Membrane Wars Article

12:58 p.m. on March 8, 2012 (EST)
52 reviewer rep
312 forum posts

Interesting article in Outside (I wish you could get that magazine in the UK) about the 'membrane wars' and some apparent breaking of the 'rules of war':

Outside: Insane in the Membrane

I keep looking for that outdry glove technology over here but haven't come across it yet. eVent is better than Gt, in my experience, and I look forward to one day trying out the other new stuff.

(via Backpackinglight.com)

1:46 p.m. on March 8, 2012 (EST)
255 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

I love this kind of competition.

1:46 p.m. on March 8, 2012 (EST)
255 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

Usually makes for better products and price.

8:05 a.m. on March 9, 2012 (EST)
REVIEW CORPS
770 reviewer rep
1,310 forum posts

Interesting stuff..thanks Pathloser!

6:55 p.m. on March 9, 2012 (EST)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
998 reviewer rep
3,504 forum posts

Yes, thanks for that link!

Mike G.

7:13 p.m. on March 9, 2012 (EST)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

I am kinda curious as to why Mountain Hardwears Dry Q/Elite didn't get mentioned in the mix...

I got a stellar deal on the Drystein jacket(thanks for the heads up MoZee) but it as well as most other MH products in a size large was too short in the arms so the wife got it.

I will be ordering an XL shortly. 

Gotta love being built like a disproportioned spider monkey. :p

2:08 p.m. on March 11, 2012 (EDT)
9 reviewer rep
119 forum posts

I too thought it was a good read.  I've said for a while now why GT has been the big kid on the block.  I dont know anyone however that likes a jacket but wont buy it because its not Gortex.  eVent and now Neoshell are both excellent materials.  I LOVE my Neoshell Westcomb jacket.

10:02 p.m. on March 16, 2012 (EDT)
2 reviewer rep
699 forum posts

I read an interesting section of Skurka's new book and I tend to agree with him.  In very intense rain, the DWR of any WPB fabric becomes overwhelmed and the breathability of the garmet becomes very poor as the fabric 'wets out.'  He recommends wearing a lightweight fleece under the jacket with the expectation that one will eventually get a bit wet (from internal condensation = sweat) and that a fleece dries quickly.

With all of the increasing expense of the new 'breathable' fabrics available, I wonder if it is more marketing hype than anything.

Thoughts?

8:37 a.m. on March 17, 2012 (EDT)
52 reviewer rep
312 forum posts

I love this kind of competition [...] Usually makes for better products and price.

The problem is, Gtx is reportedly stifling the competition which would enable consumer choice and therefore 'performance'.

With all of the increasing expense of the new 'breathable' fabrics available, I wonder if it is more marketing hype than anything.

Having followed comments on the new stuff, here and elsewhere, I believe that fabric technology has indeed advanced, at least beyond the nineties, when it seemed to plateau.

As for "marketing hype", by definition it is 'more than anything', where "anything" is a distinguishable difference. Advertising is mostly about distinguishing the indistinguishable, of labels obscuring the sameness. People see a label and miss the product. But in this case, the differences can even be demonstrated on youtube, and anything field relevant can be taken on board with varying degrees of trust specific to the individual's relationship with the 'tester'. Or, if you can afford it, personally evaluated.

The important thing, to the discerning enduser, is whether or not consumer choice in 'advanced fabrics' is being hampered by the strong-arming of the biggest player. I have a reduced amount of products to select from, when it comes to buying boots, for example: membrane = 95%; non-membrane =5%. Of that 95%, 5% = non-Gtx. And I believe that I have more choice than most, living in a county in England with about 50 different gear shops.

So for me, it starts to look like what Morlacchi refers to in the article is directly affecting my ability to find the best possible product (for my impossible feet). And that makes me angry, because it doesn't have to be that way.

No one really assumes free market competition if they are at all well-informed. All big businesses benefit from state assistance, whether it is through the universities, direct research funding, military contracts (even Patagonia) or other forms of procurement, loan-guarantees, and so on and so forth. But a complete lack of regulation should not go hand in hand with various attempts to widen the trough that is corporate welfare. We need anti-monopoly activity by the state and/or by the endusers that are the most affected. Just look at the result of economic anarchy since 2008.

Corporate sovereignty has just about been accepted in society; does that mean we should accept corporate imperialism? Money talks; should it also bark orders?

Which is not to say that Gtx has not been a major benefit to us outdoor types (dog walkers included). Years ago, people would rather climb a mountain in the rain wearing waxed cotton than put up with non-breathable fabrics. And the 'horizontal' integration, the over-involment perhaps, by Gtx in the production of outdoor gear may have benefited us more than we acknowledge. My eVent jacket, for instance, has pockets that funnel water into them by virtue of the incompetent design. Luckily, the fabric is waterproof and stores it for me (I can attend parties and steal beer). Would this have happened under the 'domineering' methodology of Gtx production?

So, apologies for the rant (stuck indoors on a beautiful day) but I reckon that if we, the serious class of outdoor people (just above the 'dog walkers'), don't do something to support the industrial innovators, which we depend on, we will be left with less choice than we have reason to prefer. No more mafia-tex, thank you very much.

Jon

8:46 a.m. on March 17, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

Thanks for the postive rant, Jon.

_____________________________________                                   ~ r2 ~

                   abrogatio omne nationis

_____________________________________

      Happy St. Patrick's Day !

12:02 p.m. on March 17, 2012 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
2,487 reviewer rep
1,320 forum posts

good, workable armpit vents help.  a lot.  

i agree on design - no matter what membrane, hoods, zippers, and pockets also need to keep rain out.

