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Discussion Forum - Gear ! - Waterproof shells - what's best?


Posted: Thu 10th Jan 2013, 17:19
Joined: 2013
All of this may become academic in the next couple of years . . .
http://www.p2i.com/
Author: Roy Turner
Posted: Sat 26th Dec 2009, 13:12
Joined: 1988
Local Group: Vermuyden (South Yorks)
Think you did right to stick with Paramo gear.
I have various items, Cambia base layers,Velez smocks ,Boxers, Leggings wind & showerproof.
It's top gear cannot be faulted, keeps me warm & dry on my 100's.
Very helpfull with any queries you may have as well,all in all a very good package.
Author: Ben Bennetts
Posted: Sat 24th Oct 2009, 21:47
Joined: 2009
Local Group: Wessex
Today it rained - a perfect opportunity to try out my new lightweight waterproof Paramo Quito jacket and Velez Adventure trousers over a 4-hour walk. I've written a report on what I found. If anyone would like to see my report, e-mail me at ben@hollamhouse.com Ben
Author: Peter Haslam
Posted: Sat 24th Oct 2009, 8:41
Joined: 1992
Local Group: East Lancashire
Enjoy the Cotswold Way, but make sure your wallet is locked away as you approach a certain tea room near Cooper's Hill.
Author: Ben Bennetts
Posted: Sat 24th Oct 2009, 7:26
Joined: 2009
Local Group: Wessex
Thanks for all the advice. I've decided to invest in the new waterproof Paramo gear - their new lightweight Quito jacket (500 gm)and Velez Adventure trousers (400 gm). No cheap, I know, but my Paramo Cascada jacket has performed very well in the pouring rain.

I'm walking the Cotswold Way next month and I expect rain on at least one of the five walking days. I'll let you all, and Paramo, know how I get on with the new Paramo gear.

Thanks again. Ben
Author: John Phillips
Posted: Fri 23rd Oct 2009, 12:00
Joined: 2007
Local Group: South Pennine
I don't believe there is such a thing as a fully breathable / waterproof jacket.
Having used various gear over the years (mostly with Goretex linings)I must confess I am quite taken with the Montane Super Fly jacket.This uses eVent technology and does keep me drier than other gear.Also lightweight.
Have therefore invested in some trousers from same manufacturer - not cheap but one happy customer.
Author: Tim Storey
Posted: Thu 22nd Oct 2009, 12:48
Joined: 2009
Local Group: East Lancashire
One more thing to say.

Although i have a range of gear from multiple manufacturers, I can not recommend Mountain Equipment stuff highly enough! They just seem to produce stuff that is incredibly well thought out, minimal and superbly designed. Whenever there is a tv programme about outdoor sports and activities the professionals and instructors involved are always in ME gear. During the ‘big freeze’ of last winter I found myself on top of Helvellyn in a blizzard. Without exception, everyone I met was wearing ME.

Also, in a world where one or two outdoor labels have become as much about fashion as performance, Mountain Equipment just get on with making great gear (that happens to be great looking too), which makes them the coolest brand on the market.
Author: Tim Storey
Posted: Thu 22nd Oct 2009, 12:26
Joined: 2009
Local Group: East Lancashire
yep, merino base layers are awesome and i have a full set for skiing and winter walking, i just find them a little 'heavy' for milder and warmer days. I swear by the Icebreaker boxers!!!

My philosophy with waterproof trousers is i begrudge spending too much on them as i only wear them as a last resort. My current pair are The North Face and were about £100 and that's all i have to say about them. Again it's all about what you wear underneath them and if you use gators or not (which i hate more that over trousers!). Typically i wear a pair of good old Craghopper Kiwis and if i anticipate any rain i wear the convertible ones so i can wear them as shorts under the waterproofs. If i'm setting off in rain, then i'll wear a pair of Tracksters underneath.

I guess it’s just about making whatever you have work best for you. After all the years I’ve been walking I’ve assembled a range of kit that I mix and match according to a sort of ‘sixth sense’ I’ve developed. Some times I get it right, some times not…
Author: Ben Bennetts
Posted: Tue 20th Oct 2009, 8:42
Joined: 2009
Local Group: Wessex
Tim: great reply. Thanks. I’ll investigate the newer Gortex Proshell lightweight jackets and I appreciated the advice about what to wear underneath. I usually wear a merino wool base rather than a synthetic fabric base layer, partly for comfort and partly because my wife complains about the smell if I wear synthetic gear!

Also, I took a quick look at the LFTO web site. It looks to be a great web site and I’ll be registering soon.

