Rainwear

General Preparedness Discussions
Post Reply
User avatar
Wayne
Canada
Posts: 698
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:24 pm
Location: Nova Scotia

Rainwear

Post by Wayne » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:34 am

It seems logical that in a rainstorm, if you cover yourself in any material that’s 100% waterproof, you’ll stay dry. Unfortunately however, this isn’t the case for long.

Similar to the previous discussion on sleeping bags, the body has a requirement to give off moisture. Exertion on the part of the wearer compounds this problem. Any fabric that will keep water out, will keep moisture in.

When it comes to waterproofness, the key lies in the ability to release moisture. In a personal rain protection system, most tend to be ‘closed,’ with limited breathability.

In 1969, Bob Gore discovered a versatile new polymer that had spaces small enough to stop water in liquid form. but large enough to allow water vapor to be released through the fabric. This allowed rainwear to be waterproof and at the same time breathable.

Since this time, many similar products have been introduced to compete with Gore-tex. Although this has aided people greatly, it hasn’t fully addressed the problem.

Although it’s in many ways a miracle fabric (that has been integrated into all types of clothing and into shoes), the fabric is only breathable enough to exhaust approximately one-third of the moisture produced. This is however a big step toward people remaining dry.

If you decide to purchase a piece of Gore-Tex (or similar) clothing, many manufacturer will also include breathing pockets. These appear to be like regular pockets, but they simply open the fabric to the inside of the material. This provides for further breathability.

Like we discussed with sleeping bags, many types of insulation material will lose loft when they start to absorb moisture. This results in heat loss. This is especially critical in cold conditions. Every effort should be made to remain dry.

Remember not to exert yourself too much and remove layers as required. Staying warm and dry is key to long-term survival.


None you improvise, one (or more) is luxury.

Clarence
Canada
Posts: 1055
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:13 am
Location: Ottawa area, Ontario
Contact:

Re: Rainwear

Post by Clarence » Sun Jul 14, 2019 1:37 pm

Wayne: Question.
I purchased an army surplus set that was goretex but I had some pretty good leakage. Material looked fine with no visible scratches... that may indicate weak points.
I have since applied spray waterproofing to it but haven’t had a chance to wear while working and testing seams etc.

Is waterproofing worth it or should I likely just chuck it

User avatar
Wayne
Canada
Posts: 698
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:24 pm
Location: Nova Scotia

Re: Rainwear

Post by Wayne » Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:06 am

Goretex (and similar fabrics) are prone to seam separation with time. You can purchase seam tape and re-seam the interior. The membrane can tear and is susceptible to puncture. Like everything else, it doesn't last forever.

Once spray waterproofing is applied, it destroys the breathability of the fabric. So it's important to spray the area where the leak is occurring. Should you spray the whole fabric, you've destroyed the benefit of Goretex. In this situation, I'd be looking at repurchasing a replacement. Hope this helps. Good luck.
None you improvise, one (or more) is luxury.

User avatar
helicopilot
Canada
Posts: 1400
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:59 pm
Location: The Wildrose province

Re: Rainwear

Post by helicopilot » Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:50 pm

I think it depends which vintage of army rainwear you buy. The old plain green stuff is akin to wearing garbage bags: it keep the rain out and the sweat in. If you’re even mildly active, you get wet from the inside.

The new “goretex” they have seem ok, but I’ve heard the guys still get wet underneath and that the material is not quite as waterproof as expected.

When in the US there was a brand of rain gear everyone raved about, Frogg Togg I believe or something like that. Owing that it rained a lot, while quite hot, I would take the locals’ input in consideration. That said, I didn’t buy one as they were a bit costly.

User avatar
helicopilot
Canada
Posts: 1400
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:59 pm
Location: The Wildrose province

Re: Rainwear

Post by helicopilot » Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:54 pm

I stand corrected... Frogg Toggs complete rain set can be had for $65, not as much as I remembered.

I might actually buy a set.

I

Clarence
Canada
Posts: 1055
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:13 am
Location: Ottawa area, Ontario
Contact:

Re: Rainwear

Post by Clarence » Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:10 am

Thank you both for feedback

Gallowshumour
Canada
Posts: 72
Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2013 12:53 am

Re: Rainwear

Post by Gallowshumour » Sun Mar 15, 2020 12:40 am

If you want to know how well your rain gear will protect you, wear it on a motorcycle or scooter. Rainwater, driven by the force of the wind as you ride, will find even the smallest orifice and pour in.

I bought a set (jacket and pants) of Wetskins at Canadian Tire roughly twenty years ago. Last year my car died in April, and while waiting for the new car to arrive I was forced to rely on my scooter to get to work. Every day of the week and a half I waited for the new car it poured rain, and every day I wore those Wetskins while I rode. Even at speeds of 60 kph, not one drop got in. I don't know if they make the same quality product today, but I am more than impressed that my set of twenty year old rain gear can still stand up and protect me. Wetskins has my business.

Post Reply

Return to “General Preparedness”