Many of the more adventurous trail runs require a Waterproof jacket as a mandatory item for participation. But what does this actually mean?
Waterproof jacket. I.E. jacket must be waterproof, windproof and to a level that will actually keep you dry and safe. We don’t care how much it costs BUT it must be rated as such to help save your life if something terrible happens. Suggested is a level of over 20,000mm hydrostatic head waterproof rating. Accepted will be anything from 11000 upwards but be aware if the weather turns bad this will only keep you dry for a limited period of time! Anything under 11000 is unacceptable. 6000-11000mm is only rainproof and waterproof under light pressure. If it rains in them mountains it won’t be light! (Think about being stuck for several hours before you can be gotten out.)
Waterproof and Breathable Jacket with Fully Taped (Not Critically Taped) Waterproof Seams and Hood
The breathability must be provided by the material itself and not exclusively by mesh panels. Minimal underarm vents are allowed if the jacket material itself is technical and breathable. Large mesh panels, even if covered by flaps are NOT permitted. A premium jacket would have a waterproof rating of over 15,000mm hydrostatic head and a breathability MVTR rating of 20,000g/m²/25hrs however much lower ratings are completely acceptable. Any non-membrane jacket must still be in very good condition with waterproof coating intact. The jacket must fit you. Plastic rain ponchos, wind jackets, water resistant jackets are NOT suitable.
The jacket (hardshell) must be waterproof, windproof and to a level that will actually keep you dry and safe. There are various fabrics and price points that will achieve this, BUT the jacket must be rated as such to help save your life in poor conditions. The suggested jacket has a level of over 15,000mm hydrostatic head (HH) waterproof rating. Anything under 15,000 is not going to keep you dry in heavy rain. 5,000-10,000mm is only rainproof and waterproof under light pressure and is unacceptable.
❝A hydrostatic head test is a test used to measure how waterproof something is. Once a garment has been tested it is given a waterproof rating- the hydrostatic head rating.
In a hydrostatic head test the fabric is pulled tight under a sealed tube of water. Water is then poured into the tube and observed to see how much water can be added before the water starts to leak through. For example, a hydrostatic head rating of 3,000 means that 3,000mm of water was in the tube when it started to leak. The higher the hydrostatic head rating the more waterproof the material is.❞
|Rating||What can it resist?||Weather Conditions|
|0 – 1,500mm||No real resistance||Dry conditions|
|1,500mm – 5,000mm||Light resistance and snow proof||Light rain, dry snow|
|5,000mm – 10,000mm||Waterproof under light pressure and rainproof||Light to moderate rain, average snow|
|10,000mm- 15,000mm||Rainproof and waterproof unless under high pressure||Moderate rain, slightly heavier snow|
|15,000mm- 20,000mm||Rainproof and waterproof even under pressure||Heavy rain, wet snow|
|20,000mm+||Rainproof, very waterproof and can be subjected to very high pressure||Very heavy rain, wet snow|
Unfortunately most jackets are not labeled with their waterproof rating and you will need to hunt down a technical information sheet, or in many cases find the technical specification for the fabric the jacket is manufactured from. This makes shopping for the jackets quite a bit harder than purchasing ‘off the peg’.
When it comes down to it; think about standing around for a few days in the rain … and choose the wet weather gear that will keep you safe.
* Choosing a waterproof jacket [Paddy Pallin]
* All about waterproof fabrics [Paddy Pallin]
Some Jackets from the forums:
MacPac Hightail : 20,000mm
Marmot Mica : 20,000mm
Marmot Super Mica : 20,000mm
Montane Minimus : 20,000mm
Montane Aero : 30,000mm
OMM Kamleika : 20,000mm
Outdoor Research Helium II : 20,000mm