Jun 8, 2019 at 3:35 am #3596762
“UK Paramo/Nikwax stuff is not bad in light rain when it is cold and you are moving. Very functional, but not quite ‘UL’.”
One can make their own Paramo like systems for much lighter than the commercial stuff, and better imo/e. All Paramo really is at the end of the day, is two fairly WR, but fairly breathable fabrics next to each other. There is no deep secret to any of it.
The first WR fabric breaks/slows down the force of the rain drops, and the 2nd layer is sufficiently WR that the water is much less likely to get through, and body heat drives out any moisture that may get through. I’m not even convinced one really needs the inner, pump layer fabric to have both a smooth and fuzzy/furry side to it.
And yes, I have an official “pump liner” shipped from Scotland (Cioch). One can easily use a polypropylene baselayer as a mid layer (i.e. a “pump liner” substitute), both those that are all smooth and those that are smooth on one side and fuzzy on the other.
You just need to make sure that the wind jacket is sufficiently WR enough to begin with. One of the pre 2012 Houdini’s, properly cleaned and refreshed, works well if you treat the seams and top parts with silicone.
So tired of all the corporate b.s. and marketing.Jun 8, 2019 at 11:23 am #3596773
Provocative stuff, as always.
I already have a very nice roll of 30D military surplus parachute nylon which cost me next to nothing that I’m using for prototyping. So I could easily try out your suggestion – it would make for a fun project.
But is this something you’ve actually tried in the field? Does it really function significantly better than a basic silnylon or silpoly jacket with good mechanical venting?
If I did go ahead, can you remember the ratio that Richard recommends for the slurry? I’d imagine that if the coating was too thick it wouldn’t breathe?
And how are you joining the two layers? Are you just sewing them together at the seams?Jun 8, 2019 at 3:57 pm #3596803
I made and have used a poncho out of a combination of similar materials, first on the CT, and have tested it some since. It works well ime/o, though it suffers from some general weaknesses of ponchos in general.
The main difference is that for this particular piece (from what I was recommending earlier), I was lazy and needed a quick solution at the time, so I bought a silnylon fabric with the least amount of HH that I could find. At the time it was one of Dutchware’s lighter than usual silnylon’s that tested very poorly as far as HH (I think it’s average was around 700 to 800 HH). Then I folded it up and ran it through an un-threaded sewing machine to puncture it. Then sewed to Kite/1443R Kite tyvek at the perimeters except for the bottom. Why I didn’t sew at the bottom, I wanted any water that might potentially get through the first layer, to easily and quickly escape out the bottom, rather than holding it in.
Here’s my project if interested:
Yes, if doing the from scratch route, you have to get the coating thickness and initial fabric breathability right. Too thick of a coating or too tightly woven and it becomes too unbreathable, and too thin of a coating and not enough DWR and/or too loosely woven and not enough water resistance.
You could also combine an already EPIC treated fabric with the Tyvek, provided that the EPIC has enough breathability to begin with or is light enough (some of them are rather low breathability and/or are heavy).
Both silicone and Tyvek are subject to oil contamination/accumulation, unlike PU coated or lined PTFE membranes.
That is why I said that very occasionally, you need to give such systems a good degreasing with hot water and a good detergent soap (and then rinsed very well after). That will help to “refresh” the built in, near permanent DWR of both the silicone coated nylon (or polyester) and the Tyvek PE material.
Still cheaper, easier, and more environmentally sustainable than buying DWR’s and retreating fabrics. And more importantly, you can go much longer in between “refreshings”, unlike with most other applied DWR’s.
I will have to look around some for Nisley’s recommendation. I use to have it book-marked on my old lap top, but not this one. Meanwhile, if you type in Richmond Nisley and something like thinned silicone or Richard Nisley+silicone+mineral spirits+weight+ratio into a BPL search, you may find it before I. (As a note, I prefer naphtha to mineral spirits–evaporates more quickly).
That is just a starting point though. I always recommend experimenting a little with ratios, especially since it’s for a different purpose. Nisley came up with his recommendation based on retreating silicone coated WP fabrics. This might suggest or imply, that one could go a bit thinner/lighter, since we are not looking for WP level HH. We are looking for an HH from around 350 to 600 or so. Enough to stop the majority, but not all of the initial force and penetration of the raindrops.
The one main issue and problem with this particular system, is that Kite/1443R Tyvek is NOT a consistent product apparently. It varies somewhat widely as to air porosity. However, I doubt it’s ever too completely unbreathable or too completely porous for this purpose.
If that is a concern though, there is no reason why one can’t combine two silicone treated fabrics. I would actually recommend using two lightweight, breathable, uncoated polyester fabrics treated with thinned silicone.
