Pretty much nobody is making waterproof clothes out of non-breathable materials bar stuff like your actual plastic mac, caver's boiler suits etc. Vents are good, mesh is at least perceived to be good, but you'd have to go out of your way to find coats without some breathable coating or membrane. That market just doesn't exist any more.horizon wrote: ↑20 Nov 2023, 4:15pmDo you mean by accident or by design (i.e. the fabric)? What I read into Altura's blurb is that it isn't but not to worry as we have lots of vents and mesh.
I'm giving you possible explanations as to why your base and mid layers weren't dry despite a notionally breathable shell. That's not because you're doing something wrong, though you may want to change tactics.
If you're a profuse sweater at almost any exertion level then you'll be wet, but there again in that case you'll be soaking even without the rain and without the waterproof. Whatever happens you'll be at least as wet from sweat as on a similarly warm dry day.
For most people serious clothes-soaking sweat is your body cooling itself, typically because of exertion. If you're exerting yourself enough to sweat quite a bit anyway then you'll be wet anyway (just as you would without the rain and the coat) but as long as you keep going you'll be warm enough.
At lower levels of exertion there's a balance between being warm enough not to shiver (the body's way of heating itself up) and cool enough not to sweat much (its way of cooling itself down). Careful layering and venting can help get you nearer the balance point (the most effective vents are hampered by the best way of letting warm, moist air out are also the best way of letting rain in...).
This is very much the case (and add cut and fit to design). In fact the main group of people not saying this are probably marketing departments, because it's their job to convince you that a top of the line SuperDuperTex jacket will as good as stop you sweating...
I wouldn't say "top layers in reserve", I'd say hard shell in reserve, because the limitations of hard shells means they're easy to "out-sweat", and the more you use them as general coats the less well they work (mainly through DWR degradation) when you need them. A windproof/soft shell top layer can often be deployed right from the off.
I don't think there's any particular debate about Goretex, it's just one of many breathable/waterproof fabrics that share similar limitations, and being less perfect than their marketing suggests means that knowing how and why they're imperfect can help you get the most out of them, and/or not be unduly disappointed when e.g. you get wet on a wet day even though your clothes are "guaranteed to keep you dry" (that's Gore's trademarked term, but other vendors are just as capable of utter tosh).
Good practice is anything that means you have an acceptable time of it, and as long as you're not actively miserable then getting at least a bit wet in the rain ought to be acceptable, just as still having a sweaty top when you go for a run despite it being a miracle wicking moisture control fabric is acceptable.