Thoughts on Browning XPO with PreVent
Does anyone have this gear? Is it any good? Is PreVent just Brownings own version of Gore-tex? Does it need to be treated?
Thanx in advance.
what the stuff is made of from info on their website.
Makes me wary when the specifications aren't specified. I've taken more interest in the topic since my first hunt last Fall, when my hunting partner and I slogged through tall, wet grass on 32-33 degree mornings with gear to our windy hunt site. Perspiration from the exertion cooled me down too much - I learned to start the hike with too little insulation, then add layers at the hunt site, but moisture inside my raingear was still a problem.
Performance (waterproofness, breathability, weight, fit/closure features) for me in outerwear now boils down to comparing the waterproofness/ breathability based on materials, then trying stuff on. In my own experience, it's tough to get both breathability and waterproof in a single garment, but better materials have been evolving - even the original GoreTex has been improved steadily (Simms waders) to solve the problem of exertion/perspiration in wet/cold weather. Over the winter, I've started to focus on nonhunting clothing (climbing, hiking) which seems built on performance first, then look for brown/olive colors to wear in the field. Seems like most high-end outdoor gear isn't available in camo (and weather-protection performance seems more important in the field than camo). If they tell what's in the garment and the material appears in this chart (provided by Lujon in another thread-see attached pdf file or "event vs gore tex" link by Lujon in his excellent thread: http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=51070), then I have a basis for comparison The main fabrics are polyurethane(PU), polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and Schoeller cloth. REI has an excellent article on rainwear basics at: http://www.rei.com/expertadvice/articles/rainwear.html
In the polyurethane-coated (PU) group, HHImpertech is tough - and impermeable. It also stretches, is reasonably priced and quiet - altogether a great combination. But impermeable gear keeps moisture in as well as out. Many active people, like hikers, hunters, backpacking fisherfolk, find PU gear doesn't breath enough. A loose fit or built-in vents can improve ventilation - moisture from the skin, has a chance to escape to the outside before condensing. "Breathable" fabrics work because of the fabric; micropore laminates (several layers of polyfluorotetraethylene (ptfe) or a specially woven polypropylene theoretically let smaller vapor drops penetrate while blocking larger water drops. GoreTex's version is now called expanded PTFE, (eptfe). Other top-performing materials are eVent laminate, Entrant GII XT laminate, Schoeller Dryskin Extreme.
If I was motivated, I might call Browning to see what details they might offer. They might also answer whether the material requires any treatment. If it does, maybe it's DWR (Durable Water Repellent, I think) coated. The Simms rep was the first to tell the key thing with DWR is to wash it. Dirt plugs up DWR which impairs its breathability. Dirt and body oil are important contributors to failure of many breathable fabrics. I wash my waders (careful with dryer heat) per instructions once a year. He wasn't as impressed with need to retreat with DWR spray.
I did call Browning, I asked about PreVent and treating. The answer I got was an emphatic NO to the treating of the garment. The guy said in no way does the garment need to be treated. He also said that it is 100% waterproof and had taped and sealed seams.
Originally Posted by 6XLeech
I asked if PreVent was their own version of Gore-tex, he said that it is a producted designed along the "same" lines. I guess he couldn't say that is was basically Gore without the label.
I bought my son the youth version of the XPO jacket and I've been pretty impressed so far. Pretty spendy compared to my usual gear but when your 8 yr old is cold and wet the hunting is OVER. It's performed above my expectations but I didn't try it for extended periods in really foul weather.
Impressed enought that I'll consider a set this year.
Taped and sealed is good...
Looking for more info on PreVent, I found this (below) at Menasha Ridge Press (Karen Jettmar's publisher), which suggests that since the Gore-Tex patent has expired, many companies make a fabric with similar function. Instead the author suggests, ask for "waterproof/breathable shell", then examine the seams carefully, then the fit. PreVent seems to fill the bill.
Also, sounds like others have good field experience too, which is encouraging when you're considering committing to gear for the season (at least). Best of luck. Be interested to hear more feedback later.