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Main Boards => Gear => Topic started by: addyeddy on 12:00:20, 03/04/19

Title: Walking jackets... Bewildered!!
Post by: addyeddy on 12:00:20, 03/04/19
I've previously had basic Trespass and Keela jackets, and was looking for something a bit better with better breathability and ventilation for basic hill walking in the spring and autumn.


On the spur of the moment, I bought a Montane Atomic jacket which I'm awaiting delivery of, but I've now read reviews which say the breathability and moisture control isn't very good at all, and it isn't even totally waterproof so I'll probably send it back.


I've looked online and read lots of articles and am now just bewildered at the different technologies and what would be best for me.


Ideally, I'd definitely like a jacket with pit zips and that will have enough room underneath for a fleece should things get a little chilly, I don't want the jacket to feel clammy against my skin, and has good moisture control.


Am I best looking at a Goretex or will one of the other technologies be more suited to what I'm looking for?


Finally, are there any jackets with forearm vent zips, as oddly that's where I seem to sweat the most!


Any help/advice appreciated from this first time poster!
Title: Re: Walking jackets... Bewildered!!
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 12:22:22, 03/04/19
I know Gore Tex Pro is the daddy of traditional waterproof technologies but Nikwax Analogy is a different sort of waterproofing which some people prefer. As far as I know with the exception of eVent (I hear it's more breathable) all the others are poorer imitations of Gore Tex but cost less and have a wider range of large sizes. Up to you how much you spend.

If you want the best there's an answer about Nikwax Analogy vs Gore Tex here (https://outdoors.stackexchange.com/questions/8219/paramo-vs-gore-tex-jackets). Paramo are the company who make Nikwax Analogy clothing.

You'll have to wait for someone else to give jacket recommendations but I think I'm right about the fabrics. Someone will correct me if not!
Title: Re: Walking jackets... Bewildered!!
Post by: addyeddy on 12:33:25, 03/04/19
Thanks for your reply. As much as I'd like a Goretex Pro, out of my price range I'm afraid. I'm looking at £150 max.
Title: Re: Walking jackets... Bewildered!!
Post by: sussamb on 13:14:05, 03/04/19
Not sure why you think it's not waterproof?


There's a review here and it's said to be waterproof in numerous things I've read


https://www.montane.co.uk/blog/2018/10/atomic-jacket-wins-best-value-in-trail-magazine-review/
Title: Re: Walking jackets... Bewildered!!
Post by: zuludog on 13:20:00, 03/04/19
The problem, as you've found out, is that there are so many!

Have a look at the sale/clearance sections of Cotswold and Go Outdoor websites, there are often bargains if you're not too fussy about the exact model or colour

Any decent branded membrane fabric jacket should suit you, but the problem is that they do eventually wear out. How long this takes will depend on the wear & use you give it, and the quality in the first place

An alternative is a jacket by Paramo/Nikwax. They can be re-proofed at home indefinitely; I know people who've had them for 15 years, and they're still going strong.
Don't be put off by the idea of re-proofing, it is an easy enough process with Nikwax wash-in proofer
The disadvantage is that they are a bit heavy, and expensive, but worth getting if you can possibly find the money
Search Paramo's website, there are various models; I think their Cascada jacket has zips & vents on the forearms

At the moment Go Outdoors have an additional 15% discount on all items till 9th April, but check with their website 
Title: Re: Walking jackets... Bewildered!!
Post by: pauldawes on 17:48:41, 03/04/19
The problem, as you've found out, is that there are so many!

Have a look at the sale/clearance sections of Cotswold and Go Outdoor websites, there are often bargains if you're not too fussy about the exact model or colour

Any decent branded membrane fabric jacket should suit you, but the problem is that they do eventually wear out. How long this takes will depend on the wear & use you give it, and the quality in the first place

An alternative is a jacket by Paramo/Nikwax. They can be re-proofed at home indefinitely; I know people who've had them for 15 years, and they're still going strong.
Don't be put off by the idea of re-proofing, it is an easy enough process with Nikwax wash-in proofer
The disadvantage is that they are a bit heavy, and expensive, but worth getting if you can possibly find the money
Search Paramo's website, there are various models; I think their Cascada jacket has zips & vents on the forearms

At the moment Go Outdoors have an additional 15% discount on all items till 9th April, but check with their website


I agree with you that Paramo are worth considering....though we all know there’s a healthy dollop of subjectivity in these “judgments”.


From personal experience my own guess is that Cascada jacket might be “overkill” for use in most British conditions.


