The myth of the waterproof shell

  • Creator
  • #14200

    Rab Latok 3L e-Vent jacket, “The ultimate waterproof”: soaked through within 2-3 hours of heavy rain while hiking. My gf’s 2L Goretex Mountain Equipment (UK, not MEC) jacket also got soaked through.

    Burton AK 3L Goretex jacket, “Built guide-tough”: soaked through within a few hours of boarding in heavy, wet PNW snow.

    Is this just par for the course if the conditions are sufficiently bad? And is what I mentioned above really that bad, i.e. PNW rain/snow? The Rab jacket is old (2012) but in good condition and I treat it with DWR after every wash. The Burton and Mountain Equipment jackets are both 2016 models that have seen days rather than weeks of use.

  • Participant
    James H on #14205

    if your out in wet conditions long enough you’re going to get wet to some degree either from sweat or precip. Andy Kirkpatrick has a few good articles on his site about keeping emphasising comfort over waterpoofness. In wet conditions I like pile or micro-gtid material next to skin with a wind shell over. something like patagonia r1 + houdini combination or rab vaporize if you prefer integrated. Then simple srain shell over that. the pile/wind shell combo stops condensation from rain jacket from chilling you and provides warmth when damp.

    hafjell on #14207

    James H, interesting. What simple rain jacket are you using with the R1+ Houdini combo?

    James H on #14211

    a light one by Outdoor Research can’t remember tthe model name. if I were doing more technical winter climbing I’d go for something more robust.
    I think the fleece (or grid fleece style baselayer) + wind shell works really well. Just layer over at rest breaks or belays or if conditions really turn worse.

    Anonymous on #14214

    I don’t think there’s any such thing as waterproof clothing. There’s is snow-proof, drizzle-proof, etc, but full-on waterproof? It’s only a matter of time (in full-on rain or meltwater) before the wet gets in.

    Participant on #14216

    There is such a thing as waterproof clothing. My Gore-Tex dry-suit is waterproof. I can be submerged in water, and no water will leak in.

    But I have often been wondering if this Gore-Tex fabric has anything in common with the Gore-Tex fabric used for over-the-water clothing, except the name.

    Anonymous on #14217

    Ha, ha! True. I’ve never worn one, but I imagine a dry suit is… dry.

    I don’t know anything about the material, but I suspect that dry suit material would be too heavy or clammy to use in mountain endurance sports?

    Mariner_9 on #14235

    Thank you all for your comments. Dry suit it is! On a more serious note, I will “embrace the suck” and simply accept that I’ll get wet. And I’ll check out Andy Kirkpatrick’s site – I found it useful for crampon info.

    Steve House on #14303

    Umbrella. Best waterproof and most breathable. Anyone who has trekked to BC through a late monsoon will agree. Bigger the better.

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