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  1. #1
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Tupelo, MS

    More "Water Proof/Breathable"

    Great discussion on breathable qualities, if any, of IX going on here:

    I had posted my experiences using older Goretex products over fleece during down hill and cross country skiing. But I didn't want to cause to much hijacking from Knotty's original subject of IX's breathable qualities when used as a hammock sock.

    So, new thread to post this reminder:

    This is on the subject of if a product can have both any usable amount of "waterproofing" AND also any usable amount of breathable qualities. It also touches on the subject of warm vs wet.

    This was a test of a lightweight Polarguard hooded garment (13-14 oz) which has a non-sealed "WP" shell of Pertex Endurance. It has a claimed waterproofing of "water column of 1000 mm ( about 39.37 inches", which is not very WP. But, I have never been able to get any water to go through it under a faucet, so it is at least very water resistant. Though it is not seam sealed.

    Point of referring to this old test: soaked Polarguard would dry out completely during a 30 minute walk, with an outside temp in the 30's, with very high humidity or even light cold rain.

    Hence, this somewhat WP fabric must be at least fairly breathable, or the PG would have never dried out in only 30 minutes. I think if I had worn a coated nylon rain shell over it, it would not have dried out in hours of walking. The only drying would have come from water managing to drain out from the lower edges, or maybe from ventilation. But in this test the garment was sealed up tight, no ventilation. The fabric must have "breathed" under these conditions, it would seem. And it must have done so in plenty adequate fashion to get the job done.

    Now, this only speaks to these specific conditions. Which is to say: adequate body warmth, and not much distance between my body and the outer shell. OTOH, it is a fairly common set of conditions. Hiking in cold rain. I was not running, only walking(no pack) for 30 minutes at a moderate pace.

    So, there are plenty of field conditions where this insulation is going to be able to completely dry out ( ex: if wet from some sweat) while the outer fabric still keeps at least light rain out. In addition, it was a warm experience, though I started with soaked insulation.

    This seems to confirm my experience in the 80s and 90s using Goretex outer shells over light fleece insulation. Some times skiing all day in blowing snow, often working up a sweat, and staying pretty well warm and dry.

    OTOH, I have never hiked vigorously with a WPB shell where I did not get wet from sweat, a little or a lot depending on outside temps. But, this is because I sweat, not because of lack of breathability.

    Now, whether or not any of these garments are waterproof enough for certain conditions is another story. On the rare occasions when I have hiked with a pack in an all day rain, I have been so soaked from my sweating ( due to being to hot with a jacket on), that it is hard to tell if I am soaked from sweat or from rain. Same as if I tried to hike in a coated nylon garment, I am going to sweat when working hard. And any rain garment is only going to add to my over heated condition.

    P.S.: I maybe should have titled this thread: "Sweat vs condensation"
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 11-27-2010 at 11:11.

  2. #2
    Senior Member spklbuk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    S. E. Almost Heaven
    SB Pro
    12 X 12 Guide Gear
    Molly Mac Insultex
    rings & webbing
    Forced to choose between sitting at home or hunting in the wind & rain, I'll don the gore-tex over light wicking long johns (or over heavier fleece if cold) everytime.

    Toting 8 or 10 lbs of gear in a load bearing vest + a 6-8 lb gun. Constantly alternating between bushwhacking and sitting for long periods. Slow my pace a bit when moving and MT050 breathes enough that the clammy build up is tolerable when stopped to wait out an old tom or post up on stand. Usually dry by the time I move again. Still tolerably dry by the end of the rain day hunt.

    Perhaps the moderate pace (i.e. the rate at which you sweat) is key.
    montani semper liberi

    I wish I had a cabin on the top of some big hill
    I'd build a fire every evening and listen to the whipporwill
    Eat my food out of a garden and drink my whiskey from a still

    Darrell Scott I Wish

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