Nov 8, 2013 at 2:11 pm #1309621
I know it costs $250, but this jacket looks very good otherwise. Five ounces and reportedly 40,000 g/m2/24hrs breathability. Its apparently cuben sandwiched between 2 event layers, so I'm assuming it won't need DWR. I know John Abela likes it a lot, but does anyone else have much experience with it? It sounds almost too good, other than the price. Any input?Nov 8, 2013 at 3:30 pm #2042639
This May I took ZPacks raingear (jacket, pants and mittens) on the TGO across Scotland.
The conditions were pretty wet and cold as you can see in the linked trip report above. I was very happy with the ZPacks rain gear. The rain jacket had already seen quite some use (for example on the JMT) and was discolored (looking dark) in all areas that had constant pressure/rubbing (like under the shoulder belts). That worried me in the beginning, but it seems to be totally normal for this kind of fabric. After several hundred miles of hiking the jacket is still waterproof and breathes quite well (depending on your hiking effort and the outside temperature).
ManfredNov 8, 2013 at 3:31 pm #2042642
@kenlarsonLocale: Western Michigan
I'll second John Abela likes. I have a one that was made with 1st generation material. Mine has pullover design with a large front chest pocket and side zips. Have used it now for almost three years in all type of Michigan weather (rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow) and it has preformed beautifully. You will not be disappointed with a purchase and, as John has mentioned the 2nd generation material a step above the old.Nov 8, 2013 at 3:56 pm #2042652
I have a first generation and I love it. Only thing I would change is narrowing the cut for the lower portion. I'm currently in the process of acquiring some new insulating layers; once I know that everything fits under my current large size, I am thinking of passing on my jacket to my son and getting a current generation.
Edit: I just re-read the original post: I don't have the second gen jacket but I can't imagine it having a 40,000 breathability rating. Best I have been able to gather, the first gen has about a 9,000 rating. I was hoping for 12,000 with the 2nd gen. If it was 40K it would be better than sliced bread and I would think the figure would be all over the Zpacks web site.Nov 8, 2013 at 4:03 pm #2042654
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
Beg to differ.
The older model was a urethane based film according to many earlier posts. This one is eVent, so there's no telling (BPL reviews attest to there being some pretty lousy eVent out there along with the good). So hope those who use it will comment.
The Zpacks site does not provide much detail on the composition of the eVent material. Usually, there is a durable water repellent treated fabric outer, the WPB film, and a nonwoven inner that is there to protect the film and absorb some of the condensed moisture (there is always some). How that compares with the Zpacks material is very unclear.
However, $250 is quite reasonable if the material works well. That is around what Patagonia is selling its M10 for on sale.
Would love to know where the kangaroo pocket pullover version came from. Those have always been my favorite rain and wind covers. Might even spring for this ahead of the game if it came in that form.Nov 8, 2013 at 4:54 pm #2042670
This post has been removed, as it was in possible violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and included an excerpt from a copyrighted work that was in probable violation of Fair Use Guidelines.Nov 8, 2013 at 7:43 pm #2042706
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
" … it has all just been a bunch of puff and smoke with no real substance …"
Hmmm, so we are being told that consumers, who are not trying to sell anything, just trying not to get gypped, have generated a bunch of puff and smoke with no real substance, but the product's promoters, seeking to profit, are a breath of fresh air.
An evil soul once said that if you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it.
He should have added, no matter how ridiculous it is.
It is strange, but reading your post, I did not catch the attribution at the outset, but somehow knew after a paragraph or so that is was Abela speaking. Since I'm not psychic, how could this be? Well, I occasionally channel surf on cable TV, and pause for a bit on the home shopping networks. After doing this a number of times, a pattern emerges, and they all sound the same.
Assuming you are not Abela, writing under a pseudonym, please note:
Among the variety of folk who post here, there are product consumers and promoters (nice word). Unless they are very good actors, you can begin to see the patterns in the comments form the promoters. With some experience, you can just ignore the promoters, and focus on the comments from the consumers who have used the product.
In this way, you can actually get some value from reading the posts on BPL. Voila!Nov 8, 2013 at 10:34 pm #2042738
Ken Larson, any chance of a photo?