If not contemplating going out in Scottish winters, Paramo Velez Adventure Light probably warm enough...it’s jacket I’ve used in Dark Peak winters and found it good. Lighter and less expensive than Cascada...but it would still nowadays  be way over 150 quid target I’d guess.

Title: Re: Walking jackets... Bewildered!!
Post by: addyeddy on 17:59:34, 03/04/19

I agree with you that Paramo are worth considering....though we all know there’s a healthy dollop of subjectivity in these “judgments”.


From personal experience my own guess is that Cascada jacket might be “overkill” for use in most British conditions.


If not contemplating going out in Scottish winters, Paramo Velez Adventure Light probably warm enough...it’s jacket I’ve used in Dark Peak winters and found it good. Lighter and less expensive than Cascada...but it would still nowadays  be way over 150 quid target I’d guess.


It's the sheer variety that's mind boggling! I also think I may have to pay over my budget a little to get what I want. The ventilation on the Paramo jackets seems to be quite well regarded, so might be the way to go for me.
Title: Re: Walking jackets... Bewildered!!
Post by: gunwharfman on 18:33:54, 03/04/19
If I personally decided to choose a new waterproof jacket today I would start from the bottom! I would ensure it was long enough to cover my bottom, (some are just too short) to have a two-way zip, the sleeves to reach to the end of my middle finger when arms are hanging down, I prefer a strap secure around the wrist, not elasticated, to have one or two chest pockets (lower pockets can often be unusable when the rucksack is strapped across them) and to have an underarm ventilation system as well.

I would give the hood special attention, some are better than others. I prefer a 'wired' one. I would look at how well the hood secures around my face (can be very important in really wet and windy weather) give special attention to how it fastens under and over my chin.

As to its waterproofing qualities, I'm not sure? When I bought my first jacket, a Paramo Alta 2, it was fine as regards length, sleeve length, strap security around the wrist and the quality of the hood but what I didn't like was it was heavy (just my opinion) made me far too hot in the summer months, did not pack away small and when it rained I was never really sure if I felt wet inside because of the rain outside, or if it was just condensation wetness caused by my body heat?

I then bought a Marmot Precip, a single skin jacket, much lighter, and I could roll up smaller. The downside for me was the elasticated wrists and still the problem of condensation on the inside.

I hope I have contributed something useful?
Title: Re: Walking jackets... Bewildered!!
Post by: kinkyboots on 18:52:26, 03/04/19
It's the sheer variety that's mind boggling! I also think I may have to pay over my budget a little to get what I want. The ventilation on the Paramo jackets seems to be quite well regarded, so might be the way to go for me.

If you are not in a mad rush to buy and you are prepared to compromise on colour you may not need to spend anywhere near as much as you think!  ;)

In addition to buying new if you are also prepared to consider buying used Paramo clothing there are occasional bargains to be had on eBay if you are patient and prepared to wait for the right item to be listed. In the meantime get yourself to your nearest stockist and try some on, checkout the features and see what you think.

Some examples of Paramo clothing which I've managed to buy via eBay over the last few years:-

Paramo Cascada Jacket (hardly used almost new condition) @ £30 plus £5 postage.
Paramo Alta II Jacket (brand new)                                         @ £85 with free postage.
Paramo Cascada Trousers (brand new)                                 @ £50 with free postage.

My advice re buying Paramo clothing would be that regardless of whether you buy new or used some time spent refreshing the waterproofing with Nikwax Tech Wash and Nikwax TX Direct so it performs at its best is well worth the time and effort involved. My experience of Paramo clothing is that it definitely does require regular cleaning and reproofing.
 
Title: Re: Walking jackets... Bewildered!!
Post by: pauldawes on 07:06:23, 04/04/19

My advice re buying Paramo clothing would be that regardless of whether you buy new or used some time spent refreshing the waterproofing with Nikwax Tech Wash and Nikwax TX Direct so it performs at its best is well worth the time and effort involved. My experience of Paramo clothing is that it definitely does require regular cleaning and reproofing.


Yes, I agree, think large majority of Paramo users would agree regular washing/ reproofing needed.


In years when I used same Paramo jacket on practically every walk I did (going out a couple of times a week) I washed jacket 2 or three times a year and reproofed annually.


In same period Paramo trousers needed washing and reproofing considerably more often...probably because they tend to get clogged up with dirt far more than jacket in normal walking..so need frequent washing to clear “pores” to restore breath-ability.



