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Giving up on posh windproof/waterproof jackets

jerry3571jerry3571 Posts: 1,532
edited January 2019 in Road buying advice
Hi,
After some time spending too much money on cheaper/medium cost windproof/waterproof jackets I think the whole idea is daft. I have done home testing of the breathability of these Jackets and found the ODLO Pertex Quantum and the Endura FS260 Jacket were pretty good and much more breathable than Windstopper or other Jackets.
Since doing this lot of testing I found that my old way might be the better way for dry and cooler/cold weather. This is to have a long sleeve cycling top which is very breathable and then a thin/medium thickness fleece (Gelert- thin fleece) then the mesh type undervest. I had an old type of Gamex style jacket which lets the wind through as a top layer if it's colder. All these layers let the air through and so can ventilate away the sweat build up. I think this exchange of air is needed to dry the fabric as the wind passes through the fabric. Each layer of fabric just slowing the air when reaches the skin. With very little obstructing the movement of moisture away from the skin; the exchange of air keeps the fabric dryer. I found if the air is prevented from being exchanged in this way then the humidity builds up as the air is not replaced with less humid air from the outside. This is even if the windproof material allows moisture to escape through the fabric, the lack of air movement creates dampness on the inside of the jacket.
I know everyone is different and has different amounts of sweating but I do perspire quite a bit so others may find these posh jackets quite good.
Any thoughts?? :)
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”- Albert Einstein

"You can't ride the Tour de France on mineral water."
-Jacques Anquetil

Posts

  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    If that works for you then that's great.
    You should try the Goretex shakedry jacket though. It's the best bit of cycling kit I've had.
  • jerry3571jerry3571 Posts: 1,532
    cougie wrote:
    If that works for you then that's great.
    You should try the Goretex shakedry jacket though. It's the best bit of cycling kit I've had.

    I tried buying a second hand Proshell Gortex which is supposed to do well in tests with a low RET but alas I think the jacket was knackered as it wetted out quite easily. This old jacket was terrible in my test and was definitely a boil on the bag job. I'll give Goretex the benefit of the doubt as it was old. Windstopper isn't too great as mentioned though.
    In my tests I could only get low priced or second hand jackets. The Odlo jacket was just over £20 at Amazon and had its first outdoor shower yesterday which the water beaded off well.
    I think I am just too scared to spend big bucks on a jacket which is talked up but might be not do great.
    Decathlon 900 winter jacket was not too good on test and on the bike either. Warm and wet on a cold day.
    Shakedry has a good reputation though :)
    There is a theory that if it's wet outside then it'll be wet inside. If a jacket is very breathable then you need a dry outside atmosphere for the moisture to be drawn out. If it's 100% humidity outside then the moisture won't want to evaporate through the jacket.
    Think there needs more info on all jackets like this with RET or MVT. This might help a bit.
    “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”- Albert Einstein

    "You can't ride the Tour de France on mineral water."
    -Jacques Anquetil
  • gsk82gsk82 Posts: 2,992
    You must look ridiculous wearing a mesh vest as your to layer.

    The modern thinking seems to go that it doesn't matter if you're a little damp inside, as long as the wind isn't getting through you'll stay warm.
    "Unfortunately these days a lot of people don’t understand the real quality of a bike" Ernesto Colnago
  • ajkerr73ajkerr73 Posts: 312
    cougie wrote:
    If that works for you then that's great.
    You should try the Goretex shakedry jacket though. It's the best bit of cycling kit I've had.

    Castelli Idro is similarly the best piece of kit I've owned.
  • As Cougie said, the goretex shakedry is a great bit of kit, completely waterproof and no need to mess about with reproofing. Have ridden in mine many times through all seasons, and the breathability is about as good as you will get in a rain jacket, I never find I am retaining much sweat inside the jacket even when putting in some effort. They are expensive, but I do think they are one of the few top end bits of kit that are genuinely worth the money.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Ajkerr73 wrote:
    cougie wrote:
    If that works for you then that's great.
    You should try the Goretex shakedry jacket though. It's the best bit of cycling kit I've had.

