Best breathable Waterproof?.

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  • Best breathable Waterproof?.
  • Premier Icon Fat-boy-fat
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    I really quite fancy a neoshell jacket but being bigger than the average bear and orangutan armed, I’m guessing the Sugoi won’t be a good choice. Does anyone know how long their exclusive deal on the fabric is for?

    huggis
    Member

    Not sure but I was announced in Jan 13 and jackets became available in October only.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
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    Molgrips – leaking. Standing around in the rain instructing is cold, wet work. Coaching canoeing also means little warmth and perspiration, plenty of water.
    They leak, in obvious and unsurprising places such as knees, crotch, shoulders and elbows, sometimes chest pocket. Usually a seam goes first, fabric not far behind.
    Rumor/industry myth is that leading fabrics design them to fail – or like early 90’s jackets, you would never need a new one. *supposedly* that is about a hundred days of ‘tough’ use – so one winter as an Instructor….

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    Footflaps – that article shows they are far from identical. Made fro. The same stuff , but the moisture transport mechanism is different. This has significant implications for us. Goretex depends on the difference in humidity and temperature between inside and outside the jacket. If you are climbing the Himalayas this is great since it is cold and dry outside. However cycling in the autumn in the uk it’s quite warm and very humid outside the jacket which means that Goretex works far less efficiently. Event is unaffected by humidity which makes it ideal here.

    Matt, I’m highly sceptical about stories of planned obsolesce becase it would require industry wide collusion. Otherwise one manufacturer would design a durable jacket and clean up the market.

    I suspect the drive to increase breathability had made fabrics lighter and thinner which has reduced durability.

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
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    I suspect the drive to increase breathability had made fabrics lighter and thinner which has reduced durability.

    I think that’s more about the drive to make garments lighter and more packable rather than anything to do with breathability. There’s a 110g waterproof shell out next January btw… It’s light because it’s designed to be light, in fact its MVT is nothing special.

    Most waterproof fabrics are essentially a sandwich – the waterproof bit is the membrane in the middle, which is very light. It’s the face and inner/scrim fabrics or print in the case of 2.5-layer fabrics that determine the overall weight of the fabric. To be fair some face fabrics breathe better than others, but the lightness is mostly because of the demand for lighter kit.

    It’s handy by-product for the technical clothing industry that generally, lighter stuff doesn’t last as long.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
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    molgrips – hence the ‘rumor/myth’ statement.

    Goretex XCR breathes just fine. My shoes have it and they don’t leak and I never get sweaty feet either.

    Premier Icon footflaps
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    Molgrips, yep on reading that you are right they are different.

    However, I’ve still got a couple of 1990s North Face GTX jackets (2 layer) and they are still 100% waterproof and I’ve never felt clammy in them. My Expedition System Jacket has done loads of winter climbing (as in months of teaching with 8 hour days on the hills with students) and never wore through – absolutely bomb proof. Can’t say I’ve tried an eVent jacket, but then I’m very happy with Goretex, so would buy another without thinking about it.

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    I would not consider the breathability to me as much of an issue with walking/climbing, but on the bike it’s a huge one for me, cos I sweat like…well.. like a fat bloke on a bike.

    I only use a waterproof when it’s properly tipping it down though, or might, which is not that often.

    Premier Icon footflaps
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    I pretty much never wear a waterproof on the bike and just go for soft shells. Mainly as if you come off you will trash a £300 GTX / Event shell, whereas a scuff on an Endura soft shell isn’t such a big deal.

    FWIW just commuted in with my Gore Power active shell jacket.

    50 mins, med intensity, constant light rain, windy, not too cold, 3rd ‘real’ ride in the jacket.

    arms wetted out slightly already, merino base layer beneath was damp with sweat/condensation, esp on arms.

    pretty disapointed tbh – suspect it’d work better in cooler weather though.

