DWR

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DWR

Postby Dexter » Fri 22 Oct, 2021 6:14 pm

Okay, so we can all likely agree that waterproof breathable rain jackets don't often seem to do what they promise to do very well. And perhaps if we can't all agree on that, and some like them, that's cool too. Either way, with that put aside.. reapplying DWR seems to be expected unless you replace your jacket every 6 months. And to some extent it almost seems like you're trying to pick the best of a bad bunch. Nothing I have tried yet seems to do a great job. Is there something out there in 2021 that's improved things? Something outside of perhaps Nikwax, Grangers, ReviveX? What do you find works best?
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Re: DWR

Postby spacemandave » Tue 26 Oct, 2021 9:03 pm

Following. Interested to know too. I'm in the process of buying or making gear for three people, and rain jackets is the hardest one to nail down so far. From reading other threads I'm tempted to go as cheap as possible on non-breathable with plenty of ventilation. But I figure growing up I was brain-washed into believing I need gore-tex (or equivalent), and that belief is hard to shake, so if reapplying DWR actually works I'd probably invest in something breathable.
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Re: DWR

Postby Dexter » Tue 26 Oct, 2021 10:33 pm

I just reapplied Nikwax to my jacket before going on a day walk on the weekend. We got a decent amount of rain and it wet out pretty quickly. I usually use Grangers and it seems to work a bit better. It just doesn't last long.

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Re: DWR

Postby slparker » Wed 27 Oct, 2021 9:00 am

There are jackets now with external membranes that cannot wet out, Columbia outdry and Gore shakedry.

I have the former and it works. the latter is supposedly extremely breathable but not very durable.

Th eother options are silnylon such as a poncho, I suppose which also cannot wet out. Th eother option is a rainbird type el cheapo but I have never used them as I went straight from waxed japara to goretex in my youth
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Re: DWR

Postby Dexter » Thu 28 Oct, 2021 5:54 am

slparker wrote:There are jackets now with external membranes that cannot wet out, Columbia outdry and Gore shakedry.


Oh now this is interesting.

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Re: DWR

Postby Dexter » Thu 28 Oct, 2021 1:22 pm

So after searching around and seeing some reviews, it seems Gore made a jacket as recently as last year called a 'GORE R7 Shakedry Trail' which was using 30% thicker fabric intended for hiking/backpacking. Yet I can't find anything about it on their site... and I'm not even sure I've seen Gore being sold here anyway. Apparently Montbell had some jackets using it, but also can't seem to locate these... they were the older shakedry tech which was less durable. The Columbia site also doesn't have their Outdry jackets on their site (the aussie one at least).

Apart from the Columbia being a bit heavy, and the Gore not having pit zips, they both seem to offer a lot more than current waterproof/breathable options. The few reviews I've seen are pretty encouraging. Just strange they seem to be discontinued or something?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9F8WgAhbsfo


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0M48hnlQqs
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Re: DWR

Postby Dexter » Thu 28 Oct, 2021 3:02 pm

Just some further info I've found today.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Ultralight/com ... e_durable/
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Re: DWR

Postby spacemandave » Sat 30 Oct, 2021 6:00 pm

slparker wrote:There are jackets now with external membranes that cannot wet out, Columbia outdry and Gore shakedry.


Dexter wrote:The few reviews I've seen are pretty encouraging. Just strange they seem to be discontinued or something?


Thanks for the info. These types of materials do look good, but it seems they haven't really taken the market by storm. Maybe there are production or economic issues at play? Perhaps the fabrics are still going through some iterations and improved versions are just over the horizon.
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Re: DWR

Postby Dexter » Sat 30 Oct, 2021 8:05 pm

I'm hoping that's the case.

