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darstog

Pertex Endurance

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Feathered Friends used Pertex Endurance for a number of years on our products, but the last time we had an Endurance garment in the store was 2004. We still have some of the fabric, and use it for bags in our rental fleet.

 

One of the advantages of Endurance (and especially the newer variant, Quantum Endurance) is light weight. I don't have exact specs on hand, but I estimate the weight of EQ to be a hair over 1 oz/yd. We have a couple new prototypes made up from EQ in the shop, and they are ridiculously light. Endurance does have pretty good water resistant properties, but we stopped using it for a variety of reasons. Chief among these are breathability and durability. Unlike ePTFE membranes (like eVent), Endurance is a polyurethane coating. This gives it less breathability than eVent. We haven't done any scientific testing on it, but our staff who have used both fabrics report that Endurance doesn't breathe as well as eVent. Then again, no laminated/coated WPB fabric does.

 

I have seen old FF Endurance products taken apart, and one of the interesting effects of age and use is that the coating wears off from the inside. It is impossible to tell from the outside, and since Endurance is a coating rather than a laminate, it doesn't take on that bubbly appearance and it doesn't delaminate. The coating just scrapes off eventually, which improves the fabric's breathability but obviously reduces its water resistance. I would imagine this effect is amplified by the coarseness of synthetic fiber insulation, which is more abrasive than down. This isn't so much a concern for the products in our rental fleet, since we use the fabric on warm expedition bags that get taken to Denali and Aconcagua once or twice a year. That amount of use on a bag isn't enough to be of concern, but on a jacket it's a different story. The second durability issue is that EQ uses such a light face fabric (Quantum, a 15D calendared ripstop nylon) that the abrasion/tear resistance is very low. Again, not a big deal for a sleeping bag, but problematic for a jacket.

 

If you are looking for a belay jacket made with eVent, you should look at the FF Volant. We make the jacket standard in Epic, but if eVent is what you want we can make you one in that fabric. Heck, we can make any of our products from any of our fabrics. You could even get an Endurance jacket if you wanted.

 

The combination of synthetic fiber with WPB fabrics is fairly uncommon. TNF used to make synthetic bags with DryLoft, but those were short lived since their price to durability ratio was not very good. Arc'teryx makes Gore-Tex and Windstopper insulated belay jackets that are very nice, but also very expensive. OR also makes a great Windstopper belay jacket (the Chaos) that is more reasonably priced, but is not among the warmer options on the market. From a design standpoint, putting a waterproof shell on a synthetic jacket doesn't make a ton of sense. The insulation is designed to function (albeit at a heavier and slightly diminished rate) when it is wet, and adding WPB fabrics always results in a more expensive product and usually are heavier, both important customer considerations when making a purchasing decision. FF has noticed that in this current season, the Mammut Stratus belay jacket at $189 has been far more popular than the OR Chaos at $240, and we have never in 4 years sold an Arcteryx Fission SV for its list price of $550 or whatever it goes for.

 

That was a bit more info than what you asked for, but the bottom line is that Endurance is not as breathable or as durable as eVent.

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Thanks for the very solid reply. You folk at FF seem to consistenly provide honest and open responses without the intention of pushing your products too much, which is hard to do. And, don't worry, I undertand the beauty of the Volant and its many shell fabric possibilities. I think the Volant that I'd put in my quiver would have Nanosphere on it, but that's for a different thread...

 

Sounds like Endurance isn't the shell fabric I'm looking for. Although I "get" the whole don't-put-a-wpb-membrane on a synthetic jacket, I've adored the Epic shell on my belay parka on many occasions. I absolutely can't stand a true hardshell (though I own a couple of 3-layer hardshells, they rarely make it out of my closet). Having a weatherproof shell on the belay jacket to me means that I don't have to bring any of the $750 in crinkly, stuffy hardshells that are in my closet. It means that if I have to putz around in not-fun weather, I don't have to worry about moisture because I trust that my shell will keep out the moisture and then my synthetic bag will take care of the rest. The ultra-light, ultra-breathable shells on something like the Mammut Stratos and the Patagonia DAS are great for really cold weather, but when percipitation is in the liquid state or is PNW-close-to-liquid, keeping as much moisture out of my clothing system seems to me important.

 

I think purchasing a jacket with one of the Gore membranes on it seems a total waste. Having an eVent shell seems reasonable, as it's uber-waterproof and uber-breathable, therefore guaranteeing that my hardshells stay in the closet where they belong. The Epic shell may be the way to go, though I know that Epic, though quite light, isn't as WP or as B as something like eVent.