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
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    I reckon eVent might be OK if you pootle and don’t raise a sweat, but put a bit of effort into your riding and it’s no more breathable than a plastic bag…but at least a plastic bag is waterproof. I had a ride a week or two back. It was a rainy day and looked like being a rainy evening so I wore my eVent jacket. It didn’t actually rain at all, but by the end of the ride I’d sweated so much it was literally running down the sleeves of my jacket. Yuck.

    Yes, I am a sweaty boo-rah when I ride. Even if I don’t feel too warm I still perspire buckets if I’m riding hard.

    Premier Icon ransos
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    From what I’ve read Goretex and Event are virtually identical.

    I find Event to be much more breathable than Goretex & Paclite. That said, it still won’t cope with your sweat if you’re pushing hard.

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    I very rarely wear one off-road, because the mud that ends up ground into the fabric will most likely destroy it in no time even if you don’t come off. If I do, or if I take one just in case of severe weather, then I stick a rear mudguard on.

    but put a bit of effort into your riding and it’s no more breathable than a plastic bag

    Nah, it is. I’ve ridden hard in Goretex and got pretty damp, but it’s a hell of a lot better than completely non-breathable waterproofs. I know first hand 🙂

    merino base layer beneath was damp with sweat/condensation, esp on arms

    Consider your expectations managed! I’ve always been pretty damp all over when riding in a waterproof, not much drier than if I had worn a soft shell, but the only advantage is that if it rains a lot you don’t get cold rain soaking onto your shoulders or back.

    Oh and re wetting out – I’ve been told by outdoor shop employees to re-proof jackets as soon as you get them, because being packed, stacked and transported around the world can actually wear off the factory DWR quite quickly, more so than normal wear.

    FuzzyWuzzy
    Member

    My Assos Sturmprinz is the closest I’ve come to a breathable waterproof jacket, the only problem is it isn’t 100% waterproof :p It’s not packable either. Nothing I’ve tried for Gore has been breathable enough when riding hard.
    The Castelli Pocket Liner looks interesting, packable + claims to be waterproof. I’ve not tried one though (and given I’ve already wasted too much money on jackets I’m not likely to be shelling out another £290 for one either).

    Premier Icon 40mpg
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    I’ve spent a fair bit of money on waterproof jackets for mountain bikinf in the past, including Gore and eVent jackets.

    The one thing I have found is that ANY waterproof jacket is completely unsuitable for riding in. I get as wet on the inside as I would without it.

    So now I use normal cycling tops, a gilet or (Lidl) softshell. I do carry a waterproof, but this only gets put on as a last resort to keep warm in case of stops in heavy rain. If its raining, you WILL get wet. just keep warm. And don’t waste cash on £150 jackets as a £50 one will be just as effective if used this way.

    Premier Icon footflaps
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    I commute (a mere 3 miles) in an Altura Night Vision Plus thing (the more expensive, more breathable version). Whilst nothing comes close visibility wise (the only reason I bought it), it didn’t last one winter in terms of water proofness, the arms now leak quite easily.

    Premier Icon Nobby
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    I have a Gore Paclite, a Montane Velocity & an aging Gill eVent.

    The latter is the most breathable and gets used on the mtb, the first is so bad it’s been relegated to dog walking duties, the Montane is somewhere between the two & is my go-to jacket for wet road rides.

    Hmm Rusty… Think an XXL may be in order then! My body is built for comfort not speed

    Forget that fella, they’re cut for a pro cyclist build, their XXL will be for 6’6″ beanpoles only!

    Definitely a try-before-you-buy brand.

    Premier Icon MSP
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    Montane stormrider was/is the best waterproof cycling jacket I have ever owned. Can’t work out why they stopped making them. It was event fabric, but the big difference over most waterproof jackets was the rear zip open ventilation on the lower back, and mesh pockets which meant they could also be opened up for ventilation.

    I also have a cheaper montane jacket which I leave in the office for days when the weather catches me out. I took a hole punch to that and made ventilation holes in the pits, down the inside of the arm and a 1/3 of the way down the side seams of the jacket. Those areas are always shielded from the rain just from the natural position on the bike, and the ventilation definitely helps.

    z1ppy
    Member

    Munqe-chick – Member
    There is no such thing as a breathable waterproof!

