For years, we have been thinking that jackets with membrane are the only product for outdo use. Like many others, I used this machine a few years ago. Meanwhile, hardly a jacket without a diaphragm is sold. When a customer goes to the outdoor store to buy a jacket, the brand name of the largest membrane manufacturer is considered the sales argument par excellence. But times change!
What Does The Classic Membrane Jacket Mean?
First of all, my experiences with membrane jackets were disappointing. The promised respiratory activity I could not even notice in the approach and then only subjectively interpret. In the case of welding activities, however, all jackets fail. Why do I actually need a membrane, if it does not take advantage? My first jacket was worn after a four-week tour, during which it was worn during the period of use, and probably leaked through sweat and dirt. Later models kept better, but were also not really breathing active and simply unnecessarily expensive.
The Detox Scandal
The environmental organization Greenpeace has recently launched a study that shows us that our beloved raincoats, with which we want to explore nature, are destroying these. Of course, it is not just the outdoor builders to blame, but I expect these from a faster and more consistent rethinking. In this case, I do not want to go so far into detail, as you will be much better explained on the landing page of Greenpeace and I will not bother you with dangerous half-knowledge.
The fact is that the impregnation of membrane jackets, in particular, contains considerable proportions of PFCs, which can not be degraded in nature. So we carry these toxic chemicals exactly where they should never have landed.
The Alternation Lie
However, many manufacturers of outdoor wear continue to use these materials. There is, of course, a lot of money behind it. It is often argued that it will take years to convert the production and to find a comparable, environmentally friendly method for the production of breathable raincoats. Of course, there are also many companies that have recognized signs of the times and want to push this process forward. Other manufacturers claim that there is simply no alternative in the foreseeable future.
There Are Alternatives
My personal experience with membranes shows me the way to a very simple alternative: a membrane-free jacket that works without impregnation and is also lighter than a sleeping bag reviewed by petsinclude. Unfortunately, these are hardly available on the market, so you often have to go to MYOG or get along with inferior quality.
At the ISPO, jackets have been introduced which apply the membrane externally and thus no longer require impregnation. Nevertheless, the membrane is still special waste and not robust.
For many potential alternatives, such as the Frogg Toggs, I’m just not sure if these are PFC-free or not? On the fast I could not research. If someone knows what, then write in the comments!
PÁRamo Directional Clothing
The small company Páramo comes from Great Britain , whose concept also manages without membrane and without PFC impregnation. I have been using such a jacket for a year now and will tell you in the next weeks something more about the functionality and the jacket itself. Páramo was the first outdoor company to sign the Greenpeace Detox campaign. This certainly did not cost much overcoming, since you have already implemented almost everything.
Páramo works closely with the company Nikwax, which is certainly a term from the field of textile care and impregnation. The only real drawback I’ve seen so far is the higher weight because the jackets need a kind of fleece. This makes it possible to leave the fleece home at cooler temperatures, but it is difficult and too hot in summer. The newer models, however, have become a whole lot easier. A development that you should definitely pursue and support.
Some other alternatives are on the horizon. However, I have not seen anything handfestes there. I am glad about tips and additions in the comments and supplemented this gladly in the article. Our nature and the health of humans and animals on this planet ultimately affects us all.
I have not mentioned the negative examples in this article by names, since these are representative for many many more companies from the outdoor industry and the names can be exchanged as desired. Besides, I am not a chemist and understand the connections only amateurish.
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