- Mar 23, 2017 at 11:59 am #3458900Brett PeughBPL Member
For a Level 6 waterproof jacket I love my OR Rampart. 100% waterproof with full torso zip vents.Mar 23, 2017 at 2:46 pm #3458941Simon KentonBPL Member
Have you found any variations of EPIC fabric that have >60CFM and ~300HH?
I have been backpacking in Scotland for the past week in variable light rain/snow/sleet. I’ve found that using a Patagonia Airshed and a microfleece have worked very well. As I perspire more than most, a high CFM is necessary but I don’t particularly like having to replenish a DWR.Mar 23, 2017 at 5:44 pm #3458996
You asked, “Have you found any variations of EPIC fabric that have >60CFM and ~300HH?”.
No, the highest EPIC CFM, coupled with a >300mm HH, fabric I have tested is the Patagonia 3A in multicam; it tested 35 CFM versus 25 CFM for the Wild Things 1.0 in multicam.
5 mm FOV 2014 Black Diamond Alpine Start
The highest combination of HH and CFM for a non-EPIC fabric I have ever tested was the Black Diamond Alpine Start (2014 version / pre-C8 phase out). It tested 66 CFM and 316mm HH using a NanoSphere coating. I have not tested the current version of this garment. Since this is a knit rather than a weave, my GUESS is that any area stretched, will drop the HH in proportion to the stretch.Mar 23, 2017 at 8:58 pm #3459049
+1 to this question. My Squamish seems less breathable than my Nano Air.
Richard, in a chart you provided early in this thread, you have the Arcteryx Squamish as a trail-worthy equivalent to PCU Level 4 (25 cfm; >300 mm HH). Is the most recent version of the Squamish more water resistant than the 2014-2015 version you tested at 40 cfm and 70 mm and reported on in 2015?Mar 23, 2017 at 9:42 pm #3459059
I answered your question and set to you via both BPL email and your personal email. I did this because my BPL email doesn’t notify of a new email although I have this option set. Ironically, I received a failure notice on your regular email. It says, “This Message was undeliverable due to the following reason:
The user(s) account is temporarily over quota.”Mar 23, 2017 at 10:00 pm #3459067
I SCREWED UP… sorry. I use a 2013 Squamish version as one of my windshirts and was thinking of its characteristics. See the correct information in one of my prior posts Here
When Patagonia went to a high HH in 2013, Arcteryx did the opposite and went to a low HH after fall 2013. Up to this time frame the Squamish was 35.5 CFM and 492mm HH. They then switched to 43 CFM and 70mm HH.
The BD Alpine Start is probably a viable alternative although I haven’t tested the current year model. I will edit that graphic to reference the BD Alpine Start.Mar 23, 2017 at 10:35 pm #3459075
Good to know. Still, it seems to be leasy breathable than my Nano Air so it makes me wonder if the fabric changed in the more recent models.Mar 23, 2017 at 11:45 pm #3459080
Although the Patagonia published spec for the Nano Air was 40 CFM, I tested it at 174.45 CFM. For my detailed Nano Air analysis see https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/99527/ It should be very clear, using a “breath test”, that the 174.45 CFM of the Nano Air is more air permeable than the ~45 CFM of the Squamish (CFM varies slightly based on the Squamish model year).Mar 24, 2017 at 12:17 am #3459086Sam FarringtonBPL Member
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
Re: “I have tested a very large number of EPIC samples in a spectrum of colors. These samples were sent to me by BPL forum members who acquired them from fabric outlets. Unfortunately, most of them tested at <1 CFM.”
Wild Things closed its retail store in N. Conway NH a while back. They sold Epic shells that were both clammy to wear and leaked in hard rain. Whether they have improved them for the USMC is a question. Got caught in a summer rain/hail storm day hiking from Mt Washington to Mt Clay and trying out the Epic. Visibility was about 5 feet in places on the exposed rocky terrain. Fortunately, had a light GTX pullover from REI in the daypack, or might have been in dire straits. That cooled me for good on Epic as a rain shell, and Roger finally talked me out of using it for tents. I do have a couple of lightly treated DWR Primaloft winter jackets from Wild Things that are excellent, but were purchased on sale at the retail store for around $100 – nothing like the prices on the garments made for the USMC on the Wild Things site now. Always had trouble with Wild Things zippers, even though they do appear to be YKK. But it will cost very little to replace the zips on the 2 winter jackets.
