Mountain Hardwear's Dry.Q enters waterproof-breathable battle

12:11 p.m. on February 8, 2011 (EST)
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This thread is for comments on the article "Mountain Hardwear's Dry.Q enters waterproof-breathable battle"

Mountain Hardwear developed its Dry.Q technology with some help from the folks at GE, owners of eVent. The waterproof-breathable outerwear debuted at Outdoor Retailer, along with a host of competitors.

Full article at

3:07 p.m. on February 8, 2011 (EST)
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Interesting, I one's heard that also Patagonia uses membrane by eVent on their high-end hard shells such as the Shelter Stone and the Stretch Element under the H2No umbrella. Any idea if that is true or not?

3:55 p.m. on February 8, 2011 (EST)
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That last one look's a lot like a pimped out Windstopper membrane. I dream of the day when everything is put to the test by an independant firm. A sort of epic "Battle of the membranes!!" Where numbers and fact will be put to the test and then reealed to the public!!

While I'm dreaming... Hey there goes that Unicorn passing through candy mountain again...

4:23 p.m. on February 8, 2011 (EST)
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This is helpful, corporate obfuscation notwithstanding, so thanks Alicia and Tom.

Nitrotem: I think the Stretch Element but not the S.Stone uses eVent. Yet, J. Armstrong in TGO magazine said the stretch WBM jacket she tested was not very breathable. And I have a Patagonia jacket, which looks like paclite, that is terrible. I have an older jacket that looks like Goretex and works ok. Thus, Patagonia's H2NO does not represent a known value, as I see it, and the descriptor should at least be ignored by the serious user, if not disdained.

Besides, I think a serious user will either do some research, trusting his or her peers and/or the relevant 'experts' or just stick to the technology for which there is the most available information based on independent lab tests.

And the fabrics are only the beginning: the bottom jacket looks like a windstopper softshell but it does not appear to have velcro cuffs. I find even non-membrane softshells need wide-opening cuffs or the sleeves just get too sweaty.

5:12 p.m. on February 8, 2011 (EST)
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@nirotem Patagonia tells me they've never worked with eVent (I just asked and had them confirm).

Patagonia is introducing Gore pieces again for fall 2011:

Fall 2011 brings about the most cutting-edge, technical collection of Patagonia Alpine products to date. Classic styles such as the Super Alpine Jacket and Super Pluma Jacket have been resurrected, now utilizing GORE-TEX® Pro Shell technology, with updated design lines and cutting-edge features. Features such as a patented Touch Point System™ for embedding all cordlocks and pressed pleat pockets that allow for full visibility to the ground make these styles the absolute best-in-class. The new Triolet Jacket is engineered with GORE-TEX® Performance Shell fabric, utilizing the most durable nylon face fabrics available. The new Winter Sun Hoody provides windproof warmth by combining a lightweight WINDSTOPPER® Insulated Shell exterior with 100-g Primaloft Eco® insulation.

Here's Patagonia's info on its H2No barrier:

3-layer H2No® fabrics are waterproof and breathable by virtue of an advanced combination of elements: a water-repellent shell fabric, a waterproof H2No barrier and an interior scrim fabric. This fabric package is completely waterproof, windproof, breathable and very durable.

Patagonia's H2No waterproof barrier is porous enough to allow body moisture to escape, without allowing water from the outside in. We apply a laminated scrim on the inside to:

  • Quickly disperse built-up water vapor for faster drying
  • Protect the waterproof/breathable barrier from abrasion
  • Glide easily over the inner layers of the garment while maximizing overall durability and tear strength

More at:

I agree that the most useful info will come from independent, third-party testing that's clear about what's being measured and what's being compared, in addition to actual field testing.

As it is, having competition between technologies is interesting, and probably good for consumers since it can drive innovation. However, I suspect for many consumers it will just mean more confusion, at least immediately.

1:27 p.m. on February 9, 2011 (EST)
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Confusion for sure, even the in store vendors are flabergasted when question about it! Most of the competent people are guarding their judgement for when they get there hands on them.

Alicia, do you know any third party that tests outerwear garment? One that isn't involved in the outdoor world industry?

7:22 a.m. on February 17, 2011 (EST)
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The last piece looks like a direct replacement for the MHW Transition Jacket.  I cannot say enough about the Transition, so I have high expectations for Dry.Q Active.

7:40 p.m. on February 24, 2011 (EST)
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I was recently in an outdoor store listening to some jacket tech geek tell one of the salesman there how Gortex is actually a very inexpensive material and how the jacket manufacturers are ripping us off with these $400+ price tags.  He kept talking about more breathable fabrics but I couldnt get an ear on what product he was talking about.  Interesting....

8:30 a.m. on March 1, 2011 (EST)
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my personal experience is that on the better gore tex fabrics, pro shell for example, the "third layer" on the interior is so thin and light that is it practically unnoticeable, and I don't think it meaningfully affects the ability to vent moisture.  the marmot exum jacket is the example i'm familiar with and have used a lot.  the reality is that if you're carrying a good-sized pack uphill in cold, windy weather, or otherwise using a lot of energy being active in cold weather, like snowshoeing or x-country skiing, you're probably going to sweat whether you are wearing eVent or gore tex pro shell, and some moisture (but not very much) will collect on the interior surface of the shell.  both gore tex and eVent are a quantum leap better than coated nylon that doesn't vent moisture, and i think both of these membranes are marginally better than some of the proprietary membranes like Patagonia's H2No or Mountain Hardwear's Conduit.  (i'm not familiar with the marmot "membrain.") 

if dryq elite uses the same membrane that GE employs in eVent fabrics, it should work well, but the proof will be in the wearing and using it.  

10:13 p.m. on July 29, 2011 (EDT)
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I grudgingly admit to having two shells with two different Gore-Tex fabrics.  One is Gore-Tex Pro Shell and the other is Gore-Tex PacLite.

I have a very high BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate).   In-other-words, I'm "cookin" all the time ... even when asleep.  

Both of these garments give me problems with condensation INSIDE the fabric, when I engage in strenuous activity or athletic endeavor.   The ProLite is more comfortable, for me.   Also, it is 'featherweight', compared to the Pro Shell.

I really wish manufacturers that make shells, would retain snaps down the placket.   By unzipping, and using the snaps, I could regulate body-temperature.   Sadly, apparently they feel snaps are too heavy.   Foolish.

Guess what?

I'm trying (with some success) COTTON.   Gasp!

Yes, 'ventile" cotton, and treating it with wash-in DWR product.   It seems to be working.   I get reasonable water-repellancy, and reasonable breathability.   Comfortable, too.

How 'bout THAT, boy and girls ?  "Old School" come-back ?


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