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Why Water proof liners

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Raven Rider, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. Raven Rider

    Raven Rider Been here awhile

    May 3, 2010
    Why do jackets and pants have water proof liners and not water proof outside fabric? I have a Olympia jacket and really like it but I don't understand why it isn't water proof but has a liner. I have not been in a rain storm but it seems to me that the jacket will be soaked and very heavy. Then I'll have to dry it out. My question is Why? Thanks
  2. moggi1964

    moggi1964 Tiger Keeper

    Dec 7, 2011
    Sale Cheshire UK
    Some do have waterproof outside (Klim for example).

    Some have waterproof for a couple of hours and have a liner for those really long, heavy rain days. Of these some will hold water in the outside layer and get heavy and some won't.

    There are pluses and minuses to each design.
  3. kobukan

    kobukan almost gnarly

    Dec 6, 2009
    Saco ME
    Not only will it be heavy and have to dry out, but it will be a lot colder than a jacket that's waterproof on the outside. I don't understand the inner liner design at all and would never own one, but that's just me. I'm sure some people love them, depends on individual needs I guess.There's enough of them on the market that somebody must like them.
  4. Gruesome

    Gruesome Alter Heizer

    Apr 28, 2007
    I think the design got simply transferred from thin hiking etc. raincoats, where it more or less works (except it keeps the sweat in), to the thicker outer fabrics used for motorcycling. If you need a separate waterproof layer, an outer shell makes much more sense in my opinion.
    In addition to the hassle of putting the layer in, and then later dealing with the water soaked heavy and cold outer fabric, breathability also suffers a lot. Although the newer eVent membranes are supposedly (according to REI, see http://www.rei.com/expertadvice/articles/rainwear+how+it+works.html) a lot better than traditional GoreTex in this regard.
  5. japako

    japako Been here awhile

    Nov 4, 2010
    North Texas
    All of my jackets and pants, except my leathers, have waterproof liners.
    This works out great for me. I ride year round and it can be 20 or 105.
    I use rain gear to keep the water out, good rain gear that breathes and will not let water in, no mater how heavy or how long it rains.

    I use the liners to keep the wind and cold air out, not to keep water out.
    Just works for me..
  6. Flashmo

    Flashmo Whatever...

    Dec 21, 2008
    Vagabond Hippie
    I agree.

    A waterproof jacket (on the outside) would not bode well in the summer out west, no matter how well it vents. So the liner has to go on the inside. Keeps you warmer on chilly mornings, and will shed a light rainstorm when needed. If it's really going to rain, put on rain gear.

    My winter riding jacket (Olympia) is waterproof on the outside, and it goes to sleep for the season from early May to late October.
  7. lhendrik

    lhendrik Putins Puppet

    Dec 10, 2008
    Woodbury, CT
    I agree with what is said here. Having a removable liner in my BMW Rallye Pro 2 sucks when it rains, but is nice when it is hot. On my Rukka Armas with waterproof material outside, I love when it rains and I can ignore it, but the jacket is unwearable over high 70 degrees F.

    My solution is to carry two suits. The Rukka for cooler, rainy weather and a BMW Venting machine for hot humid days.
  8. keiji

    keiji Long timer

    Jun 19, 2008
    Because it is economical. Have you priced out jackets that have a waterproof outer, using a laminate? They are always more expensive and less feature rich compared to a Z-liner or removable liner. A very small portion of the riding community is willing to pay $400+ for a jacket. Firstgear is the cheapest of the laminates, but if their american sizing doesn't fit you, you can expect to pay big bucks for something that does.

    I'm just going to link my old replies to this question
  9. L.B.S.

    L.B.S. Long timer

    Feb 26, 2010
    It really depends on the type of weather you most often ride in, and your local temperatures. British Columbia coastal weather versus Texas, ya there are going to be very different takes on it.. :lol3

    I have always either had pseudo motocross gear when I had dual sport bikes, and always knew I would have to put rain gear on when required. Same with leathers, when I had my sportbikes.

    Later in my riding career, textiles caught my interest, and I gave them a try. They seemed to offer quite a few benefits for the less expensive outlay cost, combining riding gear and rain gear together.

    The removable inside liners seemed like an awesome idea. When it wasn't raining, I could have lighter, more ventilation friendly garments. Unfortunately what I discovered, was that in reality, because it rains here alot, and the rest of the season is either cold, cool or so-so warm, I was almost always wearing the damned rain liners.

    Owning and commuting for a couple seasons led me to thoroughly despise (non breathable) removable liners. The outer material soaks up water like a sponge, and weighs 50 lbs when wet. It takes days to dry out, and putting on still wet, musty gear @ 0 dark:30 in the middle of the winter to shlep to work, really really sucked. :puke1

    The feeling of the liners themselves, is disgusting. Mine were made of that waterproof vinyl stuff that feels like you are wearing a green plastic garbage bag. Cold, clammy, and I would end up just about as wet from sweat, as not rain. Riding on a hot day you haaad to take them out, or die. Come up to a sudden rain storm, and you had to pull over, go through the extreme hassle of taking all your gear off, and installing the liners, and then putting it all back on. Then the rain passes you by. Now you are too lazy to take all the damned stuff off again, and you ride in the broiling heat in your own personal sauna from hell.

    Never again for me!

    Now I have built in gore-tex and/or gore-tex equivalent jackets and pants, with as many vents as possible. It's such a relief to not have to worry about removing and installing hideous liners. The outer material beads off water and the material doesn't really even get wet, let alone soak up, so it's dry almost immediately. The breathability of the gore-tex stuff is absolutely awesome for me, I never feel like I'm getting wet from the inside out.

