This week at Webtogs, we’ve taken delivery of the latest new waterproofs from Marmot, featuring their new family of waterproof technologies – NanoPro. Within the NanoPro family there are two main technologies: NanoPro itself, an entry-level coated technology; and NanoPro MemBrain, a 2.5-layer laminate technology (membrane-based), aimed at the lightweight performance user. The gag with both NanoPro variants, is that they’ve both got an incredibly small pore structure, enabling a far greater number and density of pores to be packed into a single garment without a negative impact on waterproof performance. It’s a simple concept, but one which has a powerful effect on performance. And I’ve got the facts and figures from Marmot to prove it!

Marmot NanoPro: waterproof, windproof, highly durable; and of course, incredibly breathable, with Dynamic Air Permeability

Marmot NanoPro: waterproof, windproof, highly durable; and of course, incredibly breathable, with Dynamic Air Permeability

I’ve already posted an article on the NanoPro to the Gear Guru section of the Webtogs.co.uk, but in an attempt to keep it simple and easy for everyone to take in, I was forced to leave out a significant proportion of the material provided by Marmot, leaving only the essential facts (breathability and waterproof ratings, a couple of microscopic images etc.). Therefore, I’ve decided to get the full technical spec of NanoPro and NanoPro MemBrain out on the TogBlog (here), to indulge the tech geek tendencies of anyone who’s interested – or meticulous potential buyers who want to make sure they’re getting the right kit for the job! You can read the full NanoPro article on Webtogs, complete with microscopic images of NanoPro via the link below. Think of it as the slimmed-down option:

http://www.webtogs.co.uk/gear-guru/technology-guides/marmot-nanopro-technology

 

Marmot NanoPro Reviews

Posting on the TogBlog also gives me the platform to link to two independent reviews of NanoPro by the the highly respected outdoor websites Outdoors Magic, and Live For The Outdoors – proof (if you needed any), that my views on NanoPro are not unfairly influenced by commercial bias! Here they are:

NanoPro memBrain review on outdoorsmagic.com – http://www.outdoorsmagic.com/gear-blog/blown-away-by-marmots-new-fabric/12549.html

NanoPro (Precip Jacket) review on livefortheoutdoors.com – http://www.livefortheoutdoors.com/Gear-Reviews/Search-Results/Waterproofs/Marmot-Precip-2014/

 

Marmot NanoPro Tech Data

Now that we’ve got the independent reviews out of the way, let’s move onto the tech data:

Nano-Pro-Data-Sheet-TogBlog

Breathability: A1 (Upright Cup Test) shows the ability of a fabric to vent quickly. Most waterproof fabrics top out at 6,000mm. The higher the number, the greater capacity of instant venting. B1 (Inverted Cup Test) measures the total capacity of the fabrics breathability. It is measured in grams per 24 hour period with higher numbers representing greater breathability. Most coated technologies (i.e. like regular NanoPro) are 10,000mm or below. Most laminations (like NanoPro MemBrain) are 20,000mm, however up to 45,000mm is possible.
 
CFM measures the windproofness of the fabric. It is the best available test for indicating Air Permeability. The lower the number the more windproof a fabric is, with 0 equaling no air passing through. Most air permeable waterproof fabric’s CFMs are between 0.3 and 0.5, with the max being 1.0.
 
Hohenstein RET shows user comfort based on lab testing on human subjects. This is the test Gore helped develop, and use for their performance rating. The lower the number, the greater comfort – Gore-Tex Pro achieves an RET of 5-6, Gore Active 3-4.


 
An impressive set of figures, especially given that NanoPro waterproof jackets start at just £72.25 for the PreCip Waterproof Jacket, and NanoPro MemBrain at £127.50 for Essence waterproof Jacket – that’s at 15% off RRP at Webtogs. You won’t find a more breathable, durably waterproof jacket in that price range. Hats off to Marmot!

 

‘Dynamic Air Permeability’

As mentioned in the article on Webtogs, NanoPro and NanoPro MemBrain achieve these striking performance figures through a combination of their tiny, densely-packed pore structure, and Dynamic Air Permeability. ‘Traditional’ microporous waterproof, breathable technologies require a protective hydrophilic top layer to protect against contamination. This protective layer limits breathability and prevents Dynamic Air Permeability from occurring. The 200X magnified image of Marmot’s previous coated waterproof technology, PreCip, illustrates this problem:

air-permeability-diagram-old-tech

Marmot NanoPro and NanoPro MemBrain on the other hand, do not require a protective top coat, thanks to their miniscule pores and fine, protective ‘Dry Touch’ finish. Below is a 200X magnified image of NanoPro, showing its ultra-porous structure left free to breathe, permitting Dynamic Air Permeability:

Marmot-NanoPro-Microscope

 

‘Dry Touch’ Finish

Finally, a word on the Dry Touch inner coating that features on both Marmot NanoPro and NanoPro MemBrain technologies. Dry Touch helps protect the Marmot NanoPro technology from abrasion and contamination, while providing next-to-skin comfort. Essentially a layer of very small non-organic particles, Dry Touch helps NanoPro achieve superb comfort, as well as cutting-edge performance.

Dry Touch appears as a printed pattern on the inner surface of Marmot NanoPro waterproof garments

Dry Touch appears as a printed pattern on the inner surface of Marmot NanoPro waterproof garments

 

Marmot NanoPro – Summary

  • Enhanced Breathability
  • Dynamic Air Permeability
  • Durably Waterproof to 10,000mm+
  • Increased User Comfort
  • Incredible Value for Money

Sounds like a fantastic overall package to us.

