It’s not that I hate the rain, in fact quite the opposite; I’d like to be out in it for longer.
Anyone in California right now knows, we’ve had a lot of rain, in fact, maybe even records amount of it. What better time to grab some miles and test out durable water repellent! (You’re not as excited as I am?)
As a follow up to my article on DWRs and the changing nature of discovery into their impacts to the environment and people, Granger’s kindly sent me a some Performance Wash and Repel to test out, an offer which I gladly took. Besides being one of the more prominent brands in the DWR market, Granger’s claims a high degree of environmental friendliness, for all that it’s worth. While I can’t test out the scientific claims, bluesign approved, PFC-free and such, I can try to rock some Granger’s embedded jackets, all while running in mid-Winter deluges that’ll make you miss the Midwest.
Some totally non-scientific tests
To check out how well the DWR Wash & Repel performs, I dunked two jackets in the deep end: An Outdoor Research Ferrosi softshell jacket and Arc’teryx Squamish windshell. I also putz around with some new Mountain Hardwear AP pants, to see how it would fare with non-water resistant materials. Here goes…
Arc’teryx Squamish windshell test
I’ve been running in this thing for several years as a shoulder season cover on chilly mornings or evenings. It’s also seen some decent downpours and fared pretty well. Keep in mind, this jacket isn’t meant for a lot of rain as its just a windshell. All the same, the wash displayed an impressive hold against water, as seen below in a sink test.
As you can see, the humble windshell sheds water like a pro. These pour over tests don’t tend to simulate real world experience, but they do force a lot of surface tension on the DWR, which personally tells me of a great start.
The real world test was probably a bit more dramatic but likely unrealistic too…
Bottom line, I’ve never seen so much rain in the valley of California, I’m talking Midwest summer rain, buckets for drops and rivers in the gutters. I basically only lasted a few minutes before water began to seep in. Good news is, even though the face of the fabric was wet, not very much, if at all sopped all the way through. (Photo on the right, can you see it?)
Outdoor Research Ferrosi softshell jacket
I do some running and hiking in this non-hooded jacket but have only had it for less than a year. After wash and spray, I decided to simply wear it around town and do a “smudge” test to see how it reacts to water being pushed into vs poured over.
The interesting part is after copious spraying of water and rubbing into the fabric, I didn’t feel all that much moisture on the inside. The Ferrosi isn’t known for being very water resistant and more breathable, so the fact that I had to keep trying to get it to wet out was a cool action I wasn’t expecting.
Moutain Hardwear AP Pants
Just a quick test for these. After a spray only, no wash, and quick hit of the dryer, the pants came out with a fighting chance. Mostly cotton, they survived a light sprinkle but not much more. I have a feeling they could do a lot better with a proper wash and treatment along the entire line.
After a few weeks, I’m satisfied with how Granger’s has been working out, if not better than the previous brand I’d been using. The fact that they commit a bit to dealing less damage to the environment and are just as priced as the other DWRs out there, means I’m pretty willing to make the switch. Check them out for yourself!