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/ Who makes the best waterproofs?

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Alex Riley on 06 Sep 2018

The skies the limit, who do you think makes the best waterproofs and why? 

TMM on 06 Sep 2018
Andy Hardy on 06 Sep 2018
In reply to Alex Riley:

Waterproof and expensive? https://tinyurl.com/y6wcn22u fill your boots

summo on 06 Sep 2018
In reply to Alex Riley:

> The skies the limit

God

Skin, perfect breathable waterproof membrane that self regenerates as it wears out.

Failing that. I do like Millet and Rab stuff. 

 

HarrisonConnie1996 - on 06 Sep 2018
In reply to Alex Riley:

I really like Mountain Equipment's hardshell waterproofs, they just feel bombproof. 

However, as with any waterproof gear, if it rains long and hard enough, you are gonna get wet - and if you do manage to stay dry from the outside, you'll sweat yourself to death if you're working hard enough. 

Post edited at 10:46
subtle on 06 Sep 2018
In reply to Alex Riley:

Keela stuff is good, and generally at a great price.

GrahamD - on 06 Sep 2018
In reply to Alex Riley:

Pretty much any diving drysuit will be more waterproof than walking anoraks.

Pina - on 06 Sep 2018
In reply to HarrisonConnie1996:

I've always been distinctly underwhelmed by how long ME stuff lasts for the price being paid.

galpinos on 06 Sep 2018
In reply to Alex Riley:

I have waterproofs from ME and Arc'teryx. They seem comparable in quality, though the ME only fit me a lot better (I'm a perfect ME large, but Arc'teryx large is often too baggy and medium is often too tight). ME hoods are consistently better with helmets too.

I've had TNF and Rab waterproofs ion the past but, due to fit and quality, I generally go with ME supplemented by Patagucci and Arc'teryx when I have an ill advised flight of fancy.

98%monkey - on 06 Sep 2018
In reply to Alex Riley:

I have ME kit and their heavyweight kit is supreme, like Ogre etc I have Kongur MSR and it's like armour. I bought my girlfriend a heavyweight one, a Seraph I think and it is the same.

 

More than anything I think the weight makes an issue. i have a lightweight one that packs down to orange size and I wear it accordingly as it will wear out soon. 

 

On days where big weather is on the cards the Kongur comes out in the knowledge it's a bit more of a handful.

HarrisonConnie1996 - on 06 Sep 2018
In reply to Pina:

> I've always been distinctly underwhelmed by how long ME stuff lasts for the price being paid

It's all relative though isn't it - If you use your kit regularly its going to wear down, especially in Scotland where more times than not, you'll be wearing your shell.

As for the price of kit, that's worthy of another thread ;) 

 

.

 

asteclaru - on 06 Sep 2018
In reply to Alex Riley:

I'm on my second ME Tupilak jacket now : on the first one, the lining started to 'rub out' (don't know the exact term for it) after about two weeks of use. My second one is starting to delaminate on top of the hood, also after about two weeks of use.

I've ordered some Arcteryx hardshells from Sportpursuit yesterday. If they fit me I'm done with ME waterproofs. For the money that jacket cost, I would expect it to last a lot longer than 2 weeks

Jenny C on 06 Sep 2018
In reply to GrahamD:

Even in a drysuit that doesn't leak like an old teabag, a certain amount of dampness from sweat and condensation is pretty much inadvoidable. 

Mr Trebus - on 06 Sep 2018
In reply to 98%monkey:

I would agree on the heavyweight being bombproof. My Morpheus is still going strong after 4 years of abuse with only the sleeve velcro being a worn out. I bought a Lhotse last in the sales this year for  £120 and for the little I have worn it looks solid. I would have preferred if it still had an external storm flap though as a bit dubious of waterproof zips.

BFG on 06 Sep 2018
In reply to asteclaru:

As a counterpoint to this, my Tulipak currently holds the record for 'most number of winter trips survived'. Bottom of the list is a first generation Rab Neoshell, which lasted about half a trip before becoming about as waterproof as cotton.

That being said, my ME jacket is - necessarily - a couple of years old and I have no idea whether production standards have changed in the meantime.

asteclaru - on 06 Sep 2018
In reply to BFG:

I've heard this before, and know people whose Tupilaks are bomber, but, like yours, theirs are a few years old too.

Something must have changed lately as my experience has been vastly different and I simply can't be bothered to go for a third one

HeMa on 06 Sep 2018
In reply to Alex Riley:

> who do you think makes the best waterproofs and why? 

