Waterproof clothing

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
ROBRIENMIKE
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Waterproof clothing

Postby ROBRIENMIKE » 9 Oct 2012, 2:23pm

Can anybody recommend a waterproof jacket that actually does what it says, if there is such a thing?
On club rides in the torrential downpours we have been experiencing this year, the only riders to stay dry were those using old fashioned capes. ( OK in calm weather but not in strong winds, and we have experienced a lot of those this year also).
I have a 4 yr old, top of the range, Polaris ( taped seems, lined, pit zips, double this & double that, all the whistles & bells etc etc), which has seen little use in real foul weather and has only been used to keep me warm really. It is alleged to be waterproof but in the real drenchings, has let in water through the shoulder seams . Nobody seems to have the answer, do you?..... Stay at home I guess.

Mike.

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andrew_s
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Re: Waterproof clothing

Postby andrew_s » 9 Oct 2012, 2:54pm

In terms of staying properly dry on properly wet day whilst cycling at a decent pace, there isn't anything.

A well designed waterproof jacket is waterproof, as in you can go and stand under the shower and remain dry. What it won't be is breathable enough, so you'll get condensation forming inside and getting the rest of your clothing damp.
Even if the jacket is very breathable (eVent, Goretex Active Shell), after a period the rain will stop beading up on the surface and there will be a continuous film of water on the outside that completely stops the jacket breathing. Once that's happened, condensation will build up quite quickly and you'll get wet. The older and dirtier the jacket, the quicker beading stops, maybe straight away.

Probably the best jacket option for staying dry is Paramo. These jackets have a liner that actively moves water to the outside, so any water that penetrates the shell, or condensation on the shell, doesn't reach your clothes. The drawback is that the liner is fairly thick (1-2mm), which makes a Paramo jacket too warm most of the year (about the same as putting an extra long sleeve cycling jersey on at the same time as a windproof shell). They are also comparatively heavy and bulky when you aren't wearing the jacket.

Capes are better but not perfect. You can still get wet from condensation where the cape is lying on the back of your shoulders, and then there's the flapping and extra wind drag as well. I used to find that a cape reduced my speed on the ride in to that start of the club runs from about 19mph to 17mph.

Graham O
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Re: Waterproof clothing

Postby Graham O » 9 Oct 2012, 4:57pm

Like many things, a waterproof breathable jacket does need some maintenance and that means regular washing and application of a reproofer. When the water stops beading up, then it's time to reproof. Fabrics will degrade over time and leaks occur, but reproofing will cure many problems.

Paramo isn't the only non membrane system. I've been using a Ventile jacket on and off for a few years and it is the best jacket I have. It works extremely well and is always comfortable. Still needs reproofing, as does Paramo.

Also been testing some dual layer clothing which has a liner inside the main waterproof breathable fabric and this liner takes sweat away from the wearer and either then through the outer or into the air gap between the two layers. Been using it for hill walking and some cycling. Looks promising.

(Have to declare a biased commercial interest as we make waterproof breathable clothing, although not cycling related.)

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geomannie
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Re: Waterproof clothing

Postby geomannie » 9 Oct 2012, 6:50pm

Graham O wrote:Like many things, a waterproof breathable jacket does need some maintenance


+1 on that.

I have an expensive Goretex jacket but but it needs periodic reproofing to keep the water droplets beading up. I use "Nikwax Tech Wash" followed "Nikwax TX Direct Wash-In" which I find work well for me. I have even used them to resurrect old jackets that I had previously abandoned for loss of waterproofness.

cheers

geomannie
geomannie

s2vmx
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Re: Waterproof clothing

Postby s2vmx » 9 Oct 2012, 8:20pm

I am after the same as the OP- I have a paramo walking jacket which is warm and effective - and also a Buffallo Mountain shirt for the depths of winter walking.
For walking both are excellent, the Buffallo even being Manufatured in England (albeit Yarkshire :( ) :wink:
But the paramo cycling jacket is expensive (Circa £200) and it does not seem to pack the hood away. I was considering the Buffallo cycling jacket - but think it amy be a little warm - the alternative being the Buffallo Teclite Cycle shirt - Has any one any experience of this as it may be the solution we (OP and I) are looking for ?

Thanks

Stu

byegad
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Re: Waterproof clothing

Postby byegad » 10 Oct 2012, 8:59am

Breathable jackets respond well to regular washing. ANY dirt in the outside will wick rain into the jacket and stop it breathing. I wash and tumble dry mine as soon as I see any grime and reproof after every couple of washes. This seems to work for my jackets which include Pertex, Paramo, Colombia and Goretex. Yes I have too many jackets! :D
"I thought of that while riding my bike." -Albert Einstein, on the Theory of Relativity

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simonineaston
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Re: Waterproof clothing

Postby simonineaston » 10 Oct 2012, 9:42am

I have had a Goretex Paclite jacket for a few months now and so far it's been Grreeeat (as Tony The Tiger would have said...), however I haven't been out in continous rain for more than a couple of hours yet, so I can't tell you about that side of its performance. I bought it specificaly to allow me to keep cycling all day on rainy days, when I'm cycle-touring, i.e. when a morning/day off would disrupt a schedule. The last few times I've been away for a week or more, I've had to deal with days when rain was more or less continuous, so have had to choose whether to keep going and get wet through, or else stay in the tent, reading.
My previous constant companion was a Buffalo Mountain Shirt, which copes with continous rain in very specific ways, and I too felt I ought to look into getting a garment that is "100% water-proof". For me - a slow cyclist who doesn't work up much sweat - The Paclite might be the nearest one yet, but I have noticed that a lot of people give the Paramo range the thumbs-up when asked this question...
ttfn, Simon in Easton
(currently enjoying a Moulton TSR & a nano Brompton...)

