- Jul 19, 2008 at 1:03 am #1230228
I just found out about furtech. Its an interesting concept and you can read more about it here:
I'm quoting some statements from their website:
Membrane garments act like a waterproof skin. The problem is that the membrane stops breathing when it gets chilled, trapping liquid water inside. This leaves you cold and damp and your membrane clothing system dries slowly.
Animals don’t wear their skin on the outside because fur and feathers have unique properties that prevent water from getting in while allowing condensation to escape. Fur Technology continues to breathe in persistent wet weather and dries incredibly quickly.
There are 4 key elements to garments using Fur (and feather) Technology:
The outer fabric acts like the windproof flight feathers of birds
The technical inner fur layer faces outwards, directing water away and absorbing the momentum of wind driven rain
Durable water repellency, comparable to the natural oils found in feathers and fur, are applied to both layers
Detailed design prevents water ingress and allows drainage
Together these 4 elements work in a number of different ways
Our fabrics have minimal resistance to water vapour on its journey away from the body. Considerably lower than any membrane softshell or hardshell!
In persistent wet weather, condensation inevitably occurs in the outermost layer, as vapour meets rain. The outer fabric wets out, changing from water hating to water loving, sucking condensation from the inner fur layer and removing it from your clothing system. Cold and wet membrane hardshells and softshells do not breathe in these circumstances and they trap condensation in your clothing system.
Water that gets into the fur layer drains away towards the outer fabric, keeping your insulation dry. Conventional layering or softshell systems typically use water absorbing or wicking insulation that wets easily, absorbing water!
Wind evaporates water from the outer fabric, drawing condensation from the inner fur layer. Wind cannot remove water from inside a membrane system because they are impermeable to liquid and evaporation from the outer fabric has the effect of further chilling the membrane, preventing breathability!
So basically if I have fleece layer with a DWR on it and wear a windshirt over it which too has an DWR on it, I would have a similar system. Am I correct in my understanding?Jul 19, 2008 at 1:07 am #1443536
slavenya slavenyaBPL Member
I'm not sure about your question, But I think similar concept used in Paramo fabric.
http://www.paramo.co.uk/en-gb/garments/fabricfunction/index.phpJul 19, 2008 at 2:22 am #1443538
Woubeir (from Europe)BPL Member
I don't it works that way. The lining in the Furtech and Paramo jackets isn't a simple fleece layer. It's a directional fabric which pushes moisture outside. While it does seem to work very well, it has two drawbacks:
* it's very warm so not ideal in warmer temperatures
* it's heavyJul 19, 2008 at 9:44 am #1443558
>The lining in the Furtech and Paramo jackets isn't a simple fleece layer. It's a directional fabric which pushes moisture outside.
I was assuming I will be wearing a base layer but forgot to mention it.
ok let say I am wearing base layer + 'hydrophobic' Fleece washed with DWR + windshirt.
The base layer wicks moisture. Is 'pushes moisture outside' something different?
In persistent rain winshirt will wet out and water will then hit the DWRed fleece which too will repel water.
Water that gets into the fur layer drains away towards the outer fabric, keeping your insulation dry.
polyster fleece will absorb very little water. I doubt if fur would be even as good as DWRed fleece at repeling water. But I dont know.
I have done some research but by no means comprehensive. I have found that polartec 100 has been chemically treated to be hydrophilic which makes it good at wicking moisture but useless for this system.
Other heavier polartec fleeces are hydrophobic. I am not sure DWR is even needed but it wouldnt harm if it was DWRed would it? May be it would make it more hydrophobic. wishful.
Wind evaporates water from the outer fabric, drawing condensation from the inner fur layer.
I think what it means is that fleece should be sitting right next to windshirt.
If I am wrong I hope someone will correct me.Jul 19, 2008 at 11:00 am #1443562
There isn't any actual 'fur' in the fabric Huzefa! That's just the companies name.
Furtech, like Paramo, uses bi-directional fabric. It isn't fleece like Polartec. It has a smooth tight knit side, and a fleecy-like side. The fabric is 'engineered' to move water to the smooth side. The windproof outer 'shell' repels water due to it's tight knit and DWR treatment. Any water that manages to get through, is forced back out by the inner fabric before it reaches the skin. It works. I have Paramo garments that use the same fabrics.Jul 19, 2008 at 11:48 am #1443566
Mike, thanks for clearing that! :)
>The fabric is 'engineered' to move water to the smooth side.
