I have written about every generation of the Zpacks WPB rain jackets, so it is always an exciting day to get to share my thoughts on a new generation of this rain jacket.
To start with, I have not tried this jacket. I have not seen this jacket. (updates: see bottom of article) I do not currently own this generation of the jacket. I did not even know it was in the works. But none the less, as the person that has published more about this jacket (over the generations it has existed) than anybody else, I do enjoy sharing thoughts on it. I currently own the third generation of the jacket (the last of the three white non-nylon generations) IIRC. I have owned every generation of this jacket over the years. I sold my original 3rd gen jacket years ago, but was fortunate enough to find somebody that had one for sale and bought it – it was always my favorite generation of the jacket.
For now, and just consider this my initial disclaimer, consider this article as a placeholder with all of the specs of the jacket and my initial thoughts on design and fabrics and such. All just 100% thoughts and specs. No actual usage history.
A size medium (industry standard size) jacket is being listed on the scale at 176 grams (6.2 ounces / 0.388 pounds).
The sizes range from small to XX-Large. It should be noted that this is the first time that Zpacks has offered their rain jacket in the xxl size. For archival purposes, should they change the specs in the future, I have got a screencapture of the jacket sizes/specs.
The only thing that appears to be new, beyond the fabric, is that Zpacks has introduced a rain guard behind the zipper. This can been seen in this photograph.
On the removed features list, it appears that Zpacks has decided to do away with the ‘long’ version, which allowed you to order a 39.6 cm (40-inch) version, for those wanting rain protection down past their shorts and to the knees of short folks, as can been seen in this photograph of my previous generation (Challenger) rain jacket that was the long version.
As with each generation of the Zpacks WPB rain jacket, the biggest change has always been the fabric. New generations of the fabric. The new Vertice Rain Jacket is no different. Like the previous generation of the jacket, the Challenger, the Vertice is a three-layer WPB (WaterProof Breathable) fabric.
According to Zpacks, they had this fabric custom made for them and they are the only company on the planet using this fabric. The layering of the fabric is composed of (outer) 7D Nylon, (mid) an undisclosed VPM (vapor permeable membrane) of unknown weight, and (inner) tricot, also of unknown weight.
Some of you may have caught the fact that DCM was not listed in those three fabrics, unless it is the mid layer and Zpacks is just not disclosing this fact.
I have copied the below from my article on the previous generation, the Challenger, so go back to that article to reference and learn more about MVTR and all of that stuff, but here is the history of the ZPacks WPB Rain Jacket in regards to MVTR:
The original two versions of the ZPacks rain jackets had a g/m2/24hrs of around 20,000.
The third white version, and just before the Challenger, had a g/m2/24hrs of around 41,000.
These were numbers provided by CTC using a JIS L 1099 testing method.
From what I have been told the most recent rain jacket, the Challenger, has a g/m2/24hrs in the 22,000 – 25,000 range.
Zpacks is now claiming, based on the JISS L 1099 testing method, that the Vertice is
rated at 60,000 g/m2/24hrs.
Update #1: Zpacks has updated their website since they initial released the Vertice to change the g/m2/24hrs from 60k to 56k (August, 2017)
Update #2: I have received a Control Sheet from the company that provides Zpacks this fabric, and it does confirm a 56k+ g/m2/24hrs rating. (September, 2017)
It would be really nice if Zpacks scanned the results and publically posted them. At 60k, that is a full 20k beyond the well documented level of 40k of the Toray Dermizax NX fabric, long considered one of the top end fabrics from a MVTR perspective.
Zpacks has also stated that the HH rating for the fabric is 20,000mm, same as the Toray Dermizax NX and others out there on the market.
So to just quickly recap:
Gen 1: 20k (1st gen white)
Gen 2: 20k (2rd gen white)
Gen 3: 41k (3rd gen white)
Gen 4: 22k (challenger)
Gen 5: 60k (vertice)
And on that note, I think I will wrap up this product announcement. If I ever acquire one of these jackets and get some use with it, I will of course share my thoughts. Likewise, as Zpacks continues to update their WPB jacket I will try my best to get future announcements published.
Where To Buy:
Directly from Zpacks at:
Since publishing this article, Zpacks has sent me one of these to test and provide feedback to them. It is just a loaner and I am mailing it back after I get enough use with it to determine any thoughts that I have on it and write them up herein.
For now here is a photograph of the jacket, a size large, on my scale, at 190 grams (6.73 oz) which is 8 grams (0.28 oz) more than the size chart shows for a large, at 182 grams. (Please note that this jacket I have is an early prototype and therefore the weight is going to be different than the final production version.)
Additional Update/ Video:
I have now had a chance to use this jacket in some rather intense rain storms. From that I have been able to base some comments and thoughts about the jacket’s performance.