I've actually spent way more of my time than is likely healthy, reading about variations of this tech. The Columbia OutDry gear seems to be durable enough to use with a pack although perhaps doesn't breath as well. I have seen variants like the 'OutDry Ex Reign' that's quite full featured with pit zips and pockets, this also makes them heavier. The Shakedry stuff is questionable in regards to durability but is super light. No pockets apart from a small chest pocket and no pit zips. Gore used to make a 'H5' with Shakedry. The H referring to Hike, and had thicker material to handle more abrasion with a pack. That seems to be discontinued, and now the closest is the R7 Trail. Uses the same thicker material but curiously intended for running and not hiking. They state that it's okay with a 'light pack' which is pretty vague and useless.

I asked an American reviewer who's used one for a couple of years how it's gone and got a response.

"I'm so over reapplying DWR on jackets and tempted to give this a go. How's it gone long term for you? know it's only advised to be used with a light pack, which is a bit vague. What's your gut feeling on using this on multi day hikes where you might be carrying 20-25 pounds?"

"Hey Gavan. No got feeling required here. I've been using this jacket on every trip for the last two years for a few thousand miles and carrying anywhere from 15-30 lbs (for an FKT). So far I've had zero wear and it has never wet out. If you backpack or run a lot and are looking for the lightest and best rain jacket on the market this is it. Even after two years there still isn't another better rain jacket."

Either way, as mentioned both OutDry and Shakedry seem to be near impossible to find unless you buy it from the US and use parcel forwarding or similar. Most of the stock I've seen has also been only small sizes left. I'm definitely hoping it's just supply issues due to the pandemic or there are new versions on the way.
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Re: DWR

Postby spacemandave » Mon 01 Nov, 2021 2:44 pm

That's a strong vote of confidence from the American reviewer, thanks for sharing. I will definitely keep my eye on the market for these kinds of jackets to see if more options come out and prices drop. Cheers.
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Re: DWR

Postby Gadgetgeek » Sat 06 Nov, 2021 3:49 pm

Right now we are in the next shift in technologies/chemistry and so it might be a couple years before we see the same results that we had in the past. From my understanding, the older DWR coatings were more durable, but far more toxic, and ended up in the environment. Newer products are less toxic, but still not great, but also do not bond as well to the fabrics.
I think we will be in a limbo until we get the next design improvement, kind of like how we went from 3 layer to 2.5, or 1.5 layer designs, as well as effective venting. I think that we will also see companies start to push alternates if they think they can get some market foothold, as people are willing to make comfort compromises in response to environmental responsibility. Some companies will push comfort regardless of the total cost, but others will set their reputations on preforming more than lip service to pollution concerns.
Additionally, a big factor that remains to be seen is durability not only in regards to use, but time, UV and oxygen exposure. Sure a jacket might be good for 1000km, but that does me no good if it bleaches out in a few hours of QLD sun, or has a hard three year lifespan. These are measures that will only be found out over time.
Given the popularity of suspended frame packs, I wouldn't be shocked if we start seeing more "patchwork" designs with differing fabrics based around the more modern styles of walking. But of course if I want arcteryx levels of engineering, I have to pay that price.
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Re: DWR

Postby EGM » Sun 14 Nov, 2021 1:38 pm

I understand why DWR is important in non water proof materials but aren't 2.5 and 3 layer jackets inherently waterproof meaning the DWR is just a bonus?

I also just stumbled across the Kathmandu zeolite Shakedry jacket and it love to know it anyone has owned one and can report on durability etc.

Thanks
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Re: DWR

Postby Joynz » Sun 14 Nov, 2021 3:20 pm

Hi EGM - My Mont 3-layer jacket is 100% waterproof!

Mont advised me not to use a DWR wash at all - just to enhance the DWR by washing, then ironing with a warm iron while damp. then drip drying.

So that’s what I do; the fabric is hydronaut though not goretex. And it’s 3-layer so not super lightweight.
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Re: DWR

Postby Dexter » Sun 14 Nov, 2021 3:50 pm

EGM wrote:I understand why DWR is important in non water proof materials but aren't 2.5 and 3 layer jackets inherently waterproof meaning the DWR is just a bonus?

