Sep 20, 2014 at 9:08 am #1321051Brett PeughBPL Member
I am trying to wrap my head around the whole breathability thing when dealing with windshirts.
Okay. The old Houdini had about a 36 CFM and how has about 4 which is about what most wind jackets have (3-4). The Arc’teryx Squamish had about 101 many years ago and now has about 7. Pertex Quantum is about 2 and Pertex Equilibrium is about 10 along with Montbell 7d fabric.
So what are people need for CFM to do different activities?Sep 20, 2014 at 11:28 am #2136416Richard NisleyBPL Member
@richard295Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Activity AND environmental factors determine a garment's moisture transport (air permeability) requirements.
Activity is most commonly defined in METS. See http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/clc.4960130809/pdf 1 MET is your energy expended just resting; .8 MET for sleeping; and backpacking is typically the upper limit for sustained activity at 8+ MET. Like a car engine, about 75% of your energy expenditure is wasted heat which needs to be dissipated to stay comfortable. If the heat generated AND the environmental factors raise your core temperature, your body will generate sweat to cool off. As part of the physiological regulation of body temperature, the skin will begin to sweat almost precisely at 98.6F, versus 95F average skin temperature, and the perspiration will increase rapidly with increasing skin temperature. The sweat only cools you off if it can evaporate and the vapor can move through your clothing ensemble. Sweat removes excess body heat through the heat of evaporation. If a clothing ensemble can't pass the vapor through fast enough, the moisture stays on your skin in a liquid state. When the liquid sweat stays on about 20% of your skin surface, you become uncomfortable. Also your body temperature will begin to rise.
As the windshirt's CFM goes up, its ability to pass water vapor increases up to about 35 CFM. After that point, the combined moisture resistances of the base layer, the air gap between the base layer – windshirt, the windshirt, and the windshirt boundary layer prevent further moisture transport increases. Also as the windshirt’s CFM goes up, its wind resistance goes down.
A windshirt not only blocks wind but it also serves as an insulation layer. The air gap between your base layer and a properly sized windshirt provides an incremental .6 clo insulation to your ensemble.
Scenario 1 – If your MET level AND environmental factors result in you being consistently cool, any CFM windshirt (.6 clo), a rain jacket (.6 clo), or insulating layer (? Clo), or combination of the aforementioned, is appropriate.
Scenario 2 – If your MET level AND environmental factors result in you being consistently comfortable, no action is required.
Scenario 3 – If your MET level AND/or environmental factors are varying such that you are sometimes comfortable, sometimes cool, and sometimes warm then a base layer and approximately 35 CFM windshirt is required for optimal comfort. This scenario occurs as you quickly move through varying micro-climates and/or your MET rate varies with the terrain.
Windshirts in the range of 35 CFM provide a hydrostatic head of approximately 400 mm; you need a minimum of 1,500 mm HH to be rain proof. Conversely, rain proof garments, provide a CFM of approximately .5 CFM best case. Contrary to the marketing hype, you will not stay dry on the inside wearing rain gear or a low air permeability windshirt in scenario 3.Sep 20, 2014 at 11:29 am #2136417Ryan SmithBPL Member
@violentgreenLocale: East TN
I have two different windshirts and use them based upon the temps I expect to see. Colder temps where a 20mph wind can really have some bite – Montbell Tachyon Anorak(less breathable, still more than new Houdini I believe). Warmer temps where I need some breathability to help pass some body heat if necessary – Luke's UL/Nobul1 windshirt. Both are <2oz each IIRC.
Edit: My post looks a bit simple after Richard posted at the same time. Richard – Do you know what CFM rating Nobul1 has?
RyanSep 20, 2014 at 11:32 am #2136418chris smeadBPL Member
@hamsterfishLocale: San Jose, CA
Can't speak to CFM as I never read up on that…but generally I think the more breathable the better.
My stoic wraith is 2.5 oz and so breathable I've been able to wear it on the move on warm days (75 degrees ish) for mosquito protection without feeling sticky.
Bummer is its wearing out…and they don't make it anymore. :(
I have the MB tachyon…but it's just too muggy feeling…
The Houdini is great…but heavier than I'd hope for.Sep 20, 2014 at 11:35 am #2136419Jeff JeffBPL Member
I wouldn't worry about numbers too much. I have a 2009 Houdini and 2014 Squamish and I can hardly tell the difference.Sep 20, 2014 at 11:52 am #2136425Richard NisleyBPL Member
@richard295Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
I haven't tested Nobull 1. The posts dealing with Nobull 1 down leakage indicate that it is not a low air permeability fabric. You normally don't see any down leakage in the fabrics with 10 CFM or less air permeability.Sep 20, 2014 at 12:31 pm #2136435Woubeir (from Europe)BPL Member
the 2014 Squamish is said to have a CFM of 53. Yes, above 35 and so in theory less windproof. But those who wear Polartec Windpro, with a CFM of 60, find it effectively windproof or at least windresitant enough (although it is certainly possible that it is not windresistent enough anymore at high windspeeds).Sep 21, 2014 at 5:56 am #2136534Brett PeughBPL Member
Where did you find this information?Sep 22, 2014 at 1:07 am #2136702Sep 22, 2014 at 2:53 am #2136705Roger CaffinModerator
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> Bummer is its wearing out…and they don't make it anymore. :(
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