/ Damp problem with Mountain Equipment Lhotse

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L intheshed 13 Feb 2020

Hi, I've been out in some pretty horrendous Dartmoor conditions over the past couple of months, and noticed that my ME Lhotse was wetting out and 'leaking' across my chest. I washed and reproofed it with Nikwax, and even followed the instructions and put it in the tumble dryer....which felt very wrong indeed!

Since then I've been out a couple of times, including in Storm Ciarra on Sunday. The DWR didn't really seem to be working and, again, after only a couple of hours of (not strenuous) walking I was damp when I unzipped in the van.

I am wearing an old RAB Vapouriser underneath. Is it possible that the Pertex outer on this softshell is causing condensation that the Goretex can't shift?

I'm going to try standing in the shower with the Lhotse on to see if it is leaking, but I can't see why as it's only a couple of years old.

Any thoughts on mixing Pertex under Goretex?

Cheers. 

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Wyn 13 Feb 2020
In reply to intheshed:

Vapour build up on the inside seems the more plausible explanation, especially since you state that water on the outside no longer beads up. Look at the bright side though, at least you know that the Rab is doing its job!

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UKH Forums 13 Feb 2020
This thread was started in the HILLTALK forum and has now been moved.
Please could you try and post in the correct forum, it makes life easier for both users and moderators.

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Basemetal 13 Feb 2020
In reply to intheshed:

I've got an ME Kongur that works brilliantly .

But if I put on over a Buffalo top (pile & Pertex) the Buffalo will be sodden in minutes, even on a dry day.

I suspect the accelerated wicking and transpiration of moisture though some designs of mid layer is just too much for Goretex Pro to pass on through.

The test for you would be to try your combination on a dry day!

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TobyA 14 Feb 2020
In reply to Basemetal:

I think that to certain degree when you have a smooth nylon (i.e. Pertex) shell under a Goretex it's that condensation is just more visible. If you have a fleece under your hardshell I reckon I produce just as much sweat working hard but if you open your hardshell, the sweat is just not as visible as its in the fleece. I've come to that conclusion over many years, first mainly wearing fleeces under hardshells, then various hybrid and synthetic insulated tops under a hardshell. Of course if its a warm synth puffy you are wearing under your shell, it may just be too warm and its making you sweat a lot! Wearing a micro fleece would make me sweat a lot less because its not as insulating. 

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Basemetal 14 Feb 2020
In reply to TobyA:

I think that's a big part of it Toby, maybe the biggest even. And pertex is such a wettable layer it goes the extra mile in spongeing any gross condensation back from the inner surface of the Goretex jacket. It's usual  job being to wet out and allow rapid evaporation (in towels and Buffalo kit).

The other effect I'm thinking if is the moisture capacity and vapour release rates of the base and mid layers under a Goretex shell. Typically wool holds a lot of water, polyprop not much, and Brynge practically nowt. Pile is interesting as it can vary a lot depending on physical characteristics - thickness, density, surface etc.  I've not tried wearing a shell jacket over bare skin, but in the interests of science might be an experiment for a suitable day! Anyhoo, the upshot would be differing amounts of moisture 'buffer' capacity between you and the limited transmission capacity of your shell. A higher capacity might accommodate moisture from bursts of high activity without exceeding the steady vapour transmission rate of your shell.

Different materials, weather, activities, and metabolisms mean we've really got to work out what works best for ourselves, and the  'science' of it all gets so complicated that actual experience (aka trial and error) will win the day.

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GrahamD 14 Feb 2020
In reply to intheshed:

Good effort for getting out.  I've never encountered a clothing system that stops you getting damp in the UK.  Warm and comfortable is about all I aspire to these days. 

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L intheshed 14 Feb 2020
In reply to intheshed:

So, the good news is that I've just stood for ten mins in a cold shower with the Lhotse over a long-sleeved cotton T-shirt......and it stayed dry. The even better news is that Mrs C didn't come home and find me doing it!

Kind of reassuring to hear tales of Buffaloes doing the same thing. I'm snowboarding next week and will try combinations of hardshell, softshell and just a basic fleece. If I can squeeze my Montane (Fast, Stretchy, Neo longest name if the world) jacket in my bag then I'll give that a bash as well. Problem is that I love that RAB Vapouriser and use it for everything, so its bloody inconvenient if I'm going to have to swap it for a fleece and hardshell every time the rain rolls in (about every 20mins on the moor).

Apologies to the moderator, new here and figured 'Hillwalking' looked about right.

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Southvillain 14 Feb 2020
In reply to intheshed:

> So, the good news is that I've just stood for ten mins in a cold shower with the Lhotse over a long-sleeved cotton T-shirt......and it stayed dry. The even better news is that Mrs C didn't come home and find me doing it!

I dunno, it's Valentine's Day after all...

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Basemetal 14 Feb 2020
In reply to intheshed:

In practice I just wear the Buffalo, or the Vapour-Rise, or the Vapour-Rise over the Buffalo, in the wet until it's starting to get really really damp and then -only if it's going to be utterly relentless - put a shell over the whole damp shooting match.

But that said - renewing the DWR on the VR or the Buffalo puts off the point of ultimate wetness so the shell often stays stowed.

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L intheshed 14 Feb 2020
In reply to Basemetal:

....which reminds me I really must TX Direct the Vapour-Rise

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