    If the weather *is* going to be brutally hot for a known period of time, then I would abandon my regular gear altogether anyway, and wear my summer full-on mesh alternatives. :D
  10. TallRob

    TallRob Long timer

    Apr 13, 2010
    Agoura Hills ,Ca
    My motoport airmesh kevlar came with waterproof liners undernieth. I thought it was a pain. As I had to place anything in the pockets in ziplock baggies. Well. Since its a 3 season garb. I understand. The kevlar does not soak up any water which is a great thing. So one body shake and I was free of any water!!!! Incredible but true!!!
  11. sanjaya_sugiarto

    sanjaya_sugiarto Been here awhile

    Jan 6, 2008
    You hit the nail on the head!

    Well there are some types of "waterproof liners":
    - The most common one: the waterproof liner is inside the jacket. That means you have to wear this inner jacket to be soak-free. The outer jacket itself will be completely wet, heavy and it will take a long time to dry.
    This variant is the cheapest and most common one.
    The advantage of this variant is: if you get down, then you could be still waterproof, as long as the inner jacket not destroyed.
    Keywords for this kind of jacket: GoreTex Performance Shell, Sympatex, and other z-liner jackets.

    - the waterproof membrane is laminated on the outer jacket. This is what you are looking for. This jacket is completely waterproof without any additional jacket. This kind of jacket doesnt also soak-off the water. That means, it wont get heavy and it will dry as soon as the rain stops.
    The disadvantage of this kind of jacket: if you get down, then the membrane would be get destroyed. Although it is quite robust. And it is more expensive.
    This is also my favorite jacket.
    Keywords for this kind of jacket: GoreTex Pro Shell

    - the additional waterproof jacket as the outer jacket. That means, on a perfect weather, you just wear the non-waterproof jacket and when it rains, then just wear the additional outer jacket.
    Example: Touratech Companero
  12. FKNBUM

    FKNBUM Been here awhile

    Oct 8, 2007
    ex-Alaskan anchored down in Anchorage
    The earlier post by L.B.S. pretty much sums up my experiences. He faied to mention however, the coldest part of the ride is often imediately after the rain stops. You are then riding in a 50lb evaporative cooler.

    About 15yrs ago when I started on week+ trips I wore 3-layer Gore-Tex over leather. It worked pretty well, but pulling that bug splattered, dirty, wet piece of nylon out of your luggage 4-12 hrs later could be pretty nasty.

    I really miss the AeroStitch, I should probably go that route again considering almost half my miles seem to be in the rain/snow.
  13. Tsotsie

    Tsotsie Semi-reformed Tsotsi Supporter

    Nov 12, 2007
    South Texas
    The liners are made of material with thread density so small/fine that only water vapor is supposed to be able to go through it - supposedly making it breathable from the inside yet waterproof in the case of rain. These can tear, wear if exposed to stress as they are thin material.

    The outer jacket material is usually a lot coarser, wear and tear resistant, usually stiched all over with added material, padding and thicker to be able to protect you.

    The liners are good for wind resistance in cooler temps, but steamy when overwhelmed in hotter temps.

    Some fabric makers laminate the 'waterproof' barrier' onto or into the other fabrics. The cost of intergated and laminated fabrics vs the removable line is reflected in the price of the article you buy!
  14. Hikertrash

    Hikertrash Wasted Rock Ranger

    Aug 19, 2011
    Because the jacket will breathe better with a separate waterproof liner. Waterproof jackets don't breathe as well but probably aren't a problem unless you live in the southeast or southwest.
  15. Snapper

    Snapper Long timer

    Oct 10, 2003
    SW CT
    The idea is kinda retarded in my mind, but is probably driven by cost and fashion. I can perfectly well understand not using a laminated waterproofing like Gore-tex, do to cost and fair weather temp range, but if a suit is going to give you a liner, it might as well give you an external one. Course the three down sides are more material required to cover the outside, it won't last as long on the outside, and It doesn't look as good on the outside. I think there's also some marketing play going on, so they can call their suit "waterproof."

    If it were me, I'd save the liner for camping or something and use a Frogg Toggs on the outside.
  16. Xeraux

    Xeraux Archvillain

    Sep 26, 2006
    Where I need to be.
    This. :deal
  17. Vbird

    Vbird In Room 237

    Dec 31, 2006
    To me, a liner is just like a rain suit- you have to plan ahead. This may work in some regions of the country where you can see the rain in the distance and pull over and put it on. On a day ride through the NC mountains you can run in and out of rain half a dozen times and it's too hot and muggy in between to wear the liner.
    I'll take the waterproof jacket or suit with zippers that can be closed on the move and not have to find a safe place to pull over every time.
  18. Tsotsie

    Tsotsie Semi-reformed Tsotsi Supporter

    Nov 12, 2007
    South Texas
    Having the liners is good for occasional showers, but to have to ride through a serious weather pattern, there is no substitute, in my opinion, for a dedicated rain suit. Once had a storm system that I rode through that streached from Asheville NC to Lafayette LA - 750 miles of mostly heavy rain. My old, cheap Nelson Rigg was magic!

    The liner is also good as a windbreaker in the early cool mornings with my mesh jacket and they fold small. They have their uses besides rain!
  19. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams Supporter

    Oct 29, 2005
    And, the suit isn't anymore waterproof than if you were to put a trash bag on underneath. It's the trash bag(liner) that is waterproof, not the suit.
  20. nanotech9

    nanotech9 ** Slidewayz **

    Aug 10, 2009
    Oklahoma City, OK
    so just how bad are the BMW R2P suits in rain? Do they shed even a light rain?

    I've got the liners, and never used the suit in the rain - only used the liners in colder weather as a wind blocker. Its a real PITA to install the liners all the time.