Author Topic: Not waterproof? Maybe the wrong type of rain?  (Read 517 times)

gunwharfman

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Not waterproof? Maybe the wrong type of rain?
« on: 20:24:00, 22/11/18 »
I had wet weather clothing and boot failure in wet and windy weather on Great Gable on November 11th and its bothered me ever since!
I have already discovered that my boots leak along the sole top seam.

Its why my Paramo Alta 2 failed that bothers me most. Its never done so before. I proofed it in September as per instruction from their web site.

I then started to think of the types of rain and wind that I have experienced since I started hiking. Without being too accurate, I think in term of drizzle, heavy rain with no wind and heavy rain with high winds. As far as I remember my jacket has never leaked in drizzle, or in heavy rain with no wind. I remember a couple of years ago walking along Coniston water and it was raining cats and dogs but no wind at all. The heavy rain was vertical.

On November 11th recently the rain was heavy at times and the wind was blowing strongly into my face. The rain pelted directly on my face. Although I had my hood up and tight I suspect that this is where it seeped in.

Of course the other consideration was that I was going uphill and perspiring, that too would have made me feel wet. The reason why I think rain got in because I could feel cold lines filtering down the front of my chest to my waist and groin area. When I check later the whole of my trouser waist area was wet through.

It just crosses my mind that when we think something is not waterproof, I wonder what type of rain we were walking in at the time? I do remember very clearly that when I used commute by motor bike I used a big 'baby grow' with a tight Velcro fitting strap around my neck to stay dry in rain. After about 20 miles I always became wet on the inside. The rain was hitting the smooth nylon material, most drops would descend down but other drops flowed UP to my collar and I gradually became wetter and wetter.

Maybe I became wet on November 11th because some of the rain was flowing UP to my hooded area and even though it was tight to my face the water still managed to seep in? That's what I think at the moment, what do you think? You can call me a silly old nutter if you wish!

pauldawes

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Re: Not waterproof? Maybe the wrong type of rain?
« Reply #1 on: 21:31:46, 22/11/18 »
The guy I bought my Paramo jacket from long ago, suggested that although re-proofing wasn’t needed that often, that fairly frequent washing was...he washed his most times after a full day in hills, in general recommended washing every four to six weeks.


In addition I seem to recall that he advised  in certain temperature ranges...5 to 10 degrees C, a lot of condensation can be expected in any kit.


And yes...I also think you’re right to suggest that driving rain in “wrong” direction (walking directly towards it, against wind) will enventually see rain being forced in, via hood.

NeilC

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Re: Not waterproof? Maybe the wrong type of rain?
« Reply #2 on: 23:12:26, 22/11/18 »
Paramo does have a reputation for getting overwhelmed by heavy, wind blown rain. So maybe it was actually leaking?

Owen

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Re: Not waterproof? Maybe the wrong type of rain?
« Reply #3 on: 11:17:47, 23/11/18 »
I don't use Paramo but my brother does, he has also had this problem. I think it's just the material wetting out, once it gets to a critical amount of wet-ness it can't hold back anymore so it leaks. Gore-tex isn't any better in heavy rain. There comes a point where whatever you're wearing you're going to get wet, that's life.

sussamb

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Re: Not waterproof? Maybe the wrong type of rain?
« Reply #4 on: 11:51:00, 23/11/18 »
Don't know about that. Walked in heavy rain numerous times in my Berghaus goretex jacket and not been wet.  Remember in particular my first Pennine way crossing Fountains Fell, and it felt like they had  :)


Only time I've been in rain where I've contemplated taking shelter as there was hardly any wind and my head was taking a pounding with the rain bouncing off my head.  Stayed dry though  O0
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Rather be walking

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Re: Not waterproof? Maybe the wrong type of rain?
« Reply #5 on: 12:38:46, 23/11/18 »
I use a Craghoppers' Corran Jacket with GORE-TEX®, has never let me down. I've used on the C2C, Pennine Way, Hangers Way all with some very bad weather without problem.I only moan is  the map pocket is a tat tight.
Jon.
““The hardest part was coming to terms with the constant dispiriting discovery that there is always more hill.”
― Bill Bryson, A Walk in the Woods

phil1960

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Re: Not waterproof? Maybe the wrong type of rain?
« Reply #6 on: 12:53:48, 23/11/18 »
My two main waterproofs are my Montane Direct Ascent Event jacket and my Paramo Velez, both get used in all sorts of rain, neither have leaked or been overwhelmed by the weather, maybe I’ve been lucky  ???
Touching from a distance, further all the time.

