Ironically, a few days later and whilst the comments were still being passed, my OMM Cyphur Jacket started leaking in the zip area. My inner layers were wet, in a circle shape about the size of a saucer.
I checked the jacket and i found 2 areas where there was no stitching and i wondered if this was the cause rather than the obvious zip.
I emailed Pete Bland Sports , a fantastic retailer btw, and sent a photograph to see what they thought.
As it turned out the missed stitching shown in the photo above is part of the design of the jacket. It is on both RH and LH sides of the zip. It is there to allow water out that has ingressed by the hood pull chords.
There is a double layer of eVent here and water cannot get into the jacket.
I accept this. So that only leaves the zip to allow water inside.
I spoke to Jon Broxap at PBS and he suggested that the jacket should go back to OMM to be checked out.
Today i received the jacket back from them with the following report:-
Pete Bland Sports - They (OMM) did not find it faulty. Maybe a heavier duty top is needed for fell race marshalling.
OMM - There is no evidence of any damage or fault. You (PBS), described your customer was marshalling at the time of the issue. One possible explanation is that the YKK weather resistant zip is not a totally waterproof solution and water can travel down the zip to collect at the bottom.
The “well” at the bottom of the zip can be overwhelmed if too much water is travelling down the zip.
Me - So there you have it. These weather proof zips are not a totally waterproof solution. If the rain is too heavy you are going to get wet.
Does this mean the jacket is not fit for purpose?, or does it mean that our purpose is not fit for the jacket? I would be interested to know what readers think.
You have paid your £150 - £300 for a jacket (depending on manufacturer), that you expect to keep you dry in the mountains and as long as the zip doesn’t get overwhelmed, it will. Unfortunately rain in the mountains is usually very heavy and can be prolonged, so i think the chances of the zip becoming overwhelmed will be great indeed.
Now this wasn’t the first time i had worn this jacket and also it wasn’t the first time i had been out in the rain with it. But it was a day where the rain was coming horizontal and i was in the rain for about 4 hours. The remainder of the time, a further 3 hours, the day was misty and drizzly.
The guys and gals at PBS and OMM may be right and that i should have had a heavier duty jacket on.
Take notice of the words "heavier duty”.
But in fact the jacket, on the day was actually fine, it didn’t leak, so i disagree with this point.
It was the zip that caused the leakage.
Also, we cannot predict how much or how heavy the rain is going to be on any given day, you can’t have 2 jackets just in case the rain gets a bit heavier.
What’s wrong with putting a flap over the zip to aid protection and actually make the jacket fit for purpose.
On a jacket costing so much and the testing they get from people supposedly in the know, i am at a loss to understand the logic when they have put a double skin of eVent in the area of the hood pull cords. These cords will only allow the minutest bit of water in at best. But they realised the problem and dealt with it correctly.
But it’s not just OMM that have this design, most outdoor gear manufacturers have gone in this direction. Why compromise a good product for the sake of a few grams or a £1 or 2.
I really might as well wear a £0.25 pence bin bag.
I’m glad to see that Rab have gone back to storm flaps on the Latok and the Bergan/Vidda jackets.
My next jacket will be one of these unless there is a change in design from other eVent manufacturers.