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  1. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Zurich, Switzerland
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    FutureLight - The North Face

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason4 View Post
    The comparisons to OR's AscentShell membrane don't sound like it's the revolution that TNF is hyping. I had a pair of OR Skyward pants last winter and loved them for touring and wanted GoreTex for lapping chairs. I loved the breathability and stretch of the pants as long as I was standing and didn't sit on a wet seat or let precip accumulate on my thighs but comparing the waterproofness to GoreTex is not realistic.
    From what I know, it’s all just based on how you tune the membrane. Its a continuum between breathability and waterproof - size of the ‘holes’ in the membrane. Different activities and climates require different tunings. There is no magic material (yet?).

    Waterproof -> Breathable
    Goretex — Event — Neoshell — Other?

    Not sure where FutureLight is being positioned. OR uses a variety of tunings I think. Rab is going past Neoshell maybe?

    Powershield opened up the idea of not-quite-waterproof many years ago with microperforations, this is just an evolution of the concept, with better control over the ‘perfs’.

    Remember though that you can kill a high breathability membrane with poor choices of face fabrics and backing materials (just like you can kill a ‘breathable’ insulation).

  2. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    4,261
    the not-quite-waterproof idea: gucci "encapsule" and gucci "regulator" pre-date powershield.

    i was going to chime-in and inquire about the nextel epic fabric, which was not a membrane. i remember when the company showed up at OR in 1999 or 2000(?). looking online, it appears that 3M bought(?) nextel and have re-tooled their tech for a different (more profitable?) application. i thought that the cheaper pricepoint single-walled BD tents used a nextel fabric when they first came out.

  3. #28
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Posts
    4
    @bodywhomper
    Are you referencing price point Bibler Tents c1999? Might have some old catalogs sitting around. Will look.

  4. #29
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    Aug 2006
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    4,261
    holy shit, a post from marshalolson!

    No. I’m referring to the non-bibler tents like the firstlight. When that tent first came-out, i believe it was using a Nextel epic fabric. Looking online, the fabric has changed on the firstlight tent.

    When I encountered Nextel at OR, they were in a small booth showing off their fabric working to sell to manufacturing companies or to people like Lock Miller who would advise manufacturers to check out the fabric. From my perspective at that time, Nextel epic fabric appeared to be similar in concept to the Patagonia encapsul (so?).

  5. #30
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    Aug 2006
    Posts
    4,261
    O snap. I just realized that it’s “nextec epic” fabric and not “Nextel”.... damn brain!

    https://nextec.com/

  6. #31
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    Sep 2010
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    Yeah, BD used Epic in some of their tents for a short time. I can’t seem to recall what the drawback of Epic was though? I feel like I remember reading that it was basically just a ‘permanent’ DWR? Not suitable for rain and abrasive environs? I think BD marketed their Epic tents as winter (aka snow) tents?

  7. #32
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    4,261
    I’m not sure about other manufacturers, but Wild Things is using Epic. I was always under the impression that the waterproofness of Epic could be altered based on the fabric material used and the density of the weave.

  8. #33
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Valley of the Sun
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    Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #34
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    771
    Quote Originally Posted by Lindahl View Post
    From what I know, it’s all just based on how you tune the membrane. Its a continuum between breathability and waterproof - size of the ‘holes’ in the membrane. Different activities and climates require different tunings. There is no magic material (yet?).

    Waterproof -> Breathable
    Goretex — Event — Neoshell — Other?

    Not sure where FutureLight is being positioned. OR uses a variety of tunings I think. Rab is going past Neoshell maybe?

    Powershield opened up the idea of not-quite-waterproof many years ago with microperforations, this is just an evolution of the concept, with better control over the ‘perfs’.

    Remember though that you can kill a high breathability membrane with poor choices of face fabrics and backing materials (just like you can kill a ‘breathable’ insulation).
    I can't speak to specifics, but for sure a highly breathable membrane isn't going to be put with 80D face fabric.

    Quote Originally Posted by The SnowShow View Post
    How is this any different than Polartech *Neoshell?
    Different manufacturing process of the membrane.
    TLDR; Ski faster. Quit breathing. Don't crash.

  10. #35
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    276
    Quote Originally Posted by Lindahl View Post
    Yeah, BD used Epic in some of their tents for a short time. I can’t seem to recall what the drawback of Epic was though? I feel like I remember reading that it was basically just a ‘permanent’ DWR? Not suitable for rain and abrasive environs? I think BD marketed their Epic tents as winter (aka snow) tents?
    I still have a few Gucci Epic pieces. My memory is that it totally encapsulated(thus Encapsil) all the fibers with silicone so it was a lifetime DWR. One piece was Epic treated microfiber polyester. Not very breathable nor waterproof, pretty windproof though. The other is a Dimension Jacket which to me is a modern 60/40 type jacket. Super breathable, not water proof but water resistant, dries really fast, durable af except for the early generation waterproof zippers. One of my favorite jackets, even bought extras used on ebay for a lifetime supply.

    I can't compare to modern materials as I don't generally like wpb fabrics and have been too cheap to buy a Neoshell piece.
    Intrigued by Neoshell and Futurelight though, looking forward to comparisons.