The company that happens to use *you* as their sizing dummy... Adn uses reputable materials.

Tringa on 06 Sep 2018
In reply to Alex Riley:

No real answer as there is a lot of subjective opinion involved.

For me its Paramo. My jacket is windproof, more breathable than Goretex jackets I have tried, waterproof, even when the outer wets out completely nothing gets through to the inside and its around 15 years old.

 

Dave

baron - on 06 Sep 2018
In reply to Alex Riley:

Rohan.

Hilltop jacket - the proper length for a walking jacket.

Their barricade trousers - waterproof while feeling like a regular pair of trousers.

Alex Riley on 06 Sep 2018
In reply to HeMa:

Best to worst out of the stuff I've used lots.

Haglofs Spitz 2 Jacket (GTX Pro Shell). Bombproof, didn't ever get wet it this and I bought it second hand. Used for a year, exchanged for a newer jacket when the cuff velcro fell off (In hindsight I should have just repaired it).

Berghaus Helvellyn Trousers (GTX 2l). Cheap but decent, wet out when it was torrential. Three full winter seasons, full of holes now but still use them for canoeing occasionally.

Paramo. It pains me to say it, but I've borrowed my wife's paramo a fair bit and its pretty good, if a bit heavy and square shaped. Got wet around the cuffs and the bottom of the hem, but dry underneath mostly in torrential downpour.

ME Kongur MRT set (GTX Pro) Work pool waterproofs, worn lots. Excellent when brand new but fairly quickly leaking and generally falling apart.  Very expensive for what you get in terms of durability and waterproofing.

Crux (Event) Bought late last year, so early days. Seems bomb proof and was fairly cheap, used extensively in grim weather this winter, but got completely soaked and the pockets filled with water (dramatically so, I could hear them sloshing!) in a very wet day this summer. Washed and reproofed the other day, so I'll see how it goes.

Montane (Pertex Sheild).  3 years of light, but regular use (some alpine, but mostly walking up snowdon with groups), still going strong. Cheap and cheerful, they do wet out and are a bit sweaty, but only cost £40 or so.

Haglofs Rock High (GTX Pro) Replacement for the Spitz 2, got soaked the first time I wore it and Gore replaced it with another new one. This one was better, lasted three years of fairly heavy use, but started delaminating and had a few other bits fall apart (and it just wasn't ever cut as well as the Spitz 2 + some of the fancy "improvements" were rubbish).

Mountain Hardwear (Dry Q Elite) First pair, side zip completely failed 200m from the car on first use. Second warranty pair lasted a year before complete failure of the waterproof fabric, but were pretty good up to that point. 

 

The super yachts look the most attractive option so far

 

 

 

kermit_uk - on 06 Sep 2018
In reply to Alex Riley:

All surely comes down to fit but I have quite a few from Montane and arcteryx etc. 

 

Arcteryx alpha FL I think it is, fits perfect. Gore Pro 1 chest pocket nothing else, great hood with or without helmet. No fuss just works feels completely cosseting and also super light. Perfect!

3patallen - on 06 Sep 2018
In reply to Alex Riley:

have a look at Zajo kit from Czech republic. I've got a few items, and they compare in quality to my ME and Arcteryx (for much less ££). Available online through sports pursuits 

climber34neil - on 06 Sep 2018
In reply to Alex Riley:

For what it's worth, I have a mountain Hardwear argon hardshell, had it for about 7 years I think, and it's not let me down yet, solid, well made and waterproof

bouldery bits - on 06 Sep 2018
In reply to Alex Riley:

in my experience Crux or Musto. 

Dave the Rave on 06 Sep 2018
In reply to Alex Riley:

Barbour. Just keep rewaxing them and bombproof for years and years. I can still smell the sick in the sleeve of a 35 year old one that enjoyed my first boys camp and pisss up. 

SebCa - on 06 Sep 2018
In reply to subtle:

I have a Keela Munro jacket which is about 12 months old, I get soaked in that and I have probably used it about 5-7 times in what I would call worthwhile rain

Keela pants....the crotch on one pair just isn't waterproof at all

Keela sallopettes....they have been about the best apart from the zip down one leg fails in 'worthwhile' rain...

There is a pattern forming here...

 

I have a Rab Event jacket i can't remember the name but won jacket of the year when it was released which I have had for about 12 years which is brilliant but starting to fall apart sadly. 

Post edited at 23:53
Tricadam on 07 Sep 2018
In reply to summo:

> God

> Skin, perfect breathable waterproof membrane that self regenerates as it wears out.