In a system of wicking base + hydrophobic fleece, wouldnt temperature, humidity and pressure gradient move water to the outside?
Here is my hypothesis.
>base layer just wicks moisture keeping your skin dry.
>once the windshirt wet through, fleece will continue to repel water. body heat will keep the underside of the fleece dry as the outerside continues to repel water.
>Wind increases evaporation by reducing vapour pressure. (just quoting from furtech's webpage. someone pls explain me what it means)
When windshirt is sitting next to the fleece then windshirt will be drawing moisture from the inner fleece layer. The evaporation here is wind driven.
Body heat will keep the underside of fleece warm and dry and body wont lose heat through conduction.
Anything wrong with my hypothesis?Jul 19, 2008 at 12:07 pm #1443569
Try wearing a windshirt and fleece in pouring rain and let me know how you get on;)Jul 19, 2008 at 7:42 pm #1443603
Mike I dont even have a windshirt and fleece jacket. you see I dont need them where I hike. :)
I am just hypothesizing here by applying similar reasoning as the furtech is based on.
>Water that gets into the fur layer drains away towards the outer fabric, keeping your insulation dry. Conventional layering or softshell systems typically use water absorbing or wicking insulation that wets easily, absorbing water!
so it obviously uses something hydrophobic.
> The fabric is 'engineered' to move water to the smooth side.
I doubt if this some miracle fabric. It has to relies on body heat, and temperature, humidity gradient to do this.
I am thinking about gear for the hikes I am planning in colder regions. I have a lot of time on hand before I make my purchases so I am trying to explore every possibility.Jul 19, 2008 at 10:44 pm #1443619
My understanding is that FurTech and Paramo use a concept similar to old-fashioned 'soft-shell'systems such as Buffalo, Rab's vapor series and Marmot driclime.
Those systems traditionally used a pertex, or similar, nylon microfibre shell and a wicking inner liner. The idea being that moisture on the inside would be moved out to the nylon face of the garment by temperature and humidity gradients, and in some cases by the biocomponent nature of the wicking liner itself. Once to the shell, this moisture would spread out along the water-absorbing nylon and speedily evaporate.
These systems are purported to work as rain gear also, provided one is working hard enough to drive the gradients and moisture away from the skin faster than it might leak in.
Now, Paramo is different in that the system uses 'denier gradient' fabrics which apparently add to the temp. and humidity gradients in facilitating water moving 'out' of the system rather than 'in'.
FurTech in particular uses a polyester shell layer, so the absorbing, spreading and evaporating function of the nylon pertex has been abandoned (Paramo may use poly as well) in favor of quick-drying, hydrophobic material. It also uses a 'fur' layer of DWR treated fleecy stuff with a knit face on the inside and the pile facing out, like fur, which is supposed to aid in wicking down along the fur spikes toward the outer garment.
It seems to me that all these are variations on a theme, and I haven't tried any of them, so keep that in mind. However, like you, I've pondered throwing together my own system, which should be possible.
I do think that Paramo and FurTech try to prevent this somewhat by using ambiguous language when describing their 'pump liner' and 'fur'- which respectively form the heart of these systems' functionality.
But one can purchase Pertex equilibrium (a denier gradient shell fabric used in the Rab system) from RockyWoods and purchase shirts of the various Parameto fabrics used by Paramo. Don't know if this would heavier, more expensive or as effective as buying one of these systems off the shelf, but it would be worth a shot, I guess.
I think the inventor of FurTech visited this forum a while back and someone asked him this question: can I cobble together a system like this now that I understand the principles behind it. The reply wasn't encouraging, but why would it be?
BTW, it seems you're on a search for an alternative rain management clothing system. Do you have something against eVENT?Jul 20, 2008 at 12:46 am #1443622
Paramo and Furtech fabrics don't depend on temperature or humidity gradients. They aren't the same as Pertex and pile garments like Buffalo or Dri-clime either. Here is what Paramo say about their fabrics.
