H2NO

4:39 p.m. on February 13, 2002 (EST)
(Guest)

Is the H2NO fabric (used by Patagonia) a competitive alternative to Gore Tex ? My impression is that it doesnt breath too well ... is it correct ? Also by the way is there any technical measure of breathability that would allow comparing different fabrics ?

5:27 p.m. on February 13, 2002 (EST)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Paul, Paul R., Paul Raphaelson, PaulR, PR

I've seen tests, but can't remember the exact results. It's tricky because breathability is influenced not just by the coating/laminate but by the type of fabric, whether it's lined or unlined, etc... So you can't just generalize about
how breathable gore-tex is.

one thing is that laminates, especially gore-tex, tend to be a lot more durable than coatings like H2no. all else being equal you'll get more years out of gore.

Paul

Quote:

Is the H2NO fabric (used by Patagonia) a competitive alternative to Gore Tex ? My impression is that it doesnt breath too well ... is it correct ? Also by the way is there any technical measure of breathability that would allow comparing different fabrics ?

6:50 p.m. on February 13, 2002 (EST)
(Guest)

Quote:

Is the H2NO fabric (used by Patagonia) a competitive alternative to Gore Tex ? My impression is that it doesnt breath too well ... is it correct ? Also by the way is there any technical measure of breathability that would allow comparing different fabrics ?

Patagonia themselves rate the breatability of they H2NO lower than GoreTex, I don't remember exactly, but grab one of their old catalogs. Also, you can probably just call them, they nowadays sell both GTX and H2NO, so they might be pretty evenhanded in their recommendation. I think H2NO is only used in their Storm and Torrenshell, both of which have no pit zips. SO probably pretty stuffy anyway.

H2NO HB is allegedly more breathable. That is the stuff they use in my Super Pluma and I honestly can hardly tell the difference between it and my Gore jacket. Yes, it seems a bit more stuffy, but I can easily sweat up a storm in either.

By the way, Patagonia's annual sale just started on their web site. Lot's of H2NO and GTX jackets for a lot off.

11:57 a.m. on February 15, 2002 (EST)
(Guest)

My useless $.57

None of them breath enough to be called breathable when working up a sweat. They all work on the principle of pressure difference created by body heat to push the moisture / heat out. The colder and drier the outside air is, the better the fabric will breath. In a humid environment or precipitation, they dont breath well at all and the fabric will eventually wet out and in tests, Gore-tex actually breathed the least when wet. I have used just about all of them and I can / could not tell any difference in the fabric. They all are water / wind proof and breath at light work loads. What did make a difference was how the design of the jacket, etc let body heat / moisture out. I will never understand how someone can wear bibs under a jacket and call this a useful breathable clothing system. There is too much fabric around the chest / core area to effectively breath heat out. If I choose to wear a Gore-tex shell, I for one like a one-piece suit. They are lighter and have less fabric around the core to let heat out. I get no bellows effect around my waist / harness with a one-pice suit. I can hang the top around my waist when working hard, un-zip elbow to waist pit-zips and hang my arms out for that quick escape of heat or zipped tight for extreme weather.

I am also not a fan of the new soft shell fabrics, mostly Schoeller. I find it not warm to be worn alone and not a shell in high winds or precip. Laying under schoeller for warmth, the 2 fabrics bind (friction) and inhibit freedom of movement even though it stretches. In a heavy snow, I get wet and would like to have a wp shell. I also felt wind blowing in during a big winter storm we had weeks ago that chilled me.

I prefer a light wgt micro fiber shell layered over different wgt of Capilene. Its just as breathable and wind / waterproof but slides over a base layer for freedon of movement but wgs and cost a fraction of the price of Schoeller. A plus is I can layer the base layer to the current temp, all 4 seasons.

I am currently testing a new soft shell jacket from Patagonia that will be released next fall. I think it will set the new standard for all those who prefer or shout their likes about this type fabric. I find it just as breathable but more WP and abrasion restistant. I am trying to get Pata to offer pants in this same fabric too. I will say, one reason why I like Patagonia is their design / cut fits me better than everybody elses outside the custom one-piece suit I have from Integral Design.

Belay-Off
John

10:31 a.m. on February 25, 2002 (EST)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Paul R, Paul R., Paul Raphaelson, PaulR, PR
Re: My useless $.57

Nice post, John. One thing I want to clarify is the point that gore-tex breathes least when it's wet. You really can't make that generalization. none of the laminates or coatings are affected by being wet--it's the fabrics that they're applied to that are affected. light, thin shiny fabrics hold less water and have their breathability less impared by being saturated than heavier more textured fabrics. this is true whether the fabric is laminated with gore-tex or coated with h2no.
as far as breathability goes in general, you're right .. no shells keep you dry when you're sweating bullets or when it's like a rainforest outside. there are conditions when you'll get soaked in sweat when you're wearing just a t-shirt. breathability does not equal air conditioning! you still have to dress smart, ventilate, add layers, take them off, etc etc.
what breathabilitiy means is that if conditions are reasonable and you dress reasonably smart, you can stay dry and comfortable. which isn't the case with a non breathable shell.

you also mentioned cut and fit .. this is such a key issue. it's why some shells cost $100 and others made out of the same stuff cost $450. for me patagonia shells are a disaster (tho i love their fleece and long underwear), and arcteryx is the holy grail. moral of the story: try it on before you buy!
Paul


Quote:

None of them breath enough to be called breathable when working up a sweat. They all work on the principle of pressure difference created by body heat to push the moisture / heat out. The colder and drier the outside air is, the better the fabric will breath. In a humid environment or precipitation, they dont breath well at all and the fabric will eventually wet out and in tests, Gore-tex actually breathed the least when wet. I have used just about all of them and I can / could not tell any difference in the fabric. They all are water / wind proof and breath at light work loads. What did make a difference was how the design of the jacket, etc let body heat / moisture out. I will never understand how someone can wear bibs under a jacket and call this a useful breathable clothing system. There is too much fabric around the chest / core area to effectively breath heat out. If I choose to wear a Gore-tex shell, I for one like a one-piece suit. They are lighter and have less fabric around the core to let heat out. I get no bellows effect around my waist / harness with a one-pice suit. I can hang the top around my waist when working hard, un-zip elbow to waist pit-zips and hang my arms out for that quick escape of heat or zipped tight for extreme weather.

I am also not a fan of the new soft shell fabrics, mostly Schoeller. I find it not warm to be worn alone and not a shell in high winds or precip. Laying under schoeller for warmth, the 2 fabrics bind (friction) and inhibit freedom of movement even though it stretches. In a heavy snow, I get wet and would like to have a wp shell. I also felt wind blowing in during a big winter storm we had weeks ago that chilled me.

I prefer a light wgt micro fiber shell layered over different wgt of Capilene. Its just as breathable and wind / waterproof but slides over a base layer for freedon of movement but wgs and cost a fraction of the price of Schoeller. A plus is I can layer the base layer to the current temp, all 4 seasons.

I am currently testing a new soft shell jacket from Patagonia that will be released next fall. I think it will set the new standard for all those who prefer or shout their likes about this type fabric. I find it just as breathable but more WP and abrasion restistant. I am trying to get Pata to offer pants in this same fabric too. I will say, one reason why I like Patagonia is their design / cut fits me better than everybody elses outside the custom one-piece suit I have from Integral Design.

Belay-Off
John

October 2, 2014
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