Dec 6, 2010 at 7:31 pm #1266315
@nicktruaxLocale: SW Montana
Looks like this may be the end-all for WP/B fabrics. Or we can only hope :)
Here's a blurb on NeoShell
The preliminary specs and hype have definitely grabbed my attention. Word on the street is that Westcomb will be using Neoshell here in the near future.
Not sure if anyone else has brought this up, so my preemptive apologies if I'm kicking a dead horse.
Thoughts? Secret knowledge to share?
I can't wait to see it and try it!Dec 6, 2010 at 7:54 pm #1671611
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
Some new info here. Thanks.
Sounds like my green NeoShell tent won't have to be fuzzy after all.
If this is not just more hype, am glad that the product is coming from Polartec. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.Dec 6, 2010 at 8:01 pm #1671620
I wonder if it is related to this:
FrancoDec 6, 2010 at 8:16 pm #1671626
I'd say it's questionable, until Polartec is able to actually back up the claims being rammed around by it's Hype Train, with field testing.
If anything I'd venture to say that GE might finally be realizing that their tight fisted tactics regarding branding haven't been paying off, since no matter how "internet aged" and clever sounding the "eVent" brand may look on paper(or sleeves), it's almost impossible to freaking search for effectively on the net without using regex. Which is probably a major contributing factor for the lack of brand recognition they have outside of the enthusiast groups (i.e. knowledgeable obsessives like us here at BPL), where as Gore-Tex only pops up one thing. Admittedly it's finally starting to turn around, but 6 months ago if you googled "event jacket", the first page had nothing to do with outdoor gear.
Honestly, the name is stupid, even if the fabric rocks, this is the first time I'm classifying this type of product label fragmentation as a good thing.
For instance, just read the page url: "manufacturers-allowed-to-brand-event-as-their-own"
That makes absolutely no sense unless you know what they're talking about before hand.
Sorry, that's a rant I've been holding in for a while! ;)
Dear GE, love your fabric, hate it's name, can we still be friends? -JavanDec 6, 2010 at 8:36 pm #1671632
Like anything else, can't really make any call until I see the numbers and hear how it is in real
According to the info, it'll be more than Westcomb:
Polartec NeoShell will appear in Fall 2011 collections from some of the best outdoor apparel brands in the world including 66 North, Eider, Mammut, Marmot, Montura, Rab, The North Face, Vaude and Westcomb.
Something worth noting from that press release:
Polartec NeoShell will be available in a range of combinations including super lightweight flat tricot backed styles to luxurious high loft backs with extremely durable woven face fabrics. Most versions offer excellent stretch, so much so some apparel brands will merchandise Polartec NeoShell as a “waterproof soft shell” while others place the fabric squarely in their “hardshell” collections. The new hydrophobic, microporous polyurethane membrane truly offers the best of both worlds.
The bold bit is appealing, as it means it won't just be fleece lined stuff as the graphic shows as an example. Interesting that it apparently may be classified as a hardshell or softshell depending primarily on the make. Also worth noting that it's still PU- not PFTE or something entirely new.Dec 6, 2010 at 8:38 pm #1671634
polartec, primaloft and gore have the best fabric marketing …
when yr name is synonymous with waterproof, synth or fleece … nothing better
just check out their facebook pages
the sad part is that the average joe doesnt have the time or experience to make an informed decision … and these companies know it
why else do you think they give away all this free stuff to outdoor professionals, outdoor mags, outdoor blogs, etc …
i mean if yr sponsored climber is using it, backpacker recommends it, and some blog rights a short blurb about it it MUST be good … right?Dec 6, 2010 at 8:42 pm #1671637
@Javan One wonders how much things may have been different if they gave it a different name… I've encountered the same thing as you with searching for "event jacket"… And yeah, it comes down to regexps or specific brands or models OR'd together.
I thought the eVent fragmentation was going to be a bad thing, but I can see how it could be good- we certainly won't have to do any more research than we already are doing (way too much), and maybe we'll see more of it available making it easier all around…Dec 6, 2010 at 8:46 pm #1671640
@nicktruaxLocale: SW Montana
Thanks for the further info Aaron!
Both hard and softshell makes it intriguing, as well as the PU aspect. Only time will tell I suppose.
