I was working on an article about waterproof fabrics for the website, which highlighted the different construction methods, strengths and weaknesses of various fabrics out there. Then along came this article on UKC, Waterproof Breathable Fabric – Explained, which did a better job and more in depth too. If you are interested in the subject at all then it’s well worth a read.
However I would like to reiterate and expand a little on the conclusions of the article, which may be of help to anyone considering a new waterproof.
- Don’t wear your shell if you don’t need to, get a windshirt.
- There are warm, wet environments in which a membrane fabric will not work.
- Fit, Cut and Design play a greater role in breathability than the waterproof fabric.
- Base and midlayers play a greater role in breathability than the waterproof fabric.
- The weather plays a greater role in breathability than the waterproof fabric.
- Test results are always biased towards the fabric and manufacturer being tested.
- Garment care and maintenance is important and should not be ignored until your garment leaks.
- If you are too hot with your shell on, take your midlayer off. Base layer and shell can be a great combo.
- Don’t wear waterproofs if you don’t need them. get better midlayers. (worth saying twice!).
Proshell, eVent, Active Shell, Neo Shell and Membrane are all top performing fabrics to make waterproof jackets from. Weight, price and durability are what makes them different not the performance offered to the wearer. It’s better to be out there with any jacket that at home with the perfect one.