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Old 22-10-2014, 12:52   #31
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Re: Modern rain gear sucks

I appreciate this thread. We only need "heavy weather gear" about 2 months of the year in So. California but everytime I go into our West Marine store and look at the jackets and the prices I come out empty handed because a) they are very expensive and b) I don't know if I can trust their claims of "waterproof" vs. "water resistant".

Any feedback on the more common manufacturers sold at West Marine, Patagonia, or REI?
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Old 22-10-2014, 13:14   #32
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Re: Modern rain gear sucks

I've got a set of ancient HL and I'm afraid that even with ArmorAll, the "plastic" is just going to crack one day. On the other hand, "plastic" damn well keeps water out better than any high-tech material. Assuming it doesn't crack and shatter and fall down in shards one day.

But I'm spoiled by my GoreTex, none marine-specific but genuine GoreTex. I have been spoiled by the way GoreTex keeps me from stewing in my own juices, and I also know from experience, and from talking to Gore, that it also does not last forever. I've had several pieces replaced over the years, one when it was back to the US manufacturer for a minor repair and they said to me "We're seeing a little delamination, we'd rather replace your jacket for you, no charge" and another where Gore themselves made the same offer to me. Gore is very up front about saying the material sometimes fails, and if it does, they'll replace it for free with any similar garment if yours is out of production. VERY generous.

There's also a lot of outright counterfeit GoreTex sold through "special" offers from China on ebay, among other sources. Gore's generous replacement policy is a real sleeper--most folks forget it was printed on the tags when they bought the stuff.

Shipping? What's the price of shipping five pounds of clothing via postal slow service anywhere on the globe these days? $50? You certainly can't replace the goods for that money, but Gore will replace them and pick up the shipping when they send you the new one.

Last time around they told me "find any similar garment and just let us know where it is available from" and they bought it directly and sent it to me. I suspect they get a big break off the retail. I don't know, I don't care. I do know that warranty will make my GoreTex the cheapest wet weather gear I have, in the long run!
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Old 22-10-2014, 13:16   #33
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Re: Modern rain gear sucks

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Originally Posted by OldFrog75 View Post
Any feedback on the more common manufacturers sold at West Marine, Patagonia, or REI?
It's hard to answer the question because there are so many different models sold with in all the manufacturers. Unfortunately there's really no magic answer to which is best. Ultimately you need to become educated on what makes a good jacket. Go to Rei grab an arc teryx jacket and a rei, north face, or mountain hardware brand jacket and compare features side by side.

You can see a difference in zipper quality, are the zippers "sealed" or do they have a flap, interior and exterior seams (taped or not), brand of membrane, type of fabric, and so on. Ask multiple people that work their to explain the jackets to you. Some of them know their stuff and some of them don't.

Once you can start to recognize differences in jackets you can look at Marine jackets and see what stacks up. As of now I use hiking gear as foul weather gear but again I am on a lake. Once we move to the ocean I'll be re-evaluating what type of gear I am going to go with.
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Old 22-10-2014, 13:27   #34
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Re: Modern rain gear sucks

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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
This is not exactly true. I have been fully submerged many times in my Kokatat Gore-Tex dry suit. It is a stellar piece of gear that has kept me both bone dry and also breathed well enough to keep up with winter kayaking adventures. It has never allowed a single drop of water into the suit. The rubber gaitors and cuffs are dry and cracking and need to be replaced but it served me well for 11 years of bone dry winter kayaking adventures and never once leaked a drop.
I also own a Gore-Tex dry suit produced by Kokatat. I wear it kiteboarding, so I've been slammed pretty hard and dragged through the water a lot of times while wearing it. I don't pay attention to what I wear under it. It depends on how cold it is. I've gone from shorts and tee shirt under it to sweat pants and sweat shirts under it (all mostly cotton). I am always completely dry after working extremely hard kiting. The dry suit has not leaked at all in the 3 years that I've owned it. I had to repair my previous dry suit each year and sweat profusely in it no matter if working hard or not...no moisture escapes.

It is interesting to hear the negatives about Gore-Tex. Seems like there is some variability between garments/manufacturers. I've only owned this one product and haven't had any trouble with it.
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Old 22-10-2014, 13:33   #35
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Re: Modern rain gear sucks

Sail Nekked! Use towel after.
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Old 22-10-2014, 13:44   #36
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Re: Modern rain gear sucks

There is A LOT of counterfeit GoreTex. There are also different grades of GoreTex garments, if they are not "extreme wet weather" or a similar grade with tapes seams, the seams will still leak. And there are a lot of other fabrics on the market, some of which may be just as good or perhaps better, but really, who stands behind it with the same 100% warranty?