I also just stumbled across the Kathmandu zeolite Shakedry jacket and it love to know it anyone has owned one and can report on durability etc.

Thanks
The issue is that if the face fabric soaks up water (wets out) the jacket no longer can breath. And while you won't get wet from the rain, condensation forms inside the jacket and you get wet regardless.

I don't use a wash-in either. I may be wrong but I just always assumed I didn't want DWR on the inside of the jacket. For my arc'teryx they recommend a spray on to reapply DWR. It eventually wears off from ebrrasion and washing so while ironing or tumble drying (applying heat) reactivates it, and washing un-clogs breathable pores. It's highly likely you'll need to reapply to have the jacket performing as it should.

Once it starts to go, it never seems to work as well as brand new.

I'd be interested to know about the Kathmandu Shakedry jacket. I don't rate their gear very highly but if they are using the gore thicker material it could be worth considering.

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Re: DWR

Postby Dexter » Tue 16 Nov, 2021 12:53 pm

I just bought the Kathmandu Shakedry on black Friday sale $150 off. (not usually a brand I take very seriously). Feels thin compared to my other rain gear. Super light though. Interested to see how the durability holds up with a pack. I don't really do any off track walking, but I don't see it going well bush bashing. I'm not too concerned about the lack of pockets but pit zips would have been nice.

For reference, should someone choose to try one out, the sizing seems true to what I'd expect. I'm usually a Large to XL. Large fit me over a hoodie, but was a touch restrictive so went the XL. I like plenty of room and for the sleeves to have enough length to fit over my hands if I want.

Edit: One interesting thing to note is that the Gorewear R7 Shakedry Trail weighs just under 180g. This one weighs 220g. Since it has no pockets etc either I'd be surprised it would be anything but the same material. The label says "It's also abrasion resistant when wearing your run vest or pack." Other Shakedry jackets using the thinner fabric often specifically state not to wear it under a pack.
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Re: DWR

Postby wayno » Sun 21 Nov, 2021 1:06 pm

older DWR coatings were more durable...
they stopped using the chemicals for those because they were so toxic and persistent in the environment...
the latest may still not be great for the environment.
some of us come from a time before DWR, and we survived hikes OK without it...
you're going to get wet from sweat when its raining regardless how good your DWR is... when its raining, the moisture stops moving through the waterproof membrane because the outside air is saturated with moisture and it won't accept any more, the humidity has to be below 100% . the lower the better. high humidity then the waterproof membranes won't shift the amount of moisture advertised, that's from perfect conditions in a factory...
manufacturers don't tell you this because its not good for their marketing...
start thinking of your raingear as a wetsuit. you'll seldom bein the right conditions to avoid building up a lot of sweat in your raingear when you're on the move hiking
you can easily build up a sweat inside the jacket when its not raining at all..
get a jacket with venting, or if its not too windy or cold, use a rain cape.
stop assuming because you're paying a lot of money for the latest tech its going to work as advertised. its marketing
from the land of the long white clouds...
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Re: DWR

Postby Dexter » Sun 21 Nov, 2021 1:23 pm

Yeah that's correct. It's similar to a Teflon compound as far as I know. I think I'd rather wear a jacket coated in it than cook food on it though.

In regards to environmental impact, my question would be on the impact of buying a load of new bottles of DWR to reapply. Probably exchanging one kind of bad thing for another since the issue with fluorocarbon DWR is more that it won't break down. The carbon footprint of the newer method seems like a poor choice as well.

I'm still keen to know if there's anything better on the horizon for a DWR, but even better if these new fabrics can do away with it all together.

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Re: DWR

Postby slparker » Mon 22 Nov, 2021 8:49 am

wayno wrote:you're going to get wet from sweat when its raining regardless how good your DWR is... when its raining, the moisture stops moving through the waterproof membrane because the outside air is saturated with moisture and it won't accept any more, the humidity has to be below 100% . the lower the better. high humidity then the waterproof membranes won't shift the amount of moisture advertised, that's from perfect conditions in a factory...
manufacturers don't tell you this because its not good for their marketing...