I thought skin was just there to hold the bones in. 

Fredt on 07 Sep 2018
In reply to Alex Riley:

Regatta.

Fishmate - on 07 Sep 2018
In reply to Alex Riley:

I suppose few of us know given the nature and purpose of hard shells, i.e. how many are you likely to buy to get a broad opinion?

My 9 y.o. ME Changabang has been re-proofed once and never let a drop of water in. As said above, the hoods are near perfect. Always feels solid.

fifthsunset - on 08 Sep 2018
In reply to Alex Riley:

Every time I sweat, Goretex has all the breathable properties of a binliner. I don't understand why it's so popular. Polartec Neoshell is much more breathable. My jacket's from a Canadian company called Westcomb and they don't make their stuff in a sweatshop either which is important to me. 

HeMa on 08 Sep 2018
In reply to fifthsunset:

> Every time I sweat, Goretex has all the breathable properties of a binliner. I don't understand why it's so popular. Polartec Neoshell is much more breathable.

 

yes, a lot of materials breath better than a proper hardshell (GoreTex etc). Fishnet being about the best. Unfortunately protection from elements goes the other direction. E.g. Neoshell will let the wind through, which might not be What you want from a shell.

GarethSL on 08 Sep 2018
In reply to fifthsunset:

Westcomb would be in my top two, along with Arc'teryx. Was really impressed by the quality their gear but unfortunately it simply didn't fit. Shame their top end gear uses eVent tho.

girlymonkey - on 08 Sep 2018
In reply to Alex Riley:

Paramo. It is the comfiest waterproof to wear. No sweatiness, no rustly noises, dry as a bone and totally repairable. 

Post edited at 17:40
Dave Kerr - on 08 Sep 2018
In reply to girlymonkey:

> Paramo. It is the comfiest waterproof to wear. No sweatiness, no rustly noises, dry as a bone and totally repairable. 

I'd like to get to the bottom of why some find it to be the mutts nuts in the rain and others find it useless. I suspect it's something to do with the exact usage and the users expectation of what a waterproof should do.

gav - on 09 Sep 2018
In reply to Dave Kerr:

> ... the users expectation of what a waterproof should do.

Keep the rain out?

yodadave on 09 Sep 2018
In reply to Alex Riley:

https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5047-705/Synergy-GORE-TEX-Jacket#reviews

i also like my OR jacket,

some of the BD jackets are nice but minimalist.

syv_k - on 09 Sep 2018
In reply to gav:

I wore an old Paramo for the Nine Edges yesterday, and I was walking and exposed to a good few cloudbursts. Totally agree on the comfy, repairable, and non rustly. Dry as a bone was not achieved in heavy rain - it wetted out and first the cuffs were sopping where the water ran down and then the saturated area started increasing up the sleeves making my arms wet. Fair enough,it is fifteen years old and has been reproofed many times and probably has some ground in dirt impeding it. But considering a replacement, I would love to know whether there was a Nine Edges Walker in paramo (or something else) who was bone dry yesterday. (Runners don’t count, the middle of the day was the drier bit)

Dave Kerr - on 09 Sep 2018
In reply to gav:

> Keep the rain out? 

With Paramo, opinion is clearly divided on whether it does that or not. Some people say it does and some say it doesn't. 

I don't think it can be a QC issue so it must be differences in how people use them and what 'keeping the rain out' means to them.

It isn't waterproof in the traditional sense as the outer layers absorb and hold water. It also leaks under pressure if you kneel or sit. I think Paramo advocates either don't notice those limitations because of how they use it or are happy to live with them for the other qualities of the fabric.

So it's not does it keep the rain out but does it keep the rain out for you!

I'll admit to a bee in my bonnet about this after a disappointing experience and some unsatisfactory emails from Paramo. I still love my Paramo salopettes for winter climbing but if there's going to be rain on the walk in I wear something else.

Post edited at 10:47
Dauphin on 09 Sep 2018
In reply to Alex Riley:

All more or less all great until it needs reproofing, then the juries out until next day on the hill or 6 months later. Buy it end of season or last season and then whenever it looses waterproofness bin it or back of the car for dog walking or whatever. I like the yank stuff personally (n american) Patagonia, OR, Wild Things, Arcteryx, Black Diamond - but Rab seems to have upped their game in the last couple of years. Never used Paramo for water proofness so can't comment, although I have a pair of their walking kecks and wind smock -  it seems so arbitary that I'm not inspired to try it out.

 

D

 

 

 

I can eat 50 eggs on 09 Sep 2018
In reply to Alex Riley:

Apologies....