Note: Patagonia had an “Alpine” Houdini a few years ago with a much higher HH, but like virtually all of the PU coated gossamer-thin WPB rain shells, it did not breath very well.Mar 24, 2017 at 6:48 pm #3459226
I realize this is a general principal, but I’d like to apply it to the following scenario that involves high winds:
Shoulder season in the mountains (5,500 ft.). Start of the day is rain and winds and 45 F temps. Hike starts over a boulder field for half a mile, then a 3/4 mile climb with a 2,000-ft. gain. The rain changes to sleet and eventually ends, but halfway up the climb the wind kicks up considerably (sustained 15-20 mph) and temps drop.
What I wore:
- Wind shirt (3 CFM and 380 HH)
- 100 weight fleece pullover
- Cap 1 t-shirt
I was fine in the start, didn’t mind getting a little damp, but never really dried out. The wind was the worst part for me; I had to keep my poncho on to add more wind resistance. Despite all the flapping it was better than without.
Mar 24, 2017 at 7:40 pm #3459233
- I had the “ideal” wind shirt for cold conditions (30 F). Did I need a better wicking mid-layer (e.g. Cap 4) to deal with moisture and thus have been warmer?
- With such strong, consistent winds and low temps is the 3 CFM and Cap 4 still applicable or would a hard shell be more appropriate?
- Perhaps my MET was below 7 and I simply needed more insulation?
There was a prior relative post by me Here With that caveat, a Cap 4 hoody in place of your Cap 1 was the root cause of you not feeling thermo-neutral. The Cap 1 is designed to cool your skin from moisture evaporation.Mar 24, 2017 at 11:07 pm #3459267
Thanks Richard. To be clear you’re saying Cap 4 only instead of the Cap 1 + micro fleece pullover? I.E. similar warmth but better regulation.Mar 25, 2017 at 12:54 am #3459274
Cap 4 as a base + micro fleece vs Cap 1 as a base + micro fleece.Mar 25, 2017 at 11:58 am #3459345
Sounds like I just needed more insulation then, since micro fleece and Cap4 are about the same warmth. An R1 is more weight efficient (12 oz) vs the Capilene 4 and fleece combo (16 oz) and I would guess about the same warmth. Still, a fully wind proof layer might be the most weight efficient, allowing a lighter mid layer and replacing the poncho.Mar 25, 2017 at 12:58 pm #3459365Mike MBPL Member
if the wind is REALLY bad (and its cold), that’s a great time to add a hardshell in my experience- a breathable windshirt is occasionally too breathable
the water resistant, breathable windhshirt & base layer/mid-layer combo doesn’t negate the need for a hardshell, it simply shifts it’s use- stopped, heavy wind (and cold), downpour, etcMar 25, 2017 at 4:03 pm #3459426Dave BBPL Member
@dave-bLocale: Los Angeles area
Does anyone have experience with the Northface Hyperair jacket? I like that it has Gore’s Active, which is advertised to not wet out. Well, I should say I like this in theory, as I have no personal experience with it. I’m thinking it may be a good use of my REI 20% off coupon.Mar 25, 2017 at 6:23 pm #3459453Brad RogersBPL Member
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
I think the fabric is the same as the Arcteryx Norvan SL which has a thread or two on here. From what I have read it works well but is not real durable.Mar 25, 2017 at 9:07 pm #3459485Diane PinkersBPL Member
@dipinkLocale: Western Washington
Does the ECWCS system extend to gloves, hat and socks? I’m curious what is recommended for handwear, especially under active conditions.
I prefer fleece gloves, but recently I have picked up a pair of Polartech Power Stretch gloves, and have really liked them. I haven’t used them under active hiking/backpacking conditions, though. I’m thinking they might be better than my usual fleece gloves. Also, I have a pair of Zpacks Rain Mitts, and based on this thread, I’m not sure I need to carry them at all. If all I use the hard shell for is cool static conditions, I’m not sure I’d use them at all–if I’m static, I’m probably using my hands, and I’d have them pulled off any way, or I could just retract my hands within my sleeves. The only time I can remember using them is when Bill and I were hiking into an oncoming Pacific storm; it was howling winds the whole way, with rain at the bottom, and snow at the top.Mar 25, 2017 at 9:16 pm #3459486Diane PinkersBPL Member
@dipinkLocale: Western Washington
Also, am I crazy, or was there a post on the Melanzana grid fleece in this thread?Mar 25, 2017 at 10:11 pm #3459494
Regarding the PCU system: The PCU is not entirely comprehensive. It doesn’t include gloves, mittens, hats, socks, or footwear. There are many options for all of these items, obviously; in the commercial world, the choices may be even more plentiful, but in the military world, the approved choices for these are still solid. Companies like Outdoor Research provide the same gloves, mittens and head coverings for the PCU system and commercial distribution.
