What I've concluded
Posted by: WaterBird on Sep-26-13 8:40 PM (EST)
I had to replace a jacket recently. It was an LL Bean Trail Model coated nylon jacket, said to be 100% waterproof, that was just terrible in the rain. It soaked through in about 10 minutes.
I compared a lot of different brands or coated nylon jackets. In the stores the coatings looked just about identical in the $40 to $80 range. From talking to product specialists at EMS, REI, Bean's, and Cabela's, I concluded that NONE of those coated jackets are going to protect you when you need it most: in cold, wet weather. Below 50 degrees I feel like this is a real safety issue (hypothermia) and it concerns me for kayaking and hiking.
So I concluded that you have to go with Gore-Tex for early spring and late fall. Cabela's has a material called Dry Plus that they claim is 100% waterproof. They say it's "their version of Gore-Tex." It's less expensive than Gore-Tex. This video is pretty convincing: http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/video_popup.jsp?productId=1321301&embedCode=Vva3F3MjoWYFKl2sgWOhB7RUzJxp8DFZ
See for example this jacket on sale for $60:
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