Kinda funny/cool that a possible eVent killer is coming out before eVent really took hold among the masses. It seems that NeoShell is definitely not a renamed version of eVent, but a new WP/B shell altogether. Please correct me if I'm wrong.Dec 6, 2010 at 8:57 pm #1671644
Safe to say it isn't rebranded eVent- it's both "exclusive" to Polartec and a polyurethane membrane, not PFTE or something unnamed and proprietary.
Funny that eVent has only penetrated so far, and it's been around for 10 years! Check out this article from 2001– sounds exactly like everyone is saying about eVent today:
With these seven customers, products made with eVENT Fabric will be broadly available in retail outlets worldwide come fall 2001.Dec 7, 2010 at 4:17 am #1671701
Working in the industry, I can tell you a bit about both fabrics / brands. But I'll stick to giving the low down on NeoShell.
Firstly, NeoShell is not related to eVENT. In-fact it is arguably the first proper blur between soft-shell and hard-shell (i.e. not a simple lamination of membrane to fleece liner).
Compared to eVent, which has air-permeability of around 0.1CFM* (depending on face fabric used), NeoShell can be incrementally "dialed" to have 1 or more CFM, with its hydrostatic head dropping as you head upwards.
The hydrostatic head may only be around a metre – hydrophobic PU doesn't have ePTFE's exceptional water repellent properties. But with its decent DWR it will be effective protection in most conditions, and the PU structure can stretch and recover, which ePTFE cant, making it truly 'soft'.
But back on the CFM issue, hot plates and sweating dummies can create all sorts of test results in labs, but what Polartec say is that a higher CFM unarguably offers higher breathability. 1CFM compared to 0.1CFM… it's obvious which "breathes" a big order of magnitude more.
Polartec may have taken polyester fleece from us Brits (I wouldn't say they fleeced it -groan-!!), but I've got a lot of love for Polartec.
* CFM = Cubic Ft per Min – a measurement of wind resistance. A smaller value = less wind penetration.Dec 7, 2010 at 4:27 am #1671705
Sorry, swap 1.0CFM for 0.5. I've just noticed they've dropped it a bit from what I'd originally heard. Presumably most of their brands wanted a higher hydrostatic head (HH) measurement over greater breathability. I hope some brands still take them up on the offer to dial in a higher CFM with lower HH, as I think there's merit in that.
OlDec 7, 2010 at 7:35 am #1671732
The biggest turn-offs for me with eVent were the price and weight. Maybe those two aspects have changed over the last few years, but I stopped paying attention to eVent a while ago.Dec 7, 2010 at 8:38 am #1671748
you say CFM = Cubic Ft per Min. per what area is that?
davidDec 7, 2010 at 10:02 am #1671778
It's a standard measurement that I'm so used to hearing that I've forgotten the details of what it exactly entails – thus I hoped you'd let that one go, but no such luck!
There are two key variables not made explicit, one of which you've picked up on – cubic feet through what surface area? The other variable is how the cubic volume of air is being forced through the fabric, i.e under what pressure? This adds complexity: under higher pressure airflow the surface area of a stretchy fabric will deform to a greater degree, creating a larger surface for air to pass through, with larger gaps in the fabric structure. Air pressure also affects the volume of air being pushed through – as someone writes on Wikipedia:
To move air, either a positive pressure or a vacuum must be created. When positive pressure is applied to a standard cubic foot of air or other gas, it gets smaller. When a vacuum is applied to a standard cubic foot of gas, it expands.
I don't know the answers off the top of my head. Of course the fabric industry don't readily provide this information. But having said that CFM is still better measurement than moisture vapour transfer rates for breathability in porous and microporous membraned fabrics.
If Polartec had their way, CFM would be seen as the one reliable measurement of breathability, which would mean NeoShell wouldn't so much be an eVENT slayer as a Gore slayer as most of Gore's fabrics have a CFM of exactly zero…
OliverDec 7, 2010 at 10:42 am #1671792
polartec wants dmpc to be the standard … not cfmDec 8, 2010 at 5:07 am #1672134
Martin RJ CarpenterMember
Isn't powershield pro effectively the same technology but with the CFM dialed up very high, and the HH correspondingly low? iirc about 2 and 3k and not always seam taped.
So perhaps the things with CFM going up to 1 will be included there instead. Anyway the basic neo shell idea certainly seems very sensible on paper.