The nice thing about this system is that it doesn’t need to be super exact, because when you combine the HH of two different layers, you get more HH than just adding up their respective HH’s. It’s non linear like that, vs say a single layer of fabric where you do indeed need to get the coating exactly right in order to get a truly waterpoof fabric.
That is what Paramo, the US military, Buffalo systems, etc. rely on. Two moderately to highly water resistant fabrics and in combination with body heat. Shrouded behind marketing glamour, lingo, secrecy, etc.Jun 8, 2019 at 9:37 pm #3596838
Thanks for the details.
…when you combine the HH of two different layers, you get more HH than just adding up their respective HH’s.
True. When I was a kid climbing in Scotland I had a double Ventile anorak that did pretty well at keeping the rain out. I would only resort to my cagoule when it got torrential. The problem was that the Ventile would get heavy and take ages to dry. And if it got frozen it was like wearing a suit of armour – the jacket would stand up by itself on the drying room floor…
I suspect that the same approach, but with modern fabrics, would be more practical. Ventile is great for dry cold like the Arctic or high altitude, but it’s not ideal in the wet.Jun 8, 2019 at 10:23 pm #3596844
but it’s not ideal in the wet.
You do know that Ventile was created for use as a dry suit for fighter pilots who ditched in the North Sea during WW II? Without the waterproofing it gave they would very quickly die from the cold. The surface is meant to get wet: the cotton swells up and blocks all pores.
CheersJun 8, 2019 at 10:35 pm #3596846
“the jacket would stand up by itself on the drying room floor…”
Hah, that must have been pretty amusing and perhaps a bit disconcerting at the same time!
“I suspect that the same approach, but with modern fabrics, would be more practical.”
Yeah, two thin silicone treated polyester fabrics, one thin silicone treated polyester + Tyvek, or one thin silicone treated polyester + polypropylene will dry quite fast and absorb very little moisture.Jun 9, 2019 at 2:26 am #3596869
Roger – sure, I knew that.
But the pilots didn’t have to sleep in a freezing tent and put it on again the next morning. It really isn’t very practical in the wet. As I said, it gets very heavy, takes days to dry, and freezes solid in the cold.
There’s still a market for it in Scotland, but it’s mainly used by bird-watchers and dog walkers rather than hill walkers and climbers.
There’s a reason for that, take it from me.Jun 9, 2019 at 3:54 am #3596878
As to Richard Nisley’s recommendation of re-coating silicone treated fabrics, see this post::
The cliff note version is a weight ratio of 1 part silicone to 6 parts solvent works best for re-coating a silicone treated WP fabric. I think he used mineral spirits in this particular formula. I prefer naphtha because it evaporates more quickly. Plus, you can buy a big, gallon can of “white gas” for stove use at Walmart for around 8 dollars, which is much more economical than buying mineral spirits at a hardware store. Naphtha does not damage nylon. But, really should do it outside or with a respirator because it does have strong fumes.
Since we are not trying to get a WP fabric here, I would start with the above, and slowly and slightly up the solvent a bit if the fabric proves too unbreathable with the 6:1 ratio. Like 6.25, then 6.5, etc.
It’s important to stretch out the material some while doing this. If you want to treat a large run of fabric and you have access to trees, you can either sew some quick and dirty guy tie outs to the 4 corners, and on one half, tie each corner to a tree, and then on the other half, use two come alongs/ratchet straps to stretch out the material. Put at a height of 4 feet or so, will make it easy to treat. Initially coat with foam brush, and then run over it with one of those long, metal edged tools (don’t remember the name) with some definite pressure.Jun 9, 2019 at 4:29 am #3596881
Yep, right. I agree.
Ventile and Paramo work tolerably well in the UK because so much of their weather is what others might call a ‘persistent light drizzle’.
When it storms here in Sydney we can get 25 mm (1″) in an hour.
CheersJun 10, 2019 at 8:37 pm #3597078avi sitoBPL Member
Back on subject: looks like Skurka is picking the H5 this season https://andrewskurka.com/gear-list-gates-of-arctic-brooks-range-alaska-early-summer/?fbclid=IwAR2WPXOm5tIDfOleWhL1uKT8DQrXH0PHOJpIG3regsDN7PgMHOe_p7CDsTY
He’s very selective about his gear…Jun 10, 2019 at 9:43 pm #3597090
Skurka quite liked his old Columbia Outdry:
I have the older, heavier version … My experience has been very good. The fabric is tough, somewhat breathable (although venting is still far more effective), and has remained waterproof after several years of regular use.Jun 22, 2019 at 2:31 pm #3598828
hmmm- if I could get near windshirt breathability AND rain jacket waterproofness in one garment (that weighs in at ~ windshirt weight), I would certainly be gameJun 22, 2019 at 9:10 pm #3598854
And if I could have Faster Than Light travel I could go to the moon for a holiday.
