Author Topic: Comfort in sustained rain?  (Read 3646 times)

Kev06

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 113
Re: Comfort in sustained rain?
« Reply #30 on: 09:03:29, 25/02/21 »
This is certainly worth thinking about for me, too. I'd been concentrating on tops/jackets initially, as that is where comfort could stand the biggest improvement, but feet and other (erm) 'sweaty areas' are still very much part of the bigger picture.

In fact looking after feet is especially important for many diabetics, both to avoid injury from rubbing and also undue restriction to circulation. So decent socks aren't to be sniffed at :)

weston.front

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 66
Re: Comfort in sustained rain?
« Reply #31 on: 10:49:13, 25/02/21 »

50/60 miles week in/ week out is a lot I think. We used to do a “mileage table” here where regular contributors reputed mileage done...2 to 3 thousand miles a year would be “top” range. (I put asterisks round “top”, because for most of us, it’s enjoyment that’s key.)


On base layers I don’t think there’s as much difference between low priced and high priced base layers as applies to outer layers (I do spend chunky money on base layers but I do it knowing comfort gains will be marginal.)


If you just buy something made out of an appropriate material (polyester, merino wool, bamboo) you won’t go far wrong...a ten quid Regatta polyester base layer or a ten quid Merino from Aldi will give most of benefits of something far dearer.


Of course..all my opinion..but suspect a fair number of others have a similar view.
I have tried a wide range of makes and materials as base layers and have found nothing that comes close to the material used by Paramo.  My initial use was for cycling on a recumbent which generates a lot more heat / sweat than walking and I'd have my back pressed against a seat pad.  This was a challenge until I moved to the Paramo T shirts.  When using them for backpacking I find that I no longer get that wet cold feeling when putting my pack back on after a rest stop, the water having been removed from my skin.  I don't buy into their reversibility concept and always use them 'max wicking' side in.  Clearly these are not at the budget end of the spectrum.  However when I walked with a friend he had a Helly Hanson base layer that looked to be made from identical material to the Paramo and can be bought for far less.  I have bought one of these, but please note that their sizing is on the tight side (before lockdown may I add!!!) so you might want to go 'one size up' unless you have a six pack you want to show to to others.  I haven't tested it throughly but the structure looks and feels identical to the Paramo.

My experience is that in sustained rain you will never keep fully dry.  Either wind blow fine droplets will come through the breathable membrane, or water will wick up your wrists of down you neck.  If this doesn't happen, then your sweat will not get out because of the high level of water on the outside of the jacket (and here regular washing and reproofing to help it bead does help to a point).  Thus the secret (if that is the correct term) is to keep the water moving outwards away from your skin.  Then when the rain stops it can escape through the waterproof membrane, or you take off your jacket and it evaporates yet more readily.

Paramo waterproofs are OK in very cold weather, but in the Summer / Autumn I (and many others) find them way too hot to use when active.  If the temperature was below 4 C and there was sustained rain I'd go for my Paramo waterproof, but mostly this gets used for my short walk or running commute to work as I never get hot enough for it to be a problem within 2 miles.
My approach is to use a Paramo baselayer and windproof top for as much of the time as possible and when the rain looks being set in for more than 20 min then move to GoreTex.  As Richard has said, and I concur, nothing yet has beaten Goretex for performance but it is in itself not perfect - it does not keep out wind blown cloud.
Following the road less travelled : westonfront.wordpress.com

Kev06

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 113
Re: Comfort in sustained rain?
« Reply #32 on: 11:55:39, 25/02/21 »
All very useful info - thanks very much for taking the time to post it all!

Your experience with the paramo (and thoughts on Helly-Hensen) base-layer sounds very much what I'm hoping to achieve, so that's great to hear! I was already considering the HH lifa, but will see what paramo offer as well - perhaps if built like other paramo stuff, longevity could warrant higher initial prices.

I'm not bulky but am still a long way from having a toned torso, so I've generally gone for looser fits.. but now it looks like that has been a mistake wrt best comfort. So perhaps for use under a waterproof (and windproof) I'll just go with the intended snug fit, and maybe put a looser poly tee over it if the outer shell ever gets taken off whilst in company.

Yeah, I've never achieved 'dry' in the rain, so am not expecting too much. I suppose base-layers will always add some insulation whether wished or not, and waterproofs all restrict permeability and breathability (whatever their marketing may suggest). But I don't actually mind getting a bit damp provided it isn't also uncomfortable, so probably I'll count it as successful if the moisture being evaporated can keep up with any amount of sweat and ingress, whilst the baselayer avoids feeling besieged in the process.