The obvious place for Polartec to start pushing something like CFM as a measure of garment comfort would be softshells – like all their powershield/wind pro etc things which they seem to make in all sorts of flavours. But hardly anyone gives those figures, which is a shame.Dec 8, 2010 at 9:24 am #1672211
Eric, thanks for spotting that. This is news to me – all they've ever talked about to me was CFM, which I think is a less opaque concept than DMPC, no matter what DMPC's theoretical merits.
CFM ratings are provided with many if not most performance textiles, so comparisons are far easier to make. Plus, the consumer has every right to be cynical about MVT testing systems which have been used to support contradicting claims of superior breathability between the many w/p fabric manufacturers. Polartec will just be seen as jumping into that mud slinging fight, rather than being above it, if they're try to get us all acquainted with yet another MVT standard.
Martin, I think the hydrostatic head is way above that of regular Powershield (which has a perforated membrane rather than having a micro-porous one), so this is a new technology for them.Dec 9, 2010 at 10:51 am #1672604
thanks for the answers.
i was asking because i wanted to compare the numbers oliver stated to some numbers on gore-tex fabrics i found. (the later ones are inbetween 6.000 and 10.000 g/m2/24, depending on the kind of fabric. after reading eric's link i suppose this represents Moisture Vapor Transmission Tate)
i was hoping it was just a conversion from the imperial to the metric system.
but i guess i should've noticed that they're measuring 2 different kind of things, so a comparison will not be possible.
thanks for clearing that up for me!Dec 15, 2010 at 10:24 pm #1674634
I am throwing the new Gore into the ring. It was announced before the NeoShell so I am surprise no one talked about it?Dec 15, 2010 at 10:44 pm #1674635
Make sure you scroll down to read from representative from Polartec, Columbia & Mountain Hardwear, and GE (eVent) had to say.Dec 16, 2010 at 8:26 am #1674680
Martin RJ CarpenterMember
It is indeed interesting, esp seeing industry people giving what seem like relatively 'honest' opinions.
Oh, its confusing but Power Shield Pro != Powershield. Its a very nearly waterproof thing (about 3000 HH long term) that stuff started appearing using this year. Still got a fair bit of air flow through it.
There did seem to be some danger of the basic tech – air permeable waterproof fabrics – being 'stuck' in non seam taped windstopper style jackets but thankfully it seems to have escaped, although in a somewhat less air permeable/higher hydrostatic head form.Dec 16, 2010 at 1:48 pm #1674792
id say that anything the marketing folks say should be discounted … im still reading the reviews on the NF kistwar jacket where everybody claims that powershield pro is the latest, greatest most breathable thing … yet by polartec's own admission its less "brethable" than powershield or powershield o2
that sad part is that unless ive tested it, or someone i know to be very unbiased (read bought it with their own money and has tried many other jackets) … i simply ignore it … ive been disappointed more than a few times buying stuff on "reviews" by mags and blogs, and by experts
how many poor reviews do you see … theyd stop getting free stuff to testDec 16, 2010 at 3:58 pm #1674843
@christownsendLocale: Cairngorms National Park
Eric, I've been testing softshells for a review in TGO magazine and I've found that Power Shield Pro isn't as breathable as Power Shield. I prefer the latter and have said so in the piece.
Any competent reviewer should take marketing claims with a pinch of salt and reviews should be based on how the product performs, not what claims are made. I certainly give bad reviews.Dec 16, 2010 at 4:12 pm #1674848
i like yr blog alot … and yr one of the credible sources of information along with mark verber, and a few others
there are however more blogs and mags that seem to be "pimping" gear, and others that are just happy to get any gear … give someone free gear and theyll be much more predisposed to reviewing it favorably … one just needs to know if a blogger is credible or not … the lithus tests are poor reviews, none are a red flag
the other thing to note is that although some experts are well intentioned … many of them are very fit athletes, so what works for them may not work for you … also note that they may also be sponsored to "sell" such gear … i can think of climbers who have swapped sponsors over the yearsDec 16, 2010 at 4:43 pm #1674856
@christownsendLocale: Cairngorms National Park
Good points Eric, especially about no poor reviews being a red flag. Even if experts aren't very fit athletes (I've never considered myself an athlete, though I have been quite fit at times)what works for them may not work for others – I always point out my quirks, sizes and preferences (wide feet, warm sleeper, long back, short legs etc) so readers can judge my comments accordingly.
Thanks for your comments on my blog.
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