Author Topic: Fjallraven fail, or just me?  (Read 644 times)

Mick Grinham

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Fjallraven fail, or just me?
« on: 09:21:10, 01/11/20 »
Hi
I've been fussing over the perfect(for me) walking gear set up for ages, for ever it seems, and never completely getting it spot on. I seemingly generate a lot of body heat, so I'm always battling weather resistance with breathability, failing most of the time!
I recently went for the combination (after a loads of umming and ahhing) of a Fjallraven Skogso jacket, Paramo Bentu fleece and Fjallraven Karl trousers.
I'd had the jacket a while and learned it was in no way water proof, not even water resistant, but I'd stuck with it and tried the wax, too much of a chore, so I tried nikwax cotton waterproofing, which seemed to kind of work, a bit, well down to the local shops and back(1km). So I read up some more and sent for a Paramo Pajaro coat, but sent it back due to it's weight and extreme ugliness(sorry style does come into play a tad) and exchanged it for a Bentu fleece to sit under the Skogso jacket, and hopefully form a good combination of outer windproof/water resistance and midlayer water protection/breathability.
Sadly on a recent set of walks along the south west coastal path and over Dartmoor, I found a lot of faults with my plan, the jacket just became saturated, and the fleece trapped heat and I was soaked both inside and out.
The weather wasn't cold but the wind was pretty strong at times, I only had a very thin base layer/iso cool T-shirt, but every little whiff of rain/drizzle just seemed to be absorbed by the jacket and even with as many Zips open as practically possible, the heat just built up and I became soaked through from both directions.
I like the style/feel of the jacket but I'm obviously getting my set up badly wrong, any opinions?


watershed

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 273
Re: Fjallraven fail, or just me?
« Reply #1 on: 10:49:02, 01/11/20 »
Hi Mick welcome to the forum.
I think the bottom line is there is no perfect solution.
I also tend to run hot.
I use a RAB Kinetic Jacket as my outer layer for walks that the forecast suggests will be cold or maybe have a few light showers.
I used it as my sole jacket walking 198 miles across Scotland, on a TGO challenge, but found it lacking in Heavy all-day rain.
I then bought a RAB Latok Alpine Jacket as my bad weather one. It Is Waterproof and has good ventilation zips. It will still get damp when pushing on but can be dried on the move with use of the zips. Its reviews suggested that it was the best in a “group test” for ventilation and ditching heat.
https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/reviews/clothing-mens/hardshell-jacket/rab-latok-alpine-jacket
when doing hard walking/multi day walks, I use a merino Long sleeved base layer, merino leggings and Climbing shorts, with waterproof clothing when required
I take Berghaus packlite trousers when trekking but use heavier, less waterproof karrimor trousers when in the hills at home.
I don’t pay as much attention to my clothes when doing easier walks, like the road walking that I have done a lot more of this year due to Covid.
The most used top I have is an old scabby Berghaus Fleece that I got free from my work 8 years ago.

Mick Grinham

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Re: Fjallraven fail, or just me?
« Reply #2 on: 11:42:40, 01/11/20 »
Cheers for the welcome mate.
You're right of course, no such thing as a perfect set up I suppose, just whatever works best. 
I think I'm more peeved that I expected more from the fjallraven, based on the cost, but to be fair, the jackets great at wind resistance,  shocking at water, apart from it's amazing absorption quality😂😂😂 handy if you're out of drinking water I suppose. I'll give it another nikwax and except it as a decent fair/warm weather coat.

gunwharfman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5523
Re: Fjallraven fail, or just me?
« Reply #3 on: 13:58:38, 01/11/20 »
For my part, I tend to work from the principle of starting 'cool' (minimum clothing on) because I know that I will warm up. I wear a baselayer, then a shirt (the shirt is not necessary apparel) then my old Alpkit synthetic anorak (I don't know why it works well on me but it does) and my windproof on top. In my case, I believe its the anorak (air passes easily though it) that helps regulate sweat in a good way for me. If it rains I have two choices, take my windproof off and put my waterproof on or just wear it over the windproof. That's my basic setup. In your case is it the Paramo that's the problem, too much warmth underneath, perhaps too little airflow under your outer coat?

