Hiking | What makes hiking gear waterproof?
There are so many waterproof jackets at different prices. To determine which one suits you the best, you should consider the following aspects.
Consider climate, use frequency, and budget
When hiking on alpine routes, it is common to encounter stormy weather. So a jacket that can withstand high water-pressure makes a great choice.
When hiking through dense bushes and cliff edges, an abrasion-resist jacket would be a wise option.
Hong Kong summertimes are often stifling and rainy. You will appreciate light and breathable waterproof jackets. Personally, bringing a 2.5-layer waterproof jacket to a summer hike helps shield against sudden showers. Also, a sudden drop of temperature can be harsh as we get on public transport. Putting on a thin waterproof jacket can avoid catching a cold. The dynamic environment in Hong Kong makes a thin waterproof jacket essential.
The price of a waterproof jacket can range from dozens to thousands. To make a smart purchase, it is crucial to determine which feature is needed.
Waterproof technologies - The difference between coating, 2.5 layers, 3 layers
It is the amount of layers that the jacket is composed of.
Do more layers make the jacket more waterproof?
The effectiveness of the waterproof membrane determines the jacket’s waterproof level and breathability. Also, with more layers, not only does it increase the jacket’s weight, the jacket may also become less breathable. Their difference are as follows:
Coating Waterproof Jacket - Entry Choice
Outer-Layer: Often made with synthetic fiber, and has been treated to be water resistant.
Waterproof coating: to prevent the waterproof coating from being compromised by skin and sweat contact, a cloth screen is often sewed in the inner layer, to increase the durability of the jacket.
In summary, coating waterproof jackets are often less waterproof, more durable and can come in a more competitive price. This type of jacket can be fit for most Hong Kong weather. It is a decent choice for beginners.
MH100 Mountain Hiking Waterproof Jacket
Technical Information:~Can resist up to 5,000 mm water pressure~Can shield up to 2 hours under 12cm of precipitation~RET = 12~Weight 650g
This jacket is designed to reach a balance in its waterproof level, durability and pricing. It is designed to provide protection for short hikes. There are 2 Pit Zips to provide mechanical ventilation under light rain. The detachable hood can be adjusted to better customise its fit. It is adjustable with elastic drawcord and toggles at the bottom of the jacket, tightening the jacket can improve its performance against stormy weather.
2.5 layers waterproof jacket - Optimised to be lightweight
Outer-Layer: Composed with Synthetic fiber, it has been treated to be water resistant.
Mid-Layer waterproof membrane: The critical component in making the jacket waterproof and breathable.
The 0.5 Inner-Layer: A protective layer that is either printed or sprayed on. It is considered to be 0.5 layer due to it not being an outer fabric. It protects the waterproof membrane from being compromised by skin and sweat.
In summary, it is relatively more waterproof, the thineset and the lightest kind of waterproof jackets. This type of jacket is suitable for most Hong Kong weather. It is an excellent choice when lightweight is the first priority.
FH900 Fast Hiking Waterproof Jacket
Technical information:~Top half portion can resist up to 5,000 mm water pressure~RET = 6~Weight only at 180g
Designed for fast hiking, it provides intermediate waterproofness. Pit vents are located at armpits, chest, and back to allow better heat dissipation.
FH500 Fast Hiking Waterproof Jacket
Technical Information:~Can resist up to 10,000 mm water pressure~RET = 6~Weight 230g
Similarly being a lightweight waterproof jacket, FH500 provides a superior waterproof level when compared with FH900. There are 2 Pit Zips to provide mechanical ventilation under light rain.
3 Layers Waterproof Jacket - Excels in waterproof level, breathability and durability.
Outer-Layer: Composed with Synthetic fiber, and has been treated to be water resistant.~Mid-Layer waterproof membrane: The critical component in making the jacket waterproof and breathable.~Inner-Layer: Composed with abrasion-resist fabric, which protects the mid-layer waterproof membrane and provides a skin-friendly touch.
In summery, it has highest waterproof, most durable and comfort. Suitable for alpine trail and complex weather.
MH500 Mountain Hiking Waterproof Jacket
Technical Information:~Can resist up to 15,000 mm water pressure~Can shield up to 3 hours under 30cm of precipitation~RET = 6~Weight 538g
MH500 has been refined to be more waterproof, lighter, while maintaining its breathability. It has passed through the test under 100 L/m²/h of water for 3 hours, which simulates the showers in the mountain ranges, while maintaining the body dry.