Mar 20, 2012 at 4:12 pm #1287540
Companion forum thread to:Mar 20, 2012 at 7:32 pm #1856865
Awesome write up. This is super helpful. Too bad the Ozo is so pricey and hard to get.
FWIW, I cut the flaps off the pit vents in my Essence because I figured they pretty much blocked the vents and negated their existence. In extended hard rains you can now get a little wet in this area, as the insides of the arm sleeves eventually get wet which rubs into the mesh and then soaks into your shirt. The upside is that you get quite a bit better venting in moderate rains. Perhaps I should just cut out the mesh too.
I also replaced the waist hem shockcord with lighter (1/16") stuff, and snipped off the storm flap from behind the main zip to bring the weight to 6.20oz. Now it's a good light duty jacket but probably not the best choice for big rains.Mar 20, 2012 at 11:12 pm #1856971
Great stuff, Dave.
I also have the Essence, but unfortunately cannot comment on its comparison to other rain jackets as this is my only one. It's good to see where it stands in the group, and what I could be looking for with a future jacket.Mar 21, 2012 at 9:34 am #1857120
Thanks for the reviews!
There's been a couple of new rain jackets recently released, which didn't make the review:
Helium II and the Zpacks Cuben rainjacketMar 21, 2012 at 9:38 am #1857124
@smackpackerLocale: Pacific Northwest
Unfortunately I couldn't wait any longer to replace my not-super-breathable GoLite Virga but fortunately I have a Zpacks w/b jacket on order, I'll be happy to share my thoughts when it arrives in the near future – the Rab Pulse was high on my short list, happy to see that it held up to the very thorough report. Thanks Dave!Mar 21, 2012 at 11:45 am #1857173
Great review, but it is a bit disappointing that no Propore or breathable Cuben jackets were reviewed. I know Propore is extremely fragile and Cuben is extremely expensive, but I would like to know how those materials compare to the ones reviewed in terms of breathability and waterproofness. My understanding is that they both are great in both areas, but I would like to have BPL confirm (or refute) that.Mar 21, 2012 at 11:46 am #1857176
@knaushouseLocale: Northern California
Good stuff! Any chance of getting breathability data like Will published back in October & November for this set of jackets? This would complement the "subjective impression" on breathability and help us to understand the broader range of options in the market.Mar 21, 2012 at 1:16 pm #1857206
Hmmm, now I'm concerned that my Montane jacket will keep me dry after reading this review.
I purchased a Montane Air eVent Jacket last week, is this jacket made of similar material to the Spectre reviewed here?
Should I send this jacket back?Mar 21, 2012 at 1:49 pm #1857219
Martin RJ CarpenterMember
I think Montane (and others?) have been using this grade of Event for a bit, and on multiple jackets. So probably more likely a one off problem. Maybe not a great failure rate, but goodness knows.
(As per Montane's website the Air, Spectre and Trojan use precisely the same fabric.).
The really bad thing about the Ozo is of course it seemingly having been discontinued. I do normally like Haglofs but sometimes….
Another one – Norrona's new version of the Bithorn Dri1 seems to have their usual big pit zips/side vents and claimed at 214g.Mar 21, 2012 at 1:57 pm #1857222
I might have an option to upgrade to the Montane Venture Jacket, I believe is made of more durable eVent, although at a cost of weight at 439 grams compared to 330 grams for the Air Jacket. But if it means staying dry the Venture might be a better option for me. I don't really want to carry the extra 100 grams if I can help it, but I do want to stay dry.Mar 21, 2012 at 5:20 pm #1857332
@davecLocale: Crown of the Continent
My issue with the Spektr is the only incident of it's kind of which I'm aware. I was quite surprised that it failed as it did, and what I wrote is merely the least unlikely explanation. If I hadn't seen to it myself, I'd have sworn the problem arose from negligent DWR maintenance. Montane has a great reputation, and I doubt they'd leave a consumer out in the wet should they experience a comparable materials failure.Mar 21, 2012 at 6:00 pm #1857351
Have you contacted Montane in regards to this matter? Would be interesting to hear what they have to say about the failure.
Just spoke to a hiker that used the Montane Air Jacket on the Overland Track in Tasmania and he couldn't be any happier with the jacket. That's one week of backpacking. However it did not rain everyday.Mar 21, 2012 at 6:01 pm #1857353
@stephen-mLocale: Way up North
I have been using a 320g Montane Quickfire for 3 years and recently have been keeping my eye out for a lighter weight equivalent and just cant seem to find one.