I have a Paramo Alta 2 which I don't tend to use now, part of its problem is that sweat quickly builds up on the inside of the jacket. I learned how to manage the coat better (but not that much better) when I wore thinner clothing underneath which allowed better air circulation.

Your Fjallraven is advertised as 'water-resistant' so does this mean that it's designed to be a 'softshell' and you need a waterproof jacket, poncho etc over the top  to try to keep you properly dry?

Mick Grinham

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Re: Fjallraven fail, or just me?
« Reply #4 on: 15:20:29, 01/11/20 »
Hi
I think I was expecting too much of the jacket,  and the fleece is trapping the heat, so really not a good combo. I moved from a gortex waterproof outer due to it ending up soaked on the inside(and a huge tear which rendered it pretty much useless). I found my best set up was a thin base layer, a decent woollen shirt and the fjallraven, when it wasn't raining, I just need to sort the waterproof overcoat, something I can keep in my rucksack.

Birdman

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 430
Re: Fjallraven fail, or just me?
« Reply #5 on: 18:11:24, 01/11/20 »

There are no perfect solutions. You are always going to be somewhat wet from either rain or transpiration/ condensation.

What usually works well for me in Britain is a merino baselayer + synthetic fleece (or not, depending on weather) and a wind shirt on top (that is windproof but very breathable). Then a lightweight hardshell (waterproof) in my daypack that I can put on top of all this when it rains. And lightweight rain trousers for heavy showers, to prevent water running from my legs into my boots. But when the rain stops the rain trousers are the first to go, because I always find them incredibly hot.

My travel and walking reports: https://www.hikingbirdman.com/

Jac

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2646
Re: Fjallraven fail, or just me?
« Reply #6 on: 09:00:11, 02/11/20 »
What usually works well for me in Britain is a merino baselayer + synthetic fleece (or not, depending on weather) and a wind shirt on top (that is windproof but very breathable). Then a lightweight hardshell (waterproof) in my daypack that I can put on top of all this when it rains. And lightweight rain trousers for heavy showers, to prevent water running from my legs into my boots. But when the rain stops the rain trousers are the first to go, because I always find them incredibly hot.

Interesting. That's pretty much what I have ended up with, after years of experiment, minus the windproof. I wear merino base all year round (lighter weight short sleeved in summer, heavier long sleeved in winter) synthetic fleece, unlined waterproof (lighter weight in summer heavier in winter). Lightweight over-trousers all year when necessary.
So many paths yet to walk, so little time left

Birdman

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 430
Re: Fjallraven fail, or just me?
« Reply #7 on: 09:15:00, 02/11/20 »
Interesting. That's pretty much what I have ended up with, after years of experiment, minus the windproof. I wear merino base all year round (lighter weight short sleeved in summer, heavier long sleeved in winter) synthetic fleece, unlined waterproof (lighter weight in summer heavier in winter). Lightweight over-trousers all year when necessary.


Merino is king! I even wear that stuff at home most of the time because it is so comfortable. A wind shirt is very nice on strenuous walks with lots of wind (Scottish hills etc) because you are prone to windchill when sweating. But they breathe 10x better than hardshell jackets and they weigh only 100 grams or so. And because they are so breathable, when it starts raining I don't even bother removing it. I just put the hardshell on top. The only downside of a windshirt is that they can flap a lot in heavy wind because the material is so thin.
My travel and walking reports: https://www.hikingbirdman.com/

Jac

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2646
Re: Fjallraven fail, or just me?
« Reply #8 on: 10:16:05, 02/11/20 »

Merino is king! I even wear that stuff at home most of the time because it is so comfortable. A wind shirt is very nice on strenuous walks with lots of wind (Scottish hills etc) because you are prone to windchill when sweating. But they breathe 10x better than hardshell jackets and they weigh only 100 grams or so. And because they are so breathable, when it starts raining I don't even bother removing it. I just put the hardshell on top. The only downside of a windshirt is that they can flap a lot in heavy wind because the material is so thin.

