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10-15-2012, 12:03 PM #1
Gore Windstopper IS different/breathable... ~= eVent?
Kind of an old topic, but it looks like there's some misinformation out there on Gore Windstopper. I found some interesting information and figured I'd share it here.
When ePFTE (eVent) layers are stretched, they become microporous and air permeable. They block water, but when contaminated with oil and sweat, the water droplets can 'hitch a ride with oil and sweat' through the micropores. Goretex added a very thin PU layer to ePFTE to avoid this problem. It is much thinner than most PU jackets, which is why it's supposedly more breathable. No matter, the PU layer basically blocks the air transfer of micropores, effectively removing all air permeability. This is why Goretex membranes don't really breath - it's the PU layer's fault.
Did eVent really find a way to treat ePFTE, or create a new ePFTE, that wasn't susceptable to the oil and sweat problems? I'm not sure. I've heard plenty of field use reports indicating the the performance of eVent is not very good once it gets dirty, and that it's essential to keep it clean. I personally have never had this problem with my eVent jacket. It still is just as waterproof and just as breathable as the day I got it. It's not exactly 100% clean, but I have washed it more than a couple times. In the end, however, eVent is just a ePFTE membrane, which is why it can breath, is air permeable, but still is effectively waterproof.
According to the following information below, it appears that Gore Windstopper IS different from traditional Goretex (all flavors). It does NOT have the additional PU layer. It is only the ePFTE layer, making it similar, if not identical, to eVent, and thus, air permeable. The bubbler test performed seems to indicate this. This also makes Windstopper NOT waterproof (in addition to zippers/seams), since the oil and sweat problem still exists.
Older discussions on the topic:
From what I can tell, Polartec Neoshell is also ePFTE, but has larger micropores (is it different, or just stretched more?), which is why it breaths better than eVent, but is less waterproof. Numbers I've seen are 0.1 CFM for eVent and 0.5 CFM for Neoshell, with waterproof ratings around 30000mm for eVent and 10000mm for Neoshell.
10-15-2012, 12:22 PM #2Dynafiddler
- Join Date
- Oct 2010
eVent is apparently coated with an oleophobic? material, helping to keep the pores from fouling with sweat and oil and dirt. The analogy I've seen used is a pasta strainer, if you dipped it in a coating it would cover the actual material but the holes would drain through and remain for air/water transport. I'm not as familiar with Gore Windstopper or Neoshell.
10-15-2012, 12:33 PM #3Mack Master William Large
- Join Date
- Feb 2007
- Billyburg, NY
I've got a neoshell jacket and so far so good, I'm interested to see how it holds up to a season's worth of use.
10-15-2012, 12:58 PM #4
Oh, also, I think it might be noteworthy to realize that face fabrics make a difference in an air-permeable membrane garment's breathability. Windstopper/eVent/Neoshell/Powershield/WB-400 with a nylon face fabric will be less breathable than one with a loose woven stretch fabric. This means that you can't fully rely on the membrane used in a garment to categorize it's breathability. From a few second-hand sources at the company, I believe Mountain Hardwear really spent a lot of time developing a highly breathable face fabric for their DryQ Elite series. I wouldn't be surprised if their flavor of eVent is more breathable than most, if not all. I wouldn't even be surprised if it's more breathable than NeoShell with a poorly chosen face fabric.
Nylon does have a benefit over a loose-woven stretch face fabric. It tries out MUCH faster, and absorbs MUCH less water. It's a better choice for face fabric when the garment is intended to be worn in a good rain or without being subject to the quality of the DWR in lighter rains.
10-15-2012, 06:58 PM #5
Not sure that the Mtn. Hardwear fabric is any different than anyone else's eVent - they purchased a license from GE like many other manufacturers and gave it a proprietary name. There are several different types of GORE-TEX® membranes, with different levels of breathability - my new jacket with GORE Active fabric seems quite a bit more breathable than GORE-TEX® Pro, but I haven't toured in it yet.
10-15-2012, 11:36 PM #6
My MHW Kepler (DryQ Elite) jacket is noticeably more breathable than my Westcomb Revenant jacket was. The membrane is the same, so I definitely chalk it up to the face and backing fabrics used. Durability remains to be seen as I've had the jacket for 1/2 a season and it's still pretty clean. My Mammut Ultimate Hoody (Gore Windstopper) has a similar level of breathability to the Kepler, which makes sense given the info above.
10-16-2012, 10:58 AM #7
My experience with Gore Windstopper gloves is that they're barely more waterproof than fleece liner gloves treated with DWR, they just absorb less water. It seems rather odd that people are comparing Windstopper to Goretex and eVent.
10-16-2012, 11:57 AM #8
ePTFE waterproof? ha ha ha ha ha
10-16-2012, 12:28 PM #9
I cant comment on gore windstopper but I can comment on event.
I have used event for three seasons and with washing 1-2 times a season (depending on day) with Nikwash I have never had water come though from the outside (never wetted out).
I was always wet on the inside with gore tex but it never wetted out either. Now active shell and pro are better, but I am sold on event and that's probably it for me.
I have skiied baker so PNW is wet, So is mammoth and kirkwood and I love skiing trees. Now bushwhackin is always an issue on many levels and would require a thread of its own IMO.
But for me, waterproof event is a non-issue. Gore requires retreat also and does allow drying which is nice. I like westcomb Canada vs China.I need to go to Utah.
Yeah, Utah. It's wedged in between Wyoming and Nevada. You've seen pictures of it, right?
20 days skiing in 2009/2010 (15 Powder days)
18 days skiing in 2010/2011 (15 Powder days)
16 days skiing in 2011/2012 (2 cat days and 11 Powder day's)
18 days skiing in 2012/2013 (12 powder day's)
10-16-2012, 05:47 PM #10
I had high hopes for eVent. It breathes a bit better, but it's just as non-waterproof as GoreTex. The reality is that water passes through ePTFE with minimal pressure, e.g., walking through wet brush for a few minutes, not to mention more common occurrences of significantly higher pressure, e.g., pack straps, climbing harnesses, dewy brush beating (common PNW approach). Is anybody here really going to claim that any ePTFE garment keeps out water when it gets between your pack straps and your ePTFE shell coat? Or between your climbing harness and your ePTFE pants? Or when bushwhacking through dense wet brush for 30 minutes?
10-16-2012, 11:54 PM #11
FWIW though, I did wear the Kepler jacket last year on a cat trip near Stevens Pass, WA during a 40+" storm and out of 14 people including guides, I was one of maybe 2 or 3 people who did not have their jacket wet through by the end of the day. Jackets that wetted through included several Flylow jackets (Quantum and Higgins), an older MHW Goretex jacket, and a couple Eddie Bauer First Ascent jackets.
10-17-2012, 01:27 AM #12Registered User
- Join Date
- Feb 2009
10-17-2012, 07:30 AM #13
Hear ya on that. I grew up using a plastic bag poncho stuffed in a pocket in the PNW. Guaranteed to get you through wet lift lines/rides.
I can't say I've ever had a problem with wet brush with Goretex or several other PU products.