Thursday, June 14, 2012
Have you noticed that waterproof jackets for hiking, backpacking etc are now almost entirely using water resistant zips.
I don’t know what others think but i find this a bit of a worrying trend.
Jackets are designed as best as possible to be waterproof and breathable but these resistant to water zips are completely exposed to the elements. There is no guard over the zips any more where there used to be a double closure on the best jackets and single closer on others. And in my book the word resistant definitely doesn’t sound as good as PROOF and therefore manufacturers must know that they are not water proof.
Now i have a jacket with this new zip, the OMM Cyphur smock, in fact it has two, very light weight and a good eVent jacket. It doesn’t matter what manufacturer it happens to be, the zip types are the same. Eventually at some point in the future these zips are going to wear and the material holding the actual zip runner will start to deteriorate. Constant rolling up and stuffing into the rucksack will have a detrimental effect. It’s just a matter of time.
When that time comes and the first patches of damp start appearing on our mid or base layers i think we will be a bit annoyed considering how much these jackets cost. It isn’t like it’s an easy or cheap job to get one of these zips replaced. In fact, i will go as far as to say that when the damp appears that’s the end of the jacket. Reproofing with good old Nikwax will have no effect.
When i first saw these zips appearing on the market i thought it was a great step forward but now i’m unconvinced. Some sort of storm guard i believe, is still required on mountain jackets and backpacking jackets.
If you are in need of a new waterproof jacket, then i think you should consider getting one with storm protection over the zip sooner rather than later. If the trend continues, and i think it will, then you are going to struggle to find one as the older models get sold out.
We seem to be being gradually and quietly steamrollered into going down this route for some reason.