What durable, waterproof jacket?

7 messages
16/04/2007 at 13:42

My girlfriend an I are off on a 12-18 month trip around the Americas at the beginning of 2008. We plan on spending about 4 months in North America including Mexico, maybe a 1-2 months in Central America and about 8 months in South America, maybe longer. We have friends in Brazil and Mexico, so may stay longer.

We're looking for decent waterproof jackets (probably Gore-Tex) but we're getting confused with all the different fabrics. From what I know there's Gore Tex, Gore Tex XCR and Paclite. However, when I look at the different ranges of jackets from the big names there seem to be so many Paclite and XCR variants with names like Saturn, Helium and loads more.

What should I be looking at? We're willing to spend up to about £150ish each. Btw, the reason we're looking now is that we figured we'd be able to get decent year-round mountain jackets for less in the summer sales. Plus we could do with decent ones for hikes in this country anyway.

From what I've read the Paclite jackets are less durable than XCR, and a 2 or 3 layer is better for prolonged use with backpack in more extreme conditions. I think I'd be better off going for a 3-layer XCR jacket. Am I on the right track? Any particular jackets worth looking at for this kind of trip? Is EVent worth a look?

16/04/2007 at 14:16
Id recomend e-vent over gortex and would suggest the montane superfly or superfly xt...both can be got for under £150 (superfly xt - from the factory shop via phone)

they are both durable and breathable but the xt is heavier and more durable thanks to reinforcement panels.

its also worth looking at the rab jackets which are also event.

if you are definatley sure you want goretex id hang on for a bit as there are bound to be deals on the existing jackets as there are new versions of gtx coming out very soon.

My experience of paclite is not very good, i found it sweaty and easy to rip/puncture.

I also have a berghaus goretx 3 layer jacket which is pretty indestructable but is heavy as its a long length jacket that i use for fishing only now.

finally i have a berghaus mera peak style jacket (glacier peak) thats gortex xcr, this too is hard wearing but heavy and bulky so not something you would want to carry around with you.

16/04/2007 at 15:41
Just had an email from cotswold that had the following

Mountain Equipment Jacket which is 3layer xcr and is half price
16/04/2007 at 16:10
I recommend the Rab Bergen. I have one - it's a kind of halfway house between Montane's Superfly and SuperflyXT. The Bergen is made of three-layer eVent and like the SuperflyXT, it's slightly longer in the body than most jackets for better weather protection. The Bergen is made of a more durable fabric than the Superfly but it doesn't have the reinforcement panels and as many pockets as the SuperflyXT, making it simpler, lighter (only 500g) and more packable.

In my view, the Bergen offers a perfect ratio between durability, protection, weight and packability for backpacking.

Oh - the womens' version of the Bergen is the Vidda.
16/04/2007 at 16:35
I've got a Superfly and have been using it for running and biking in not with a particulary heavy pack and have leakage on the shoulders and durability issues on the inner knit and this is only after 12 months intermitant use. Have now got to the stage where if I know its going to be raining for a good while. I go back to my trusty old Goretex.
Plenty of XCR deals going at the moment though with the change of branding from Goretex.

16/04/2007 at 17:03
If you want a tough 2lyr jacket then the Berghaus Storm is very, very tough and available for under £150 in both women's and men's.
16/04/2007 at 17:08
Depending on how you plan your trip, it might be clever to buy a cheap and reliable poncho for use in humid jungle environment (e.g. Mexico) and when you are in the moutain climes of the USA/Canada then buy something locally on sale and benefit from the cheaper US prices? I doubt any so-called breathable waterproof fabric would cope in the tropics, and a poncho can cover your pack and serve as a shelter...

The problem is that your itinerary could cover the extremes from Alaskan winter to Brazilian rainforest. If you do get a mountain jacket in a breathable fabric, I would recommend looking for venting capability via underarm zips and mesh-lined pockets. The cut, durability, weight and quality of the garment is ultimately more important than the fabric's breathability in my opinion.
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