Samuel, John (Hilyer) was quoting directly from John Abela's website. He kind of hints at that at the beginning of the second paragraph, though it isn't very obvious.Nov 9, 2013 at 5:19 am #2042764
I don't know what point you are trying to make but –
The full quote is –
"For some of these haters I believe they have total justification for having the opinions that they have, but for the vast majority of the ‘haters’ of the cuben fiber material it has all just been a bunch of puff and smoke with no real substance."
– and your comment
"Hmmm, so we are being told that consumers, who are not trying to sell anything, just trying not to get gypped, have generated a bunch of puff and smoke with no real substance, but the product's promoters, seeking to profit, are a breath of fresh air."
I think it's a bit disingenuous to equate his "haters" with "generic consumers" and extrapolate from there.Nov 9, 2013 at 5:31 am #2042765Nov 9, 2013 at 5:34 am #2042767
Thanks Greg, but I was meaning Ken's pullover style waterproof.Nov 9, 2013 at 5:34 am #2042768
@kenlarsonLocale: Western Michigan
William ……While pictures provide some qualitative information, if one would have samples of the 1st & 2nd generation fabric I believe Richard Nisley (http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/profile.html?u=richard295 ) has the equipment and expertise to provide you and others with a quantitative comparison. Send him a PM as see if he is agreeable……….
ZPacks Modified Rain Jacket
(Jacket size LARGE)Nov 9, 2013 at 5:39 am #2042769
Thanks, Ken. I'm considering getting a ZPacks waterproof. Most of the time it will stay in my pack so the weight savings of your pullover design will probably be more useful for me than the extra ventilation of a full zip. Cheers.Nov 9, 2013 at 7:19 am #2042782
@richard295Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Cuben WPB Q1 2011 version tests by me were most recently discussed here: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=54142. Executive summary: it used non-microporous PU.
Yesterday I ordered some of the current version material for testing but, I will on an adventure trip until Dec 18, 2013; so, I won't be able to test it until after that date.Nov 9, 2013 at 10:07 am #2042809
That new jacket looks fantastic. I'm a big fan of Propore, but this jacket just looks better. It is lighter, just as breathable (if not more so) and a lot more durable. Other than the price, I see no reason to buy Propore instead of this. I would love to hear from someone who has owned Propore to confirm the breathability, though. Is that just as breathable (I know it is hard to compare, but a best guess is fine)?
I am also curious about the pit zips. Generally speaking, I'm no fan of pit zips. I find them annoying when I swing my arms. But if these don't seem to bother folks, then they are worth considering.
More than anything, though, the pants are sure tempting. It is relatively easy for me to avoid brush on a jacket, but really hard with pants. Replacing my Propore pants with these is very tempting. Then again, maybe I'll wait until I've put a lot of holes in old gear (which will happen soon enough).Nov 9, 2013 at 11:18 am #2042819
@richard295Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
I have measured the air permeability of some "lighter alternatives to eVent" and eVent using my test equipment. The values average:
Tyvek 1422R – .15 CFM
Propore (Green Driducks Poncho) – .33 CFM
Porpore (Blue O2 Rainwear Jacket) – .33 CFM
ID Thru Hiker eVent – .53 CFMNov 9, 2013 at 12:07 pm #2042828
@wandering_bobLocale: Oregon, USA
Disclaimer: I have nothing against Cuben fiber in general nor ZPacks in particular; they make some great albeit expensive gear. I have several O2 Rainfair propore suits and enjoy them. Much lighter than my 11.5 oz Montbell Peak jacket and great for when I'm not expecting lots of continuous rain..
Both the ZPacks and Propore jackets and pants are essentially equal in weight. So unless you are counting grams, there are no significant weight savings to be had by choosing one over the other. The big differences are in price and durability.
These comments refer to hikes involving long distance and/or long duration. IMO, for anything less than a week long, this is a moot point. YMMV.
Were I going to an area where I expected a significant amount of rain or bushwacking AND where resupplying is a problem, I would go with the ZPacks system. It is more breathable, and much more durable (aka resistant to abrasion) than is Propore. I could be faced with an unacceptable and possibly dangerously prolonged period of exposure before I could replace damaged raingear.
