Revolutionary breathable performance claims MHW for its new Dry.Q waterproof fabrics.
Posted: 5 January 2011
Looks like there's going to be a whole lot more choice in breathable waterproof fabrics next year – not only has Gore announced new Gore-Tex Active Shell due out next winter and Polartec previewed NeoShell, but Mountain Hardwear is making loud noises about new Dry.Q Elite, its own waterproof fabric set to appear in autumn 2011.
We're off to the Alps next week for some hands-on experience of the new MHW fabric, but we thought you might appreciate a quick look at this preview video. The main thrust of the new fabric is that it's genuinely air permeable even when humidity within the jacket is relatively low.
One interesting point in the video is the claim that because many waterproof jackets rely on a temperature/humidity gradient to push moisture outwards – they don't breathe until you're 75% humid inside the jacket – opening your pit-zips and venting is actually counter productive, since it lowers humidity levels and stops the fabric breathing effectively.
If that all sounds familiar, it well might, because the fabric sounds very similar to eVent being a PTFE membrane but with oleophobic properties inegrated into the membrane itself to allow air permeability while still protecting the membrane from contamination. The main difference seems to be three different grades of fabric – Active, Core and Elite - and a stretch option, which isn't – as far as we're aware – available with eVent.
There's also more about Dry.Q on the Mountain Hardwear web site at www.mountainhardwear.com/DryQ/DryQ,default,pg.html complete with an official MHW video featuring designers and sponsored athletes talking bullishly about the new fabric.
More in a week or so, when we've tried it for ourselves, but the future's looking generally more breathable for autumn 2011...