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  1. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Zurich, Switzerland
    Posts
    5,494

    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
    Posts
    4,241
    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
    3
    @bodywhomper
    Are you referencing price point Bibler Tents c1999? Might have some old catalogs sitting around. Will look.

  4. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    4,241
    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
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    4,241
    O snap. I just realized that it’s “nextec epic” fabric and not “Nextel”.... damn brain!

    https://nextec.com/

  6. #31
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Zurich, Switzerland
    Posts
    5,494
    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
    Posts
    4,241
    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.

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