Does anyone own a waterproof jacket that's actually waterproof?

Choppersquad

Member
Nov 10, 2021
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Leatherhead
Preferably one that's under £200.
I'd like to keep going out in the great British winter, but keep bottling it when it's raining as none of my jackets keep the rain out.
 

theremotejuggernaut

Active member
Aug 2, 2022
319
239
UK
Preferably one that's under £200.
I'd like to keep going out in the great British winter, but keep bottling it when it's raining as none of my jackets keep the rain out.
I've got a couple. A Fjern something-or-other. Okam maybe? Occam? Orca? Ocra? Whatever... It's Event membrane based. Fjern is owned (and sold) by SportPursuit.

Also got a Mountain Equipment Rupal which is 3 layer Gore-Tex.

Neither are bike specific but the membranes work to keep the water out. They both work exceptionally well.

I tend to use the Fjern on the bike as it was cheaper so I don't mind so much if I ruin it (when I ruin it?). It also packs down smaller than the Gore-Tex so fits better in my pack.

Trouble is with a proper waterproof is that although they're breathable, the membrane can never keep up with how much you sweat so you do still end up damp. Having underarm vents helps with this though.

I personally avoid non membrane stuff as its a sweatbox. No matter what the sales/ marketing blurb says.

Ultimately, if you're going outside when it's raining you're gonna get wet eventually. The key to being happy is being comfortable so look at ways of keeping most of the water off and kepping yourself warm even if you get wet. Merino base layers are good for this.
 
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p3eps

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I have this from a couple of years ago…

The Gore GoreTex stuff is excellent. It’s just a shell, so you’d need to layer up… but the plus side is you can pack it in a backpack very neatly!
 

theremotejuggernaut

Active member
Aug 2, 2022
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I have this from a couple of years ago…

The Gore GoreTex stuff is excellent. It’s just a shell, so you’d need to layer up… but the plus side is you can pack it in a backpack very neatly!
I like that!

Is it 3 layer? And is it shiny? It looks a bit shiny in the pics.

Sizing looks weird. I'm usually a small in everything but. Going by their guide, I'd be large. How do you find it?
 

p3eps

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I like that!

Is it 3 layer? And is it shiny? It looks a bit shiny in the pics.

Sizing looks weird. I'm usually a small in everything but. Going by their guide, I'd be large. How do you find it?
Not sure if it’s 3 layer or not.
Mine is bright yellow / grey - different design a couple of years back. It has sort of mat finish to it.

I’m 6ft 2” tall, and wear a large. It’s quite slim fitting, although I can get a couple of layers underneath.

I personally love mine. I have a load of Gore stuff. Some of the designs are pretty boring, but it’s good ‘functional’ stuff that does what it says in the tin!
 

Jurassic

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Jul 22, 2022
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Helensburgh, Scotland.
It depends on how long I'm going to be out in the rain as to what jacket I wear. In really foul conditions I wear a Columbia Outdry Reign Ex jacket which is mega waterproof but not as breathable as a goretex jacket. The problem with most breathable laminate fabrics (like Goretex) is that the outer skin eventually wets out once the DWR coating wears off and they end up leaking and not breathing as well, making you damp underneath. The Outdry fabric used by Columbia has the waterproof membrane on the outside so there is no layer to wet out and no DWR coating is required. The downside is that the fabric looks weird and shiny and it isn't as breathable as something like Goretex or Event fabrics. I was put onto these jackets by the bikepacking forum that I frequent and they do live up to the hype if you want no water penetration at all. I'm not sure how readily available they are at the moment but I got mine heavily discounted from Sportspursuit.
 

Bndit

Active member
Jul 14, 2022
175
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Finland
I have had couple of rides with this: Endura GV500 waterproof jacket review , so far it has been just what I wanted, breathable and waterproof. I have also some all mountain Leatt jacket (allmtn 4?) and it's only goof for uplift/bikepark stuff. If you have to pedal, it just doesn't breath enough. And when it's really wet, it's not 100% waterproof. I have had the Leatt for two years now and last saturday at bike park when it was + 4 celcius it was first time when it felt perfect :D
 

VWsurfbum

🤴King of Bling🌠
Jan 11, 2021
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I have an Altura one, very heavy-duty but is waterproof.
Will now be selling as just bought a Dirtlej waterproof baby grow.
 

