Surely tear resistance is principally down to the outer fabric?
Not used Active Shell, but when it was just out and some shops had demo Haglofs and ME jackets you could get for a day/weekend, I overheard a shop salesman telling someone that Active Shell was really best for sports like running and cycling where there wouldn't be much rubbing, but if you were to regularly wear it with a heavyish rucksack the waterproofness wouldn't last too long.
That's Gore's line with it certainly - especially in comparison to Pro shell - but what does it really mean?
Certainly a lot of abrasion resistance is down to the face fabric used as thats got a lot more exposure. I'd actually have thought that it would dominate but could be wrong.
I'm not aware of any place to get useful data cf how well the various membrane technologies last with the same face fabrics, or for that matter what percentage of the various ways for it to fail are the face fabrics and whats down to the membrane.
(Or even if 2.5 layer fabrics intrinsically last less time than 3 layer ones.).
From a cynical perspective active shell is both a lot cheaper and a bit more breathable than pro shell, so they'd certainly want to emphasise the durability difference as much as possible. Not that it might not be a real effect!
Well the BPL forums have just thrown up some typically thorough technical info about waterproof fabrics - fascinating really, here.
(Richard Nisley's posts are deeply impressive if you're after hard facts for this sort of thing.).
Anyway the ISO 6330 Wet-Flex tests showing quite a big difference between PU coatings (Paclite) and 3 layers stuff, which would include active shell.
That is of course far from a real world durability test - very hard to find a full description but it seems to involve repeated use of washing machines of some sort at non trivial temperatures etc? - but it is measuring something.
Certainly most of the other ways you can obviously kill a waterproof involve destroying the face fabric first, so generally given equal face fabrics active shell should probably last a bit longer than paclite.
(Sweat contamination another option of course but with activeshell still having a PU layer can't see that happening.).
My PacLite parka and pants are made of Taslanized (roughened fiber) outer fabric and are fairly durable for a light fabric. PacLite will always be laminated to only light fabrics but the very breathable Active Shell and the somewhat less breathable Pro Shell can be found laminated to medium weight fairly durable material.
Personally I'll stick to my new eVent parka until I see how Actrive Shell holds up in the field.
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In my experience PacLite GTX is more breathable than the traditional GTX but definitely much less breathable than eVent. I have all three WPB garments.
FWIW, my Cabela's PacLite parka has no pit zips but could use them. Instead it has two large chest high slash pockets W/ mesh inner pocket lining for breathability. They do help a lot with ventilation during high exertion and rain stays out due to the flaps over the zippers. Altogether a great, light parka with excellent durability in heavy brush.
With moderate walking and around camp PacLite is fine.
Isn't a bit 'late' to be relying on the backer to protect vs tears vs barbed wire etc? If the face fabric has failed and is tearing then you've definetly going to get non trivial damage to the membrane. Suppose it might be easier to patch up afterwards
Maybe more for Internal abrasion/ripping through fold/stretch cycles?!
The only (fairly feeble) data points I've got are those Barghaus paclite trousers which ripped very easily indeed, and some of the old style pertex shield DS which was pretty tear resistant when I was chopping up the freeby bum bag made out of it.....
Think the basic construction relatively similar there.
Active vs Pro shell durability wise is intriguing, because pro shell does still have a serious mark up attached.
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