Enlightened Equipment Visp Rain Jacket Review
Mar 6, 2020 at 10:07 am #3634499Andrew MarshallModerator
@andrewsmarshallLocale: Tahoe basin by way of the southern AppalachiansMar 7, 2020 at 1:07 pm #3634672Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
Other than looking like Barney the purple animated dinosaur we all love this looks like a nicely made rain parka, especially with the pit zips.
My question is (with the “e”PTFE) does the “e” stand for something like the “e” in eVent? I have an REI eVent Kimtah parka and pants that are sometimes a bit too breathable, as when I’m skiing fast down a run in 10 F. temps.
I certainly like the low weight of this parka considering my eVent parka (size XL) is 16 oz. (as are the pants).Mar 7, 2020 at 1:28 pm #3634678JCHBPL Member
I did a quick “spec for spec” comparison of the new Visp (with pit zips) and the new Montbell Versalite. I’m having a very hard time not coming down on the side of the Versalite. 16″ vs 12″ pit zips, pockets, very interesting “K-Mono Cut” pattern that minimizes seams, roll-up hood, for only 0.45oz more (both quoted for Men’s size M) and priced identically.
Gore-tex doesn’t claim total waterproofness for the Infinium Windstopper fabric used in the Versalite, but Montbell is claiming waterproof to 30,000 mm and MVTR of 43,000. Visp claims are 20,000 and 75,000 respectively. This appears to show the Versalite is more waterproof albeit less breathable. I do however know the danger when one assumes…
I have 2 EE quilts, love them both and would gladly replace with same. I also have a lot MB gear and love every single piece. Until I see a head-to-head comparison, I have to go with Montbell.Mar 29, 2020 at 2:22 pm #3638520Ryan P. MurphyBPL Member
Eric, ePTFE just means expanded polytetrafluoroethylene. This is what gore tex is and also what eVent uses. It’s a standard way of making a waterproof breathable membrane. Just like “polyester” or “nylon” don’t tell you much about the fabric or its performance beyond the basic material, “ePTFE” doesn’t necessarily tell you much about the membrane performance, just what it is made out of.Mar 31, 2020 at 5:36 pm #3638967Stephen SeeberBPL Member
If Andrew would like to send me his VISP rain jacket for a few days, I will measure the MVTR, HH and air permeability (which I presume is less than 1 CFM/Ft2). I can then compare it directly with the MB Versalite (I own the current version) or lots of others WPB jackets. By the way, the HH for the Versalite is as claimed by MB. Please PM me if you would like to proceed with this.May 15, 2020 at 2:56 pm #3647436Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
So the WPB membrane in the Visp is really GTX “Windstopper”?? That is definitely NOT a waterproof membrane and was never meant to be so this otherwise nice parka is out for me.
Too bad the MontBell Versalite UL rain parka also uses this same laminate.May 15, 2020 at 8:25 pm #3647502Stephen SeeberBPL Member
Considering Windstopper as a water proof membrane: As I recall, for years, Gore did not permit seam taping on Windstopper products. For this reason, it was not waterproof, rather water resistant. The Montbell Versalite is seam taped and I measured its HH at >30000. So, I don’t see why it would not be considered waterproof.
The VISP is also seam sealed, so I would expect it to perform well as Versalite. The 20k rating may simply mean that their HH test could only go to 20k, which will be adequate for most activities.
It is interesting that the VISP has a higher MVTR than the Versalite. Perhaps the face fabric weights and fiber characteristics explain the difference. We don’t know which MVTR test was conducted for the VISP (it is specified for the Versalite). However, if it is actually so much higher in the VISP, the VISP may be a superior choice for that reason. However, it may be a more vulnerable to abuse than the Versalite due to the lighter fabric.
I have found Versalite to be an excellent wind shirt replacement and, if Versalite really has substantially better MVTR, it may well be superior in performance to Versalite as a windshirt replacement.
Until I can get one sent to me for testing, it is all speculation, but it sounds like a strong contender.Jul 9, 2020 at 7:02 pm #3657270Philip WernerBPL Member
@earlyliteLocale: White Mountain National Forest
There are affiliate links in this review. Aren’t you legally obligated to disclose that to your readers? I couldn’t but help notice.Jul 13, 2020 at 5:00 am #3657922JCHBPL Member
Very thorough review over at Section Hiker, after a reported 6 months of use (vs 10 days for the BPL review). Some conclusions mirror those of the BPL review, others do not. Of particular personal interest were the comments comparing the Visp to the Montbell Versalite, and Phillip’s suggestion that a difference in target audience may suggest they are not entirely comparable.
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