 

What's the vibe from your Nanosphere fabric customers? This sounds like an amazing shell fabric. Very water resistent (like Epic), very light (like Epic), and very breathable (better than Epic). Nobody, so far as I can tell, is putting Nano on a synthetic belay jacket, though I wouldn't be surprised if somebody started to.

 

 

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Darstog, your point about the need for a WPB belay jacket in the Cascades is well taken. It is indeed a wonder that nobody has yet made the peanut butter + jelly realization of eVent and synth insulation. I would expect Rab or Westcomb to be the first. Especially Westcomb. Maybe you could drop them a line and suggest it. It's hard to know if a product designed for the "unique" conditions of the Cascades/PNW would find universal appeal. Most folks at FF are with you on the "no hardshell" gear combo philosophy.

 

Our NanoSphere fabric hasn't had enough of a chance to garner sufficient feedback, even though we've had it on the market for a year and been testing it for a year previous to that. I guess I can tell you that we haven't had many complaints about it, but it's too soon to know how the durability compares (although we have our theories). The light weight and water resistance are clear advantages, but the breathability is not in fact as good as Epic. FF's experience has been that the advantages are best gained by using it in summer weight sleeping bags and our lightest down jackets. A few of our folks have used Nano jackets on alpine and ice climbs and found it works okay, but not as well as eVent jackets. We have even had a few staff outings where all three fabrics are present on different jackets and we have compared notes on how they work.

 

Good luck on your search, and please share news if you do find something that fits your needs.

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Darstog, have you seen the Wild Things jackets? Epic and Primaloft.

http://www.wildthingsgear.com/prod_insulation.php

 

Ice climbing in the Northeast is often a wet affair, and so more than a few people opt for synthetics with good shell fabrics. Wild Things uses Event in their hardshells- maybe they will build a belay jacket with the fabric... I've heard they do some custom work.

 

I also appreciatte the insightful and candid replies by FF, and must ask a slightly off-topic question. I was just about to buy a Rab Quantum Endurance down jacket, but the inner flaking of the coating concerns me... does this flaking affect the ability of down to loft properly? I am now leaning towards a different shell fabric, and thus a different jacket. How long is the Volant (hip length?)

 

 

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Darstog, your point about the need for a WPB belay jacket in the Cascades is well taken. It is indeed a wonder that nobody has yet made the peanut butter + jelly realization of eVent and synth insulation. ... It's hard to know if a product designed for the "unique" conditions of the Cascades/PNW would find universal appeal.

 

Such a jacket was made for some time by the "other" Canadians. The absence of the jacket from their current line up leads me to believe they only sold a few of them. I own one in fact, and I love it for plastic fantastic climbing days that are invariably a bit drippy here in the North East...as I recall it was $300, far more than my wife's new Stratus.

 

 

Incidentally, my experience with pertex quantum are about identical to FF's and lead me to highly unrecommend it for a parka.

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zxcv, to answer your question, the deterioration of the Endurance coating should not affect the loft of the jacket. Eventually you will have tiny bits of the coating floating around inside the jacket getting mixed up with the rest of the down, but this won't be something you'll notice with regards to the loft.

 

I want to make sure the durability issue of Endurance/Endurance Quantum is taken in its proper perspective: the coating is not going to deteriorate to the point of being useless overnight. This is a process that occurs over years of use, and the one example I have seen of this was of a 4-5 year old garment that saw heavy use in the rental fleet and was not cared for in the way you might care for your own gear.

 

A more important consideration than the durability of the coating is the durability of the face fabric. Pertex EQ is very light and not as resistant to tears, abrasions, and that kind of wear as some other fabrics are.

 

In deciding to buy your Rab jacket, you might find it helpful to consider the benefits of the jacket (weight, warmth, and water resistance) against the costs (price, durability). If you have realistic expectations of the lifespan and performance of the jacket and you are willing to pay the sticker price for it, then you should buy it. If you place a higher premium on durability, then you should buy something else. If you place a higher premium on price, then you should buy something else. Basically, figure out what is most important to you and base your decision on that. Also, read the fine print of the warranty policy of any company's product you are considering buying. They vary widely.

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and we have never in 4 years sold an Arcteryx Fission SV for its list price of $550 or whatever it goes for.

 

 

ya why would you since you can buy them for $275 at the factory store?