After using Event I just cant go back to a less breathable material.Mar 21, 2012 at 7:17 pm #1857409
@moonLocale: Central Utah
David, this is really a helpful review. I was just wondering why the Marmot Mica at 7 oz was not included as it has been around for a number of years?
BillMar 21, 2012 at 11:50 pm #1857528
if you look at part 1 you will see the problem with the mica … delamination … this is not the first time ive heard of it happening on marmots or micas … ive also seen someone post his experience that marmot refused to cover it because the "lifetime" of the product wore out …
which is why i went to the OR helium and OR's no question asked warranty …
from part 1 …Mar 22, 2012 at 2:01 pm #1857805
@maynard76Locale: New England
I have the TNF Triumph and like it for its simplicity and especially its very compact size. Its the closest in compressibility to a wind shirt I have seen.
But I still can't wrap my head around the idea of buchwacking in any of these? Im skeptical that they can stand up to a bushwack. I would not do it in my TNF anorak thats for sure.Mar 22, 2012 at 3:00 pm #1857842
@taedawoodLocale: Louisiana, USA
For nearly a year I have used a Montane Minimus Jacket that uses Pertex Shield. It is light and very comfortable, breathes very well. But it has an "inner lining problem", according to the response I recently received from Montane after emailing them photos of my wet jacket. Just today I shipped the jacket back to the vendor to initiate the warranty replacement process.
When I first subjected it to a torrential storm (8"+ in a 24 hour period)in November, it did relatively well and only wetted out under the backpack straps. Shortly thereafter I washed it in a top-loading washing machine on a gentle cycle using Nikwax Wash, following Montane's washing instructions, and then re-did the WR with Nikwax TX Direct according to the bottle instructions.
Within a month, I noticed that the inner fabric was separating from the outer fabric. It did not rip, it just delaminated. And the jacket lost virtually all water repellancy.
It is a hassle having to return it but I hope that this is an anomaly and not the norm for Pertex Shield. I have had several Montane products and I really like them. If my replacement jacket does not exhibit this type of problem, I will tell y'all that this is a fantastic jacket. But until I get it and test it out for a while, the jury is still out!Mar 22, 2012 at 5:55 pm #1857952
@swimjayLocale: Northern California
The problem of continued jacket/fabric performance that many have mentioned here is, I think, basically one of visibility. Weight, features, cut, are all parameters that are visible when we purchase a garment, perhaps more or less understood, but able to be factored into our decisions. Fabric durability, and, to a lesser extent, construction durability are not. Nor is performance under extreme circumstance–it's one thing to keep out the rain, and maintain breath-ability, in a 1/2 hour shower, but quite another in a day-long rain. As soon as the external fabric wets out, breath-ability goes down the tubes.
And considering that an enormous amount of sold backpacking equipment spends most of its time in the closet, manufacturers don't have an enormous incentive to make their gear actually reliable in difficult environments. A great many jackets probably only come out of their closets for a run to the movies.
One way to change this–unlikely, I admit– would be to have some kind of event like a NASCAR race, in which 10 walkers, each wearing a different manufacturer's garment, spent a day walking across some forsaken moor in a pelting downpour, the winner being the walker with the driest base layer at the end of 10 hours. Part of the route would be over scree, through brush, past artificial snow machines, uphill and down. Heck, you could probably even use a NASCAR track, with strategic artificial obstacles, and televise the thing.
Right now, simply being able to make a plausible claim is good enough. Consider Goretex, in its original forms–almost completely worthless as vapor transport in real world situations, but it had a good enough story to build an empire.Mar 22, 2012 at 6:15 pm #1857962
@maynard76Locale: New England
I think you nailed it.Mar 24, 2012 at 10:13 am #1858646
As mentioned in another post, I believe the Ozo has been discontinued, as I can't find it on Haglofs' web site.
Did you happen to find any jackets with Gore-Tex construction that fit the category? I own a Marmot Nano with GT Paclite, which Gore-Tex claims is durably waterproof and extremely breathable. It weighs 8.5 oz (size L), but I haven't used it enough in rainy conditions to provide constructive feedback.Mar 24, 2012 at 10:18 am #1858648
@mikefaedundeeLocale: Under a bush in Scotland
Just outside the weight cut-off, but the eVent OMM Cypher Smock is worth a look.Mar 24, 2012 at 2:15 pm #1858732
@johntLocale: Peak District
Great write up Dave and this has likely convinced me to catch a Haglofs Ozo while I still can.
