Windstopper – waterproofness advice please!
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.”
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!Posted 4 years agoJonEdwardsMember
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.”
“Water resistance of a shell”. Shell = waterproof by definition, surely?Posted 4 years agosillyoldmanSubscriber
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.Posted 4 years agoChrisISubscriber
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 🙁Posted 4 years agoDanWMember
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.Posted 4 years agorocketmanMember
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.Posted 4 years agoscotroutesSubscriber
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.Posted 4 years agochiefgrooveguruMember
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.Posted 4 years agofr0sty125Member
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…Posted 4 years agoOscillate WildlyMember
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-resistancePosted 4 years ago
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