eVent is a waterproof and highly breathable fabric.
Modern technologies have produced numerous fabrics that can be called waterproof and breathable, but only one came into consideration for our crux climbing shells - eVent. We started using eVent back in the late ‘90s (before it was even launched and while we still working for another major outdoor brand) and were immediate converts.
Although we use the term “eVent fabric”, this is actually a misnomer. Technically speaking, eVent is the waterproof, highly breathable and air-permeable membrane that is then laminated to an outer face fabric (and, on 3-layer versions, to a protective inner scrim).
The breathability of eVent is far superior to any other fabric claiming to be both waterproof and breathable, whether employing a membrane or a coating. This means that comfort is maximized: perspiration build-up is significantly reduced, keeping you dry on the inside. Equally important for climbers, however, is the fact that you won’t be overheating so much either, minimizing the need to constantly adjust the zip height or take off your jacket altogether. In fact, the general consensus is that if you’re not moving that much (as on a very hard winter climb), you may have to layer up more than you’re accustomed to.
Crux shell garments use a 3-layer construction that comprises the outer face fabric, the eVent membrane and a liner - all laminated together. Since the membrane itself and the liner are standard for all eVent fabrics, it is the face fabric that determines a garment’s ultimate performance parameters. Our rugged Flak and Shok ranges, for example, use a robust nylon whose weight - 105 g/m2 - makes this single face layer alone heavier than many complete 3-layer laminates. In the case of our Flak and Shok shells, in fact, the total 3-layer fabric weight (outer face + eVent membrane + inner scrim) adds up to 172 g/m² - the equivalent of the “reinforcing panel” fabrics used by most other brands.
Our lighter Torq range uses a face fabric weighing 78 g/m2 and giving a combined laminate weight of 135 g/m2. Most brands would still consider this as heavy, but at garment weights of 395 g for the Women’s Torq jacket, 410 g for the Torq smock, and 435 g for the Torq jacket, it is clear that these are far from heavyweight garments. The Torq fabric is more breathable, but less durable, than the Flak/Shok fabric.
All the face fabrics used in our shell garments have a very smooth plain-weave finish that we prefer for two reasons: durability (a smooth surface has better abrasion resistance) and the ability to hold a good DWR (Durable Water Repellent) coating.
For more information on eVent fabrics, please click here.