Title: Re: Walking jackets... Bewildered!!
Post by: addyeddy on 07:10:25, 04/04/19
Thanks for the input everyone. I think this is one of those ocassion where going to a shop will definitely have it's benefits for me, so I can actually get a feel of what's available and feels right to me. Who knows, when I pick the Montane up today, it might be adequate for my needs 
Title: Re: Walking jackets... Bewildered!!
Post by: gunwharfman on 16:03:31, 04/04/19
The other way of looking at it is to primarily buy the jacket for warmth, protection from wind, etc but to think about getting wet as a standalone problem, not as a combined problem in one jacket. I am assuming of course that as you think about your walking jacket you are also thinking about buying, or have already bought waterproof trousers as well?

You could also solve your purchase in a different way? That's what I decided to do. Over my walking 'career,' I have walked in many types of weather, which for clothing purchases I now divide into 'wet' and 'dry.' I believe that I have walked a lot more in dry types of weather than I have in the wet. Keeping dry is I believe less of a problem than we perhaps we think.

All of my keeping dry views now, depend on me wearing waterproof gaiters, number one purchase! I use a Rab pair so my Plan A was to move onto a poncho and gaiters. This was not entirely to my liking (although I can live with it) so I have now moved on to Plan B, a long waterproof zip down the front coat (£15) and gaiters.

If I want to have a Plan C I can buy a cheap waterproof jacket, use my existing rain skirt and of course my gaiters.

By going through this way of thinking I realise now that I could have avoided the £250 Paramo jacket which I bought some time ago, which is now my 'down the pub' jacket which I now wear in the colder and darker months.
Title: Re: Walking jackets... Bewildered!!
Post by: addyeddy on 17:21:30, 04/04/19
The other way of looking at it is to primarily buy the jacket for warmth, protection from wind, etc but to think about getting wet as a standalone problem, not as a combined problem in one jacket. I am assuming of course that as you think about your walking jacket you are also thinking about buying, or have already bought waterproof trousers as well?

You could also solve your purchase in a different way? That's what I decided to do. Over my walking 'career,' I have walked in many types of weather, which for clothing purchases I now divide into 'wet' and 'dry.' I believe that I have walked a lot more in dry types of weather than I have in the wet. Keeping dry is I believe less of a problem than we perhaps we think.

All of my keeping dry views now, depend on me wearing waterproof gaiters, number one purchase! I use a Rab pair so my Plan A was to move onto a poncho and gaiters. This was not entirely to my liking (although I can live with it) so I have now moved on to Plan B, a long waterproof zip down the front coat (£15) and gaiters.

If I want to have a Plan C I can buy a cheap waterproof jacket, use my existing rain skirt and of course my gaiters.

By going through this way of thinking I realise now that I could have avoided the £250 Paramo jacket which I bought some time ago, which is now my 'down the pub' jacket which I now wear in the colder and darker months.


I'm happy with my winter wear that keeps me both dry and warm, it's warm wet days in spring and autumn that are the things I want to tackle, hence the need for good ventilation/breathability   I took delivery of the Montane Atomic today, and it would have been suitable I think, but the XXL goes nowhere near me, massively long sleeves and a small waist! Are there any makes with more relaxed fits than Montane?
Title: Re: Walking jackets... Bewildered!!
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 17:33:55, 04/04/19

I'm happy with my winter wear that keeps me both dry and warm, it's warm wet days in spring and autumn that are the things I want to tackle, hence the need for good ventilation/breathability   I took delivery of the Montane Atomic today, and it would have been suitable I think, but the XXL goes nowhere near me, massively long sleeves and a small waist! Are there any makes with more relaxed fits than Montane?


I've just got A Helly Hansen Loke Jacket for £100 in 4XL which I'd say is more like a 3XL. It has pit zips and 10k hydrostatic head and 10k g/m²/24hr breathability. I've only worn it around town so far in a shower so can't recommend it yet but some makes (like Helly Hansen) do bigger sizes. You could try getting a bigger size?
Title: Re: Walking jackets... Bewildered!!
Post by: Davidedgarjones on 18:51:07, 04/04/19
I've got two Mountain Equipment jackets made from Drilite which is cheaper than their Goretex jackets - so far so good.
Dave


Title: Re: Walking jackets... Bewildered!!
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 19:17:16, 04/04/19
I've got two Mountain Equipment jackets made from Drilite which is cheaper than their Goretex jackets - so far so good.
Dave

According to here (https://outdoorindustry.org/press-release/mountain-equipment-launches-new-drilite-fabric-and-range-of-ultralight-summer-shells/) Drilite has a hydrostatic head of 20k and 20k breathability. Should be a good fabric as usual with high performance fabrics no large sizes though.
Title: Re: Walking jackets... Bewildered!!
Post by: Bigfoot_Mike on 19:43:15, 04/04/19

