6 months ago I'd have said 'hear hear'.
Except spent the last 6 months in DOC's earth-sea-sky supplied waterproof jackets and have miraculously remained dry throughout:
- Waterproof at 100kph on motorbike
- Successfully wicked sweat (in winter) in downpours under heavy exertion
Was working in central otago, so I never got to test out how well they survived bush-bashing (we didn;t have nay bush) which is the third main downfall of all 'breathable' waterpfoors I've had. But certainly better than anything else I've tried for active use on the tops.
once the face fabric is wet, no material can breathe no matter how good the membrane and you accumulate sweat, it then comes down do if there are any pit zips or vented pockets you can open to offload some of your sweat.
a test was done on a variety of the latest fabrics and all of them could be saturated with sweat hiking uphill.
how thick the face fabric can have as much to do with how breathable a jacket is as well.
For those who didnt know and are in the Taranaki area, there is now a macpac store open in New Plymouth!, It has been open for around three months apparently, although i never heard a thing about it and never noticed the store til driving through town! Its on Devon street, down on the flat, opposite Pita Pit
MacPac opens in Rotorua tomorrow. I will be down to have a look. But I must say the Tauranga store was disappointing. It was more like a fashion clothing store than an outdoor one. They didn't even have any tents pitched in the shop.
Just been to the opening day of the Rotorua shop. No tents pitched there either. I had them on about that and they said they hadn't worked out how to pitch the tents yet. Figures! However I wish them luck. I am even thinking about buying a new parka.
I've been considering an event jacket but all my research and experience tells me that you are going to get wet no matter what. I agree that it's better to get wet from the inside than the outside and am noww considering just a simple poncho that covers your pack as well. At least it leaves some air space inside. Roger Caffin of backpackinglight.com recommends this proceedure. I think the breathable fabrics are highly over rated and expensive and in the end, especially under heavy exertion, with a backpack you are going to get wet anyway. Part of the answer is to make sure you have always have a dry change of clothes.
I'm also looking at a cuben kilt instead of rain pants, www.zpacks.com, but my daughter has informed that she won't hike with me if I wear a skirt :-))