Question: I've tried the Rohan Pinnacle jacket on - it feels superb - but can't get a definitive & independent answer on their 'Barricade' membrane's waterproofness and breathability compared to Gore-Tex Pro-Shell & Event. Please enlighten me.
Answer: Hi there,
The name is Gear, Richard 'Breathable and Waterproof' Gear. Rohan is
being quite bullish about its new three-ply Barricade waterproof fabric
as used on the new Pinnacle Jacket and matching pant, but as you've
observed, details of the fabric are hard to come by.
First though, you need to bear
in mind that there's a certain amount of controversy over lab tests for
moisture vapour permeability, both in how closely they equate to real
life use and whether they suit some types of material better than
others, so just having a set of laboratory figures may not tell you how
well a fabric works in real life use.
Barricade is a PU hydrophilic laminate, water proofness is 20,000mm -
that's hydrostatic head in techy parlance and means the height of a
column of water the fabric will withstand - breathability is
20,000g/m2/24hours using method JIS L 1099 B-1 and finally,
water repellency is 80% after 50 washes.
To put that in perspective, that level of waterproofness is high and
more than adequate, so no worries there. The breathability figure is
roughly what I'd expect from eVent and, probably, somewhat greater than
Gore-Tex Pro Shell, so I'd expect performance of a similar level to
eVent in terms of breathability.
So, on paper it's looking like a fabric with above average performance,
but until we've used it, it's impossible to say whether that translates
to real performance advantages on the hill where it matters.
Incidentally, PU used to be viewed as a lesser alternative to PTFE
membranes like Gore-Tex and eVent, but rapidly evolving technology
means that PU layers can be engineered at a micro level to give
excellent breathability combined with other desirable properties.
We have some Pinnacle kit due in for review shortly, so watch this