    Being too hot in a jacket is still horrible even if it’s breathable

    I’d agree with these comments, get a jacket (waterproof material of your choice) but make sure it has pitzips IMHO. That Bontragers one used to have pitzips, but I’m not sure the latest version does, going from the pictures (how can the trek site be so poor?). The best waterproof jacket I have is a £30 decathlon walker softshell, its probably has no breath ability in the slightest but the pitzips means I don’t overheat. It get loads more use than my ‘expensive’ eVent waterproof (I couldn’t find a PZ jacket at the time)

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    Of course being too hot is always an issue, whatever you are wearing. Waterproof jackets are pretty warm things by definition, which causes trouble on mild wet days. But of course you all know this don’t you?

    If you’re expecting to simply don a magic jacket and be perfectly comfortable on any rainy day then you definitely need your expectations managed 🙂

    huggis
    Member

    OK Rusty looks like Castelli kit might be an issue fit wise.

    Based on all the great input above it seems that the ideal should be thin as possible (2.5 Layer) with plenty ventilation options.

    Something like a Castelli Pocket Liner but cheaper and not so slim cut.

    grum
    Member

    arms wetted out slightly already, merino base layer beneath was damp with sweat/condensation, esp on arms.

    My wife’s Goretex Active Shell jacket is great – really light and much more breathable than any other Goretex she’s used in the past. Sounds like you were just wearing too much – Merino is pretty warm for this time of year. I wore just a Merino jersey out the other day and was a bit on the warm side.

    I pretty much never wear a waterproof on the bike and just go for soft shells.

    +1 to this though. I’d rather be wet with rain than sweat, and a soft shell is generally good enough to keep the vast majority of stuff out. I just don’t think you can expect something to be totally waterproof and amazingly breathable.

    Active Shell is pretty good though IMO.

    IanW
    Member

    What 40mpg said

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    I’d rather be wet with rain than sweat

    Not me. Rain is cold, and has a habit of seeping down through shoulders, arms and back in a cold manner. Sweat builds up in a warm damp way all over your body, as long as you are wearing a tight fitting wicking base layer. Sweat doesn’t give the influx of cold that heavy rain does.

    Of course, to seep in like that through a soft shell it has to be raining a lot, so it’s not that common of an occurrence.

    Like I said, waterproofs only for stuff that would keep most cyclists indoors.

    Waterproof trousers are seen as completely ridiculous, dorky commuter-wear only. But I’ve gone out in pouring rain on the road bike with waterproof boots, trousers, jacket and gloves, and it’s actually pretty cool – much better than being soaked through with freezing rain from above and below.

    grum
    Member

    Not me. Rain is cold, and has a habit of seeping down through shoulders, arms and back in a cold manner. Sweat builds up in a warm damp way all over your body, as long as you are wearing a tight fitting wicking base layer. Sweat doesn’t give the influx of cold that heavy rain does.

    Of course, to seep in like that through a soft shell it has to be raining a lot, so it’s not that common of an occurrence.

    Yeah – as you allude to in the last sentence though – wearing a ‘proper’ waterproof you are much more likely to spend reasonable spells of time being wet with sweat.

    With a softshell you won’t get anywhere near as sweaty but with the risk that occasionally the rain might be so heavy that you do get a bit wet (in which case the soft-shell will probably still keep you reasonably warm).

    TurnerGuy
    Member

    I have an Endure Venturi eVent which I find is fine, might get a little damp maybe sometimes but never uncomfortable.

    In fact I have just ordered the Pace 3×3 eVent as this thread reminded me what good value it seems to be.

    As MSP says, ventilation is a real plus. Pit zips on a bike jacket make a huge amount of sense.

    Was in mine on a long climb a while ago, wind blowing rain at me from one side, so I opened the leeward vent. Stayed nice and dry, but not too hot.

