Gear Question

Hey would this work as a shell for a week...

Posted on

Hey would this work as a shell for a week long backpacking trip

Best Answer Responded on

I wouldn't rely on this jacket at all. 1K says it all. Most "waterproof" fabrics are at leat 10K or 20K. This refers to the number of stitches per square inch I believe. The tighter the weave, the more naturally waterproof it will be. With a fabric less than 10K or 20K, the waterproofness comes from the DWR(Durable water repellency) coating, not the inherent qualities of the fabric itself. I would only use it if you have somewhere warm to go to every night so it can dry out. As AC said, it'll get wet-out. I'd go with something like Gore Pac-lite which is a lot more reliable and will keep you dry longer. Marmot Precip is pretty good as well, although i'd probably still prefer Pac-lite. I traded up from precip-plus to Pac-lite. Gore Pro would be even better, and would last longer. Basically the better the fabric the longer it can hold out in increasingly harsh precipitation. I'd trust Gore-Pro to any conditions, and Gore-tex Pac-lite to Almost anything.
Schoeller makes some great fabrics too, but I think most are softshell.

Update: If you go to the Gore-tex website, you can click the link to whichever fabric you're interested in and they list every jacket made with that fabric, lots of different brands. Makes it really handy if you're shopping.

Responded on

Umm, Blaine, the 10K or 20K rating stands for how many milimeters of water can be suspended above the fabric before the water pushes through, known as a hydrostatic head. Gore Tex, along with any other quality waterproof material, has a membrane that is laminated to an outer fabric, usually nylon, and that membrane is what's waterproof, not the outer fabric. This jacket is not designed to be waterproof, it is designed to repel light rain for a few hours, and to do so, it has a light polyurethane coating, with no membrane of any kind. By nature of not having a membrane, it's more breathable than almost any rain jacket, but it's also only water resistant. Marmot PreCip and Gore Tex Paclite are both completely waterproof, the hydrostatic head simply means that in a lab, Paclite is "more" waterproof. Hydrostatic head measures instantaneous pressure, and so as long as a jacket has a hydrostatic head of over 2.5K, and has taped seams, it will be waterproof in rain.