  11. #36
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    32
    TNF will use the FutureLight laminate in some tents and Bivys aswell. "FutureLight three-layer laminate material provides guaranteedwaterproofness and unparalleledbreathability"

  12. #37
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    12
    Looks like stuff is showing up on the website https://www.thenorthface.com/feature...light-all.html

  13. #38
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    Aug 2013
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    lol at the terrible color choices

    edit - NVM, I'm either a dumbass or their website functionality sucks. Most likely a bit of both

  14. #39
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    112
    Quote Originally Posted by davjr96 View Post
    Looks like stuff is showing up on the website https://www.thenorthface.com/feature...light-all.html
    Jackets are 650g+ @ 20/30D, is it right?

  15. #40
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    23
    Quote Originally Posted by PNB View Post
    Jackets are 650g+ @ 20/30D, is it right?
    This is my info:
    Brigadine Jacket: 920g / 75D - 100% Polyester
    Summit L5 Jacket: 660g / 70D - 93% Polyamid + 7% spandex
    Purist Jacket: 700g / 70D - 93% Polyamid + 7% Spandex

  16. #41
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    Jan 2014
    Location
    Swiss alps
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowtastic View Post
    + 7% Spandex
    The beginning of the end I tell you!

  17. #42
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    261
    Quote Originally Posted by snowtastic View Post
    This is my info:
    Brigadine Jacket: 920g / 75D - 100% Polyester
    Summit L5 Jacket: 660g / 70D - 93% Polyamid + 7% spandex
    Purist Jacket: 700g / 70D - 93% Polyamid + 7% Spandex

    thanks for the info.

    nothing particularly light about those weights.

    weird, because early press/testing focused on how extremely light the (Summit L5 in particular) clothing was. Early testers listed the jacket as 340g. Odd to see it come out at 660g, that's a huge jump.

  18. #43
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Swiss alps
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    457
    Jeez the athlete channeled propaganda on this stuff is clogging my instagram feed. Fuckin anoying. If this is the future of advertising I'm out.

  19. #44
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    23
    I was shopping for a new hardshell anyway. If they had freakin pit zips instead of this marketing shit I would have seriously considered buying one.

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by smooth operator View Post
    Jeez the athlete channeled propaganda on this stuff is clogging my instagram feed. Fuckin anoying. If this is the future of advertising I'm out.
    It's incessant. The name is annoying is too, but good luck to them. Would be great for the industry if it was excellent.
    Super-breathability with waterproofness seems like the answer, but I can't figure out why it's so heavy.

  21. #46
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    771
    Quote Originally Posted by east or bust View Post
    lol at the terrible color choices

    edit - NVM, I'm either a dumbass or their website functionality sucks. Most likely a bit of both
    Can confirm our website is wanting sometimes
    Last edited by NorCalNomad; 10-02-2019 at 03:58 PM.
    TLDR; Ski faster. Quit breathing. Don't crash.

  22. #47
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    323
    Nice to see there's a thread on this. I'm all for a new fabric that improves on what we have now, but frankly my problem with waterproof breathable fabric has always been loss of performance in the DWR and the surface wetting out / feeling clammy. North Face isn't claiming to have addressed that, so I wonder if the performance will hold up over time. I'll be interested to see reviews as consumers get their hands on Futurelight gear. My current rain coat will hold me for at least one more fall/winter/spring (gotta love the PNW), so no hurry.

  23. #48
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    771
    ^^ re DWR coatings. Until some radical new chemistry comes along the death of long chain carbon DWR due to environmental concerns makes run of the mill DWR coatings now less durable.

    Think of it kinda like railroad ties. Those bad boys will last a long time because of the chemical process, but you certainly don't want them as your dinning table.
    TLDR; Ski faster. Quit breathing. Don't crash.

  24. #49
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    10
    I tried on a few Futurelight garments today at the local North Face store: the men's Brigadine jacket, A-CAD jacket, and Purist bibs. The fabric wasn't as supple or stretchy as I had hoped for. The garments are by no means stiff and noisy (like some hard shells) but they aren't completely silent either. The fiber content of both jackets is listed as 100% Polyester with "mechanical stretch" while the bib fabric is 93% Nylon and 7% Elastane. Looking through my personal garment collection the only three laminated pieces which are soft and stretchy have face fabrics with 14 to 16% elastane and one of those makes more rustling noise (pet peeve) than the Futurelight garments I tried on.

    On the plus side the Futurelight garments appear to be moderately burly. On the negative side the jackets I tried on had one-way main zippers despite the TNF website listing two-way main zippers, which are useful on crotch length jackets.

    I did buy some Steep Patrol gloves which are mostly leather with a Futurelight insert. We'll see if Futurelight noticeably reduces sweat accumulation and drying time.
    Last edited by Chubb; 10-03-2019 at 10:24 AM.

  25. #50
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Boulder
    Posts
    320
    Looks like TNF update the site weights for the LT stuff. It now looks much better aligned with the earlier prototypes. (340 g jacket, 300 g pants) These are amazing weights for the protection and breathability afforded by these pieces.

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