James, your proposal for a "foresaken moor in pelting downpour" test has been enacted a fair few times by me in the company of my hiking partners over the years although I haven't managed to assemble a group of ten at any one time (typically max four)! My observations as follows using the following garments over the last 6/7 years (lots before that with around 6 years of using Buffalo pertex/pile clothing in winter with no WPB shells at all):
* Montane Quickfire/(other similar Event jackets from Montane worn by others but unsure of name) – more breathable than Goretex Paclite but simply doesn't keep enough water out to be considered an all day waterproof jacket (not just a bit damp but serious and chilling with water running down my skin). This happened very quickly with all the jackets the various members of the group (the face fabric on mine is still in very good condition) and I should have returned mine but didn't get round to it. I now use this as a beefy wind jacket in winter when I don't expect much rain just to get some value out of the garment. Personally I have completely given up on Event based on our collective experience.
* TNF Triumph – this was cheap and I bought it primarily for the weight. It is taken along mainly on trips to places like the Alps/Pyrenees/Sierras in summer when I don't expect to wear it much but my observations chime with Dave's – great construction, average fit (baggy and short), breathability poor, weatherproofing pretty good. Bought at the right price this is a good summer choice.
* OR Zealot – Hood could be better and jacket slightly longer but this has worked over a greater range of conditions than any of the others. Getting very tired now and sadly discontinued which is why the Ozo is looking favourite. I understand that people feel that Goretex advertising is overblown but if I ignore that Paclite delivers the best blend of breathability v waterproofing for me (and I wear a windproof when it is not actually raining). Going back to a non-breathable garment for a short while ~ 2000/2001 reminded me that Goretex does actually let some moisture out…..
* Paramo Quito – lots of rave reviews and I bought a Quito as the lightest garment of the "waterproof" range. Fit through the chest and arms is okay but it is far too short (for me) and is unsatisfactory for that reason alone but again this doesn't keep enough water out to be of any use to me and it didn't even with the factory DWR. Yes, it is breathable and can be considered an all day garment for conditions cool enough to wear it (absolute max 10degC but better below 5degC) but is no better than an R1 with a windshirt in that respect ( a combination which also fits far better, is more flexible and is lighter). Short showers are okay but prolonged rain results in cold water running down my skin. Relegated to short dog walks only! The hood also suffers from "ski skins" syndrome (or velcro head as my wife prefers to call it!), rotating around my head to cover my left eye, due to the nature of the lining fabric. Very annoying all round really, although Paramo has a cult following in the UK.
Actually having gone through that process, I need to get online to order one of the last discounted Ozos….Mar 24, 2012 at 4:06 pm #1858783
@nigelhealyLocale: San Francisco bay area
Oh dear John sorry to hear you've had so many failures. The most typical cause of eVent "leaking" is still the fact that the most breathable fabrics still aren't breathable enough and its condensation, although in your case it sounds like actual garment failure as condensation is usually in colder spots like in the arms.
Paramo Quito, yes its short, annoyingly and needlessly short like they kept taking a bit more off the length to hit a magical weight number, but I've not found it fail, and I've been out for hours in heavy rain. It does need one to be a little too-warm to work though as gives the outward pressure required, otherwise it gets progressively sodden and eventually fails, so you have to carry an overlayer to keep yourself warm if its cold. It is often too-warm so solves its own needs mostly. There is NO DWR, it simply needs to be clean and kept clean properly, I hand-washed wearing gloves mine in the sink using Techwash a few days ago for example. Paramo is not superlight but its not meant to be packed its meant to be worn continuously with high breathability you keep it on when its not raining so in that sense its a waterproof with zero backpack weight, BUT temperature management is the problem to work out.
Mica delamination, well I own a Mica and I wear as little as possible, I can tell it won't last many days of use under a backpack but I knew that when I paid for a relatively low cost shell.Mar 24, 2012 at 5:42 pm #1858828
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
The more I read on this and other sites on this subject, the less I'm inclined to replace the rain gear I have. Too bad about the problems with the light weight eVent covers (OMM, Montane). Not about to double my weight by trying a heavier US eVent item, like the REI jacket, when it might not even keep me dry. A whole lot less bloviance and a lot more work on product development would be a good start in this area.Mar 24, 2012 at 5:46 pm #1858833
@davecLocale: Crown of the Continent
Sorry to see that the Ozo has (it would seem) been discontinued. Looking around there are still some in stock, though medium and large look to be scarce.
If you're willing to deal with a bit more weight there are a number of still light Paclite jackets to be found. Montbells new Torrent Flier is 8.6 oz, and has pitzips. I would worry that the hood is the same as the Versalite. The Arc'teryx Alpha SL jacket and anorak compare favorably to the Ozo. I had the anorak, and the fabric is very similar. The Arc'teryx hood isn't as good, and the various zips and pockets add weight, but I found it to be very good in very bad weather.
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