Zippers today kinda scare me. All these new flat "waterproof" zippers....I just don't like them or trust them, I prefer a nice storm flap over the zipper. How are they working out for folks?
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Old 22-10-2014, 13:55   #37
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Re: Modern rain gear sucks

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Zippers today kinda scare me. All these new flat "waterproof" zippers....I just don't like them or trust them, I prefer a nice storm flap over the zipper. How are they working out for folks?
The ones I have work very well. I like them better then the flaps as they are less bulky. However the only jackets I have with them are Arc'teryx so they are higher end and returnable if there is a problem. Some of the lesser brands I would be suspecious about to start. When done with a reputable company I would highly recommend them.
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Old 22-10-2014, 14:01   #38
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Re: Modern rain gear sucks

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Zippers today kinda scare me. All these new flat "waterproof" zippers....I just don't like them or trust them, I prefer a nice storm flap over the zipper. How are they working out for folks?
That sounds like a smaller version of a zipper on a dry suit. There is a zipper wax that must be rubbed on the metal tangs after several uses. Keeps the zipper moving smoothly and easily. I've not had one fail...after 10 years of using dry suits. I always have some wax with me. Not sure if this is the same as what you are talking about, but maybe...
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Old 22-10-2014, 14:02   #39
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Re: Modern rain gear sucks

I appreciate ontherocks83's info on pressure required for water to penetrate the fabric. That is a very useful metric - just wish it were available for all gear.

Personally I would never go back to the rubber/PVC gear. I still have a set, and hate the damp feel that quickly develops (and hence rarely wear it). My cheap breathable gear has worked well, with a couple of caveats: first, heavy rains do indeed drive water through the shoulders and arms, and second, leaning against something will drive water through the fabric in areas that are not covered with the kevlar wear patches. And thanks for the 303 recommendation - will do that before next use.

In the same vein, Gore-Tex boots are a lot more comfortable than the traditional rubber boots. I bought a pair of du Barrys while in Ireland and can't imagine going back. Sadly the foam rubber inner soles disintegrated while living in the Med; I don't know whether it was age or heat but very disappointing. I believe they have changed the materials since then.

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Old 22-10-2014, 16:59   #40
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Re: Modern rain gear sucks

It does not, if you invest in Musto HPX trousers and their MPX jacket.

The magic word starts with 'G'.

Cheers,
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Old 22-10-2014, 17:25   #41
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Re: Modern rain gear sucks

It's too bad those good brands have performed so badly. I've had a Patagonia Paddling jacket which is totally waterproof even when swimming. It works great. Mammut jackets have been 100% rain proof for me, and my Helley Hanson ski jacket stays totally dry in blizzards. I also have a full Henry Lloyd offshore jacket and bib's which I thought performed really well and looks pretty decent also. It has the best hood set up with a clear extension that you can see through. When I get water in my jacket it's usually from the neck area.
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Old 22-10-2014, 17:30   #42
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Re: Modern rain gear sucks

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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
303 High Tech Fabric Guard was rated "Best", when compared to seven other competing brands, after being reviewed and tested by Practical Sailor.
Water Repellents for Fabric - Practical Sailor Article

Good, because I have two gallons of it going to the boat with me this weekend to saok all th eexterior fabric
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Old 22-10-2014, 17:33   #43
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Re: Modern rain gear sucks

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That sounds like a smaller version of a zipper on a dry suit. There is a zipper wax that must be rubbed on the metal tangs after several uses. Keeps the zipper moving smoothly and easily. I've not had one fail...after 10 years of using dry suits. I always have some wax with me. Not sure if this is the same as what you are talking about, but maybe...

They aren't the same, but still the zipper wax is excellent and is great for the YKK zippers on dodgers etc.
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Old 22-10-2014, 18:23   #44
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Re: Modern rain gear sucks

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Where do you get 303?


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Old 23-10-2014, 10:42   #45
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Re: Modern rain gear sucks

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It does not, if you invest in Musto HPX trousers and their MPX jacket.
...The price for that set is higher than I paid for my boat!

I'll never be able to afford to be in the cool-kid-sailor club.
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