Fabrics and how they work
I thought i would start writing a series of articles about all the different fabrics that Montane uses and how they work . I will start off talking about Event .
Event fabrics came on to the scene in about 2003 and was originally created for a venting membrane in indrustrial air -pollution filters. Then somebody realized that this fabric would also have other useful applications and that it would work well in waterproof breathable sports wear.
How it works
The fabrics works by using Its unique composition that allows millions of tiny pores to breathe at their full potential. Sweat vents directly to the outside of the fabric in one easy step. The company call this direct venting. The way is differs from some other common waterproof/breathable membranes is that they say they "breathe" but really Instead, they move sweat in two slow steps by a process of diffusion through a Polyurethane (PU) layer. Because a PU absorbs and retains sweat, the inside of the fabric becomes wet. Then, body heat begins to push that dampness through to the outside of the fabric where it can finally evaporate this can be a somewhat inefficient process. Those fabrics still work but in my opinion Event works better because it works in one step and skips the absorption step.
Event claims to let sweat escape twice as fast as other waterproof membranes . I have used probably nearly every fabric there is over the years and i can say that I found Event to breath way better than most while still being completely waterproof. the only fabric that i have found to be more breathable is the newer Polartec Neo-Shell which I will talk about in another article . Even when the fabric is 'Wetted out" which means that your jacket has probably lost its DWR coating (durable water reppellancy ) that comes on garments when they are new. When this wears out and it looks like water is soaking in we call this wetting out and this effects the efficiency of all membrane fabrics to breathe because that extra moisture that has soaked in to the outer of the fabric is another barrier for sweat to pass through. Event still handles this better than other fabrics I have used . What I would recommend is that from time to time you re-apply your DWR coating to your jacket by using one of the many after market products on the market.
Check out the Clip below its couple of years old but does show the marked difference between Event and other Membranes
Montane's use of Event
Montane were early adopters of the fabric and have been at the forefront of producing top end garments in it for a while. They use it in there Mountain Shells where the need for full waterproofness and a high degree of breathabilty is needed.
Next year they are introducing a new fabric DV Storm which isclaimed to breath 20-30% better than Event does now. Montane have used to create one of their lightest (297g) full laminate jackets to date the Featherlite Shell this will be available April 2015 see pic.
Where some fabrics say that they breathe Event actually does and it does it well. In my opinion its one of the best on the market at the moment
A note about the author
Martin Walker has been working in the outdoor industry for over 25 years and over that time has amassed an enviable knowledge of all things outdoor. He is also the owner of Furtherfaster. It is fair to say he may be a bit biased towards the brands he sells but that's fine they're great brands.