Regarding the ECWCS system, which is a copy of the PCU system with very minor differences except for accessories. Accessories worn with Gen III ECWCS are primarily selected from existing military stock numbers for items such as boots, gloves, face protection and more. The list of items that could be worn as ECWCS Gen III accessories is quite long and the list changes as items are replaced by newly developed items. Commercial substitutes are authorized for the majority of these items.Mar 25, 2017 at 10:45 pm #3459499
http://soldiersystems.net/tag/pcu/ “Patagonia constantly works with suppliers to push the limits of what is possible. We have been pushing these limits with Polartec for several decades now; the result has been many groundbreaking products over the course of those years, culminating into this pinnacle innovation. This technology (Alpha) allows technical product designer/developers an interesting new challenge for the next several years; to ‘dial in’ the perfect CFM (or breathability) of a low loft garment,” says Eric Neuron, Patagonia’s Director of Strategic Product. “Without the demands and feedback from Special Forces Operators, this jacket and technology would not exist. We are very proud to support their needs. ”
The air permeability value they selected for Level 3A is not available in any Patagonia or Natick document accessible via the Web. So, I acquired and tested a Patagonia 3A in multicam. The value they selected is 35 CFM. That is both the same value as the pre-2013 Houdini and the value I have previously recommended Here as well as other forum threads for the typical 7 MET activity level of UL backpacking. I also invented a $.01 tester to compare various fabrics to the ideal HereMar 26, 2017 at 7:09 am #3459523Ken LarsonBPL Member
@kenlarsonLocale: Western Michigan
“In close collaboration with Polartec, Patagonia designed and developed the overall garment design for SOF. The company spent months maximizing the details of the design to take full advantage of the performance characteristics of Polartec Alpha.”
Interesting ….. I would have thought Patagonia would have felt to introduce the Polartec®Alpha in their current jackets line rather than the Nano Air (Toray 3DeFx+) they are currently using since they were closely related in the design of Level 3A Jacket.
OR… “This technology (Alpha) allows technical product designer/developers an interesting new challenge for the next several years; to ‘dial in’ the perfect CFM (or breathability) of a low loft garment,” and the Nano Air (Toray 3DeFx+) will be a thing of the past? :)Mar 26, 2017 at 8:55 am #3459543Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
I like the $0.01 permeability tester : )
If you look at conduction, if the R value of your system is too high, you’ll get too warm and start sweating a lot. If this happens, breathability is difficult. You want to avoid over heating.
For high exertion in warmer temps (like 50 F) you want as few fabric layers as possible to minimize the R value so you don’t start sweating. Like an outer fabric and a base layer.
I wonder if the right base layer, like something out of polyester, would function as part of a system with your 35 CFM outer fabric to keep the rain out?
And if that wasn’t warm enough, add a vest with that same polyester fabric as the base layer.Mar 26, 2017 at 10:35 am #3459569Mike MBPL Member
Also, I have a pair of Zpacks Rain Mitts, and based on this thread, I’m not sure I need to carry them at all.
Diane- do use trekking poles? I’ve found that my eVENT rain mitts (MLD) are one of the best investments I’ve ever made- in cold, wet conditions they are a godsend (and a mere 1.5 oz) Painfully cold/wet hands are not fun. If you don’t use trekking poles, then quite possibly not as useful.Mar 26, 2017 at 11:25 am #3459586Ken LarsonBPL Member
@kenlarsonLocale: Western Michigan
Today on our 3+ mile walk the temp was in 46*F wind chill 41*F and raining. The eVENT MDL rain mitts over Black Diamond LW WoolTech Glove worked for me as I was thermo-neutral hand wise to the conditions, BUT wife (is always cold ) had eVENT MDL rain mitts over SmartWool Cozy Mittens and was over heated+…..told her she would, but with her arthritis in her hands she over compensates at times. We both thought the use of eVENT MDL rain mitts was appropriate, though wife said she would go with her Black Diamond LW WoolTech Gloves as a test next time. We both had WPB outer layers on and BOTH were dry mid layer and inner layer WPB wise.
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