ask the expert

Ask the expert - with Rohan

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I would like a waterproof that doesn’t feel crisp-packety, isn’t noisy and doesn’t make me feel hot and like I’m wearing a suit of armour. Does such a thing exist or am I dreaming? And if so is it REALLY waterproof?
— Dave Calton

Hi Dave,

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Yes, there are plenty of non ‘crisp-packet’ waterproofs on the market. Our top tip would be to invest in quality fabric, before features.

Many things can keep you dry, a bin liner for example, might offer you some protection. But, the secret to comfort in the outdoors, is getting a protective shell that achieves a balance between keeping water from coming in, whilst allowing body heat to escape. If you get this wrong, you will feel hot when active and a bit encased!

Most outdoor retailers give a waterproof rating (Hydrostatic Head measurement) but also look out for, or ask about Moisture Vapour Transmission Rating. This will tell you about the ‘breathability’ of a garment. Rohan’s Barricade™ waterproof fabric achieves an initial Hydrostatic Head (waterproofness rating) of 20,000 and a Moisture Vapour Transmission rating for breathability of 20,000 g/m²/24h - a very balanced proposition. And, all their garments are field tested before they make it to market.

You also need o think about your usage and whether you need a 2, 2.5 or 3 layer waterproof. A 2 layer has a waterproof membrane and separate lining and is good if you’re prone to feel a bit moist inside your jacket as this extra layer keeps he outer away from your skin but these tend to be a little heavier. A 2.5 layer is a good leisure walking option. And a 3 layer is the lightest of the lot, with the waterproof outer, breathable membrane and lightweight wicking scrim bonded together, good for serious activity but these can be marginally less flexible.

Another thing worth looking out for is Durable Water Repellent finishes, as these offer an extra layer of water repellency for your waterproof.

Our advice would be to visit a retailer with staff who are trained to answer your questions and where you to try things on to ensure you’re getting the rustle free waterproof you’re looking for.

Our recommendation: Rohan’s Ascent Jacket £195

www.rohan.co.uk

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