RE: [BackpackGearTest] Propore field tests
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.
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 PantsTo unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
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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