Dec 4, 2006 at 8:46 am #1220547
I use a simple test to measure a garments breathability; I hold a single-layer section (no underlying pockets for example) of the garment up to my mouth and try to breathe in or out. My breath is essentially 100% hot,humid air at some overpressure.
If ’10’ is unrestricted breathing and ‘0’ is no air flow whatsoever, I get the following subjective results..
– Regular old fleece:10; I can breathe normally through it.
– Junko Tabei brand eVENT jacket:4
– Teva eVENT jacket:3 (little more difficult)
– Columbia 2.5 layer Goretex:2
– ECWCS 3 layer Goretex:1 (almost nothing)
– The North Face DIAD:0(!)
– REI Elements PU jacket:0
I was very surprised and disapointed at the results for the DIAD, given its reputation for breathability. Luckily it has pit zips. Is there some characteristic of the DIAD 2.5 DT HyVent which makes it able to pass water vapor but unable to pass any of my breath no matter how hard I pressurize it? It seems that the 2.5 DT HyVent is no better than a $1 plastic raincoat. What’s up?
Is my test representative of the transmissability of water vapor for the garment? I am especially hopeful to hear from one of our posters or staff with professional fabrics knowledge.Dec 4, 2006 at 1:19 pm #1369407
Woubeir (from Europe)Participant
I guess I would call this a test for air permeability, not breathability = moisture vapour transmission.
Take a look at:
http://www.outdoorsmagic.com/news/article/mps/UAN/3921/v/2/sp/Dec 4, 2006 at 1:29 pm #1369409
Ben 2 WorldParticipant
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
Agree with Tom above. Many shell garments are advertised as 100% windproof — yet breathable!
If you can blow air right through the garment, then it’s air permeable (and probably not fully / 100% windproof). On the other hand, this should give you a good indication of the inherent limitation of most wp/b (but not air permeable) garments! Despite the usual Goretex, etc. marketing hype, these garments require pit zips to help move out moisture, and even then, they still fall far short..Dec 4, 2006 at 2:04 pm #1369416
@dealtoyoLocale: Mt Hood
Yes Brett, you might as well be wearing a garbage sack with pit zips. I have never found a UL WP/B jacket that actually breathes. If that is what you are looking for then buy a Gortex XCR jacket and just deal with the extra weight.
That’s not to say that I don’t own them. I have several. I just don’t hike in them. I’ll use them when I am not hiking in rather rainy conditions. My goto jacket is the Marmot Essence Anorak. No pit zips, half front zip, with hood and no frills, under 7 oz. One can get away with no pit zips when all you are doing is relaxing, getting water, or just doing a little fishing.
As for hiking in the rain, I just use my poncho tarp. Not breathable but it allows more air circulation than a UL WP/B jacket (with or without pit zips).Dec 4, 2006 at 2:24 pm #1369421
Ben 2 WorldParticipant
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
If it will make you feel any better, my Sierra Designs Isotope jacket is even less breathable than your DIAD! The “waterproof” Isotope does keep me dry, however, so long as it doesn’t rain for more than 20 minutes. :(Dec 4, 2006 at 3:51 pm #1369430
@mad777Locale: South Florida
Duane, I’m with you; poncho is all that I can stand while hiking, even if it’s 30 degrees. Granted, I hike in the forested East so wind exposure is not a problem.Dec 4, 2006 at 6:03 pm #1369452
@atomickLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
Alan Dixon’s rather definitive article does a great job actually speaking to your own experiences.
Brett, I’ve owned a TNF Prophecy HyventDT jacket and it totally follows your findings. With its DWR intact it IS, however, extremely waterproof…50mph winds with horizontal rain for three hours and not a SHRED of wet inside. Impressive. Any activity above 40 degrees or so, though, and it’s a sauna.
My attempts to use ReviveX on my Hyvent jacket has also not gone very well – areas that don’t get a lot of folds (upper arms, back) seem to be revived but the wrists, inner eblows and neck still wet out.
I just bought an Integral Designs eVent rain jacket to replace it but it’s still in the post, so no word on its performance yet (although all reviews thus far have been shining).Dec 4, 2006 at 8:09 pm #1369473
Thank you all for the replies confirming my amatueurish tests. Amazing what marketing guys can get away with. And goretex is sooo expensive here in Japan still; its the holy grail of hiking clothing, and eVENT has not caught on yet.
Well, that settles it. I am going to buy the ID Event jacket with pit zips and sell everything else. Sure the ID is expensive, but less than the closet full of garbage-bags-with-pit-zips I have now. Hmmph.Dec 10, 2006 at 8:21 pm #1370383
According to this page, event will obviate teh need for pit zips:
http://www.eventfabrics.com/eVent_technology.php then scroll down
" The mystery of Pit Zips
Pit-zips are a strange phenomenon. They were invented many years ago to add ventilation to poorly breathable garments: just cut a hole in it to add ventilation. Today pit-zips are as standard as the 4 wheels on your car. We have come to rely on them without questioning their purpose.
Our Direct Venting™ makes pit-zips obsolete. It could shave 2-3 ounces off a jacket, and make cooling off less embarrassing on the chairlift."
Having regurgitated that, I got that $50 event Teva jacket off the deal page a while ago (gone now). Biggest pit zips ever, sharing the zipper with the pockets. I can suck a tiny amount of air through it. "We don't blow, we suck!" If had got the XL, might have had enough fabric to eliminate them.Dec 10, 2006 at 9:06 pm #1370388
I also got the $50 eVENT jacket, in 'fireman fluorescent yellow' and size Large. It is much to big for me, but there were no M's left. It weighs a backbreaking 574g, and it is cut so wide (all the better to fit 99% of consumers) I look like a 300lb lemon when I wear it. I have faith in all the reviews I read about eVENT, so I will try it on some spring hikes and see how it breathes.
I wish I had just bought the ID eVENT thruhiker with pitzips.. soon..
Paul, how is the jacket in your opinion? Worn it on any hikes yet?Dec 16, 2006 at 12:04 pm #1371232
yep, a couple of hikes on it. Seems quite breathable, great DWR (brand new). I did remove it on one hike because my inner layers – including windstopper jacket – were adequate on the uphill. No rain, it's been about 20 – 40 deg F here, so not a tough test.
Bought it mostly to see what is up with Event. It's ridiculously heavy but lighter than my old XL TNF Mtn Light parka. There's the two inner stretch chest pockets you can get rid of.. I am keeping it all for now, to give it a chance to compete against what I have going now. The ID jacket looks better, but saving money for a down bag.
It's good to have a couple of jackets. Sometimes the bulk is good:
1. to be able to fit my down jacket.
2. when it's warm rain, it hangs away from the body and you can get some airflow.
The thing I don't like about the bulk on this jacket is that it always rubs arms against body. Loud.
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