Those familiar with hardcore outdoor gear are already familiar with the name “Integral Designs” so they should need no introduction… eVent on the other hand is likely something you’ve never heard about and it’s one of the little outdoor “secrets” that is starting to make some noise. We’ll learn more about eVent in a little bit.
I’d would like to offer full disclosure on this rain gear. I am already the proud owner of an Integral Designs MK III Tent and an Integral Designs Sil-Tarp II. Both of which are phenomenal pieces of mountain equipment, so when I began shopping for a new set of rain gear that would be among the best waterproof and breathable gear suitable for the strenuous hiking (and country) that we experience hunting in the mountains… I did some research. That research led me to eVentfabrics, which led me right back to Integral Designs.
I emailed Integral through their website one night and shared with them the reviews I’d done on my previous purchases and also offered to exchange some yearly advertising space on the hunting blog in return for a set of the Integral Designs eVent Thru Hiker jacket and pants.
After a few weeks went by, and not hearing back I had almost forgotten about it, when an email popped into my inbox from Evan Jones. The owner of Integral Designs, he apologize for the delay (it was over the holidays) and he had trade shows etc, which I totally understand… The cool part was that he was interested in taking me up on my offer! Wow… That’s pretty cool, and it goes to show just how much Integral Designs and Evan listens to their customers and actually cares about how we use, where we use, and what we think about the products they produce.
That’s the kind of company I like to do business with… And they will be fielding a call from me prior to my sheep hunt this year so I can order one of the XPD down sleeping bags.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way lets learn a little more about eVent and what it means to guys who like to hunt in the unpredictable and sometimes harsh mountain weather.
The waterproof breathable garment market has been dominated for years by Gore-Tex and their well oiled marketing machine. It’s been tough for competitors to get in edge wise. I’ve owned my fair share of products with Gore-Tex and some of them have been great products but Gore-Tex as a waterproof breathable membrane has one major flaw. The Gore-Tex membrane loses it’s ability to breath and shed water the dirty and more contaminated it gets. So in order to stop the membrane from getting contaminated they have to spray on a very thin layer of polyurethane coating. As you may well know… Polyurethane doesn’t exactly breath very well.
Along comes eVent… A waterproof breathable membrane created by BHA technologies. Unlike Gore-Tex the eVent membrane is not as susceptible to contamination and therefore does NOT need a layer of polyurethane coating to protect the fabric thus severely hampering it’s breathability.
I could go on and on about eVent Fabrics but I’d much rather let something visual do the talking. I’ve conducted a simple breathability test using Gore-Tex and eVent fabrics and will post it momentarily.
In a few more weeks I will post a much more detailed review on these specific eVent products from Integral Designs.