I’ve been looking into a paddle jacket, and searched here and other places. Here’s what I’m coming up with:
Pac Lite breathes the best, followed by regular Gore.
Tropos is a coating
One of these, Entrant (Toray) or eVent, is a membrane, like Gore Tex, and the other is a coating. One of these breathes almost as well as Gore. The other is like Tropos.
Problem is, some things I’ve read say one thing, others something else. There also seem to be different types of Entrant, which may be why some places seem to say it is a coating, while others say its a membrane.
Does anyone know for sure?
Does anyone use an IR Comp jacket (the neo collar one)? That’s Entrant.
I don’t want a rubber neck gasket; latex sleeves are fine. I have a Knapster, but I’m between sizes, so the neck is barley tolerable, and it’s too tight for any base layer. So its fine for warmer times.
eVent I follow the techies at BackpackingLight.com, and they consistently find that eVent is by far the most comfortable waterproof fabric, meaning that it breathes the best, better than PacLite. It’s also quite expensive.
Are there eVent paddling jackets or drysuits out there now? I looked for one a couple of years ago, couldn’t find one, and bought Gore-Tex (Kokatat) instead. I’m happy with it, and with my non-Gore-Tex, non-eVent paddling jacket (from Palm). I’m not convinced that one needs eVent on the water. On the other hand, I am very happy with my eVent bivy sack on land, happier than I was with my Gore-Tex bivy, so maybe I would love eVent paddling clothes if I tried them.
paddling jackets if you mean the ones that have neither latex nor neoprene arm closures, those do flood when you’re submerged. Makes for some pretty clumsy movement.I know a few outfitters that have stopped supplying them to clients as it made capsizees more difficult to rescue.
If you prefer a neoprene neck lining, a semi drytop will have that along w. with latex wrist gaskets. Had a BomberGear Nimbus top w. those features and it worked pretty well, top of the line features, fabric is Toray. I sold it cuz I couldn’t layer over it easily. If you can find them, they do run small.
As to waterproof fabrics for paddling, check out the website for George Gronseth’s Kayak Academy. There is an interesting link as to why they feel Goretex is still the king of waterproof fabrics (and they say they independently tested eVent) and why Kokatat uses Goretex so effectively in their paddlewear.
the link is about drysuits but it does address some of your questions about the fabrics.
P.S. I own a shorty drytop by BomberGear in Toray and a paddling jacket (with neoprene closures at neck and wrists) by Palm in eVent. I recently got a Sidewinder longsleeved drytop by Palm, IIRC in event 250, their heavy duty fabric. It was an incredibly cheap buy so I went for it.
I like them all as to features and functions,and use the first two frequently, but they do not compare to the breathability of my Kokatat Goretex drysuit.
Thought my Tropos Kokatat drysuit was fine until I upgraded to the Goretex version
Latex arms and waist … … Neo neck. I don’t want to fill up with water if I end up out of the boat. I don’t mind a little trickle in. My Knapster keeps me dry, but the neck is just borderline too tight to be comfortable. I should have bought a size up.
I looked at Palm’s site … only their dry suits come in a membrane fabric. The jackets are coated in various layers.
I order an IR comp jacket … I’ll see what that feels like.
Looked at that … … I do want more sealing around the arms, neck, and waist. I like the Action and Re-Action jackets, but I want more breathability than Tropos, and there are no deals on the Action jacket … in fact it seems hard to find right now.
Thanks … … I could recall the article but could not find. eVent, and I have not been able to find anyone claiming to make a paddle jacket out of it. Maybe mfg’s can’t use that name, so they give it their own name? Like Palm’s xp250? They use it in their dry suits, and it says its a membrane.
There’s one really good reason… …that’s not mentioned in the article, the Gore lifetime warranty is the absolute best in the business. Unless you actually damage the fabric or wear through it, any leakage or delamination is covered under warranty. A Gore-Tex garment is essentially a lifetime purchase. Even if the company that makes your garment goes out of business, Gore will replace it with a comparable garment from another manufacturer.
There are a lot of other companies making all kinds of performance claims, but none of them stand behind their products like Gore does. Gore-Tex does cost more than most other fabrics, but this is a case where you do get what you pay for.