The Columbia OutDry EX Featherweight Shell has recently come to our attention through a detailed comparison with other waterproof breathable (WB) jackets. This jacket is special in two ways: it has a very high moisture vapor transmission rate (MVTR) and it has no face fabric. The MVTR is important (and the author compares it to three other jackets), as it is a measure of the rate at which water vapor passes through a material (also referred to as breathability). The lack of face fabric allows the fabric to never “wet out” (this is when the face fabric is saturated with water). This will eventually happen with any of the various treatments used on face fabrics and greatly reduces the MVTR. The reason this decreases MVTR is that when the face fabric is saturated with water, it acts like it is 100% relative humidity (% RH) on the outside. In order for water vapor to pass from the inside of the jacket to the outside, the % RH has to be lower on the outside than inside. This is also the reason why if you are generating a lot of sweat and heat and it is humid out, you will feel like you are getting wet from the inside (the moisture can’t efficiently transfer from the more humid interior of the jacket to the exterior). The author maintains that while no current WB jackets breathe enough to be comfortable under exertion (like when backpacking), this is the best yet.
Bluffworks is offering $60 off if you buy their Travel Suit (which is their Gramercy Blazer and Pants). We haven’t tried them together as a suit yet but look for our impression in the future.
We’ve posted a new guide all about travel clothing choices. We plan to supplement this with packing list posts.
Packing Lite wrote a review of the Wilderness Wear MerinoFusion Light 160 Long Sleeve Tee. The shirt is a very interesting blend of 50% merino, 50% Schoeller polypropylene. We haven’t seen anything like this before (and Schoeller fabric is what’s used in performance clothing like Outlier).
Pistol Lake is having a sale on some items through next Tuesday. Look for the products made with Eudae (while not included in the sale, the Minimalist Performance Tee we reviewed is made with their Lightweight Eudae).
CIVIC is offering 20% off through the end of the week (the discount will show in the cart).
A potentially interesting and inexpensive merino cardigan has shown up on Massdrop. However, note the low retail price — this means it is probably fairly rough wool.
We ran across Oros recently. They make outerwear with a NASA inspired aerogel (what they use for insulation in space suits) they call SolarCore. Looks like a neat new insulation technology at a compelling price (their parka is currently on sale for $250 with a regular price of $325).
Wool & Prince launched their Heavy Crew Neck in their merino/nylon blend.
We noticed an interesting fabric, Polartec Delta, in a clearance Outdoor Research tee.
We saw an advertorial about the Lee Extreme Motion jeans. It’s unclear if the author actually tried the jeans, but definitely something that could be interesting at the price point.
Filson is having their winter sale. One interesting piece is the Alaskan Heavyweight Zip Top, made from merino wool.
QOR has an extra 20% off sale with coupon EXTRA20. We haven’t tried any of their stuff, but they do have both merino and technical options. They have a few pieces either insulated with Polartec Alpha or made of various Schoeller fabrics.
We’ve posted a new guide all about activewear clothing choices.
We’ve put together a product directory of all the clothing we’ve tried with brief comments. We will keep this page updated as we try new things.