I've just got A Helly Hansen Loke Jacket for £100 in 4XL which I'd say is more like a 3XL. It has pit zips and 10k hydrostatic head and 10k g/m²/24hr breathability. I've only worn it around town so far in a shower so can't recommend it yet but some makes (like Helly Hansen) do bigger sizes. You could try getting a bigger size?
That’s worth knowing Rob. It could be said that my frame is slightly larger than average, but that would be understating it. The current trend for alpine fit makes it difficult to find something suitable.
Title: Re: Walking jackets... Bewildered!!
Post by: kinkyboots on 19:46:24, 04/04/19
Marmot may be worth checking out as I know some of their jackets are made in what they term a "relaxed fit" and are also available in large sizes.

I have a Marmot PreCip which I managed to buy brand new for under £25 from Amazon. It spends most of the time in the pack but I find it suitable for warm wet days in spring, summer and autumn. I know a number of other members on the forum also have the Marmot PreCip and reviews have generally been good. It's probably not as breathable as some but for less than £25 I can't complain.  ;)
 
SportPursuit currently have some of the Marmot range on offer (NB you will need to register for access to the site and prices) https://www.sportpursuit.com/sales/marmot-aw18 (https://www.sportpursuit.com/sales/marmot-aw18)

Title: Re: Walking jackets... Bewildered!!
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 20:37:20, 04/04/19
That’s worth knowing Rob. It could be said that my frame is slightly larger than average, but that would be understating it. The current trend for alpine fit makes it difficult to find something suitable.


I can only give my experience on jackets for 4 brands (clothes are looser than jackets at 4XL). A Karrimor 4XL is a nice loose fit, A Tog24 4XL does up but leaves no room, Regatta 4XL is the same as TOG24, Helly Hansen 4XL is OK but I could only get 2 layers on underneath it. Should have sent it back for a 5XL really but I figured 2 layers is enough.


I'm a 58 inch waist which means I have to aim for clothes designed for a 58 inch chest. Don't know why they do the letter system which isn't consistent across brands, they should just put what chest chest size range it's supposed to fit but that would work too well...
Title: Re: Walking jackets... Bewildered!!
Post by: Rob Goes Walking on 20:51:56, 04/04/19
Marmot may be worth checking out as I know some of their jackets are made in what they term a "relaxed fit" and are also available in large sizes.


Couldn't find Marmot jackets bigger than 3XL (which was in America but should be big enough for the original poster). Someone listed a Gore Tex (!) Marmot 4XL Parka on the American eBay but it's long since sold and I can't find it anywhere else so they may have listed the wrong size; the only Gore Tex 4XL I've ever seen is a very expensive high viz workwear jacket.
Title: Re: Walking jackets... Bewildered!!
Post by: NeilC on 08:59:17, 05/04/19
Thanks for your reply. As much as I'd like a Goretex Pro, out of my price range I'm afraid. I'm looking at £150 max.


I have a Helly Hansen Odin Traverse which was under £150 new. Mine has been in prolonged bad conditions and is fully waterproof. Has pit zips. Pockets are badly placed for backpacking but a perfectly good and tough jacket.


I have some Paramo stuff too but if you're worried about people's reviews saying the Montane isnt waterproof then Paramo ones are gonna scare you. I find it can be too warm on warmer spring and autumn days when hillwalking.


Im not totally convinced by Paramo. Seems to be even more of a compromise than Goretex and more suited to day walking than backpacking.
Title: Re: Walking jackets... Bewildered!!
Post by: Litehiker on 19:27:13, 05/04/19
"To vent or not to vent, that is the question."
Personally I prefer pit zips on my WPB rain parkas.

It seems that if a WPB laminate breathes well it does not have enough hydrostatic head to keep out a driving rain. 

OTOH, if it has a high enough hydrostatic head it will not breathe well enough.


Thus the need for pit zips and other venting options. No pit zips on yer rain gear?
 Buy some waterproof zippers and have a tailor shop sew them in. I recommend you unstitch the area yourself or at least mark it so the zipper ends up in the correct location with the pull in the correct orientation. If you pin the zipper in place you may even get a beak in the labor cost. Pins must be at right angles to the zipper for the sewing machine needle to pass over them.


I eschew "wind shirts" and when necessary use my eVent parka for that purpose.