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and we have never in 4 years sold an Arcteryx Fission SV for its list price of $550 or whatever it goes for.

 

 

ya why would you since you can buy them for $275 at the factory store?

 

Because then you'd have to go to Canada :lmao:

 

I am curious if any highend outerwear is ever sold at full price outside of maybe Paragon Sports in NYC.

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Thanks, again, FF for another solid reply.

Thanks, again, Dru, for informing all of us that you have the ability to purchase product below MSRP; it brought true joy to my heart.

 

FF, the Volant in eVent would surely be my choice in belay parkas if I was sure that I wouldn't get H2O coming in through the seams. Have you all considered jumping on the welding wagon? If so, when? If not, why not? Do you have customers/employees ever seamgrip their seams? This seems obnoxious, I know, but even yesterday on the evening stroll with the ladyfriend the inside and pockets of my down vest were soaked with H2O coming in through the seams.

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Thanks, again, FF for another solid reply.

 

FF, the Volant in eVent would surely be my choice in belay parkas if I was sure that I wouldn't get H2O coming in through the seams. Have you all considered jumping on the welding wagon? If so, when? If not, why not? Do you have customers/employees ever seamgrip their seams?

 

You are welcome, it's good to hear our input is valued from time to time. Regarding our products made with eVent, we make no claims about the waterproofness of the item. We guarantee that the fabric is waterproof, but we don't say the same for the seams, zippers, and other usual suspects for water entry. There is no doubt that a Volant made with eVent is going to be the most water resistant option of all our fabric configurations, but it won't keep liquid water out indefinitely.

 

We do not have plans to weld our products. It is something we have considered, and there are two main reasons we have not. First of all, the cost of the equipment required is pretty high given the size of our company. Secondly, if we were to weld our seams, we would have to fundamentally alter the designs of many of our products. One reason that FF products are so refined and work so well is that there is a high degree of manufacturing complexity. Part of the price of our products is due to the high wages and benefits we pay our employees, and this is tied to the time it takes to make stuff because we do it the old fashioned way- by hand. If you ever want to see an impressive example of design, engineering, and manufacturing skill, you should see how a Snowy Owl or down suit gets put together.

 

Making our products by hand does not allow us to engineer in waterproof technology like welding, but it does allow us to make products that fit well, work well, and last a hell of a long time. This is not to say that welded products don't fit/work/hold up well, but that we place a high value on the overall quality that archaic hand crafted construction results in. The bottom line is don't expect welded technology to show up in FF products any time soon.

 

We also have toyed with seam-taping our products, but the amount of weight that would add is prohibitive.

 

As far as Seam Gripping your jacket goes, I don't recommend it. Functionally it will achieve the desired goal for a while, but the long-term effects of applying Seam Grip are not the most aesthetic. Eventually the Seam Grip will turn yellow, start peeling off, and then you have a nasty looking jacket that is no longer waterproof. That being said, people have done it, and it kind of works for a while. If you want to try it out, go for it, and please bring your jacket into the shop in a couple years so we can see how it worked.

 

 

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Hi Darstog

 

I've only posted here a few time, I do work for Westcomb.

One of my buddy told me about this tread and thought I should reply.

I certainly don't want this to be "commercial post" but we do have a couple eVent insulated jacket, one in particular is probably more of interest to you. It's not on our website yet so fell free to give me a call or email

Cheers

Gabriel

coteg AT westcomb dot com

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As FF alluded to, Seamgrip is a permanent adhesive. It is stiff and will essentially leave a thin coating or strip or rubber on (or between) whatever you apply it to. This is not something most people want running all across an insulated jacket. For patching tears and holes in shell jackets, it works great. It's an adhesive creating permanent bonds or coating, but it's not intended to waterproof the seams on clothes.

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I saw a picture of the Westcomb insulated Event jacket when I was at FF yesterday. They said they might get it as soon as spring, but will definitely have it by fall. There were no specs on the weight, but it is seam taped, laminated insulation, and will cost $440. Not cheap, but less than a Fission SV. It's still a little more than I would consider spending on a synthetic jacket, but if this is exactly what you are looking for, it might be the ticket. I have seen enough of Westcomb's products to know how well they make their stuff, and quality comes at a premium.

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Thanks for the note. Arcteryx also has coming out something like a $750 insulated, shelled jacket. And that's on top of the Dually Parka which is like $450 and not a high-tech shell. Though neither of these interest me, it sounds like Westcomb has the potential to make a pretty primo NW belay jacket...

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