    Castelli Idro is similarly the best piece of kit I've owned.

    Actually that's the jacket I have using the shakedry material. It's had a lot of use this winter and never let me down. I did buy it in the sales but it's still the most expensive bit of cycling kit I wear.
  • joe2008joe2008 Posts: 1,531
    The Assos Sturmprinz is an amazing jacket.

    I wear a lolly red (orange) one all winter and just adjust the under layers according to temperature; highly visible, breathable, and pretty damn waterproof.

    I would never wear anything else.
  • jerry3571jerry3571 Posts: 1,532
    gsk82 wrote:
    You must look ridiculous wearing a mesh vest as your to layer.

    The modern thinking seems to go that it doesn't matter if you're a little damp inside, as long as the wind isn't getting through you'll stay warm.

    No, i wear the mesh as a base layer :D

    The main problem i have is the amount of layers i have to use to keep things cosy.
    Would be nice to try a top end jacket but dont like to risk it. Also theres the risk of trashing it; usually first ride out (its the curse).
    I know a big chap who stays dry wearing a jacket from Sports Direct. Ive tried it and and i get wet in it. Guess im a cheap skate and the layering is a cheap option just using existing kit. It's a good system and i have a rain mac in the back pocket in case it rains.
    Think i read the Pertex Quantum is only an RET of 9. Think Gore Active is about 4 and other posh jackets are similar. Trouble is i buy a jacket and then find its not as good as the hype :(
    PS- i have ridden my bike since the 80s when cycling was a proper nerdy sport and i still love looking a censored :D
    “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”- Albert Einstein

    "You can't ride the Tour de France on mineral water."
    -Jacques Anquetil
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Suppose it all depends on how hard you work and how sweaty you are. I have a Goretex paclite shell which is fairly breathable as well as utterly wind and waterproof, but I only use it if it's properly tipping it down or likely to be. I can tell how much moisture it allows out by the condensation on the taped seams and on anything impermeable in the pockets.

    This time of year my go-to jacket used to be a Gore Phantom softshell; windstopper front and arms and a very breathable back. Windproof, warm, but not waterproof.

    Now superseded by a Castelli Alpha ROS jacket which is a similar deal but more sophisticated construction, better insulation / ventilation, and the DWR does seem better at shedding water. With a selection of base layers I can see this being all I need from October to March in the UK
  • jerry3571jerry3571 Posts: 1,532
    Not sure a red flag for choosing a jacket is vent holes . This usually means the fabric can't keep up with sweat which is generated.
    “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”- Albert Einstein

    "You can't ride the Tour de France on mineral water."
    -Jacques Anquetil
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I usually buy my stuff out of season in the sales. Got the Alpha for a still eye-watering £130 half price last spring and I only managed one drizzly ride in it before the weather turned too warm. I was desperate for the arrival of the cooler autumn weather, but I have to say I've been impressed with it since then. It's warmer that it has any right to be, probably down to the waffly construction of the lining in strategic places. Just a S/S base layer down to about 7c, and L/S base layer and it's fine down to 2-3c. I like the partly separate zipped waistcoat thing at the front which allows you to unzip the outer to dump a bit of heat without freezing your tits off.
  • pilot_petepilot_pete Posts: 2,081
    keef66 wrote:
    I like the partly separate zipped waistcoat thing at the front which allows you to unzip the outer to dump a bit of heat without freezing your tits off.

    Have you ever considered a career in journalism? Your honest opinion would surely lighten up many a kit review!!! :lol:

    PP
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Pilot Pete wrote:
    keef66 wrote:
    I like the partly separate zipped waistcoat thing at the front which allows you to unzip the outer to dump a bit of heat without freezing your tits off.

