Well being pedantic, the answer to the title question is of course no. In fact its almost the least breathable (Wind bloc accepted I think?) that Marsden Mills make
Now if we're talking (membrane based) waterproof fabrics then.....
When Pandas go Bad wrote (see)
Jon, you had me laughing testing the jacket by throwing a mountain bike up and down the hills. If I was wearing just a base layer it would be wringing wet, never mind wearing a hard/soft shell. In fact I've got a great jacket that is windproof at the front, and almost transparent on the back to allow you all the sweat to evaporate whilst out on the bike. Its useless for walking in as any wind cuts through the back, but on a bike it really lets the sweat evaporate... and yes, its usually soaking after I've been thrashing up and down the hills, but it dries fairly quickly. Sounds like this jacket works as it should then? I guess the damp around the cuffs is from the sweat condensing on the sleeve, where the body's core heat has less impact on the external cold, and running down the sleeve to gather around the cuffs? could be some capilary action dragging that sweat up the outside of the sleeve too?
That's me, forget hills, I get that wet commuting on my bike.
Pat Agonia wrote (see)
Why the heck not test the jacket in the environment it was designed for? Ridiculous, I expect better from an 'outdoor' website, its something the Daily Mail would do!
They tried it in normal usage, and didn't get any condensation, so they tried an "unfair" test to see where it began to break.
Why the heck not test the jacket in the environment it was designed for?
The environment it's designed for is outdoors in the rain. Not everyone bothers with different shells for every activity.
Marischal Sinclair wrote (see)
If the jacket is totally useless for walking as suggested by one of these guys how come Polartec and Rab have not found this out -- surely a basic requirement?
Did people read the same article as me?
So what's it like? Well, it's a very nice blue colour and it feels nice on, comfortable and for general walking use it felt great - no clamminess, no overheating, like, well, a very breathable soft shell. Even working relatively hard, Neo Shell seemed to cope quite effortlessly. Which meant desperate measures were called for, so we took the Stretch Neo mountain biking. To put that in context, riding a mountain bike in proper hilly areas, like our local Peak District trails, is a brutal test of a breathable fabric. You're simply working very, very hard in short bursts and most waterproof fabrics simply can't cope with the inevitable sweat production. Even eVent, which we rate highly, is overwhelmed during hard use.Ironically, given that no cycle clothing brands use the fabrics, both Power Shield and Power Shield Pro do pretty well on a bike and TNF's Kishtwar Jacket made from the latter, survived quite a few winter outings last year. And NeoShell? Probably the best waterproof fabric we've used in such demanding circumstances, we were still sweating hard on a cold but humid evening, but subjective, the moisture seemed to clear from under-layers faster than we'd expect and by the time we got home after a long road descent, we were pretty much dry on the inside.The only exception to that, was the lower six inches of sleeve on both arms which were damp inside and out. We're not sure what was happening there, but we'll investigate further and report back as well as trying to compare NeoShell back to back with Gore's new Active Shell fabric and MHW's DrtyQ Elite.For now though, we're cautiously impressed. The stuff really does seem to work and we're looking forward to getting some more mileage on the jacket in the next few months.
Arc Teryx wrote (see)
"So what's it like? Well, it's a very nice blue colour and it feels nice on, comfortable and for general walking use it felt great - no clamminess, no overheating, like, well, a very breathable soft shell. Even working relatively hard, Neo Shell seemed to cope quite effortlessly. " ...so they went 'general walking'?! what the heck does that mean? No indication of the conditions or anything... but its ok as its a nice blue colour; irrelevant as its a pre-production sample. Just thought this was a particularly rubbish review when they have the 'next generation' of waterproof in their grubby mitts.
What do you expect for some "first impressions"? I read the review as implying that the reviewers have only just got the jacket, and have only just had a brief try of it. I'd imagine that "general walking" means just that, neither particularly fast or slow, and (given that it they are based in the Peak District) over moderately hilly terrain. Harder than an amble to the pub, but not the Derwent watershed, for example.
The review suggested that in this sort of usage, it felt more like a very breathable soft shell than a waterproof, so they tried something more severe.
If you want to see how it performs over time, then you need to wait until they have worn it for longer.
Anyway, today would have been a great day to test the waterproofing...
Fresh Air wrote (see)
Why are some folk getting wound up about blog posts?
Well I guess that "Arc Teryx" and "Pat Agonia" might just be the same person - I'm half waiting for a "Col Umbia" or someone similar later on.
Nothing like as breathable as Paramo unfortunately - that would require a lot more air permeability. In fact Paramo's liner is roughly at fleece levels for that (ie huge) and sweat getting past that won't get back.
Ditto for the other new fabrics really. What membrane waterproofs can do that Paramo simply can't is offer zero warmth waterproofing. Which matters for a lot of activities/much of the year.
But this could well be the most comfortable membrane waterproof fabric, although it'll take a lot more testing to be sure.
For anyone after relatively relevant reviews, look up reviews of the powershield pro stuff. TNF Kiswar or something. Thats (probably!) the same basic technology but dialed to have more air permeability and a lower hydrostatic head.
(so a bit more breathable than this will be but less waterproof etc.).
ALoveSupreme wrote (see)
How can you meaningfully test a waterproof if it isn't raining?
Surely it's a start (and lots of deluded folk do seem to wear membrane waterproofs when it isn't raining) - if it won't breathe well enough to keep you dry when it isn't raining then it sure as hell won't breathe well enough to keep you dry when it is.
I guess we can assume the fabric is waterproof, so other aspects of keeping dry are going to be down to things like a decent hood design, zip protection etc. I expect someone well versed in kit can tell a lot about that just by looking, but I agree that some real wind-driven rain might unearth any design flaws if they're there.
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