Reflecting on last year’s fall paddles, I was very disappointed with the breathability of my NRS SeaTour jacket. With even a modest pace, this jacket would be absolutely soaked inside, with typically a 3mm neo farmer john and a PowerDry fleece base layer. In this age of sports specific wear, I was nevertheless actually drier inside using my basic proprietary WB Marmot Precip jacket. In this case, i’m assuming that wavetex is just not comparable to Goretex either?
There was recently a thread discussing this.
My experience is that WaveTex in not as beathable as GoreTex.
i haven’t tried that material but
I have found that other materials are rapidly approaching the breathability of Goretex. I know my Kokatat Tropos semi-dry top is every bit as breathable as a Goretex top. I still think Goretex probably breaths the “best” overall but with these other materials getting better and better (and being significantly cheaper) they are worth serious consideration. Of course like you have experienced, all “breathable” materials are not created equal.
I’m still waiting for the next BIG material which will surpass Goretex and become the new rage in sports apparel. With all the technology and research going into these materials, I think something really exciting is not too far away.
I’ll tell you a secret…
The secret that the industry seems to keep to themselves (I’m not sure why)is that the breathablity of a garment, wheather it’s Gore or some copy, is not only dependant on the laminent/coating, but also on the breathablity of the face fabric. The company I used to work for had their W/B jackets independantly tested and compared. As suspected the Gore jackets performed the best in most cases, but the microporus polyurethane Jacket (similar to Marmot Precip) performed better than two entry level Gore Jackets. What this means is two Gore jackets with different face fabrics, can have drastically different breathablity. A reputable company can/will give you technical information on how well their laminents or coating perform.
That said. I have a NRS Payette Splash Top which definately does not breath as well as my Kokatat Wave GTX Dry Top. On the other hand the NRS top cost $60 and the Kokatat cost $360. Like it was said before, hang on a few more years and there will be a whole new generation of W/B.