You don't need to wear the clothing for it to work. I can deliberately soak the inside of my Paramo jacket, then hang it up. Within a short while, the inside will be dry, and the outside damp. Fluid moves within the jacket.
As others have said, the garments are heavier than basic shells, and too warm for summer.Jul 20, 2008 at 12:34 pm #1443675
Josh, thanks for the detail insight to this subject.
'denier gradient' that is the keyword. I searched the forums but only found some mention of 'denier gradient' in the abstract of BPL soft shells thread.
The purpose of this forum is to discuss the design and performance of soft shell clothing, especially as related to the wind resistance, water resistance, and breathability of stretchwoven garments. One debated concept is the efficacy of denier gradient-induced moisture movement, by which a fabric promotes the wicking of moisture from its inner face (which contains large diameter fibers and/or larger interstices between the pores) to its outer face (which contains small diameter fibers and/or smaller interstices between the pores). Examples of denier gradient fabrics, and fabrics / fabric constructions, that are otherwise designed to promote directional wicking, include Powerstretch, Parameta S(Paramo), shelled Driclime, Pertex-and-Pile (or microfibre pile), Dryskin Extreme, Climawool, Pertex Equilibrium, and others.
But I dont see any discussion! :(
I have taken look at the pics of Parameta S and it fabric structure looks surprisingly similar to powerdry. An example of powerdry is capilene 4 which has fleecy side inside and smooth surface outside. No wonder these systems are too warm for anything but cold weather.
I googled but liked you said could find just ambiguous info on Paramo's 'pump liner'. I guess this is their little secret which they are trying to protect.
Now furtech was started by an ex-employ of Paramo. He probably couldnt legally duplicate the pump liner which may require a unique manufacturing process. Furtech is still a good idea which can be easily be duplicated by anyone with DWRed hydrophobic fleece + denier gradient windshirt like pertex equilibrium.
>BTW, it seems you're on a search for an alternative rain management clothing system. Do you have something against eVENT?
hey nothing against eVENT. Its just that I want to explore the possibility of raingear which doesnt use a membrane. eVENT is not UL. I know MLD uses 2oz eVENT but I doubt if it would be durable offtrail.Jul 20, 2008 at 6:57 pm #1443706
Alternatively, it may be possible to replace fleece with windshirt and use a directional softshell for the outer layer.
>LR momentum windshirt
>directional softshell like Dryskin Extreme, Pertex Equilibrium
>when rain hits the softshell, the softshell absorbs the momentum of rain and repels water.
>water that gets in is repelled by the windshirt DWR. Since it is not hitting the windshirt surface at high speed the fabric probably wont get wet through and water will just drain off the surface.
>the directional nature of the softshell will keep the windshirt dry.
I like this sytem better (provided it works ofcourse) since it gives great versatility to my clothing.
>when temps are warm I dont mind getting wet as long as I am working hard. So I can use just base layer and windshirt.
>when it is colder I can add the softshell over the windshirt without removing any layers.
>the soft shell will protect the windshirt from abrasion and also help maintain its DWR.Jul 20, 2008 at 9:52 pm #1443725
Thanks for the info on Paramo Mike. I didn't realize their DWR impregnated fabrics wicked so well without assistance from temp. gradients.
Huzefa, I recognize your double windlayer hypothesis, but there are, theoretically, some spoilers to the plan:
1) baselayer + momentum windshirt + dryskin/equilibrium softshell
is going to be heavy and hot, so you're getting right back to Furtech, which apparently is as warm as a 100 fleece + windshirt.
and, the two windlayers are going to reduce breathability. Remember, dryskin has MVTR approx. equivalent to eVENT, but with much higher air permeability (20-25 cfm). I don't know the MVTR of momentum, but I reckon about 5 cfm. In any case, combined, these two layers will result in about the same air-permability (<1 cfm) but lower MVTR as compared to eVENT + baselayer.
2) Although it sounds good that our outer softshell layer will reduce the deflect or absorb the pressure of a hard rain, and thereby protect our second momentum layer from wetting out, I suspect that water will get through the outer softshell layer, hang about in between layers and get pushed through the momentum by two layers of rubbing fabric.
