There are many waterproof fabrics on the market, so how do you determine what rain gear will be best suited for your style of hunting? The amount of data and options can seem daunting and downright overwhelming. So, we comprised the below information to help give you insight into exactly what we were trying to achieve with our waterproof textile technology, HydraShield™. And, to help you better understand what type of hunting conditions our all-new M5 Series of technical rain gear is best suited for.
The M5 is comprised of a mechanical stretch 3-Layer laminate that boasts a waterproof rating of 31,000mm, and a MVTR breathability rating of 27,600g/m2/24hr.
But what does all that mean?
You may have heard terms such as 3-Layer, 2-Layer, Soft Shell, 2.5 Layer, etc. Typically speaking, these terminologies refer directly to the construction of the textile and the name 3-Layer defines exactly what it is. Three layers of fabric laminated together to produce a waterproof material. Combining these layers of textiles creates a garment that is comfortable to wear and durable from abrasion while also waterproof and breathable. The outer layer is called a "face fabric" and is designed to protect the waterproof layer from damage due to abrasion. This layer is also often coated with a water-repellent DWR finish. Differences in face fabric textiles have a significant impact on the noticeable noise of the garment as well as the breathability of the piece. The face fabric used in the M5 Series was sought out specifically for its soft touch to reduce noise and high abrasion resistance. The next, or second layer, is the waterproof membrane. The membrane is what transports sweat vapor from the wearer's skin to the outside of the jacket and prevents moisture from entering the garment. The M5 uses our HydraShield™ Polyurethane Laminate, ideal for its combination of breathability and waterproofness. The last, or third layer, called a "backer," protects the membrane from the inside, increases moisture vapor transfer, and adds comfort against the skin. The backer utilized in the M5 Series is soft brushed Polyester Tricot that provides a quality finishing touch.
By far, the most popular way to measure the waterproofness of textiles is by applying hydrostatic pressure (measured in mm) to the fabric. Hydrostatic pressure is the pressure that is exerted by a fluid at equilibrium at a given point within the fluid, due to the force of gravity. Hydrostatic pressure increases in proportion to depth measured from the surface because of the increasing weight of fluid exerting downward force from above. The rating is based on a sliding scale from 0 - 20,000+ mm. A rating of 0 - 5,000 mm would show no resistance, to slight resistance to moisture. A rating of 6,000 - 10,000 mm would be rainproof under light pressure. A rating of 11,000 - 15,000 mm would be rainproof except under high pressure. A rating of 16,000 - 20,000 mm would be rainproof under high pressure. A fabric with a rating of 20,000+ will be rainproof and waterproof under very high pressure and well suited for use in heavy rain, wet snow, and high pressure situations like mountain hunting or mountaineering. The M5 Series tested at a rating of 31,000 mm, proving a high level of waterproofness.
Breathability is the measure of how well perspiration is transported from the skin to the outside of the garment. The rating is based on the ability and rate of moisture vapor to pass through all layers of the garment. Generally, the more moisture a fabric can move, the more comfortable the wearer will be during periods of high exertion. To get the rating, a MVTR (moisture vapor transmission rate) test is performed. This test measures how much moisture can pass through a square meter of fabric in 24hours (g/m2 per day). Again this rating is based on a sliding scale from 0 - 20,000 + g/m2 per day. An evaluation of 0 - 5,000 would be considered low, and not breathable. 5,000 - 10,000 ratings will be moderately breathable. While a rating of 10,000 - 15,000+ would be suitable for hiking and backpacking. Ratings over 20,000 are considered highly breathable and ideal for high exertion activities such as running, mountain hunting, and mountaineering. The M5 Series tested at a rating of 27,600g/m2 per day, meaning the garment is highly breathable and comfortable for high exertion hikes during heavy rainstorms.