    Pit zips are teh orsumz.

    huggis
    Member

    CaptainFlashheart – your message is a bit cryptic at the end there!

    Premier Icon on and on
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    This year I’m rocking an Altura Varium.
    Very impressive warmth, waterproofnes and breathability

    huggis
    Member

    that’s a nice jacket on and on….how sweaty is it? I was wearing a Gore Windstopper yesterday, it was around 9C with a cold wind and it was really clammy inside.

    Premier Icon on and on
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    It sounds gross but I’m a pretty moist in most of the jacket’s I’ve used over the years.
    The Varium is very good with the usual vents and a big back pocket that can be opened from both sides and act as another large vent.

    I’ll be mostly using it from 0 – 8ish. Anything in minus figures I’ll be in my Mavic Inferno.

    NOTE – when I ride in the winter I only use a light base layer and the jacket.

    Premier Icon st colin
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    I’ve been using an Enduro Windchill soft shell jacket. Works well in most conditions with just a base layer under it. Only in really heavy downpours does the rain get through and usually by then I’m covered in sweat anyway!

    I keep a lightweight packable rain jacket in my bag but rarely use it.

    huggis
    Member

    I think the idea of a soft shell is good in all but worst weather. Thinking back my Gore Windstopper was quite waterproof when new..

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
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    Thing is, different people run at different temperatures. Just one of those physiological things. Two people can be doing the same amount of work or intensity wearing the same clothing and one of them will sweat up very fast, the other might stay reasonably cool.

    If you run hot, even the most breathable waterproof fabrics are going to struggle to clear the moisture you’re chucking out. If you run cool, then you may be okay. Everyone varies. What I find fine, won’t necessarily be the case for someone who runs hotter than me .

    I generally run on the hot side anyway, but one thing I have noticed is that road riding tends to be less brutal on waterproofs, I think because there are less sudden anaerobic efforts than you get with mountain biking, so moisture output is more constant rather than the savage ups and downs you get will hilly, technical mountain biking.

    What I’m using a lot at the moment is a Berghaus hybrid thing with a Windstopper front and outer sleeves that’s completely windproof and very water resistant and a back made from a non-membrane soft shell that’s decently breathable. Enough protection most of the time, decent cooling. Light and compact enough to stash in a hydration pack if you need to.

    Of the fully waterproof fabrics, NeoShell’s the best I’ve used, but there’s not a lot of it out there. I’d say eVent and GTX Active Shell are both similar and pretty decent, most other stuff isn’t great bar the Cocona-based fabric Mavic uses for ifs HD road jacket. YMMV etc…

    Premier Icon jameso
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    Used paclite (Berghaus xtreme, recently cleaned and re-proofed with nickwax) and pertex shield+ (montane minimus, new) recently, on road in rain for ~3 hrs at about 75% HR, very similar temps. Neither are bike jackets as I like hoods. The pertex feels less clammy even if I up the pace a bit and I felt drier at the end of the ride.

    tbh I think pocket-opening direction and sleeve opening size makes the most difference via venting and too-close fit means a jacket doesn’t flap and circulate / vent damp air but overall I feel more comfortable in the pertex jacket. Will see how the proofing lasts but nickwax re-proofing’s easy enough anyway.

    Fair point on road vs MTB use making a difference, I find road riding gives me a good idea of how a jacket works as it’s fairly constant. Still, generally avoid wearing one as much as poss.

    twoniner
    Member

    I’ve just bought a Mavic Helium H2O jacket and used it in anger this weekend. It pissed down for the whole ride pretty much on Sunday and I was very Impressed with it. Jacket was nice a cool, not too sweaty and I was bone dry after 4 hours in the saddle.

    It’s light and packs down well. It doesnt pack down into a little pocket or owt and there are no pockets in it.

    The meduim is supposed to be approx 177g but it is £140!

    huggis
    Member

    Useful article explaining difference between the fabrics…

    Here
    And here….

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    I will never ever be bone dry after a 4 hour ride, regardless of what I am wearing or the weather.

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