Nonetheless Garments 2011 | Mettle Neo Jacket | Compound Neo Pant
Waterproof technology has remained about the same since the very first hard shell. Breathability is achieved through diffusion: moisture and heat create enough pressure that moisture vapor finally passes through the fabric. Soft shells trade waterproofness for greater breathability by making use of convection: a constant exchange of air allows more moisture vapor to escape. In 2011, Nonetheless Garments will deliver the best of both worlds to the core commuter.
The airflow in conventional waterproof/breathables is close to zero whether you're active or not. Breathability claims for these fabrics are typically based on static testing conditions. So the second you walk outside, the claims are irrelevant. A more accurate measure of breathability is found with Dynamic Breathability Testing which accounts for real world conditions like wind and movement.
For a fabric to be considered waterproof, it must withstand the industry's requirement in hydrostatic head tests of 10,000 mm of water pressure. Anything beyond this point is unnecessary as it won't keep you any drier. You're dry at 10,000 mm. You won't stay drier with a higher number. But you'll likely be wetter from sweat. Most hard shell fabrics allow zero airflow. Even when compared to the best waterproof/breathable fabrics, Polartec® has over 2X the airflow. This controlled exchange of air allows the process of convection to increase the transfer of moisture vapor. You won't notice any wind chill. But you will feel drier.