Sitting at the laptop wearing................. merino O0

Not tried a wind shirt - suggestions please
So many paths yet to walk, so little time left

Birdman

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 430
Re: Fjallraven fail, or just me?
« Reply #9 on: 10:33:52, 02/11/20 »
Sitting at the laptop wearing................. merino O0

Not tried a wind shirt - suggestions please


Same here! Wearing merino and two fleeces when typing this on my desktop (I never heat my house)


As for windshirts, I think mine is an old incarnation of the Montane Lite-Speed (bought in 2013)
My travel and walking reports: https://www.hikingbirdman.com/

tillster

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 38
Re: Fjallraven fail, or just me?
« Reply #10 on: 10:17:51, 23/11/20 »
I've had loads of Fjallraven gear. Still do.


Fantastic hardwearing and hardworking trousers, the best I've ever had. Utter [censored] coats though (unless you pay the $$$ for the Eco Shell gear, which is genuinely excellent.)


All that romantic 60's stuff about waxing G1000 material is boolarks: it'll wet though within minutes in a decent downpour.     


My solution - and I run hot - is skintight merino base, Rab Vapour Rise softshell, Arc'Teryx Squamish windbreaker for when the wind really whips up and a Fjallraven Keb Eco Shell.


That's a fair chunk of change there, and most of it has been gifted to me, and I'm not suggesting you have to throw that much at it. But it works for me     

windyrigg

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 100
Re: Fjallraven fail, or just me?
« Reply #11 on: Yesterday at 08:39:10 »
All the above is sound advice.
I would add that I make almost continual adjustments to manage temperature during a walk. Starting a little cool is good, you will warm up as you start to get going. Going up a slope you are going to get warmer so the woolly hat goes in a pocket with the gloves, the buff comes off, jacket is opened, stuffed into haversack, as required. The reverse on the way down, at rest stops, as the wind rises etc. Most of these adjustments are made without breaking stride and I guess almost without thinking. I try to minimise 'cooking up' and if your base layer isn't soaked with sweat it's a lot easier to avoid chilling.
Some windproofing would be good, but all waterproofs struggle to avoid the dreaded 'boil-in-the-bag'; I agree that the amount you pay isn't buying you perfect breathability in all conditions - whatever the sales pitch says.
I sometimes wear Paramo and sometimes Gore tex.
I have never found a way to carry a bag and not get a wet back. On long treks I remember the bags were taken off and the wet side from the back of the bag is placed to dry off facing the sun, I then try to sit so the back of my wet T shirt also faces the sun to be dry when I'm ready to move on.

BuzyG

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2065
Re: Fjallraven fail, or just me?
« Reply #12 on: Yesterday at 09:51:05 »
Welcome to the forum Mick. 

Another who runs hot.  i am forever changing my top layers on the move during any hilly walk.  Even in mid UK winter I am routinely in just my base layer when going up hill.  I tuck my fleece or a shell jacket into the shoulder strap of my ruck sack, but lower down by my waist.  That way I can put that layer on or take it off without needing to stop walking.     Plus I have my wool gloves and beanie in the waist pockets and change those on the move.  This all helps greatly with my heat management, but nothing is perfect and when it's raining heavily there is far less you can adjust. One odd little trick I use, that always amuses our Ramblers group, is I will some times put my shell jacket on back wards, walking into the wind.  Helps to keep my back cool.

richardh1905

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5748
Re: Fjallraven fail, or just me?
« Reply #13 on: Yesterday at 13:11:47 »
Welcome to the forum Mick.


I generally run hot when walking and have been hugely impressed by Gore Tex Pro's breathability - so good that I routinely wear my Mountain Equipment Tupilak jacket as a windproof even when it is not raining. My ME Lhotse jacket survived 5 years of hard use (relegated to dog walking), and has now been replaced by the Tupilak, which is even tougher, and works a dream in all weathers.


As for base/mid layers, merino base in winter (Lidl), something lighter in summer, and fleece of varying thickness in between. Any fleece will do - save the money for the outer shell.
WildAboutWalking - Join me on my walks through the wilder parts of Britain