For the past couple of years, GE has been a bystander in the waterproof breathable wars, with first switching to an OEM strategy for eVent, then Polartec NeoShell and Gore-Tex Active Shell hogging the limelight. Well now GE has come back fighting with a lighter and supposedly more breathable version of their popular eVent fabric.
Called eVent DVL (Direct Venting Lite), the new technology and fabric line improves upon the performance of standard 2.5-layer waterproof fabrics commonly used in lightweight rain wear. Standard 2.5-layer construction involves a face fabric, a polyurethane-based waterproof breathable laminate or coating as the second layer, and a protective inner sheen that is considered a half layer. Examples include the Marmot Precip or REI Ultra Light collection.
Standard 3-layer waterproof fabric constructions are considered the most durable and just as breathable, with a laminate membrane tightly sandwiched between a face fabric and and inner liner. NeoShell, Active Shell, and Mountain Hardwear Dry.Q Elite (using eVent's membrane) are all three layer constructions.
eVent DVL uses an unlined laminate that features a protective print applied directly onto eVent's original waterproof ePTFE membrane. The print of repeating triangular shapes provides a durable protective screen, while leaving access to the millions of tiny pores in the membrane to allow for direct venting of your body heat and sweat. To keep the resulting jacket or pants lightweight and breathable enough, the eVent DVL membrane is laminated only to more lightweight face fabrics.
Its highly breathable nature makes eVent DVL waterproof fabric great for high-energy output sports where excess body heat and moisture is readily generated and there is less demand for the durability of heavier weight fabrics. The inaugural collection of eVent DVL fabrics are ideal for making unlined garments for light duty use in activities such as hiking, climbing, cycling, running, and cross-country skiing.
Rab is the first official partner using eVent DVL so I will be excited to check out their new collection at the OutDoor Show coming up in a couple of weeks.