Whilst it is correct that in the rain waterproof membranes don't work as well at shifting water vapour, as in the dry, it isn't true that water vapour stops being able to get through the membrane. For example, people wearing goretex dry suits still experience water vapour transfer from the inside into the dense cold 100% water outside the membrane when diving.

What happens when hiking is that, when the DWR inevitably fails, it leads to a temperature drop on the surface of the jacket; as water sits there in a slick. As a result water vapour condenses inside the jacket - not from not being able to leave but from dropping out of the water vapour into liquid - that liquid cannot leave the jacket frnm the inside unless it turns to vapour again - we all know that that is never going to happen.

Some water vapour still leaves but it is true that the water slick on the outside jacket surface also inhibits water vapour egress. This is as what was explained to me by an independant textile expert.

The big problem with this, as we all know, is that the condensation inside the jacket conducts heat from the body to the cold membrane, which can conduct heat really well to the water slick on the outside of the jacket. The external membrane jackets (that don't rely on impermanent DWR) still get overwhelmed by a bushwalker working hard on a cold wet day but they don't suffer the same condensation/conductive heat loss problem - except fo rthe back of the jacket where sweat accumulates under the pack (but then you get the wetsuit effect).

I agree with Wayno when he states that if you are walking in wet weather you will get damp from outside or inside and I also agree that the solution is ventilation/ managing sweat and temperature as if the jacket is a wetsuit. But the mechanism is a lot more complex and chemical DWR -less systems (external membrane - such as Gore Shakedry and Columbia Outdry) is likely to be the best option if you want a traditional jacket: other than an umbrella.

Another way of solving this problem is a silnylon garment which doesn't breathe (transfer water vapour) at all - but also doesn't maintain a water slick on the surface, so it is less conductive. The downside to this is that you need good ventilation or a slower work rate otherwise water vapour accululates really heavily inside the jacket - hence they work best as ponchos/pack covers.
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Re: DWR

Postby Dexter » Mon 22 Nov, 2021 6:54 pm

Yeah I think there's a lot of sense to this. I've stood pretty much still in the rain while my shoulder area wet out. I still got damp on the inside and I guarantee it wasn't sweat, but condensation due to the temperature delta.

Wayno - I definitely agree that $$$ doesn't equal performance in rainwear. The Shakedry jacket I just bought is a lot cheaper than others I've bought before, and I suspect is going to be a step in the right direction for me.

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Re: DWR

Postby Drew » Thu 02 Dec, 2021 10:47 am

I decided a while ago the breathable GoreTex and its copies are a load of rubbish. I needed a new raincoat and was close to buying a proudly non-breathable but waterproof, LightHeart Gear jacket, on the back of Section Hiker's rave review - he's been complaining about the "breathable" scam for a long time! (https://sectionhiker.com/lightheart-gea ... w-silpoly/)

But getting one from the USA was too expensive. Part of the attraction of these jackets is their low cost, but that is well and truly lost to exchange rate and shipping. And not being able to try one on made it less appealing. I ended up getting a Patagonia Torrentshell on sale for $75, so I'm still stuck in the battle against wetting out.
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Re: DWR

Postby Dexter » Thu 02 Dec, 2021 8:16 pm

Drew wrote:I decided a while ago the breathable GoreTex and its copies are a load of rubbish.


Same. Though I haven't yet put Shakedry through it's paces in the wet, I have worn it walking home for about 30 mins on a humid evening and it certainly breaths a hell of a lot better than any other GoreTex jacket I've owned... and better than my OR ascent shell. The weight is certainly right.. only thing to question is it's durability. If it holds up I reckon it's a winner for now. Still wish it had pit zips and pockets.
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