CheersJun 23, 2019 at 2:04 am #3598875
I hear Mars is much nicer :)
sounds like someone from bpl should actually test one, maybe someone who is skeptical of their claims?Dec 5, 2020 at 9:49 pm #3687444Dec 6, 2020 at 9:12 pm #3687596lisa rBPL Member
@lisina10Dec 6, 2020 at 10:48 pm #3687604Ryan JordanAdmin
@ryanLocale: Central Rockies
You can’t hack physics. Outdry, Shakedry – these techs are fine but holy grail? That would be something waterproof, breathable, and durable, it does not exist, each is a tradeoff.
The most effective (breathable) waterproof membrane tech we have right now is something like Goretex Pro, and you still have to sandwich that under a layer of protective nylon and over a layer of tricot knit or a PU film.
Any tech can eliminate the need for ‘dwr’ if you put it on the outside face of the jacket (because these membranes have inherently hydrophobic surfaces – it’s the outer nylon faces that need the dwr) but say goodbye to truly long-term physical durability. My outdry and shakedry jackets have failed due to abrasion failure of that membrane in quite a bit less time than I’d expected, and these jackets suffered a loss of waterproofing – not just breathability – something that just doesn’t happen with something like Goretex Pro or eVENT or the high-end Toray sandwiches. I wish it were different. We (BPL) are in a unique position in the industry to say “this is a great product” and then lots of people will buy it, and we’ll make a bunch of affiliate income. Columbia Outdry and Gore Shakedry sell like hotcakes. But it’s not because they are great technologies…it’s just that they are different, and for backpacking, they are fundamentally flawed if you care about the longevity of your gear in truly adverse conditions.
I just don’t think these things get tested to the extent that matches their sometimes over-the-top marketing claims.
That said, if these are “occasional-use” items, go to town. $400 for a half-pound rain jacket makes no sense to me if it’s hanging out in your pack most of the time. So many better ways I can spend less money on lighter jackets that will still last a fine long time.
If you need durably waterproof-breathable, then you need something with a robust nylon outer face and you need to take care of it with regular DWR treatments. It’s not a popular option, but it’s a solid one that will allow you to eek out the best performance from your raingear.Dec 6, 2020 at 11:14 pm #3687605
Or just use a poncho.
CheersDec 7, 2020 at 2:45 am #3687612
If you think about it, the typical Outdry/Shakedry customer will only be out a few days a year.
And in general they’ll be picking days when the forecast is good – even here in the torrential Lake District the vast majority of walkers stay home when it’s wet. So on the few days when they are out, the item will spend most of its time in the pack.
And when the jacket is pulled out for the occasional shower it will be on a trail where abrasion is not a factor, with only a light daypack rubbing the shoulders.
So they get away with these Shakedry claims because the jacket may only be used in earnest for a handful of hours over its entire lifetime. And when it does fail, the customer will feel that it’s lasted for quite a few years…Dec 7, 2020 at 6:32 am #3687623
I think it definitely has a niche, but not an overly wide one
As Geoff points out day hikers that need occasional rain protection and/or trail runners
The thing is there are 3 layer rain jackets out there that are sub 8 oz
It’s the breathability that Shakedry claims that is what I find attractive, wether the claims are true??????
Has anyone ever published cfm #’s for Shakedry?Dec 7, 2020 at 8:29 am #3687632kevperro .BPL Member
@kevperroLocale: Washington State
It won’t have me trading out my Frog Toggs. I actually LIKE my cheap rain gear. Sure…. in the wind I’m sometimes cursing the crappy hood (baseball cap helps) but otherwise, it does the trick at a price where I can easily justify replacing it every season.Dec 7, 2020 at 9:27 am #3687640Brad RogersBPL Member
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
I have an H5 that I haven’t really put through the paces yet, but if it proves not to be durable, then yes a niche product for backpacking for sure, but it’s a great product for trail runners and cyclists, that need high breathability, but don’t have the abrasion concerns.Dec 7, 2020 at 12:02 pm #3687655StumphgesBPL Member
Mike, Stephen Seeber has tested the MVTR of Shakedry and found it to be the most breathable of any WPB he’s tested, and also more breathable than most windshirts he’s tested. I think if you search his posts you’ll find the data he’s provided us on this.Dec 7, 2020 at 12:04 pm #3687656StumphgesBPL Member
Ryan, have you reviewed any of the Outdry and Shakedry jackets that you’ve worn out?Dec 7, 2020 at 12:30 pm #3687659
I might not be looking at the right place, but what I read is he came up with less than 1 cfm- that’s rain jacket numbers, not even close to windshirts??????
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