Buying 3-layer jacket used?

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 admltk 17 Jul 2021

Hi everyone

Would I be right in thinking that 3-layer waterproof jackets are the most durable? I'm assuming they still have to be reproofed from time to time though, correct?

However how would one identify that the a jacket is 3-layer when buying used? Should I just ask the seller "is it 3-layer"? (Would they even be able to tell?)

Also how packable is a 3-layer jacket? I am not looking for something OVERLY packable, just something that I can fold easily and put in my bag.

Any other suggestions are welcome. I am simply looking for a cheap jacket for walking, commuting etc. I'll probably be wearing a fleece underneath.


Post edited at 21:03
 Dave the Rave 17 Jul 2021
In reply to admltk:

Easiest way is to google the jacket on offer.

I think that 3 layer gore tex was an 80’s/90’s thing. They are pretty durable and I’ve still got a few. The thing to check is that the taped seams aren’t knackered. They can be re taped but it’s extra cost. An old jacket will probably have worn taping even if it’s not apparent. 
Packable- they used to fit in my pack. They’wont roll to the size of a tennis ball but if that’s not a problem—-

What size kit are you looking for? 

 admltk 17 Jul 2021
In reply to Dave the Rave:

Medium size.

My main problem with these waterproof jackets (I'm new to them) is that sellers (or generally used clothes shops etc) don't include the features on the listing. So I am trying to find a way of telling e.g. if it is 2L or 3L just by looking, if that's even possible? Or coating vs membrane? How would one tell stuff like that?

Otherwise, I like your suggestion to just google the particular brand/model. Thing is, even then the sellers usually don't include this. The listing will just say "lightweight northface waterproof jacket" or something. The item description is no better.

Any other tips?

Post edited at 21:32
 Rick Graham 17 Jul 2021
In reply to admltk:

Look for a Gore label .

Check for delamination ( blistering) especially on the shoulders and neck .

Any blisters, its liable to leak as the PTFE membrane will have tiny tears in it.

 Dave the Rave 17 Jul 2021
In reply to admltk:

 Be more specific with your searches. 
When i was skint and after a hillwalking coat I would google previous items that I’d heard good reviews of. Mountain Equipment, Berghaus etc.

Look for ones that have pictures in a home not a website, and look at the sellers history.

To be honest I wouldn’t look at pre 2000 models now due to age related degradation.

Im not sure of your budget or intended use, but maybe a decathlon jacket, think it’s the Quechua may suit?

 Kalna_kaza 18 Jul 2021
In reply to admltk:

Buying used jackets is like buying older second hand cars, you may get a bargain that serves you well or something that quickly falls apart. 

In my experience someone having a gear clear out type of sale (normally due to change of personal circumstances) is a better bet than a standalone sale of a jacket. Firstly, it's typically better kit and secondly it's probably been looked after better as well. Facebook outdoor gear sale groups or here on UKC / UKH are easier to find gear clear outs as items don't need to be individually posted  unlike the leading auction site.

In terms of identifying specific jackets, ask for a photo of the inside label which should show the make and model of the jacket. This will allow you to check reviews online. 

I use my jackets fairly heavily and few have lasted more than 5-6 years before showing signs of degredation. A lightly used 10 year old jacket may look ok superficially but it's actually on the cusp of falling apart due to the age, there will be exceptions of course of well made kit that far exceeds that but it's more of a gamble the older the jacket.

Good luck!

 admltk 18 Jul 2021

Thanks everyone

Mesh-lined ones without padding/fleece-lining seem to be quite popular. Are they too warm for summer? I'm looking for one that is good all year round

Eg of mesh-lined:

Type ebay dot co dot uk followed by: /itm/174800324094?hash=item28b2e945fe:g:pY8AAOSwpwVg6x1w

Post edited at 08:36
 admltk 18 Jul 2021
In reply to admltk:

Ok I'm just going to go with a trespass tp50. It seems to have a mesh lining (to be honest all but the really lightweight packable ones seem to have this) but the website says tp50 is an all rounder. I'm assuming it will be ok in summer too given breathability and the fact that I'm just walking with it.

What do you guys think?

Post edited at 08:55
 VictorM 18 Jul 2021
In reply to admltk:

Mesh lined jackets are not threelayer, they are twolayer with a mesh protector for the membrane/to make sure your sweaty skin isn't directly against the membrane/coating

IMHO, if you go the second-hand route, know EXACTLY what you are looking for and know how to spot potential faults in the jacket. This is very hard to do online and pretty much impossible when you cannot check it out in person. 

Therefore, there are a few things to keep in mind:

1) Age. Old waterproofs, even very well cared for and of very reputable brands, are prone to delamination and broken membranes. Waterproofs are complicated, anything over ten years of age I haven't properly tested I would not trust to still be fully waterproof. If you buy something this old for cheap, shower test it! Also, it might be hard to judge how well-cared for it is and old unwashed waterproofs can look good but as soon as you wash them they can delaminate quickly...

2) State. Any taping loose? Any delamination? This might be very hard to judge from a few pictures on the web but it is of the utmost importance with waterproofs. 

3) Material. High quality membranes such as Gore-Tex Pro, Neoshell, Eco-Shell 3L, eVent or Dermizax 3L are better able to cope with heavy use than lighter weight. Under no circumstances would I personally buy an old (5+ years) 2 or 2,5L jacket. They are simply too fragile for it. 

4) Brand. Good second hand deals exist, but you need to be able to trust that the brand builds for durability and makes use of good materials and construction.

5) Seller. Is this seller somebody who has good reviews and regularly sells outdoor gear? Then go for it. If this is somebody who never sells stuff like this and all of a sudden has a good deal? Meh. 

All in all, you might be better off to buy second-hand on an outdoor forum or to save up and buy new for your first waterproof. 

In reply to admltk:

From your other post:

> To answer the question about what I will be doing, it is mainly walking at a brisk pace for long periods of time.

> What do you guys think?

Don’t buy is my honest opinion. You will be quickly disappointed I would expect. If you have not read what Trespass say on their TP50 then do so. . It’s the type of waterproof I’ve got in the car for unexpected/emergency type use where it’s better than nothing!

You would be buying an entry level jacket which would only be suitable for gentle walking/commuting about town type level of expectations. It will be neither be that great at keeping a reasonable amount of rain out nor that breathable to keep dry inside “for brisk walking over a long period of time” in any reasonably to be expected conditions.

I had a cheap waterproof btw at the start of my hill walking. Couldn’t cope with even low level walks in mild rain and was worse if it was mild temps. If it wasn’t rain coming through it was sweat couldn’t get out.

Better buying a good quality 2nd hand waterproof for a reasonable price if you can get hold of one, or saving up for a better quality one to start with. 2nd hand can be excellent way of getting a quality waterproof if you buy right - others have given good advice - I’ve bought one off UKC many many years ago and it is still going strong.

 Dave the Rave 18 Jul 2021
In reply to admltk:



These don’t look too shabby especially the latter with good pics of the inside taped seams. On that popular site. Not mine.

 admltk 22 Jul 2021
In reply to Dave the Rave:

Only saw these last two posts after unfortunately.

So I bought a trespass TP50 one for a tenner. If it's bad, it's bad, I'll just go back to ebay and spend more on an actual goretex.

Thanks again for the advice everyone!

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