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NUKe
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Re: Waterproof clothing

Postby NUKe » 10 Oct 2012, 10:55am

Agree with waht has been said about cleaning and reproofing waterproof jackets but also to add
the layers under the jacket are just as important a proper base layer will remove sweat from the skin and keep you feeling dry , if you clever with the next layer this will allow the sweat to evaporate further out lambswool is great for this, in winter this can also be your insulating layer. If you isolate your self from the jacket you will at least feel dry.
NUKe
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andyh2
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Re: Waterproof clothing

Postby andyh2 » 10 Oct 2012, 8:35pm

Paramo Quito jacket works well for me. If it's raining hard it's usually cool enough not to worry about overheating. The venting options (mine has elbow to waist side zips along with full length front zip ) mean that once the rain slows or stops and the temp rises it's easy enough to adjust to not overheat. I also like that it's a quiet fabric compared to a lot of waterproofs.

Too expensive for me new so I found a second hand one in decent condition.

s2vmx
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Re: Waterproof clothing

Postby s2vmx » 15 Oct 2012, 4:14pm

I have bitten the bullet and just purchased a Paramo Vasco Jacket from : paramoextras (On e-bay) Cost £109 + postage - apparently a limited edition as I cannot find it on the Paramo website in the same colour - greengage.

When I searched this website I found a number of people recommending the Vasco jacket in previous posts and then searched to find it at a reasonable cost - as £220 for a quito jacket is beyond my comfort zone for a jacket.


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LIMITED-EDITION-Paramo-Vasco-Waterproof-Jacket-Coat-Greengage-M-/180895128462?pt=UK_Men_s_Coats_Jackets&hash=item2a1e309b8e

Will report back on how I get on with it over comming months.

Stu

ROBRIENMIKE
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Re: Waterproof clothing

Postby ROBRIENMIKE » 19 Oct 2012, 11:08pm

Thanks, I have taken all your comments onboard and I see the jury is still out. My Polaris is of a material that does not need reproofing. It is wind proof and warm to a fault and waterproof up to a point. I was referring to cycling in heavy, continuous rain for five or six hours on end, which is what we seem to have done a lot of this year.
I have recently had conversations with fellow CTC & 40+ members, many of who have jackets costing well over the £100 and their experiences are the same as mine. I have now bought myself a lightweight cape for calm days, a bit extra to carry but now I have the best of both worlds.
Thanks again, Mike.

munroad
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Re: Waterproof clothing

Postby munroad » 30 Oct 2012, 8:47pm

Buffalo cycling shirt is great for cold weather. (5 degrees C or below). Not waterproof but you keep warm. Love it.
Paramo I have used for hill walking; it's the best in wet weather. Expensive and the sizing tricky. Love it too.
I too would appreciate views on Buffalo techlight (or is it teclite?)

munroad
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Re: Waterproof clothing

Postby munroad » 30 Oct 2012, 8:51pm

Oh yes. Have a look at e bay : Paramo 2nds for bargains, but suggest you have a look in your local paramo dealer first to get size right!. Naughty.

byegad
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Re: Waterproof clothing

Postby byegad » 31 Oct 2012, 11:30am

+1 for Paramo. The best I've used and not just for cycling, but walking and bird watching, with suitable under layers. Sadly expensive but worth every penny.
"I thought of that while riding my bike." -Albert Einstein, on the Theory of Relativity

2007 ICE QNT
2008 Hase Kettwiesel AL27
2011 Catrike Trail
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Geriatrix
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Re: Waterproof clothing

Postby Geriatrix » 31 Oct 2012, 1:04pm

geomannie wrote:
Graham O wrote:Like many things, a waterproof breathable jacket does need some maintenance


+1 on that.

I have an expensive Goretex jacket but but it needs periodic reproofing to keep the water droplets beading up. I use "Nikwax Tech Wash" followed "Nikwax TX Direct Wash-In" which I find work well for me. I have even used them to resurrect old jackets that I had previously abandoned for loss of waterproofness.

cheers

geomannie

+2

Don't forget your comfort level will also be influenced by what you wear under the jacket. The primary rule is avoid cotton.

Nature evolved cotton to carry a seed in the wind. The fibre collapses by design when wet which gives the fabric certain undesirable properties:
The fabric sticks to your skin when it gets wet (go to a wet t-shirt competition if you want evidence of this).
It increases windchill and raises the risk of hypothermia. In wind, wet cotton clothing can make you colder than wearing nothing at all.
When wet it get heavy and rubs and chafes. If you have ever walked any distance in a pair of wet jeans you will have experienced this first hand.
Cotton socks will rub and cause blisters.
Because cotton absorbs water it takes a long time to dry. Wet clothes stripped off in the evening will still be wet in the morning.

Artificial technical fibres can be good but its difficult judge the efficacy by relying purely on the makers sales blurb. Wool (or clothes with wool content) will IMO provide the most reliable performance. Nature evolved wool to protect an animal from the elements and it does that job well when clothing is made from it. It does everything that cotton doesn't.

It can absorb 30% of its mass in moisture and still fell dry to the touch.
It is naturally water repellent so it wicks and dries quickly.
It insulates well because the fibres maintain their structural "spring" when wet. This maintains the space between the fibres in the cloth and its the space between the fibres that create the warmth not the fibres. Wool can still insulate when completely soaked.
It doesn't collapse when wet so it doesn't rub and create blisters.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman