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Rainwear Guide

Having a comfortable piece of rainwear is imperative for enjoying the outdoors


When clothing gets wet, it's not only uncomfortable but in some situations can lead to very serious situations. Wet clothing can quickly sap the body of its warmth and strength, eventually leading to hypothermia. There are several ways clothing can get wet, but the main two are rain and perspiration. The reason we use GORE-TEX® FABRICS and Montbell's proprietory DRY-TEC™ fabric in our rainwear is because these two materials keep water out and do a pretty good job of releasing built up heat and moisture from within. We've developed a wide range of products with these two material that allow you to comfortably enjoy the outdoors.

The world's most waterproof/breathable membrane. GORE-TEX® fabrics are perfect for highly aerobic sports that require the ultimate in waterproof / breathable technology. Available in 3-layer and 2-layer constructions.
The membrane has a water resistance rating of over 50,000mm and 35,000~80,000g/m² ·24 hrs breathability rating. (JIS L-1099 B-1 method)

Torrent Flier Jacket

Offers outstanding performance for high momentum activities such as mountain climbing and speed hikes.

Storm Cruiser Jacket

Feature rich, yet light in weight, we paired 20 denier 3-layer C-Knit fabric with hand pockets, Pit Zips, and full adjustability to create a cutting edge 10-ounce rain piece.

Peak Dry Shell

The Peak Dry Shell uses GORETEX SHAKEDRY technology which puts the membrane on the outside of the jacket to create a permanent beading surface. Designed to always keep you dry and features amazing breathability for high output activities. The Peak Dry Shell demonstrates its true value on missions that are short and don't require heavy packs; like light mountain climbing and speed hikes.

Gore-Tex Infinium™ fabrics with WATER RESISTANCE fabrics provide lightweight warmth by combining total windproofness, maximum breathability and durable protection from rain showers. Protects your body's warmth and provides comfort from the chilling effects of wind and rain. Prevents overheating and perspiration build-up by allowing moisture vapor to easily escape. The membrane has a water resistance rating of over 30,000mm and 43,000g/m² ·24 hrs breathability rating. (JIS L-1099 B-1 method)

Versalite Jacket

Our lightest and most compact rain jacket. The Versalite is the jacket to go for when grams count, but sacrificing features and comfort isn't an option.

Rain Trekker Jacket

Although the Rain Trekker utilizes the same membrane as the Versalite, the Rain Trekker uses a different face fabric to produce a softer, quieter material and results in a rain shell that doesn't look like or feel like a typical rain shell.

Montbell's originally developed waterproof/breathable membrane. DRY-TEC™ is a non-porous polyurethane treated fabric.
The membrane has a water resistance rating of over 20,000mm and 8,000~20,000g/m² ·24 hrs breathability rating. (JIS L-1099 B-1 method)

Thunder Pass Jacket

Fully featured and cut for effective layering, the Thunder Pass is an excellent option for entry level users and seasoned travelers alike. Perfect for those needing a well-rounded jacket that will keep you dry and comfortable.

Rain Hiker Jacket

This jacket offers moderate performance at an excellent value. A great choice for those beginning their foray into hiking and other outdoor activities or for having an okay rain jacket for wearing around town or stashing in your car.

Versalite Pants

Thunder Pass Pants

Stretch Rain Full Zip Pants

What does Waterproofing Mean?

Waterproofing is a measure of the ability to resist pressure from external moisture trying to permeate into a material. This property can be described with a numerical value that measures "water pressure resistance." Water pressure resistance is measured by placing a column of water on the outside layer of a material and applying pressure until water begins to seep through, at which point the height of the water is measured in millimeters.

What does Breathability Mean?

Is a high level of water resistance the only feature your hard shell needs? Vinyl raincoats certainly have a very high degree of water resistance, but they cannot release heat or water vapor that builds up inside. Similar to windows on a cold winter morning, water vapor can cool and condense into water droplets on the inside of your jacket. So even if your hard shell is able to protect you from external moisture, if it can’t release water vapor, you can still get wet from internal condensation.

Breathability refers to a material's ability to release built up water vapor. GoreTex Fabrics and other membranes make this possible by keeping water from getting in and allowing water vapor to get out. Membranes can do this because liquid water molecules (rain) are larger than vapor molecules (evaporated sweat), which allows vapor molecules to escape through the membrane's microscopic openings. (left figure, excluding certain materials.)

Be aware that breathability is only a meausre of how the membrane could perform in ideal conditions. Your personal experience may vary. For example, there are situations when your level of physical activity can suprass your garment's ability to breathe. Or certain environmental factors, such as high humidity, can also have an impact on how the inside of your rain garments can feel. Just because you are able to observe condensation on the inside of your jacket, doesn't necessarily mean the garment has failed. It just means you are really putting in some effort!

Montbell's Rain shell jackets are tested by JIS L-1099 B-1 Method when measuring breathability.

What is Denier?

Denier is the weight of a 9,000m long thread, and in practical terms it is a good equivalent of thickness. A thread of 1-denier would weigh 1 gram. The higher the denier the thicker the thread becomes and in turn has stronger abrasion and tear resistance. Thicker threads are commonly used for reinforcing areas that are exposed to friction, like edge guards. On the other hand, materials that are made with thinner denier threads feel smoother and are better suited towards clothing.

What do 3-layer and 2-layer mean and what are the differences?

Waterproof fabrics all share a common trait of being made with a waterproof membrane. Since the membrane is delicate and easily damaged, it is usually laminated to layers of fabric for protection. For example, a 3-layer fabric is made by laminating a membrane to an outer and inner layer of fabric. This sandwich of outer fabric, membrane, and inner fabric give the materials its 3-layer name. As its name would suggest, a 2-layer fabric is made by laminating the membrane to only an outer fabric. Although lightweight, this comes with a tradeoff of exposing the membrane. Montbell products made with 2-layer fabrics receive a special coating on the inside of the product or are lined with mesh or taffeta to protect the membrane.

Maintaining the durable water repellent (DWR) treatment on your rainwear is essential to its performance.

The more your garment is worn, the more its DWR treatment is affected by dirt and friction. When a garment's DWR treatment becomes worn down, water is able to spread out over the fabric's surface, saturating it and blocking the membrane's pores. With the pores blocked, water vapor trapped inside is unable to escape. A hard shell with no water repellency can become saturated with water, becoming heavy and rob the body of its heat due to water's high thermal conductivity.

When you start to notice that rain no longer beads off of your hard shell and the outer fabric is instead absorbing water, please see our maintenance and care page for more information on retreating your hard shell.