    Have you ever considered a career in journalism? Your honest opinion would surely lighten up many a kit review!!! :lol:

    PP

    Or as my wife would put it - blunt to the point of rudeness... :D
  • stueysstueys Posts: 1,332
    Another vote for shakedry, it’s magical stuff. Once you go past that you are into trading breathabilty for waterproofing,it’s a compromise - fully waterproof will always suffer in breathabilty. Personally I find the gabba windstopper stuff to work well for high intensity, it will start to let water through eventually but you’re sweating anyway. But it stops you getting soaked and keeps the wind off so you’re warm.
  • FatTedFatTed Posts: 1,205
    joe2008 wrote:
    The Assos Sturmprinz is an amazing jacket.

    I wear a lolly red (orange) one all winter and just adjust the under layers according to temperature; highly visible, breathable, and pretty damn waterproof.

    I would never wear anything else.

    I rate the SchlossHund more than the shake dry or Idro, because you can be seen wearing it, I think it is harder wearing.
  • jerry3571jerry3571 Posts: 1,532
    Do you Folks wear your nice Jackets in dry weather or just in the rain/showers? :)
    “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”- Albert Einstein

    "You can't ride the Tour de France on mineral water."
    -Jacques Anquetil
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I wear my Alpha any time it's cold enough, rain or shine exactly as it's advertised, so possibly October through to March / April. For me it was an expensive purchase but it looks like I'll be getting my money's worth.

    In contrast, the Paclite shell jacket I've worn maybe a couple of dozen times in 3 years
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I don't wear the shakedry unless it's raining or turned cold and caught me out.

    My dhb hybrid jacket is great for early winter.
    My dhb full protection soft shell for deep winter.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,277
    jerry3571 wrote:
    Do you Folks wear your nice Jackets in dry weather or just in the rain/showers? :)

    Define 'nice'. My Agu Martello jacket cost £35 from PX and works from 3deg (I won't usually go out if it's any colder) and is comfortable up to about 9-10deg, at which point I'd usually go for a l/s jersey + gilet instead.
  • joey54321joey54321 Posts: 1,297
    My Autumn/Winter/Spring commuting setup:

    Dry:
    3-10 degrees Alpha Jersey with a SS base layer (i've even worn passed freezing and been ok), buff
    -2 - 3 degrees Alpha Jacket with SS base, buff + ear warmer
    < -2 degrees Alpha with LS base, buff + winter cap

    Showers:
    Same as abovev, the Alpha will shake off most light rain.

    Raining:
    Add goretex jacket over the top of whatever I am wearing for the temperature


    The Alpha jacket and jersey I have are phenomenal, the best bit of kit (cycling or otherwise) that I own. I got them in the summer at a very good price just before Castelli released the ROS version. Mine are now 2 winters old, the jersey has some mud stains (I ride it offroad quite a bit) and the jacket has a hole from when I introduced myself to some tarmac last winter, I patched this with some technical clothing repair tape and it's been fine since.
  • jerry3571jerry3571 Posts: 1,532
    Imposter wrote:
    jerry3571 wrote:
    Do you Folks wear your nice Jackets in dry weather or just in the rain/showers? :)

    Define 'nice'. My Agu Martello jacket cost £35 from PX and works from 3deg (I won't usually go out if it's any colder) and is comfortable up to about 9-10deg, at which point I'd usually go for a l/s jersey + gilet instead.

    Man after my own :D £35!! Get in!! (Im aware of the Fools Gold and often money/quality wins through). Think that's the trick, is the knowing :)
    I don't ride much in the rain these days thanks to rain radar apps i even change course en route to avoid rain/showers so the breathability is key for me.
    “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”- Albert Einstein

    "You can't ride the Tour de France on mineral water."
    -Jacques Anquetil
  • svettysvetty Posts: 1,904
    joe2008 wrote:
    The Assos Sturmprinz is an amazing jacket.

    I wear a lolly red (orange) one all winter and just adjust the under layers according to temperature; highly visible, breathable, and pretty damn waterproof.

    I would never wear anything else.
    Agree!
    FFS! Harden up and grow a pair :D
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