Jurassic

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Jul 22, 2022
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Helensburgh, Scotland.
I have had couple of rides with this: Endura GV500 waterproof jacket review , so far it has been just what I wanted, breathable and waterproof.
That jacket is on my shortlist (along with MT500) for using when conditions aren't bad enough to warrant the Columbia Outdry. I'm also considering the Fox Defend 3L jackets as I have the Ranger 3L waterproof riding pants and they're very good. The 3L fabric seems to be both waterproof and breathable although the reviews of the cheaper Fox 2.5L jacket aren't as good.
 

theremotejuggernaut

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Aug 2, 2022
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That jacket is on my shortlist (along with MT500) for using when conditions aren't bad enough to warrant the Columbia Outdry. I'm also considering the Fox Defend 3L jackets as I have the Ranger 3L waterproof riding pants and they're very good. The 3L fabric seems to be both waterproof and breathable although the reviews of the cheaper Fox 2.5L jacket aren't as good.
How are the ankles on the Fox trousers? Are they stretchy enough to pull over the top of a pair of boots?

Just bought some TLD Resist which have a prominent taper at the the ankle. Although the material is stretchy, the hem on the ankle means it won't stretch at all so I'm still gonna end up with boots full of water. Not sure whether to get different trews or gaiters to go underneath the trousers and over the shoes.
 

Jurassic

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Jul 22, 2022
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Helensburgh, Scotland.
How are the ankles on the Fox trousers? Are they stretchy enough to pull over the top of a pair of boots?

Just bought some TLD Resist which have a prominent taper at the the ankle. Although the material is stretchy, the hem on the ankle means it won't stretch at all so I'm still gonna end up with boots full of water. Not sure whether to get different trews or gaiters to go underneath the trousers and over the shoes.
No, the Fox trousers are exactly the same. It's the main thing that I'm less than happy about so far. I always wear waterproof socks for riding in anything other than bone dry conditions but although my feet usually stay warm and dryish my Fivetennies always end up soaking. Seems like the narrow ankle thing is a fashion thing to make them look like DH pants.
 

theremotejuggernaut

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Aug 2, 2022
319
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UK
No, the Fox trousers are exactly the same. It's the main thing that I'm less than happy about so far. I always wear waterproof socks for riding in anything other than bone dry conditions but although my feet usually stay warm and dryish my Fivetennies always end up soaking. Seems like the narrow ankle thing is a fashion thing to make them look like DH pants.
Cool, thanks.

I've considered waterproof socks but I'd really like to keep the water out of my boots as much as possible. Once they fill up, being Goretex lined they do an excellent job of keeping the water in 🤣

Ok, my feet stay warm with merino socks but the boots take ~3 days to dry out properly. By that logic, I need 3 pairs which ends up expensive!

I might give ankle gaiters a go. Under the trousers, over the boots. I mean, it's not like I could really look any more ridiculous than I already do...
 

Jurassic

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Jul 22, 2022
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Cool, thanks.

I've considered waterproof socks but I'd really like to keep the water out of my boots as much as possible. Once they fill up, being Goretex lined they do an excellent job of keeping the water in 🤣

Ok, my feet stay warm with merino socks but the boots take ~3 days to dry out properly. By that logic, I need 3 pairs which ends up expensive!

I might give ankle gaiters a go. Under the trousers, over the boots. I mean, it's not like I could really look any more ridiculous than I already do...
I ride flats on my mountain bikes but I have a pair of Shimano Goretex SPD boots that I wear on my gravel bike in winter and have the same problem that you mention with them. The best solution that I've found is to use a pair of GripGrab neoprene gaiters to seal the top of the shoes to my legs. Although they call these things gaiters, they're actually just neoprene tubes that fit tightly around you leg and stretch over the top of your boot. If your boots are similar to my SPD boots (with narrow ankles) they might work for you too.
GripGrab CyclinGaiter waterproof neoprene reflective Overshoe shoe-cover seal cycling ankle bands cuffs black yellow https://amzn.eu/d/askgfNO
 