One question. None of the repliers has commented on waterproof walking trousers – either overlays or full-on trousers. As I said earlier, I waer Paramo Cascadas in the winter but find them too hot for other seasons so I carry a lightweight pair of Marmot overlays. These are OK in that both legs are fully zipped and can be opened for venting but I still find that I sweat inside and, on one occasion, I turned my three-quarter-length inner trousers transparent!! I see that Paramo has just announced their waterproof Velez adventure trousers. These trousers are 174 gm lighter than the Cascadas (398 gm compared to 572 gm). Does anyone have any experience of these Velez trousers? Or, are there any recommendations on other lightweight waterproof trousers – full on or overlay?
Author: MIke Rayner
Posted: Thu 15th Oct 2009, 21:22
Joined: 1983
My North Face fleece and Berghaus waterproof both have very large pockets that a map fits in easily. Might have to undo the waist belt on the rucksack to use the fleece ones but it's not a bother; I usually just stick the map inside the fleece if I have the belt done up.
Author: Tim Storey
Posted: Thu 15th Oct 2009, 11:22
Joined: 2009
Local Group: East Lancashire
Yep, i carry maps in my waterproof's map pockets all the time, you just need to bend them a bit to get them in and out...

I have a two jacket system for waterproofs. I have a full alpine mountain jacket in Gortex XTR made by Mountain Equipment that i use for 'full on' snowy, cold winter days and skiing, and a Gortex Paclite light weight jacket from Berghaus for in the rucsac in the summer and rainy days.

Recently most manufacturers have gone over to Gortex Proshell for both lightweight and alpine jackets, so you are geting the same grade of Gortex on both (Paclite was always slightly poorer in ultimate performance than XCR, Proshell has brought the breathability of XCR and lightweight of Paclite together).

A decent lightwieght Gortex jacket should be all the jacket you need for the type of walking you describe.

The thing that you need to understand to get the best from any breathable waterproof is that it won't keep you 100% dry. What it will do is keep you warm and comfortable as long as posible. To do this you need to partner it with the correct clothing underneath. A decent wicking teeshirt and breathable midlayer. What you must do is avoid cotton at all costs. Modern Coolmax type teeshirts and microfleeces are excellent at this and suprisingly cheap too (teeshirt aprox £20, microfleece £30).

livefortheoutdoors.com has some great tips and reviews of gear.

Hope this helps.
Author: Peter Haslam
Posted: Thu 8th Oct 2009, 19:15
Joined: 1992
Local Group: East Lancashire
Hi Ben when you find "The Holy Grail" please let us know. My wardrobe of waterproofs is straining at the seams. My Paramo is much too warm on all but the coldest of days, my Rohan light weight waterproof is much too short etc etc. I am sure that the outdoor manufactures test the jackets on mannequins.

Real walkers wear rucsacs which bunch up the jacket and cover pockets.

Has anyone ever managed to carry a map in a map pocket?
Author: Ben Bennetts
Posted: Thu 8th Oct 2009, 19:00
Joined: 2009
Local Group: Wessex
Addendum. I’ve just noticed that the question of light-weight breathable waterproof shells was addressed in an earlier LDWA forum question posed in August 2007, “100% waterproof”. Here the emphasis was more on low cost but one solution that came through was to use a poncho, covering both the body and the backpack. I hadn’t thought of this but I can see the advantage of lots of room beneath the poncho to help keep cool and dry but what if it's very windy? I’ll dig deeper into this solution but I would still be interested in other solutions along the lines of my original question.
Author: Ben Bennetts
Posted: Thu 8th Oct 2009, 18:23
Joined: 2009
Local Group: Wessex
My wife and I have just completed the 58-mile eastern loop of the North Downs Way. It took us four days. For three of the days it rained on and off all day, sometimes quite hard. We both carried waterproof shells, a lightweight jacket (Regatta) and over-trousers (Marmot), but after one particularly strenuous climb down to the base of the Dover Cliffs and back up (not part of the NDW, I know, but we took a wrong turn), I was wetter inside than outside! This has set me thinking about investing in truly breathable lightweight water-proof shells, but I am not aware of what brands work. It seems to me that if water can’t get in then it also can’t get out. For UK winter walking, I have a Paramo Cascada jacket and waterproof trousers but I find these garments too hot for late Spring/Summer/early Autumn walking and would prefer to carry lightweight shells for use when it rains. Can anyone recommend a brand, or brands, that are both truly lightweight and breathable, please?

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