Thanks again,
Kev

Ronin83

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 398
Re: Comfort in sustained rain?
« Reply #33 on: 19:59:34, 25/02/21 »
There's always the softshell approach. I mean original softshell not what are often marketed as softshell.
We've been there before so I won't repeat.
The British army lightweight thermal smock is actually pretty good, sometimes nicknamed 'buffalo', but much thinner fleece than a real buffalo.
Also I have a rab borealis jacket which is a really breathable nice shell for wind/rain resistance (nowhere near waterproof at all). Limited use, but I do love it. Also use it for running.


I have some bamboo socks and I like them, but as they're thick they don't dry fast at all (more a problem when you wash them than in use)

gunwharfman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6342
Re: Comfort in sustained rain?
« Reply #34 on: 20:25:15, 25/02/21 »
When I used to motorcycle to work I experienced that water can travel upwards. Get to a certain speed when its raining and I  knew I was going to be wet, the rain had a tendency to creep upwards to my neck and then dribbled over the top of my tight neck waterproof collar and down inside my waterproofs. I then experienced a cold wet feeling down my back or the same feeling between my legs. I've experienced this same phenomenon when walking in the rain, if the conditions are right, no matter how tight my waterproofing is around my face or around my neck I'll get wet no matter what I'm wearing.

Kev06

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 113
Re: Comfort in sustained rain?
« Reply #35 on: 10:57:35, 26/02/21 »
Yeah, I've got a softshell (from memory a Rab Exodus), it has minimal insulation compared to most and pit-zips as well. But in spite of the breathability and venting it is still quite warm and can't take all-day rain, so hasn't been an answer to walking in sustained mild/warm wet conditions - it really just replaces the wind-proof shell in winter. A thin hard shell seems no warmer, which is why I'm hoping the new air-permeable types might now offer the best of both worlds, or at least a better compromise.

I've been looking at baselayers from paramo and helly-hansen, that Paul mentioned above. They have several, but Paramo's "Parameta T" and HH's "Lifa Active" seem the versions most intended for warm situations. I believe they're both dual material/layer designs, which isn't something I've tried before; on paper (or screen) they do seem the business so think I shall try one of them; likely the HH since paramo seem less available at the moment.

Though I am intrigued by the reversible claims of the paramo; I can see that keeping sweat by the skin whilst it is evaporated might be cooler. But Paul didn't seem too impressed, so possibly more suited to greater types of activity than I would do - e.g. where core temperature is at risk, rather than sustained comfort walking in British summertime.
« Last Edit: 11:01:05, 26/02/21 by Kev06 »

Ronin83

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 398
Re: Comfort in sustained rain?
« Reply #36 on: 12:36:19, 26/02/21 »
"But in spite of the breathability and venting it is still quite warm and can't take all-day rain"

That's the thing, it's a different principle. It's worth researching. So instead of trying to stay bone dry, the idea is to accept that you'll get wet, but to be comfortable, good temp and dry fast.

I'm still on the fence about it myself

forgotmyoldpassword

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 795
Re: Comfort in sustained rain?
« Reply #37 on: 14:13:07, 26/02/21 »
Yeah, I've got a softshell (from memory a Rab Exodus), it has minimal insulation compared to most and pit-zips as well. But in spite of the breathability and venting it is still quite warm and can't take all-day rain, so hasn't been an answer to walking in sustained mild/warm wet conditions - it really just replaces the wind-proof shell in winter. A thin hard shell seems no warmer, which is why I'm hoping the new air-permeable types might now offer the best of both worlds, or at least a better compromise.

I've been looking at baselayers from paramo and helly-hansen, that Paul mentioned above. They have several, but Paramo's "Parameta T" and HH's "Lifa Active" seem the versions most intended for warm situations. I believe they're both dual material/layer designs, which isn't something I've tried before; on paper (or screen) they do seem the business so think I shall try one of them; likely the HH since paramo seem less available at the moment.

Though I am intrigued by the reversible claims of the paramo; I can see that keeping sweat by the skin whilst it is evaporated might be cooler. But Paul didn't seem too impressed, so possibly more suited to greater types of activity than I would do - e.g. where core temperature is at risk, rather than sustained comfort walking in British summertime.


Just a FYI I owned a Parameta T Paramo piece (their Mountain Shirt - which I suppose is meant to be a winter base layer/mid layer).  It's probably quite useful but it's a pain in the backside to strip off topless in the middle of a brisk breeze to turn your top inside out.   It's probably really useful for long distance backpacking where it doubles as two items-in-one though.   Particularly if you're doing lots of valley walking.  In practice I prefer Power Grid base layers for winter condition and a sturdy 100wt fleece mid layer in 3-season conditions.  Bomb proof, £10 to replace if you snag it on a fence or wall. 

Kev06

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 113
Re: Comfort in sustained rain?
« Reply #38 on: 15:20:32, 26/02/21 »
Useful to hear, thanks. It sounds like for my type of use it would be more of an option before setting out, then - according to general conditions - than to keep swapping whilst on the move. Or I could just choose which I preferred and stick with it always.