steve_sordy

Wedding Crasher
Nov 5, 2018
8,674
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Lincolnshire, UK
I have a Rohan Elite jacket that has never failed me either at keeping out the water or in its lack of breathability. I believe that Rohan still do the Elite jacket with its own brand waterproof and breathable membrane (Barricade), but I have the cycling cut version with the longer arms and back. Sadly, they no longer do the cycling cut. :cry: My jacket feels like a single layer of fabric, but I suspect that the outer layer has been bonded to a second layer because opposite sides look totally different (not just the colour).

The vital DWR coating on the outer fabric will retain 80% of its performance even after 20 machine washes, after which it is recommended to be reproofed.

Rohan claimed only 20/20 (see note below) on the waterproof and breathable scale and yet as I said I never found it lacking. The Endura MT500 for example claims a massive 65 for breathability (can't recall the waterproofing figure). The key thing for mtb is the breathability, so 65 is massive. I'm assuming they don't count the pit zips in that, I mean just the fabric alone. If ever my Rohan jacket needs replacing, my first point of call will be the Endura MT500.

Note:
Waterproof 20 metres. ie it will hold back a column of water 20m high without passing any water.
Breathability 20 kg/m2/24hrs. ie one square meter of fabric will pass 20kg of water vapour in 24 hours.
 
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Jurassic

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Jul 22, 2022
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Endura MT500 for example claims a massive 65 for breathability (can't recall the waterproofing figure). The key thing for mtb is the breathability, so 65 is massive. I'm assuming they don't count the pit zips in that, I mean just the fabric alone. If ever my Rohan jacket needs replacing, my first point of call will be the Endura MT500
My riding buddy is on his third MT 500 and he loves them (the older ones have worn out after years of abuse). The new one he has just bought is a thing of beauty, it's really nice quality with loads of cool features and is almost too nice to get all muddy on a mountain bike. The breathability rating is for the fabric itself and doesn't include the pit zips.
 

Growmac

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Dec 4, 2020
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I don't like riding in hard shell jackets. I swear by Paramo. It needs to be below 10 degrees, and I make use of the vents and get warm when I stop, but it's bone dry and comfortable whether it's raining or not. I wear it all winter, and then carry an Endura hard shell in summer.
 

High Rock Ruti

Active member
May 13, 2019
416
327
Massachusetts
Preferably one that's under £200.
I'd like to keep going out in the great British winter, but keep bottling it when it's raining as none of my jackets keep the rain out.
High Rock Ruti

Emphatically NO!

I've got an Arcteryx shell $650 and an Endura, both wet out. The Arcteryx I've tried all the suggestions for DRW, multiple times, made no difference. I'm suspicious that rubbing against things, bushes, shoulder straps on backpack etcetera, may be there culprit, but just a guess.

A fisherman's yellow slicker is Waterproof and what a fashion statement, but you sweat so much you'll end up wet anyways.


Warm Regards Ruti
 

Jurassic

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Jul 22, 2022
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Helensburgh, Scotland.
High Rock Ruti

Emphatically NO!

I've got an Arcteryx shell $650 and an Endura, both wet out. The Arcteryx I've tried all the suggestions for DRW, multiple times, made no difference. I'm suspicious that rubbing against things, bushes, shoulder straps on backpack etcetera, may be there culprit, but just a guess.

A fisherman's yellow slicker is Waterproof and what a fashion statement, but you sweat so much you'll end up wet anyways.


Warm Regards Ruti
If you can find one try a Columbia Outdry jacket. You won't win any fashion contests but they are very waterproof and don't have an outer layer to wet out. Other than looking weird I'd say the other disadvantage is that Outdry fabric isn't the most breathable thing in the world but if you want something for horrendous conditions it'll be about as good as it gets in my experience.
 

steve_sordy

Wedding Crasher
Nov 5, 2018
8,674
8,946
Lincolnshire, UK
One thing that has not been mentioned so far is maintenance.

