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Waterproof and breathable garment?

Published on 12/05/2016 00:00

#Schmerber #RET #Transpirabilidad #Impermeabilidad starstarstarstarstar

Is there a garment that avoids the entry of water but allows my body to breathe at the same time? Do you know Schmerber and RET?

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Nowadays we have clothes which make a big contradiction possible. We’ve all seen how lists of required ultra-trails materials require waterproof jackets with a minimum score for impermeability of 10,000 Schmerber units and an RET (Resistant to Evaporation Transfer)  rating lower than 13. But what do these values mean? And most importantly, which value should meet the standards of my new jacket?

Schmerber and RET are two different methods which are standardised by ISO (International Standardisation Organisation) http://www.iso.org/iso/home.html. These methods are used to measure the waterproof and breathability of a fabric, to let us know their behaviour during rain and the presence of sweat.

What level of breathability is needed?
SWEAT TEST ISO 11092: This test measures the fabric’s ability to allow water to pass through, and with that, its ability to soak up sweat and avoid perspiration inside. The results are expressed as "RET" - the lower the value, ??the better the fabric transpires.

But, what kind of feeling do different “RET” values provide?
The German institute Hohenstein has carried out the work greatly, if you compare the laboratory results with the experiences of users who tested different types of garments, it established an index which related "RET" values and reviews.

Do you already know which RET value your garment must have? Then let's put a fabric on it that makes it waterproof.
IMPERMEABILITY TEST ISO 811: 1981: This test measures the capability of a fabric supporting water pressure, and with that, it’s ability to keep us dry when we are in contact with water. The results are expressed in "mm water column" or "Schmerber units".

But, what will prevent the water from being soaked up?
According to laboratory tests, a garment with 7000 Schmerber units should bear the force of the rain in a hurricane. But in the real world there are other factors that will influence the permeability of the membrane, such as the exposure time, the pattern of the garment, the heat sealing of the seams, the type of zippers, body fit, the possible contaminants for the membrane and the type of garments with which it is combined.

So, if we put all these parameters together and contrast them with the different options we can find on the market, we obtain the following classification:

imagen

Conclusions

Once the parameters are used to measure the breathability, and the water resistance of fabrics contacts it will cause combinations, for example: "I am used to run trails in a climate with rainfall of varying intensity. So I looked for a light jacket that transpires well and protects me during my three hour races in the rain. If I search for my needs in the above tables, for intense sports like a race, I would need a value of transpiration RET which moves between 0-6. As I spend several hours in the rain, it also has to fulfil minimum water column Schmerber 10,000. On these two requirements I would also add the minimal weight as well as the little space it contains. Once you know the qualities to fulfil the pledge that you may be looking for, you can make a first selection. Remember there are also other parameters which might help you to find the best option: the pattern, the seams of heat sealing, the type of zippers, body fit, etc. These aspects will be adapted on these publications. Do you think that this article is helpful? Leave a comment with your opinion. At the end we made a small selection of jackets with a good water resistance and breathability for your outdoor sporting activities. Traslated by: Max Wright

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