Click the NanoPro logo below to browse through Marmot NanoPro products on Webtogs, or the NanoPro MemBrain logo to do the same for NanoPro MemBrain products. If you’re looking for a new waterproof anywhere in the £50-£150 category, you won’t regret it.

Marmot-NanoPro-Link-Pod Marmot-NanoPro-MemBrain-Link-Pod

 

I was lucky enough to get up to the the Brecon Beacons last weekend, where I spent Friday night through to Sunday afternoon on a backpacking trip backpacking with a good Welsh friend of mine, Mr Dan Bryan. Two others were due to join us, but sadly had to pull out; something which they’ll no doubt be gutted about when they see the photos…

View from near Llanddeusant, looking up at the 'Carmarthenshire Fans'

View from near Llanddeusant, looking up at the Carmarthenshire Fans

 

Dan, being a local lad, picked out a route for us which roughly followed a stretch of the Beacons Way, a 152km national walking route, generally completed over 8 days. It starts near Abergavenny in the East, and ends at the village of Bethlehem in the far West of the National Park (que ‘hilarious’ geographically-themed jokes). Our chosen segment, which neither of us had explored so far, went from the Storey Arms Outdoor Education Centre to the village of Llanddeusant, and it proved to be the most scenic, varied and all-round enjoyable walk I’ve done in years (arguably ever, though I need to give that more thought)! It’s certainly one I’d recommend to anyone with a love of fine views, varied terrain, and importantly; piece and quiet. We must have passed about 10 people on the trail over the entire weekend, 80% of them on the Sunday afternoon when walking down towards civilization. On the same weekend in the Pen y Fan massif, we would have had hundreds for company.

To find out more about the Beacons Way, head to the Brecon Beacons Park Society website for a description of the route, maps of each leg, and highlights along the way. As I’ve said, the bits we did are days 5 & 6, from the Storey Arms to LLanddeusant: www.breconbeaconsparksociety.org/national-park/the-beacons-way/the-route-2

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Montane Fireball – Product(s) of the Week

On February 28, 2014, in Reviews, by Phil Bovey

Just a quick post about a product I really like, having had the pleasure of owning it for some time now. It’s called the Montane Fireball Smock, and it is essentially a no-thrills zip-neck pull-on, constructed from Pertex Quantum, and filled with 40g Primaloft Eco insulation throughout. When I say no-frills, I mean that it’s just about as minimalist and pared back as outdoor outerwear gets, with no hand pockets, 1/2 length zip simple elasticated hems and cuffs: and yet I have found myself wearing it for almost every significant excursion I’ve made out of the house this winter!  This is quite simply because it works.

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I can announce that the MD, Kieth, has used all his years of experience in the outdoor industry and hard-won contacts at Rab, to wrangle an exclusive deal on a selection of Rab’s finest down sleeping bags, exclusively for Webtogs.

The backstory: Rab have announced that they are re-testing the down in their sleeping bags for next season, and are re-working all of their sleeping bag styles to comply with new European warmth (EAN) ratings. In effect, due to increases in the wholesale cost of down, the outcome of this shake-up will be significantly more expensive bags, that are identical to this year’s bags in terms of performance… with a sprinkling of minor cosmetic changes. Anyhow, Rab had some of their 2013 batch of down left, which the used in some of their best selling, high quality sleeping bags from this winter – which Webtogs have been able to secure an exclusive deal on!

The Deal: This means that we can sell the Rab Expedition 1200 Sleeping Bag, with an RRP of £570, and a comfort limit of -40°C (It only weighs 1920g, to boot), for just £342. That’s £228 off RRP. I defy anyone to find a bag that warm for that cheap anywhere else!

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As a Somerset business employing staff from different parts of the county, here at Webtogs we’re aware of the impact that flooding is having on the daily lives and long-term livelihoods of Somerset residents: none more so than the stricken farmers of the Levels. We’re also incredibly thankful to have escaped the worst effects ourselves. We awoke to the news today that floodwater has breached the flood defenses in the stricken village of Moorland, causing already high water levels to rise by a further metre overnight. At the last count 80 homes in the village have had to be evacuated, inundated by water contaminated with the contents of overflowed septic tanks, blocked drains and sewers. The stress of being evicted from their homes after more than a month of enduring uncertainty, isolation and dysfunctional utilities is almost unimaginable.

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The North Face Ethical Down Update

On January 31, 2014, in eCommerce and Development, by Phil Bovey

You know the post we put out a week or so ago about sustainable down sourcing by Webtogs’ brands? Well I have a very positive update from The North Face regarding the development of their ‘Responsible Down Standard’ – namely, after two years in development, it is complete! You can read the full update from TNF themselves here, in their official release.

Now that pre-pilot audits on The North Face’s existing down suppliers have been completed, they are now in a position to roll out the finalised RDS (Responsible Down Standard) across their entire global supply chain. All down in The North Face down products by Autumn/Winter 2015 will comply with the RDS (allowing for time to conduct full audits, and for geese to reach maturity), and what’s more the enforcement of the standard is to be handed over to third-party, non-profit organisation Textile Exchange. They are committed to minimising the harmful effects of the global textile industry, and encouraging the positive ones, for the benefit of textile workers, animals, and all of us.

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