, I’m giving them a call today to discuss!

    druidh
    Member

    Stealth jacket should have held up fine – check it’s rain getting in and not trapped sweat though. My Stealth tights have been waterproof for a year and are now starting to let in a little – I’ll try re-proofing them. Might be worth sending back to Endura if it really isn’t waterproof. They have a good CR rep.

    As for the socks/boots – they only work as long as you have longer trousers/tights on, otherwise the water runs down your leg and just soaks into the sock. You can partially resolve this by cutting up a pair of marigold rubber gloves and just using the wrist part over the top of your sock/boots as a seal.

    druidh
    Member

    twinklydave – Member

    give the jacket a go out in the rain while you’re not riding – just walking or something. I found that my waterproofs would “let water through” while riding, but if was just out wandering about in even the heaviest downpours, they’d keep my dry for, literally, hours.

    I’m guessing either the water gets ‘forced through’ while riding, or i’m just a reet sweaty bugger..

    As you describe it, the latter….

    fbk
    Member

    Second the comment re Endura customer support.

    I’ve had nothing but excellent service from them in the past.

    Premier Icon twinklydave
    Subscriber

    As you describe it, the latter….

    😥
    life’s never been the same since appearing in those rightguard deo commercials…

    Not directed at you twinklydave, angry with Endura, I’m giving them a call today to discuss!

    no probs, i agree with you too!

    psychle
    Member

    Should water ‘bead’ off the Stealth jacket? or is it meant to soak in and be stopped by some internal layer?

    Gary_M
    Member

    I had thought of buying the Endura Stealth, now very glad I bought the Gore Fusion instead. It’s been very waterproof so far. As for the boots that’ll be water running in from the tops.

    jfeb
    Member

    psychle – Have you washed the Stealth jacket? And if so, with detergent? Doing this made my waterproof shorts decidedly unwaterproof but Nikwax sorted them out.

    FWIW, my Gill eVent jacket has stayed waterproof so far but I have only worn it for about 90mins in torrential rain.

    Premier Icon johnikgriff
    Subscriber

    I ride in virtual the same kit stealth jacket, 3/4 Event and seal skinz. Rode last week for over 2 hours in rain and snow (looked like a smowman on a bike at one piont). Appart from some sweat on the inside, very very please, warm and dry. My Event jacket is the best winter riding jacket I’ve ever bought (and I’m getting on).
    Having c**ked up a water proof jacket with detergent before, I always wash my waterproof stuff in pure soap flakes, seems to work.

    Premier Icon funkynick
    Subscriber

    You should never really wash anything that relies of DWR as part of it’s waterproofing in detergent as they almost always contain wetting agents to allow the water to completely soak into the clothes as they are being washed. As you can imagine this is bad for waterproofing!

    I always use the Nikwax Tech Wash stuff, but, as stated above, pure soap flakes work too.

    FuzzyWuzzy
    Member

    My Stealth is fine in the wet, water beads off it. I do use Grangers on it every 3 or 4 washes but it was at least as waterproof from new. You will sweat a lot in it though if it’s fairly warm out or you’re doing something strenuous but that applies to all breathable waterproofs.

    stumpy01
    Member

    I bought a fairly cheap Polaris waterproof (well, it was actally not that cheap, but was reduced) and it did seem to let a fair amount of water through when I did the D2D.
    I haven’t had an exercise-specific wicking jacket that keeps me 100% dry. My last Gill one was the worst as although it was fairly waterproof it had no lining at all, so the cold material clung to your arms as soon as it got wet and literally sucked the heat out of you…guess i should have worn long sleeves underneath!

    I’ve got a cheap Peter Storm waterproof though for camping that is 100% waterproof – too heavy for cycling in though

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    How many washes do you get out of Tech Wash? I thought it was only 2, and at “quite a few pennies” per bottle that’s a lot of money spent washing waterproofs. After all, rain + mud = muddy clothes.

    psychle
    Member

    I only wash my waterproof stuff in Nikwax detergent, never with Arial or anything like that… I think my jacket must have a problem then as water certainly doesn’t bead off it, just soaks right in 🙁

    Gary_M
    Member

    psychle stick it in the tumble drier for 30 mins or iron it with a warm iron – this reactivates the dwr coating. I’d try this before going back to endura.

