Making an eVent of Staying Dry!
There has been a lot of fanfare over clothing made using eVent, the same PTFE membrane
as Gortex but more porous. eVent is supposed to be twice as breathable with twice
the Moisture Vapor Transfer Rate (MVTR) as the best Gortex. Until recently garments
made with eVent have been rare to find locally and the associated high prices have
Two months ago, I read about an online bargain outfitter, which was selling a rain
shell made using eVent, the Teva Elements Trail Jacket, for only $50 US (regularly
$295). The news spread like wildfire across many outdoor forums and the jackets
sold out fast. I couldn't resist the chance to check one out.
I can't think of a better climate to test out a rain jacket than ours and I have
worn this jacket in some torrential downpours. I found that it is more breathable
than my other rain jackets but this comes logically with the cost of a loss in wind
The rain beads up and rolls off the shell like all new jackets with a fresh DWR
coating but the Elements jacket did not wet out under sustained rain like many other
jackets I have worn, new or old.
The Teva Elements Trail Jacket is made using ripstop nylon with a 3 ply eVent membrane.
It has 2 way YKK waterproof zippers, two mesh lined hand pockets, one outside chest
pocket, one inside chest pocket, pitzips, a visored hood with three-way adjustment
cords, and molded cuff tabs. The soft tricot lining keeps the eVent membrane from
getting dirty and it feels dry to the touch. All of the seams are nicely taped.
The hood articulates well in concert head movement.
I was skeptical about this jacket at first because it was such a good deal so I
took it downtown to compare with similar eVent jackets made by Montane and Integral
Designs (easily 7x the price). The quality appeared to be equal. This jacket is
not as light as others made with similar materials or other lightweight alternatives.
My XL is 581g or 20.5 oz. To be honest this jacket is over-engineered and could
loose a little weight by getting rid of the redundant storm flap, inside chest pocket,
and the outside utility ring (possibly designed to hold ski passes) for example.
I think the extra weight on this jacket is a fair trade-off for the improved performance
over my other rain shells.
I don't use one but my wife swears by umbrellas, on and off the trail.
I have another good hiking buddy who wouldn't go out on a backpacking trip without
© Vida J Morkunas
Umbrellas can be purchased quite cheaply from many stores however there are a few
models, which are made specifically for hikers like my wife's Golite Dome Umbrella.
The Golite Umbrella weighs 263g on my scale. Its shaft is carbon fiber and the canopy
is made of waterproof polyester. It cost $20 US and I have not seen one for sale
locally although I have seen a Mont-Bell model and a Komperdell trekking pole/umbrella
combo being sold here. It has been used at home, packed faithfully on backpacking
trips for many years, and has proven to be robust enough to have outlasted many
other cheaper models.
Umbrellas can be used for shelter from the sun as well as the rain. I have often
wished that I had an umbrella while attempting to take a picture in the rain or
direct sunlight. They can also be secured using a pack's compression straps so you
can use the umbrella hands free while you hike.
It's just too miserable to consider heading outside? That's ok, get into something
warm and fuzzy, pop some popcorn, and sit back on the couch and watch some entertaining
outdoors DVDs. I recommend 2000 Miles to Maine and Walking the West.
These DVDs are documentaries, which humorously chronicle the adventures of some
thru-hikers as they travel the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. These
entertaining stories are bound to elevate your mood and chase those cabin fever