This weekend, Earth Day looms with larger significance than ever. You’ll be able to’t learn the information with out studying concerning the Climate Channel attempting desperately to hammer residence the fact of local weather change, or microplastics sweeping into the farthest reaches of the globe.
Even such an innocuous act as sporting a rain jacket can have deleterious results. Perfluorocarbons (PFCs) are a chemical that’s generally used within the software of sturdy water repellent (DWR), which is used to deal with many waterproof efficiency textiles which might be at present in the marketplace. PFCs accumulate in soil and water, and are identified carcinogens.
Though many corporations are making large strides in the direction of utilizing PFC-free supplies, PFC-laden Gore-Tex remains to be the gold customary. It’s onerous to search out high-performance rain jackets that get rid of PFCs totally. However Marmot’s Eclipse does. Whereas the Eclipse was not my favourite rain jacket for mountaineering, biking, or operating, its mixture of forward-thinking, sustainable tech is price highlighting.
The proprietary identify for the know-how is EvoDry, which is PFC-free. Marmot additionally claims that EvoDry will hold the jacket waterproof for its complete lifetime. You’ll need to examine in with me in 10 years, however to date the Eclipse is doing an awesome job of conserving me dry whereas mountaineering and biking by way of Portland’s persistently wet spring. (Curses!)
Match and End
The Eclipse has a unfastened, athletic match. Its sizing runs somewhat small. I’m 5-foot-2, and I match into almost each producer’s measurement small. However I most popular a medium-size Eclipse to suit my sweatshirts and fleeces beneath.
The entire zippers are plasticized, which signifies that they’re lined by a water resistant layer of plastic. This contains the middle entrance zip (which has a protecting rain flap below the zipper), the pocket zips, and the pit zips. The pockets are additionally positioned comparatively excessive on the torso so you should utilize them whereas sporting a fanny pack. The pockets are mesh, which will increase their utility. Not solely does it maintain my stuff, it additionally features as an extra vent!
The Eclipse is totally seam-taped, but it surely doesn’t have many seams to start with—no shoulder seams, for instance. Seams will be uncomfortable below a backpack’s straps, and after they get worn down or broken, they let water in. The hood has a laminated brim to maintain water from dripping in your face, and it’s adjustable (although incompatible with my medium-sized Nutcase bike helmet). The collar, cuffs, and hem are additionally adjustable. All in all, it’s a reasonably customary rain jacket, till you come to the material tech.
Most textile producers add water repellents to a cloth by rinsing it in a shower containing the chemical compounds. Marmot’s EvoDry, then again, makes use of a know-how referred to as AquaVent, developed by an organization referred to as Inexperienced Theme Applied sciences (GTT).
AquaVent makes use of high-pressure fuel to push the water repellent into the material, the place it is thermally polymerized straight onto the material’s fibers. “We shield the fiber at a molecular stage, not the material,” stated Martin Flora, GTT’s vice chairman of enterprise improvement. “It is extra exact and extra uniform.”
By defending the fibers themselves, AquaVent-treated materials launch stains very successfully. You’ll be able to wash an AquaVent-treated jacket with chilly water and detergent. A rain jacket solely works when mud and oil aren’t clotting up the DWR, so in the event you clear your jacket frequently, you may keep drier, longer.
AquaVent can be higher for the atmosphere. Because it does not use a water bathtub, it does not ship torrents of carcinogens into the waste stream, which will increase the rain jacket’s longevity. As a result of the fibers are encapsulated, it makes the water repellent loads more durable to rinse or wash off.
And it is loads simpler to scrub, which is an even bigger profit than it would sound. PFC-treated materials are hydrophobic, which signifies that they repel water (for apparent causes), combat detergent, and sometimes require particular cleansing methods. As soon as a stain has labored its method by way of the DWR and into the material itself, it is typically there for good—an enormous bummer for burly outerwear that encounters a whole lot of mud, grime, and sausage grease.
The Eclipse is 2.5-layer jacket that makes use of the AquaVent tech on a 100 % nylon face material that has been laminated to a water-proof and breathable membrane, and which was printed to guard it. It has a waterproofing/breathability score of 20Okay/20Okay, which implies you could pour 20,000 millimeters of water in a 1-inch-square tube earlier than it might begin to seep by way of. A 20,000 breathability score signifies that 20,000 grams of water vapor can cross by way of within the different path.
I’ve been sporting the Eclipse jacket for a couple of weeks, all through a characteristically grey and wet Pacific Northwest spring. The material is mushy, not stiff or slick; it doesn’t whisk whisk whisk whenever you stroll, or crinkle like wax paper.
I haven’t felt sticky or clammy sporting it, though I did need to open each the pit and the jacket zips to control my temperature. Marmot claims that the jacket will proceed to repel water even after you’ve been in onerous, driving rain for greater than 24 hours. I lacked the power, or inclination, to check this specific declare, however I did observe that water continued to bead up and run off the floor even after strolling by way of sodden, dripping rain for extra an hour.
The true check of the Eclipse’s efficiency doesn’t come after a couple of weeks, however after a couple of years. I do not know the way effectively the Eclipse will maintain up in the long run, however I am optimistic. If it does develop into doable to make sturdy, long-lasting rain jackets that don’t require dumping carcinogens into our wastewater, PFC remedies might very effectively turn into a factor of the previous. Within the meantime, Marmot has not too long ago launched different merchandise within the EvoDry line, like an on a regular basis anorak and pants. We simply have to attend and see.