2:26 a.m. on March 18, 2012 (EDT)
12 reviewer rep
613 forum posts

Family Guy said:

I read an interesting section of Skurka's new book and I tend to agree with him.  In very intense rain, the DWR of any WPB fabric becomes overwhelmed and the breathability of the garmet becomes very poor as the fabric 'wets out.'  He recommends wearing a lightweight fleece under the jacket with the expectation that one will eventually get a bit wet (from internal condensation = sweat) and that a fleece dries quickly.

With all of the increasing expense of the new 'breathable' fabrics available, I wonder if it is more marketing hype than anything.

Thoughts?

 I have found this issue since my first Marmot Mountain and Early Winters GT shells in '78. I like to wear 260 Merino under them and very thin Merino when in warm temps.

All in all, I agree with FG here and even my prefered "eVent" shells are worn this way.

5:01 p.m. on March 18, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
105 forum posts

I’ve gone back to wearing a R2 fleece under my eVent hardshell for the reason you’ve stated.

4:57 p.m. on March 19, 2012 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
2,487 reviewer rep
1,320 forum posts

i tend to wear a light fleece when i'm wearing a non-waterproof windshirt that's reasonably rain-resistant (patagonia houdini).  even if the shell gets soaked through in a cloudburst, and it does wet out much faster than a waterproof/breathable shell, the fleece keeps me warm/dry.  i assume the same logic would apply here.

no matter how you slice it, you're going to get damp hiking in a hard rain.

i don't think waterproof/breathable fabrics are all hype.  i grew up with coated nylon rain gear for hiking, and it was substantially more uncomfortable in terms of dampness and moisture retention than any of the waterproof/breathable fabrics today.  and, while i'm not familiar with polartec's new membrane, i think eVent lets moisture out as good as or better than gore tex - and better than most of the proprietary waterproof/breathable membranes (membrain, conduit, precip, entrant, etc).   

 

10:36 p.m. on March 19, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
398 forum posts

leadbelly2550 said:

i don't think waterproof/breathable fabrics are all hype.  i grew up with coated nylon rain gear for hiking, and it was substantially more uncomfortable in terms of dampness and moisture retention than any of the waterproof/breathable fabrics today.

 No question.  Anyone who doesn't think GTX doesn't offer a better option should throw on a rubber sweating suit and take a little walk. GTX might not breathe a whole lot, but it breathes enough to know it is doing something.*

*but F### GTX in boots

2:54 a.m. on March 20, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
398 forum posts

Finally had time to read the article.  That bullying bullshit to maintain a monopoly doesn't sit well with me at all, and if it is true, I hope GTX gets hit hard with antitrust fines and penalties.  I don't care for their warfare at all.  Any company allowed to act like that, if the allegations prove to be true, is nothing less than a disease in a market.  It prevents the market from healthily functioning.  And all that aside, how ungrateful can a single company be?  They're going to inhibit technological advancement (through strongarming) and give a big middle finger to the type of companies and type of people who have made them filthily rich?  The market loses, and the consumer loses.  One company in a field somewhere benefits, while everyone else gets the screws.  Great lessons for our children and future entrepreneurs.  "It's okay to act like a bully."  I hope all these other companies throw it out into the public domain like this article is doing.  I wish a popular show like 60 Minutes would grab onto something like this and expose it.

*that is if anyone cares about anything anymore, and we're all not so desensitized to ill ethics that nothing seems to matter.

7:24 a.m. on March 20, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

Can you say "LAWYERS", boys and girls ??

~ r2 ~

10:21 a.m. on March 20, 2012 (EDT)
2 reviewer rep
699 forum posts

Zeno Marx said:

leadbelly2550 said:

i don't think waterproof/breathable fabrics are all hype.  i grew up with coated nylon rain gear for hiking, and it was substantially more uncomfortable in terms of dampness and moisture retention than any of the waterproof/breathable fabrics today.

 No question.  Anyone who doesn't think GTX doesn't offer a better option should throw on a rubber sweating suit and take a little walk. GTX might not breathe a whole lot, but it breathes enough to know it is doing something.*

*but F### GTX in boots

 FWIW, I wasn't suggesting that a gortex jacket isn't more breathable than a garbage bag. What I was saying was whether gortex simply prolonged (and not that well) the inevitable 'wetting out' that one gets when the DWR gives out or the pores get plugged with dirt as in the case with eVent.  In other words, it is how we manage getting wet that is key rather than relying on one garment for keeping us dry.

10:45 a.m. on March 20, 2012 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
3,627 reviewer rep
1,272 forum posts

I just got a Red Ledge WPB jacket at Bob Wards last week for $14 on clearance.  I saw some Goretex Pack-Lite jackets later and the material was, in all appearances, EXACTLY the same!. 

Jacket works well, btw.

1:27 p.m. on March 20, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
398 forum posts

The more I think about this, the more it irks me.  I wasn't in the market for any new gear with GTX, but if I was, I wouldn't be now.  I won't be in the future, either.  If they want my dollars, they'll encourage competition and win it fair and square.  I'm tired of monopolized BS.  I'm really, really tired of bullies.

2:20 p.m. on March 20, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
105 forum posts

I switched to superior eVent a few years ago; specifically with a Rab Latok hardshell and eVent Kayland boots. I've never owned a gtx garment or gtx lined boot that breathed worth a damn. . In my opinion, Goretex sucks, and I also hate their "holier-than-thou" attitude and strong-arm tactics.

November 23, 2014
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

 
More Topics
This forum: Older: Hilleberg Anjan 2 Newer: foot wear help
All forums: Older: One Week from TODAY!!! Newer: Long Canyon Loop