Check out this thread where someone was talking about doing almost the same thing:
Paramo gets brought up near the end of the thread, while someone mentions that a hybrid system, with the outer wind or softshell layer having a wpb hood, yoke and arms would help out a lot.
I'd be surprised if a wpb hood and yoke added to the FurTech system, for example, wouldn't bolster its abilities in a pouring rain.
One could make a a hybrid softshell layer using Gore-tex, or better yet some stretchy Windstopper or N2S fabric for the hood, yoke and arms, and add a body of Pertex Equilibrium.
BTW, did you see BPLs review of Equilibrium?:
The double softshell concept was advocated by Ryan Jordan, in the above thread, and here:http://tiny.cc/IFNnk, where it's touted as being the ideal layering system for active winter conditions.
Now I'm not sure you can impregnate powerdry with Nikwax and end up with a 'pump liner'; but if you can, pairing it with the hybrid jacket above would work pretty well, maybe.Jul 21, 2008 at 2:45 am #1443741
>is going to be heavy and hot, so you're getting right back to Furtech, which apparently is as warm as a 100 fleece + windshirt.
Yes I realised that. Thats why I said I will probably get wet in warm weather and use this sytem only in cold rain.
>and, the two windlayers are going to reduce breathability.
You sure it works that way? I may have to rethink the problem.
>Now I'm not sure you can impregnate powerdry with Nikwax and end up with a 'pump liner'; but if you can, pairing it with the hybrid jacket above would work pretty well, maybe.
I wasnt talking about nikwaxing powerdry. I just said Parameta S structure looks similar to powerdry. And parameta S doesnt have a DWR nor it is the pump liner in Paramo system. I am not sure what material will work like the 'pump liner'.
>I suspect that water will get through the outer softshell layer, hang about in between layers and get pushed through the momentum by two layers of rubbing fabric.
You may have a valid point there.
Now a hybrid garment is a possibility I have already considered.
An idea for a waterproof, windproof, breathable (better then eVent), durable jacket
A rain vest made by modifying driducks was the most updated form of the idea. But then thinking about it I came to the conclusion that a plastic or silnylon vest would be much lighter.
The idea is to go light. I dont care if I get wet as long as I am warm enough while moving. I had some discussion with Mark Verber too in this thread:
using a windshirt in the rain
Also see the cuben quilt thread in MYOG. I am also thinking of a waterproof VB quilt.
If I feel I cant move fast enough to keep my self warm or I am injured then I can just stop and wear the quilt and I will be warm.
Right now I think that a combination of DWRed fleece under a windshirt will give me the best warmth to weight ratio. But I may be underestimating the conductive power of sustained cold rain. Well I am just hoping I never encounter it :)!Jul 21, 2008 at 7:09 am #1443755
Arapiles .BPL Member
There was a thread on this a year or so ago, and I posted some comments from the owner of Furtech.
I also used to wonder if fleece + windshirt = Paramo/Furtech, but I've tried the fleece and windshirt in rain – and got wet. I now own a Paramo garment and it works quite differently.
The dirty little secret of softshells like Buffalo (or the Patagonia copies of that idea) is that they only work if you're active: if you're sitting still and not generating much heat etc then there's no temperature/humidity gradient and no pumping of moisture or stopping of rain.
In contrast the Paramo liner does seem to actively move water – there's actually a drip line INSIDE the Paramo jackets because a lot of the water/sweat actually runs down the outside of the pump liner rather than going back out through the nylon shell.Jul 21, 2008 at 8:05 pm #1443863
I can't seem to post in parts my big post explaining in detail how the fabrics work. Hit me up with an message if you're still interested.
The short answer: like dog hair.Jul 21, 2008 at 8:07 pm #1443865
Can't post my big post.Jul 22, 2008 at 5:31 am #1443908
Mike, Arapiles thanks for the info. I didnt realise how well Paramo worked even when one were inactive.
I have PMed Peter. looking forward to his detailed explaination on how these fabrics work.Jul 22, 2008 at 5:49 am #1443911
Rog TallblokeBPL Member
@tallblokeLocale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Paramo is the best for winter hiking in wet/cold/blustery conditions i.e. the UK.
