Windstopper – waterproofness advice please!

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  • Windstopper – waterproofness advice please!
  • JonEdwards
    Member

    I treated myself to a pair of Mountain Equipment G2 Ultimate softshell trousers a few months back, as something that would be warm, windproof and near as dammit water proof for general walking in typical UK winter conditions – manky, wet, bit chilly, but not ultimately too offensive.

    This is the bumf:-
    “Designed to be worn all day. The GORE Windstopper softshell fabric offers enough protection for all but the wettest of weather and they are the perfect choice for long days in the mountains.”
    here

    This choice was based on having owned a whole variety of softshell jackets over the years, from cheapo freebies handed out at work to a Gore Tool that has lasted 6 years of 5 days a week winter commuting and is still almost waterproof. I find that its way more breathable than Goretex, and whilst it does eventually soak through in truly foul weather, it takes a good few hours to do so. I also have an Endura Stealth (fully taped) and a Rab Baltoro guide jacket (untaped), both of which are waterproof.

    So I was pretty upset when I wore the pants for the 3rd time (uses 1 and 2 were in the dry) on New Years Day, when it was pretty manky out, and I ended up soaked from the waist down in 20minutes. After which I bloody froze! It wasn’t coming in through the (untaped) seams, it was just soaking straight through the fabric, like it was old goretex and the DWR coating had worn off. I’ve got jeans that would have kept me dry longer!

    So I took them back to Ellis Brigham (where I got them), to be told by the returns manager “Oh they’re not supposed to be waterproof, no taped seams. We’ll send them back if you really, really want us to, but I don’t think it’s worth doing”. Really negative about the whole thing, I even showed him the spiel on the ME site, but he just wasn’t interested.

    I’m currently waiting for a call back from ME, but I’m wondering what the Massive have to say? Surely Windstopper should be more waterproof than that? I’m properly unhappy, as if the Ellis Brigham guy is correct, then I’ve wasted a load of cash, and ME are mis-selling their gear, which would be a real shame as I’ve had stuff from them for well over 20 years, and it’s all still going strong!

    Thanks all!

    Houns
    Member

    It’s WIND stopper not RAIN stopper. Don’t think Gore have ever intended/advertised it to be waterproof.

    I have a couple of wind stopper jackets, they are great, and do work in damp weather but no good in heavy rain

    asterix
    Member

    offers enough protection for all but the wettest of weather

    when its wet, its wet and what this really says is that these do NOT give protection for wet weather

    perhaps the marketing spin is a bit misleading, but wind stopper only stops wind

    JonEdwards
    Member

    OK, so why is my Gore Tool, which is made from the same stuff waterproof, bar the seams? Water beads, and runs off!

    To quote from Gore’s site
    “WINDSTOPPER® Soft Shells offer total windproofness and maximum breathability, combining the comfort of a soft mid-layer and the water resistance of a shell in one garment.”
    here

    “Water resistance of a shell”. Shell = waterproof by definition, surely?

    asterix
    Member

    Hi Jon, I dont know why the Gore Tool is better, maybe it has some type of spray proofing on it? That might help with your new trousers. How did you buy them, shop or t’internet?

    Houns
    Member

    Yeah I wonder if Gore Bike wear people use a different proofing? My Phantom II is much better at resisting rain than my Oakley Jacket i have

    Premier Icon sillyoldman
    Subscriber

    Tool probably has a more effective DWR coating.

    From your description “like it was old Goretex and the DWR had worn off” it sounds as though the face fabric was wetting out rather than the membrane leaking. DWR is only a protective layer – not the waterproof layer itself.

    Premier Icon ChrisI
    Subscriber

    Sounds to me like the DWR isn’t right from the factory. I love softshell kit and most of my stuff is very weather proof but will wet out eventually. Mostly happens when they get very dirty and had a few washes so the DWR protection has been lost. Quick blitz of tech wash/reapplication of DWR and its back to working again. Maybe in this case there is a problem with the DWR coating? Get them swapped out first and see if that fixes it and if its the same then maybe admit the DWR on those specific trousers isnt much cop 🙁

    DanW
    Member

    WINDSTOPPER® Soft Shells offer total windproofness and maximum breathability, combining the comfort of a soft mid-layer and the water resistance of a shell in one garment

    “Water resistant” is another way of saying “offers water protection marginally greater than nothing at but not at all waterproof”.

    perhaps the marketing spin is a bit misleading, but wind stopper only stops wind

    I agree. The only way to check if stuff is actully waterproof is if you see the word “waterproof” in the description and to check the material breath-ability and waterproofness specs. Spec don’t lie and companies will avoid using the explicit term “waterproof” unless it genuinely is. “Water resistance” is a little misleading I agree but basically means nothing for the rain we have in the UK.

    rocketman
    Member

    Have never known Gore Tex or anything like it to be actually waterproof. Once the DWR has caved in it’s only a matter of time before you get wet from the inside or outside

    While it’s easy to make something waterproof, waterproof and breathable is a whole different ballgame. 5k/5k, 10k/10k even 20k/20k I’ve had them all and none of them are waterproof all of the time.

    Cost-effective solution is to wander into your nearest TK Maxx and pick up some ski gear. HH taped trousers, water resistant pockets and reinforced wear areas £35. Burton snowboard jacket similar spec £45. Great for winter hill walks, cheap enough not to care if they wear out.

    voodoo_chile
    Member

    Difference between gore wind stopper and a hardshell .ie proshell or similar is the lack of taped seams on the wind stopper

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    voodoo_chile – Member – Quote
    Difference between gore wind stopper and a hardshell .ie proshell or similar is the lack of taped seams on the wind stopper

    Wrong. The Windstopper membrane is not the same as the Gore-Tex waterproof membrane.

    Why would the Tool be different? Remember that the water-resistance of a garment is also affected by the fabrics used in its construction.

    I wish Paramo trousers were cut better (maybe the newer ones are?) because they’re almost completely waterproof (they leak when sitting down for prolonged periods because of the pressure squeezing water through) yet breathe better than most softshells, vent well and are warm too. I just wear them on the scooter, for skiing and for depths of winter walking.

    I like ME gear, usually good stuff – maybe it’s a DWR issue? If the seams leak enough it could wick across the inner face so it feels like the fabric itself is leaking. If the shop won’t help out then I’d try some better proofing and see of that does the job.

    fr0sty125
    Member

    All I can say is I have Gore wind stopper gloves they are not waterproof. I have Gore Tex gloves these are waterproof. I have a ME Gore Tex hard shell it is amazingly waterproof. I have a Paramo jumper this keeps you warm and is kinda ok against wind but not good with rain. I have Paramo cascada trousers which are a perfect blend between breathability and water resistance. I also have some Rab event stuff which is basically the same as gore tex.

    To me it sounds like you should have bought paramo…

    The difference is in the title
    Water resistant means it will resist water
    Water proof means as it says

    my gorewindstopper softshell is pretty waterproof, assuming its the same material i cant really understand why it doesnt withstand some rain

    it takes a real fair old downpour to get through my gore windstopper softshell

    i also have a windstopper gilet vest and thats pretty waterproof too, again takes a fair old downpour to get through

    certainly both garments if you run them under a tap bead water off after numerous amounts of washes

    its not as waterproof as a proper gore-tex but its a great compromise, as windstopper is generally i find a bit more breathable and still offer lots of water-resistance

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    It does sound as they could be faulty. Were you wearing anything underneath, besides undies obviously.

    As others have said, Gore softshell will repel rain for a good few hours, if rain is heavy then it will take less time.

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