Sky's

 

 

Webster - on 09 Sep 2018
In reply to Dave Kerr:

> I'd like to get to the bottom of why some find it to be the mutts nuts in the rain and others find it useless. 

as to why Paramo is so 'marmite' in general, its proably more to do with it looking like 'old man atire'. not a problem if you are an old man of course*, but for modern fast and light alpinists its just not sexy enough!

*sure plenty of others use and love it too, but it definitely has a dominant demographic

 

tripehound - on 09 Sep 2018
In reply to Tringa:

Agree! My Paramo is also circa 15 yrs old and rarely reproofed is still totally waterproof, comfortable and breathable.

In 80 mph winds and torrential rain I wore it over  buffalo jacket ( It was late November) after 4 hours in this the buffalo was still bone dry when I got back down. Pretty awesome.

 

 

Pkrynicki1984 - on 09 Sep 2018
In reply to Dave the Rave:

I hated mine ! Most unbreathable jacket I’ve ever owned then someone nicked it , looked cool though 

jam - on 10 Sep 2018
In reply to fifthsunset:

> Every time I sweat, Goretex has all the breathable properties of a binliner. I don't understand why it's so popular. 

 

Because the're a marketing juggernaut. Look at how they've managed to push their membrane into full leather boots, which are inherently waterproof anyway. There were also reports on how they used marketing muscle against eVent when it came out ages ago.

Personally my 15 year old Paramo shell is the best I've owned and is far more comfortable than a hardshell, but runs warm so it's only really good for winter or cooler conditions. Worn it down to -25 for snowboarding in the alps, warmer ice climbing in Norway, downpours in Nepal, and it's comfortable enough just to wear indoors as a sweater, whereas a hardshell gets taken off immediately because they are so noisy. I do wish that the stuff made by Paramo didn't look terrible though. Mine was made by Cioch Direct to my own specs, so I managed to sidestep the hideous default colour choices.

Post edited at 02:44
Dave Kerr - on 10 Sep 2018
In reply to jam:

> There were also reports on how they used marketing muscle against eVent when it came out ages ago.

Shooting fish in a barrel that.

joe.91 - on 12 Sep 2018
In reply to Alex Riley:

Jottnar get my vote, had they're top and bottoms for 3 winter seasons now with no issues bar me putting crampons through the legs.

HarrisonConnie1996 - on 12 Sep 2018
In reply to joe.91:

I really like the look of Jattnar stuff, but I have trust issues.

Got a pair of Vali softshell pants and they basically fell apart after a few months of hillwalking and scrambling. Not ideal considering the price tag. 

Shame I've had a bad experience as their hardshell stuff looks excellent. 

joe.91 - on 12 Sep 2018
In reply to Alex Riley:

Did you contact them? I've sent my hardshell back to have the cuffs modified slightly with no issues. 

badmarmot - on 12 Sep 2018
In reply to joe.91:

Hear great things about Jottnar, and I was keen to try their waterproof trousers but they leg length is very short.

 

shaymarriott - on 12 Sep 2018

I have had a few... the best by miles have been the Arc'teryx jackets(Alpha SV and FL) - perfect fit (subjective obviously) but have never wet out (I do a Techwash and TXDirect every 6-9 months depending on use) and are seem pretty bomb proof.

I've had the FL about 4 years and I do look after it, but its kept me dry and comfortable in everything from skiing in Canada to tropical storms in Borneo. Packs down to nothing. I'll definitely buy another when (if?) it dies!

I've only had the SV for 6 months so haven't really put it through its paces yet, but it seems better built than a Sunseeker and I can't imagine it's going to let me down any time soon. Plus its big enough to get a decent insulated jacket underneath. 

My old North Face Summit Series (cant remember the exact model) lasted about 5 years before letting water through, and my partner's Rab eVent jackets haven't lasted more than 2 years, even with Nikwax washes... she's just bought a fairly cheap 3L GTX Berghaus jacket which seems fit purpose, but time will tell. 

Dad has a Rab Neoshell Alpine jacket which he swears by, but it's wearing out after about 3 years of pretty heavy use (summer and winter Alps and Pyrenees as well as day to day UK weather). 

The jacket that's seen me through the most though is my Montane Smock.  Had it since 2010, washed it about once a year, yes it gets wet - but its kept me warm and comfortable on (at a guess) at least 1000 days over that time.

Never tried Paramo, but I've heard good things. I'm only 29 though, so I've got a fair few years until I'm able to give it a try... ;) 


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