NeilC

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Re: Not waterproof? Maybe the wrong type of rain?
« Reply #7 on: 13:53:18, 23/11/18 »
I don't think there is much evidence to support standard 3-layer Goretex letting water through the actual fabric unless it's faulty or broken down with age.

Paramo is in a different category. It has no hydrostatic head measurement because it has very limited hydrostatic head resistance. You sit in a puddle in Paramo trousers for any length of time and you get a wet bottom. Its waterproofness is only measured to 4 hours using the Leeds Uni rain room test. That is a lot of water but it's not necessarily the same as 50mph driven rain on a mountain ridge either.

A plain Paramo fleece is surprisingly rain resistant in average conditions, for quite a while. The waxed "fur" makes the rain collect in drops and pushes them to the tips of the fibres where they roll off. But hard, persistent rain is too much for it and it gets driven in and soaks up. In the full Analogy clothing, the design combats this by putting a DWR coated polyester fabric over the top which serves two purposes: it absorbs the kinetic energy of driven rain so it's not driven through the fibres of the liner and the DWR causes a lot of the rain to bead up and drop off before it gets to the liner, thus reducing the amount of water it has to deal with.

So it makes perfect sense that very hard, windblown rain for hours on end can and will overwhelm the system. And the reports of users are all over the internet to read. Even when you discount the % of people who can't discriminate sweat from leaks, you can't ignore the fact that it fails under certain circumstances.

I own several bits of Paramo and I've been through some pretty hard rain and it's been fine, but I'm not blind to the potential for failure. it relies in its DWR beading ability much more than a membrane jacket does. Membranes get sweaty when they wet out, but with Paramo it lowers the actual waterproofness of it.

I've no idea if Gunwharfman's Paramo leaked through the fabric or if it was just rain getting through a zip or down the neck. Does the Alta II have an uncovered zip? On my jackets they only have internal storm-flaps and they're not as good as external ones. On the Quito the flaps are pretty narrow and water can get in the underarm vents slightly.

phil1960

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Re: Not waterproof? Maybe the wrong type of rain?
« Reply #8 on: 15:10:10, 23/11/18 »
I walk mainly in the Brecon Beacons and Mid Wales, not the worlds highest mountains but rain and wind we get in bucket loads. I also spend a fair bit of time in Snowdonia, again the wind/rain combo is very common, I’ve had two Paramo jackets yet to fail, as for the Montane well it’s pretty weather bomb proof.
Touching from a distance, further all the time.

Doddy

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Re: Not waterproof? Maybe the wrong type of rain?
« Reply #9 on: 16:16:10, 23/11/18 »

Other than in winter and then depending on the forecast, and on multiday/week walks, I used either a Berghaus Paclite jacket or an OMM Kamleika, these are now little beaten after many years so I now have an OR Helium jacket
In the winter or when a great deal of rain is forecast I wear a Furtech Claw jacket; a similar fabric to Paramo.
After a very wet day in the Yorkshire Dales and feeling towards hypothermia and not to be caught out again I now added a Paramo Trail shirt and a Paramo base layer. That is belt and braces but it works.
I think most agree in very heavy rain just about any jacket will be overwhelmed, if not outside but from the inside. On day walks I often carry an Senz umbrella as that keeps the rain reaching the jacket and works if it is not to windy.

Maggot

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Re: Not waterproof? Maybe the wrong type of rain?
« Reply #10 on: 14:28:36, 24/11/18 »
I wonder if, generally, we expect too much from our gear?  At the end of the day it's a coat, and has a million holes in it. 


Nature vs man made is quite simply not a fair fight, nature will win 100% of the time when it's rain vs man made materials.  I do a lot of cycling and canoeing and have had lots of 100% waterproof clothing, but often come back soaked  ;D   


I think I have said it on here before, a fabric can be 100% waterproof in a laboratory under strict test conditions, but when you make it into something and expose it to wind and rain from up/down/left/right/from the front and from the back, and sometimes all at once, then you are knackered.


The best bet is to always keep a nice dry set in a bag in a bag in a bag in your rucksack!