Was looking at rain jackets after posting in the Marmot Precip thread. I have one, and it is great, but I have been using it for work since I work outdoors, and when I do so I am extremely careful to not ruin the jacket. That is a tough task, and I have been thinking about just allowing myself to let go and use it for work and whatever happens happens. If I do that, I would like to get another one for backpacking - light weight to UL.
After browsing briefly I saw a Pertex rain jacket by Lukes Ultralight at 4 ounces. I am curious as to the water repellant/proofness of this fabric, or this jacket in general.
I would like it to withstand whatever rain is thrown at me as a just in case scenario to which I can stay dry.
Silnylon seems like it wont breathe and after 5 minutes of walking in a summer rain storm I would be sweating.
I love pit zips.
While I like the idea of waterproof breathable I have come to think that nothing works like we wish it would. As long as the material is wet on the outside there does not seem to be sufficient reason for the moisture vapor to move through the fabric. That leaves pit zips and similar dodges but all the time we are venting in damp air. At best what we get with breathable fabrics is faster drying after the rain.
So what would you recommend northern?
I've come to the realization that in summer I'm getting wet weather it rains or not. I went backpacking this weekend. The first day there was no rain, or at least not enough to penetrate the tree canopy, and the second day there were storms and on and off rain all day. I didn't wear a rain jacket the day it rained, but I did wear my garbage bag rain skirt. I was equally wet both days.
In other words, in the summer you're getting wet no matter what, whether it's from sweat or rain. So why bother with the jacket? It's only going to make you hotter and unless you move at a very slow pace you're going to be soaked from sweat.
I will be carrying a jacket for in camp though. For that I have one of the sil jackets from Lukes. It has the pit zips which make a big difference. But it, and any jacket you get from him, needs to be seam sealed.
I agree with northermark, nothing is going to work like you want it to. That's just the nature of the beast. But if you decide to adopt the approach I'm taking then the pertex should work just fine.