The outer layer of any clothing item (jackets, trousers, shorts, whatever) that is waterproof or shower proof has to have a Durable Water Repellent coating (known as DWR). The DWR causes the rain to form into droplets so that the water vapour on the inside can get out through the fabric. That process, known as "breathing", is what allows your sweat to get out. That is why it is best for a wicking fabric to be between your skin and the clothing item. The wicking fabric allows the liquid sweat from your skin to evaporate during its transit and to leave the jacket easily.

If the DWR surface coating fails, then rather than droplets forming on the surface, you can get a continuous film of rainwater that will stop the breathability either in part or totally depending upon how badly the DWR is compromised. What can impede the DWR functionality is dirt, grease, oil and general trail crap. So, keep the garment clean! The big enemy of DWR coatings is detergent, therefore don't wash the item in the washing machine unless you are using either proprietary cleaners or pure soap. If my clothing has got muddy, I let it dry and then brush it clean. But I am not averse to shoving it in the washing machine without any soap tabs, just water, and that gets rid of just about everything except grease marks. It gets a proper clean every now and then, in which case I use Nikwax Tech Wash (probably just liquid soap). Then I reproof with Nikwax TX-Direct Wash-In. You can reproof the garment in the washing machine or do it by hand and use substantially less of the product. Nikwax TX-Direct is not cheap, but it works extremely well.

Eventually, an old garment will no longer stay waterproof, not even showerproof, and no amount of reproofing will work. In which case it's time for the bin!
 

High Rock Ruti

Active member
May 13, 2019
416
327
Massachusetts
If you can find one try a Columbia Outdry jacket. You won't win any fashion contests but they are very waterproof and don't have an outer layer to wet out. Other than looking weird I'd say the other disadvantage is that Outdry fabric isn't the most breathable thing in the world but if you want something for horrendous conditions it'll be about as good as it gets in my experience.
High Rock Ruti

Thanks I've got the shiny black one it is Waterproof, and breath-proof too. But it does look really cool in that latex rubber eighties kind if way


Warm Regards Ruti
 

Rostle32

Member
Sep 26, 2018
83
90
Uk
I’ve got one of these , not Mtb specific, but the cut is fab , large hood to fit over helmet, strong enough not to snag on branches and shit, under arm zips to vent, long at rear to keep ass dry , classed as workwear, so you claim VAT back!! If it’s strong enough for tree surgeons, must be ok for us to ride through the trees 👍👍 Wots not to like
 

High Rock Ruti

Active member
May 13, 2019
416
327
Massachusetts
I’ve got one of these , not Mtb specific, but the cut is fab , large hood to fit over helmet, strong enough not to snag on branches and shit, under arm zips to vent, long at rear to keep ass dry , classed as workwear, so you claim VAT back!! If it’s strong enough for tree surgeons, must be ok for us to ride through the trees 👍👍 Wots not to like
High Rock Ruti

Fantastic site Arbortec, thank for the Referal. I noticed in the description for the jacket, it requires the same care as Gore Tex. How has it performed in steady rain, mine starts dry but wets out in time?

Warm Regards Ruti
 

theremotejuggernaut

Active member
Aug 2, 2022
319
239
UK
High Rock Ruti

Fantastic site Arbortec, thank for the Referal. I noticed in the description for the jacket, it requires the same care as Gore Tex. How has it performed in steady rain, mine starts dry but wets out in time?

Warm Regards Ruti
Gore tex or other membrane based fabrics will always wet out eventually. The outer later if only water resistant so rain will eventually overcome the DWR.

That doesn't stop the jacket being waterproof. It's the membrane that keeps the water out.

When the outer layer wets out, the breathability goes down but the jacket still keeps the water out. If it doesn't then the membrane has failed and its bin time for the jacket.

If you want something that doesn't wet out then as said in posts above, you need something with a waterproof outer layer.

You'll never stop a membrane jacket wetting out.
 

ilostmypassword

Active member
Apr 5, 2022
397
427
New Zealand
I've owned a few over the years and by far my Goretex Arcteryx jacket has and is the best. It needs re waterproofing yearly that only takes a wash in the machine.

Highly recommended.
 

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