    Premier Icon downshep
    Subscriber

    Endura event is the best biking jacket I have ever owned. Just as waterproof but more breathable than Goretex. Just bought the full length trousers and expect them to be as good, particularly as they reach below the top of a winter boot.

    Only wash very infrequently with tech wash and reproof afterwards with nikwax tent and gear proofer.

    Premier Icon on and on
    Subscriber

    the night vison jacket has been fantastic,100% water resistant.
    so good i got another in a different colour 🙂

    aP
    Member

    I cycled to work and back yesterday (about 25 minutes each way) in a pretty much abused 15 year old Freestyle Goretex jacket. I was dry after both journeys, my legs were a bit wet but then I use mudguards as I don’t like covering myself in an unwashable diesel/ rubber amalgam.
    Oh – waterproof socks don’t work unless you have waterproof trousers on which lap over the top as that hole in the top (you know where your foot goes) is perfectly placed to catch all the water running down your legs.

    Premier Icon funkynick
    Subscriber

    stilltortoise – I usually get a 3 or 4 washes out of one of the small bottles, but then I don’t tend to wash my Paramo jacket very often, probably only 5 or 6 times a year. It does get muddy, but the back is shielded by my hydration pack, and the rest just brushes off when it dries, and doesn’t seem to affect the waterproofing at all.

    Premier Icon votchy
    Subscriber

    Endura eVent jacket – 100% waterproof
    Endura eVent 3/4’s – 100% waterproof
    Shimano MW80 and normal socks – 100% waterproof

    eVent gear washed at 30 degrees without anything just to remove mud, 12 months on and working fine

    Premier Icon Sanny
    Subscriber

    The worst offender for poor waterproofing tend to be gloves in my experience.

    Endura Strikes – first pair leaked at the seams, replacement pair doing the same. When I squeeze the bars to brake or change gear, I can feel the water coming through the inner liner. My brand new lightweight Sealskinz gloves have the same problem though they tend to last a little bit longer before the inevitable haoppens.

    A good wicking baselayer such as Helly Hansen tends to make any kind of Gore Tex jacket work that bit better than bare skin. I wouldn’t use a wool baselayer as I tend to find that they simply don’t wick as well as man made material. The lack of whiff is nice but I’d rather feel warm and dry rather than a bit damp and musty.

    Cheers

    Sanny – still looking for the perfect waterproof jacket

    Gary_M
    Member

    ‘Shimano MW80 and normal socks – 100% waterproof’

    Yes but the water still gets in over the top.

    I’m with you on the gloves Sanny, still trying to find any that will last a few hours of heavy rain without getting absolutely soaking.

    solamanda
    Member

    I’ve yet to see cycling gear that is actually waterproof. Only stuff I’ve used that actually works is my full goretex motorbike gear, which cost a small fortune. I just use cheap stuff and accept it only keeps mud off me.

    Premier Icon BillOddie
    Subscriber

    That’ll sort ya.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Reproof, people. Even new jackets sometimes need it if they’ve been kicked around the warehouse for a long time.

    traildog
    Member

    My Gill eVent jacket has been brilliant, the first jacket I’ve had which I’m happy to ride for a long period of time in the rain. I still get a bit of water coming through but hardly anything. Most waterproof clothing I’ve had in the past just make me sweat so much while cycling it’s better to just wear a showerproof.

    I’ve found waterproof socks have lengthened the time I can be out in the wet but not by a huge amount. I need to give winter boots a try maybe. Waterproof socks and gloves have always been a bit of a disappointment to me, being well short of the hype by some distance.

    I’ve never tried waterproof tights so cannot comment. They’re fairly new invention, so I’m waiting to see what the opinions of them are. Mud guards do a very good job of keeping this area dry for longer.

    I always think of waterproof clothing as having the ability to increase how long I’m able to stay out in nasty conditions before I’ve had enough, rather than having the ability to keep me totally dry. Waterproof and breathable is far too much like the holy grail and you should see the term ‘waterproof’ more as a description of the type of garment rather than taking it literally IMHO. You should get more than 30minutes out of them though.

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