I have a jacket and trousers, and they are worth their weight in winter. I have never found anything that equals their performance.Jul 22, 2008 at 6:07 am #1443913
Chris TownsendBPL Member
@christownsendLocale: Cairngorms National Park
Paramo has been my favourite cold weather shell clothing for well over a decade now (and that's dry cold as well as wet cold). There isn't really any secret about the pump liner. It has a smooth inner face and a raised outer face. The surface of the latter forms a series of tiny Vs and this is what pushed moisture away from the body. Water naturally forms spheres and moves away from the closed end of a V where it's shape is distorted. To work the whole system has to be water repellent and Paramo does need reproofing every so often.Jul 22, 2008 at 7:41 am #1443926
Miguel ArboledaBPL Member
@butukiLocale: Kanto Plain, Japan
I've been using Paramo clothing since 1998 and, like Rog and Chris, it is my favorite all weather shell of anything I have tried. I often diverted and tried other things like eVent and DriDucks and silnylon rain ponchos, but I always return to Paramo. It just works! Unlike others I don't find it too hot in most cases, even in summer. I usually walk in alpine regions where I sometimes find the jackets too cold (because the polyester shell gets colder to the touch than nylon) and I find, when I am high up, that I often need to use my windshirt underneath to keep warm. I use the Paramo jackets more like long waterproof shirts than a shell and can wear them most of the time except when it is too warm. Usually alpine rain is so cold that the Paramo jackets always work for me. When it is too warm for the Paramos, however, then it is so warm that I don't need a rain jacket anyway and I just let myself get wet… my body heat dries off whatever wetness I get while walking, and when I put on my Paramo jacket it actually helps to dry me off. Here in Japan getting wet from warm rain is a welcome relief from the stifling mugginess. I always get dumbfounded when I watch people stomping up the slopes in their Gore-tex jackets, drenched in their own sweat. I'd much rather be cool and wet (not cold!), than hot and running with sweat! Huzefa, you must have an idea about hiking in a hot and humid climate!Jul 24, 2008 at 1:14 am #1444286
So I guess what it comes down to is the desire for a multi-component Paramo system.
Paramo and Furtech being composed of a fairly standard polyester windshell with DWR + variations on the pump liner, with DWR…
(See the company Cioch for variations on the theme using varieties of Swedish polyester microfibres for the outer shell layer)
As a layering system this is fairly standard stuff: windshirt + heavy base (R1) being the rough equivalent to Paramo.
So, can Paramo jackets be taken apart into layers and used as a windshirt + heavy base layering system?
People describe these jackets but never mention whether the shell and pump liner are attached.
Is it necessary for them to be attached? One would think that if they were sized correctly the system should work without attachments, but maybe not.Jul 24, 2008 at 2:15 am #1444291
Thanks you Chris, Miguel and all for great feedback.
I have some experience with hiking in hot and humid rain and I just had fun getting wet. Never missed the rain jacket.Jul 24, 2008 at 2:35 am #1444292
>So, can Paramo jackets be taken apart into layers and used as a windshirt + heavy base layering system?
There is Paramo Directional Fleece and paramo Windproof. You can buy both seperately. Paramo Waterproof is nothing but these two fabrics combined.
The pumpliner is a part of the paramo fleece.
Two layer construction traps still air giving superior insulation to keep you warm.
Outer layer provides Directional water-repellency while the Pump Liner actively pushes liquid moisture away from the body keeping you dry from precipitation, perspiration and condensation.
I think you need a directional layer instead of fleece something that actively pushes water. Thats why most people who have tried to emulate the system with fleece have failed.
An experiment with medium weight powerdry is worth trying.
WT/SQ YD=apprx 7 oz.). By Malden Mills. 100% Hi-wick polyester back adn 100% Hi-wick nylon face. Very soft feeling fabric. This fabric seems to be the most wicking fabric we have, a drop of water placed on the inside of the fabric almost instantly drew to the face side of the fabric and felt almost completely dry next to the skin.
As much as a unique concept Paramo is, I think Nexture has much more potential for UL rain gear.Jul 25, 2008 at 2:29 am #1444495
carlos fernandez rivasBPL Member
@pitagorinLocale: Galicia -Spain
Someone has direct experience with both systems?
In theory they work in a different way But i think that behind all this theories they work in a similar way
i´d like to know if someone has direct experience to compare that
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