/ PRODUCT NEWS: The Next Generation of Rab

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Muztag GTX Jacket Since our founding in 1981 we have worked at the forefront of insulation technology, becoming masters of our craft. Developing cutting-edge insulation designs requires the same approach that we bring to the mountains. Moving constantly forward with careful thought and consideration, we continue to break new ground. 

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ScottTalbot 11 Sep 2019
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

I'm not sure how I feel about this.. One of the things I like about Rab, is that they DON'T use GORE. I've always thought that GORE is over rated and over priced!

Will they be moving their whole range to GORE, I wonder!? That would no doubt price me out of the market...

TobyA 11 Sep 2019
In reply to ScottTalbot:

It's interesting, here on UKC I think I've seen more complaints about eVent over the last, say, 15 years than I have about Goretex - it does seem that us punters seem to find that eVent suddenly start leaking in a more dramatic way than Goretex does. But then Gore has become a bit of a behemoth in terms of marketing and advertising, which must be a big part of it.

It seems they've stopped using NeoShell as well, in the same way Jöttnar did last winter.

nathan79 11 Sep 2019
In reply to ScottTalbot:

It's no more pricey than eVent was/is. (not sure who still uses it these days).

1
Damo 12 Sep 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> It seems they've stopped using NeoShell as well, in the same way Jöttnar did last winter.

Is that because you kept telling everyone it wasn't windproof?

I have the original Rab Neo trousers and find them quite good, but the DWR didn't last too long. More comfortable than most shell pants though.

I thought eVent went generic, rather than its own retail brand, meaning raincoat companies could use it and call it their own thing? Or something like that? Like Patagonia has always done.

TobyA 12 Sep 2019
In reply to Damo:

> Is that because you kept telling everyone it wasn't windproof?

Because it isn't! Or not as much as some waterproof breathable materials anyway. I think Neoshell wasn't deemed particularly waterproof by some, and that was a problem. Jottnars new fabric has a much higher HH, so that makes sense.

Post edited at 06:48
ScottTalbot 12 Sep 2019
In reply to TobyA:

I have an old Karrimor Jacket, which is eVent. It's never leaked, or been re-proofed! I only use it for walking the dog, but if it wasn't for the cut, I'd probably use it in the mountains. 

1
beh 12 Sep 2019
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

Slightly disappointing, Montane did the same a few years back.  Goretex is obviously more marketable.  Are brands obliged to exclude competing fabrics from their lineups?

Which brands still use Neoshell or eVent?

Frank R. 12 Sep 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> It's interesting, here on UKC I think I've seen more complaints about eVent over the last, say, 15 years than I have about Goretex - it does seem that us punters seem to find that eVent suddenly start leaking in a more dramatic way than Goretex does. But then Gore has become a bit of a behemoth in terms of marketing and advertising, which must be a big part of it.

Funny, because as far as I could find, eVent was about the same as original GoreTex - pure ePTFE microporous membrane, which apparently looses waterproofness once the hydrophobic ePTFE gets dirty, getting hydrophilic ("water-loving") stuff like dirt all over and letting water through (pores "smaller than a water droplet" is pure PR nonsense) and started to leak. GTX apparently started adding a second, non-porous PU plastic membrane (lowering breathibility) that stops the dirt in later generations or laminated a second, sacrificial ePTFE membrane to the first (in the latest GoreTex Pro).

It still (apart from the "membrane on the outside", which is a wholy different can of worms) depends on the outer fabric DWR to work, like any other waterproof. Since for most uses I am more concerned with breathibility than pure waterproofness, it's a pity that there are less alternatives as the PR machine trumps everything else. The biggest breakthrough in waterproof clothing would be a much more durable DWR treatment (and some do look promising, although how much of it is just PR again is hard to tell now), and cheaper electro-spun plastic membranes (once - and if - their durability gets "ironed out").

BTW, for me, Gore is for mostly about pretty marketing (and possibly unfair business practices like allegedly threatening gear makers to drop competitors products, which is I think still under investigation in the EU, while the FTC case was dropped) than anything else. The "membrane contains pores smaller than a water droplet, but larger than a water vapor molecule. So rain and snow can’t get in" is pure PR - this is not how the physics work. The waterproofness of a microporous membrane comes from its hydrophobicity and surface tension of water (just like the fabric DWR) and gradients, not the pore sizes. There is no magical physics-defying membrane that works only in one direction. If the membrane loose hydrophobic properties, if there is more humidity or higher temperature outside that inside, the magic stops. 

Sure, it works, as long as the outer fabric DWR works...

Post edited at 12:20
Damo 12 Sep 2019
In reply to TobyA:

Please, Toby, help me understand...

We say that Pertex-type 'windproofs' are windproof when such fabrics usually only block 80-90% of wind - at most. if they 100% blocked air going through them they'd be too sweaty.

Waterproofs are even less permeable than this, no? In theory most hardshell 'waterproofs' block nearly all the water going through them, presuming the DRW works, they're clean etc. If they let through water then presumably they'd easily let through air - air 'molecules' being smaller than water molecules.

So if something is close to 100% waterproof it's not going to let through much air. Neoshell was 'quite' waterproof, basically a hardshell, so in terms of blocking air it was necessarily right up at that top end of impermeability to air. Yet you say it's not windproof. But a Pertex garment is a 'windproof'?

Or is it that only garments that are 100% impermeable are truly windPROOF and everything else is degrees of wind-resistant? Even so, I would have thought that Neoshell was sufficiently up the resistance spectrum to be essentially 'windproof'.

Did you test it some other way than how it feels to you?

TobyA 13 Sep 2019
In reply to Damo:

I know exactly what you mean, having reviewed various "windproofs" in recent years, which I suspect aren't as windproof as Neoshell (although face fabric on neoshell must make a difference). I'm sure expectations are a big part of it.

I'll try to write more later when I'm not at work!

climber34neil 13 Sep 2019
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

Let's hope the general quality is much improved as in my experience it has been very poor over the last few years and has stopped me even looking at Rab stuff for that reason

Toerag 13 Sep 2019
In reply to Damo:

>  Did you test it some other way than how it feels to you?

Perhaps a breathability / windproofness test needs to be invented - perhaps an 'air-ostatic head' value?

ScottTalbot 16 Sep 2019
In reply to climber34neil:

> Let's hope the general quality is much improved as in my experience it has been very poor over the last few years and has stopped me even looking at Rab stuff for that reason

Really!? I almost exclusively buy Rab now and have only had one faulty piece of clothing (my Spark Jacket), which although over a year old, was replaced (in large part due to Cotswolds, to be fair), as Rab agreed that it was a manufacturing fault.

Post edited at 11:07
Bellie 16 Sep 2019
In reply to beh:

> Slightly disappointing, Montane did the same a few years back.  Goretex is obviously more marketable.  Are brands obliged to exclude competing fabrics from their lineups?

> Which brands still use Neoshell or eVent?

Mountain Equipment offer both Goretex and their own Drilite fabric.  Now that Event is not marketed on its own, its hard to think of a direct competitor as each manufacturer tends to brand as their own wonder fabric now.


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