In brushy terrain that is hard on fabric I use my less expensive GTX Paclite parka. So far so good but its breathability is well below eVent.


Eric B.
[size=78%]
[/size]
Title: Re: Walking jackets... Bewildered!!
Post by: kinkyboots on 08:43:52, 06/04/19
This may be worth a read for some ideas and to narrow down your choice. https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/topics/clothing-mens/best-rain-jacket (https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/topics/clothing-mens/best-rain-jacket)

NB A couple of their recommendations may not be available in the UK.
Title: Re: Walking jackets... Bewildered!!
Post by: Jim Parkin on 20:46:25, 07/04/19

Yes, I agree, think large majority of Paramo users would agree regular washing/ reproofing needed.


In years when I used same Paramo jacket on practically every walk I did (going out a couple of times a week) I washed jacket 2 or three times a year and reproofed annually.


In same period Paramo trousers needed washing and reproofing considerably more often...probably because they tend to get clogged up with dirt far more than jacket in normal walking..so need frequent washing to clear “pores” to restore breath-ability.
Yup. 

The last heavy snow this winter, I decided to take as a holiday* and walk the long way to Kinder Scout (about 90mins in shortest route in good conditions).  I wore my 1992 Paramo Cascadia (?) trousers that have been frequently washed and reproofed, and used heavily over that time.  I still wear them if it's going to be wet all day, or a high chance of that, but otherwise, the cut and pockets mean I don't.  They still work better than most other options I've tried

I do wear my Velez smock (only 2005 vintage) more often - I regard it as a softshell that is pretty warm and happens to be effectively** waterproof.  Although it has reasonable venting options, I still don't wear it in summer as it tends to be too warm. 



*good call, a colleague who lives three quarters of a mile away toook 4-hours to get to work

**water does sometimes get in the side zips, but very little, and it does get "pumped" out so actually isn't a problem after a couple of minutes.  I'd rather be dry and comfortable everywhere with a little short-term proper wetness on one side than damp all over. 
Title: Re: Walking jackets... Bewildered!!
Post by: bipolarbob on 10:29:38, 11/04/19
ive got a paramo alta 3. good coat..expensive and not entirely waterproof (although i do admit it needs reproofing), and its bloody warm.  its like a sleeping blanket inside it.  Amazing coat.


I also picked up a Montane Alpine gore tex pro for £150 off Sport Pursuit.com.


 I find them to have loads of bargains on there if you are prepared to search and then wait for the product to arrive (they are like a holding company, i think. Have a read on their website what they actually are), and once the product is sent out the communication is brilliant from them about when it is arriving.
They are constantly having sales on there from BIG companies and little ones (do you're research on them), hence my Montane alpine for £150.

I got the missus a Arc'teryx beta ar...cost me a fortune but sooooo worth it.  Its the dogs whatsits of coats...amazing, a little snug though but an amazing coat.

You also have to note that all 'waterproof' coats are not actually 'waterproof' its just a selling thing.  They can be waterproof to a certain point then then after that they let in water..i think my alpine is 10000 Nhm (or something like that) with means how much water it can take on it before it fails...the more the Nhm the better the coat (but more expensive).  But be careful when coats say waterproof..more often they are for like 5 mins then fail.  The 'pro' bit in gore tex is actually the fact that its hard wearing, not to do with the waterproof part.  Thats to do with the darner...or how many yarns per whatever...the more darner the highter the Nhm the more waterproof, the more expensive.

id trawl round the internet if i was you..have a look on Sport Pursuit.com where you'll find something in you're price range that is gore tex pro and actually waterproof.

but be warned gote tex pro doesn't let heat out easily. so youll prob overheat in it...where as the paramo will...ish!!

have fun and i hope the above helps...although im no expert and most of it could be wrong!!
Title: Re: Walking jackets... Bewildered!!
Post by: richardh1905 on 11:42:50, 11/04/19
but be warned gote tex pro doesn't let heat out easily. so youll prob overheat in it...where as the paramo will...ish!!



With all respect you are wrong there Bob, the Gore Tex Pro jacket that I have is pretty thin and has plenty of ventilation where it counts (pit zips), and even sweaty me does not overheat in it - I even run in it!
Title: Re: Walking jackets... Bewildered!!
Post by: bipolarbob on 12:14:55, 11/04/19

With all respect you are wrong there Bob, the Gore Tex Pro jacket that I have is pretty thin and has plenty of ventilation where it counts (pit zips), and even sweaty me does not overheat in it - I even run in it!


true..forgot about them!!! ive only worn mine once since i got it..im usually in my paramo!!