Anywhere else, I would go with Propore (O2 Rainwear.com or Dry Ducks) based on price alone. As shown below, I can wear out and buy 7 full sets of Propore for the cost of one full set of ZPacks.
Realistically, most of us will never NEED the ZPacks performance; WANTING is another thing entirely. That does not stop those among us who can afford it from adding it to our gear closet if for nothing more than bragging rights. The rest of us can only dream, work hard, save, and hope our significant other looks favorably upon our request to drop $400 on raingear. Please let us know how that works for you.
(Altered graphic by Torplexed)Nov 9, 2013 at 3:39 pm #2042869
Thanks Richard. If the Cuben/Event is as breathable as the ID Thru Hiker (or even somewhere in between the ID and Propore) then it is an outstanding jacket. Simply put, you can't find anything both more breathable and lighter while being sufficiently waterproof. This represents a significant breakthrough, from what I can tell, because I don't think you could have said that prior to this jacket. For example, the Thru Hiker mentioned is more breathable than Propore, but it weighs more. There are a handful of jackets lighter than Propore, but they don't breathe as well (as far as I know). Of course, you have lots of super light windshirts, but that brings up the issue of "adequate waterproofness". I don't have numbers to back up my claim that both the Propore and Event are adequate, while most windshirts are not, but that is my understanding. If I knew the numbers on various windshirts, I think I could make a more standardized claim. In other words, no one makes a jacket that is both more breathable and lighter than this jacket while having an X value for waterproofness (I just don't know what "X" is).
Compared to most high end, fairly durable rain gear, the ZPacks is reasonably priced. At $235, it would be towards the high end of REI's selection of jackets, but no where near the top. There are plenty in the 200-250 range that are a lot heavier, or a lot less breathable. Meanwhile, there are some that are double that price (or more).
I agree that Propore is still a great bargain. But if you want something more durable, this jacket seems like a great one. As someone who has owned (and gone through) his share of Propore, this jacket (and even more so the pants) is certainly tempting for a lot of trips.Nov 11, 2013 at 7:22 am #2043274
This jacket looks like a winner on almost every front to me. It looks like the lightest option. It may be the most breathable option. And it sounds fairly durable and functional. I wear a rain jacket much more than I wish and its usually in high humidity. The breathability means quite a bit to me. I'll look forward to hearing Richard's testing info.Nov 11, 2013 at 7:51 am #2043283
I too have been looking very closely at this jacket for the 2014 backpacking season. I'm still worried about its durability though. I don't think anybody has used this thing for more than a year or so. Maybe I'm being cheap, but I want a jacket that costs nearly $250 to last a long time. I know everyone is saying the discoloration is normal and doesn't hurt the jacket, but what about a year from now. Something is rubbing off where the jacket is turning black under shoulder straps and around the waist – otherwise it wouldn't be changing color.
This technology is very promising. I'm still just weary of spending the cash. I look forward to continued updates on the durability of this jacket. I know Joe is second to none in his quality and craftsmanship, but he has no control over the material itself.Nov 11, 2013 at 8:06 am #2043287
From Ken's post above
Have used it now for almost three years in all type of Michigan weather (rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow) and it has preformed beautifully. You will not be disappointed with a purchase and, as John has mentioned the 2nd generation material a step above the old.Nov 11, 2013 at 8:12 am #2043288
Its the new generation of material that got me interested. The first generation was apparently not very breathable(PU coating?). The new coating is eVent inside and out. The fabric manufacturer in claiming 40,000 breatability rating.Nov 11, 2013 at 9:38 am #2043313
why not just get a sheddable shell? they are made of recycled tyvek and weigh almost nothing. Plus they only cost 10 bucks. I keep them in my day pack in ADK mountains – weather is too variable. 316 athleticwear has them on their accessories pageNov 11, 2013 at 9:49 am #2043317
Haha. I missed that post. I've read some of the more in depth reviews on some gear sites. They have owned them for a season or so, with moderate use.
Ken, in the three years you have used it, you haven't noticed any drop in performance in the areas that have been discolored?Nov 11, 2013 at 9:59 am #2043323
Never heard of the Sheddable Shell. Is it more durable than driducks or basically the same thing? Very interesting. For 10 bucks, it's worth testing out. Would you trust one on a thru hike?
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