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RE: [BackpackGearTest] Propore field tests

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  • Jerry Goller
    Thanks, Allan. As usual, an outstanding report! BTW, the link didn t come out in one piece. Jerry http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BackpackGearTest : the most
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 28, 2001
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      Thanks, Allan. As usual, an outstanding report! BTW, the link didn’t come out in one piece.



      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BackpackGearTest : the most comprehensive interactive gear reviews and tests on the planet.

      -----Original Message-----
      From: adventurealan [mailto:adixon@...]
      Sent: Friday, December 28, 2001 9:30 AM
      Subject: [BackpackGearTest] Propore field tests


      Field Report for Rain Shield Propore O2 Jacket and Pants
      Alan Dixon, BackpackingGearTest


      Summary of Propore Field Performance

      By lab and filed measurements the Propore rainshells are among the
      most breathable of the waterproof breathable shells available on the

      In high exertion field tests the Propore jacket was almost as
      breathable as my non-waterproof GoLite Bark windshirt. As measured in
      the BackpackingLight.com's Test Lab the Propore fabric was among the
      most breathable of the waterproof breathable fabrics. It is
      considerably more breathable than the shell materials in Frogg Toggs,
      Red Ledge's TH4 and GoLite's GoDri.

      The only improvement to the Propore Jacket to prevent getting wet
      from the inside would be to add more ventilation to the shell. Red
      Ledge's Thunderlight Parka, even though it had a considerably less
      breathable shell material, outperformed the Propore Parka for
      moisture accumulation.  The Thunderlight with its core vents and pit
      zips accumulated less moisture in field tests due to greater
      ventilation options. Given that the Propore Jacket is going for a
      lightweight, minimal design, adding more vents may not be within the
      design criteria for the garment.

      Overview of Propore Field Testing

      This was a very dry fall. I had little chance to test the Propore
      Jacket and Pants in the rain. Tests in my shower at home confirmed
      what I already knew, which was that the raingear is waterproof. My
      only gripe is that the Jacket does leak through the front zipper. My
      jacket shipped with the storm flap folded away from the zipper. There
      is no way to secure the storm flap over the front zipper and I could
      not convince or secure the storm flap to lie in the other direction
      to protect the zipper from incoming water.

      What interested me more was the breathability of the Propore shell
      material, especially under high exertion activities like running or
      hiking steeply uphill. As such, I set out to test Propore rain shells
      under controlled field conditions to determine just how wet I would
      get working hard. I did this testing in conjunction with an article I
      wrote for BackpackingLight.com, High-Exertion Moisture Accumulation
      in Rain and Wind Shells.

      More Detail on the Field Testing

      In a 6-week period I did 20 field tests with various shells to try
      and understand and quantify how moisture accumulates in shells under
      high exertion activities.  Three of these tests were done with the
      Propore rainwear provided by BackpackingGearTest.

      In each of the field tests I weighed the amount of water in my wool
      undershirt (baselayer) after about 50-55 minutes of controlled
      exercise  (measured by the percent of my maximum heart rate). I also
      recorded the temperature, humidity and wind speed for each test. I
      feel that this is a more accurate way to compare garments than the
      usual "soaked my baselayer" or "bone dry while working hard" reports
      one usually gets back from the field as hikers either curse or extol
      their waterproof/breathable shells. The data from these field tests
      are presented in BackpackingLight.com, High-Exertion Moisture
      Accumulation in Rain and Wind Shells LINK to Data Table.

      Most testing was done within 3 miles of a major airport. Tests were
      started on the half hour and run for approximately 52 minutes. The
      mid-test hourly readings at the airport were used for temperature,
      humidity, and wind speed. Test course was a little over 6 miles out
      and back — mostly flat with a few small hills. Run times varied from
      50-55 minutes depending on wind speed, how fresh I felt, my level of
      caffination, and general inclination. Measured and subjective this
      equates to an exertion level of about 80 to 85 percent of my maximum
      heart rate. My wool baselayer was weighed before the run and within 3
      minutes of completing the run on a digital postal scale accurate to
      0.1 ounce. The difference was reported as accumulated moisture.

      Results of Propore Field Testing

      The Propore Jacket uses a very breathable fabric. In field
      breathability tests it performed almost as well as a non-waterproof
      microfiber polyester windshirt. In a 51 to 52 minute run (80-85% of
      my maximum heart rate) under similar filed conditions (45-48 degrees
      F, and 45% relative humidity), the Propore jacket accumulated 5.6
      ounces of moisture and the GoLite Bark (windshell) accumulated 5.2
      ounces of moisture.

      In a brisk (4.5 mph) 56 minute walk with brief rain showers, temp 65
      F, RH 90%, the Propore Jacket accumulated only 2.3 ounces of
      moisture. This is impressive.

      Fit and Function

      Worn in the field the Propore Jacket and Pants are quieter, more
      flexible and generally more comfortable than I expected. It was quite
      pleasant to run or walk in these garments. As mentioned earlier, the
      breathability of the jacket is excellent. The sleeves on the jacket
      could be a bit longer to allow me to easily retract my hands into the
      sleeves for protection from rain and wind. The hood is a bit small
      and without a brim. A drawcord toggle for the hood would be nice.
      From my tests on the stuff sacks this fabric would not hold up to
      much abuse on granite or bushwhacking, but it was probably never
      intended withstand abuse like this.

      In summary, the Propore jacket and pants are excellent for their
      intended purpose — waterproof, breathable, and lightweight. If you
      are expecting occasional rain, aren't expecting to abuse your shell,
      and want a minimum of weight the Propore rainshells are an excellent

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