By Jörgen Johansson
|Gearing up on an ice cold October morning in Montana's Beartooth Range: From left. Brian Doble, Mike Clelland, Don Wilson, Ryan Jordan
In my 2007 book in Swedish "Vandra Fjäderlätt". I dug into different fabrics used in clothing and tents, and tried to get at some facts that would make for objective comparisons between different products. These facts proved hard to find, which was also confirmed by Chris Townsend, whom I consulted on the subject. Chris is, as most of our readers know, one of the world’s most experienced long distance walkers. He has also tested all kinds of equipment for decades as a journalist for different magazines, in later years chiefly TGO.
The following is translated straight from the book:
Chris has been kind enough to compile the following subjective list, based on his own experiences of different fabrics in different clothing. Both Chris and myself are interested information that can make the following subjective ranking from a very experienced user more complete and correct.
This table is simply a comparison between different fabrics, where 0 means a material that does not let any moisture pass, like a black plastic trash bag. 100 on the other hand, means a fabric that will let all moisture pass. A mosquito netting might be the closest to this.
80 Pertex Quantum (non water proof)
95-99 Mosquito netting
We can see that material like Goretex Windstopper and Polartec Powershield, used in some so called soft shells, actually breathes less than eVent. Which in my opinion make softshells out of those materials rather pointless. They are not waterproof but still less breathable than some waterproof clothes. Schoeller Dryskin, also used in softshells, breathe comparatively well, but in my opinion they are too thick and warm for summer use.
|Mission accomplished. From left to right: Rear: DonWilson, Jörgen Johansson. Front: Brian Doble, Mike Clelland
So far the book from 2007. It would be interesting to get feedback on what has happened since