So, it may be nice to have the choice but probably not something I should base the decision on.

Kev06

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 113
Re: Comfort in sustained rain?
« Reply #39 on: 15:21:57, 26/02/21 »
"But in spite of the breathability and venting it is still quite warm and can't take all-day rain"

That's the thing, it's a different principle. It's worth researching. So instead of trying to stay bone dry, the idea is to accept that you'll get wet, but to be comfortable, good temp and dry fast.

I'm still on the fence about it myself
Yes I agree, in fact I bought the soft shell in that hope. I'm not a stranger to getting damp, whether by sweat or rain or both, so it seemed worth a go. However, it isn't noticeably more water-resistant or breathable than my wind-breaker and is 'much' warmer at the same time, so I've not been convinced by the concept unfortunately. I've since realised that a lot of reviews that got me interested are based around mostly cold and dry or snowy climates (as indeed are many of the ones on base-layers!) and I agree it is very good in that kind of situation, but less so for mild and soggy.

Thats really why I'm coming back to the thinner shell - 'if' it were significantly more waterproof than a wind-shell, and yet still suitably air-permeable/breathable. But I've been misled by outrageous marketing claims before, so don't have much faith - some of them more or less lie IMO, just in a legally defensible way. I'm also sure that the DWR will still wet out after some hours, regardless of what membrane is below it. Unless going for the shakedry (or columbia's equivalent) anyway, which might be a bit fragile for my type of use though the idea is very attractive.

So possibly I'm on a fool's errand, and should just worry about the baselayer and design of shell, rather than chase ever more costly and yet still disappointing waterproof technology.
« Last Edit: 15:26:19, 26/02/21 by Kev06 »

Eyelet

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 216
Re: Comfort in sustained rain?
« Reply #40 on: 18:13:26, 26/02/21 »
Either wind blow fine droplets will come through the breathable membrane


It does not keep out wind blown cloud.

Having been out in winds up to 40 mph in Scotland etc many times in proper dreich conditions I am not entirely convinced that wind can blow water through a Gore-tex membrane which has a very high Hydrostatic Head measurement unless it has been punctured. It is certainly true that if the DWR coating is worn or patchy, water from rain and/or low cloud (mist) fully wets/saturates the surface of the jacket. This has two effects: i) the water film significantly reduces breathability through the PTFE membrane and ii) the wind evaporating some of the surface water film cools the fabric causing more condensation of water vapour inside the jacket.  IMHO these two effects make the inside of the jacket even more damp/wet and give the illusion of water droplets being blown through the membrane.

What do others think?

BuzyG

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2285
Re: Comfort in sustained rain?
« Reply #41 on: 00:17:28, 27/02/21 »
Having been out in winds up to 40 mph in Scotland etc many times in proper dreich conditions I am not entirely convinced that wind can blow water through a Gore-tex membrane which has a very high Hydrostatic Head measurement unless it has been punctured. It is certainly true that if the DWR coating is worn or patchy, water from rain and/or low cloud (mist) fully wets/saturates the surface of the jacket. This has two effects: i) the water film significantly reduces breathability through the PTFE membrane and ii) the wind evaporating some of the surface water film cools the fabric causing more condensation of water vapour inside the jacket.  IMHO these two effects make the inside of the jacket even more damp/wet and give the illusion of water droplets being blown through the membrane.

What do others think?

Agree that Gortex lining does not leak unless damaged.  The only time I have been wet through wearing my ME Gortex Hard shell. was a full day of constant heavy rain and high winds and that day the water found it's way in through the face opening walking into the weather, after about 6 hours on the hill.

Note to Richard I changed my strategy after, as you recommended and have remained dry through two similar days since.  O0

richardh1905

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6864
Re: Comfort in sustained rain?
« Reply #42 on: 07:11:54, 27/02/21 »
Note to Richard I changed my strategy after, as you recommended and have remained dry through two similar days since.  O0


A strategy evolved in Orkney. :)
WildAboutWalking - Join me on my walks through the wilder parts of Britain

richardh1905

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6864
Re: Comfort in sustained rain?
« Reply #43 on: 07:15:30, 27/02/21 »
Having been out in winds up to 40 mph in Scotland etc many times in proper dreich conditions I am not entirely convinced that wind can blow water through a Gore-tex membrane which has a very high Hydrostatic Head measurement unless it has been punctured. ...

What do others think?


I am convinced that a Gore Tex membrane, in good conditions, is impervious to the worst that the weather can throw at it.
WildAboutWalking - Join me on my walks through the wilder parts of Britain

sussamb

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7582
Re: Comfort in sustained rain?
« Reply #44 on: 07:19:26, 27/02/21 »
Agreed. My goretex jacket is my go to jacket when I'm expecting heavy rain  O0
Where there's a will ...