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Environmentally friendly rain jacket & trousers?

Old 09-06-10, 02:44 AM
  #1  
irpheus
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Environmentally friendly rain jacket & trousers?

Hey Tourers,

I'm collecting bike gear and now have come to the rain jacket & rain trousers.

I'd prefer Patagonia's products for their environmental profile, however, don't know if it's strong enough (trousers) or suitable for biking (jacket & trousers).

Any of you know if there are breathable bike rain jackets & trousers that are also environmentally friendly?

Thanks for reading :-)

Jesper
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Old 09-06-10, 11:03 PM
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I made a rain jacket, suspended trousers, and overmitts out of Tyvek Homewrap. (I also made a tarp tent, bivy sack, stuff sacks, etc.) Seams were taped, not sewn. I had to buy the material but you may be able to find a construction site near you with some extra. Cost for the material (Tyvek, Tyvek tape, zipper, velcro) I used in the gear was about $20.

Tyvek is waterproof and a bit less breathable than Goretex, eVent, or the new multilaminate materials but moreso than Urethane coated nylon or PVC.

The gear worked well on the 6 month tour of the western USA that I just completed. The Tyvek did lose a bit of it's waterproofness after a few months of hard use and abrasion. The plus side of this was it became more breathable...

If you enjoy making your own gear the price/performance ratio can't be beat, especially if you can find a source and recycle the material.
----------------
To address your questions, I'll say that many waterproof trousers will either wear through or lose their impermiability where they rub your bike seat. This happened with my Frogg Toggs Road Toad trousers, generic DWR nylon rain pants, and a little bit to my Tyvek. If the Patagonia trousers sit at your waist, and the jacket doesn't have a dramatic drop back/tail, there will probably be a gap on your lower back between the pieces. This is more likely if your riding position has you leaning forward.

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Old 09-07-10, 06:30 AM
  #3  
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clothes made of Schoeller textiles are made with fabrics produced in a very environmentally sound production facility in Switzerland, bluesign certified.

Patagonia is another good company to purchase from..... years ago they had some very nice bicycling specific rain wear, stretchy and with reinforced seat but unavailable for quite some time. i wish they got back to yvons ideals for the company and produce a smaller product line of quality construction for outdoor enthusiasts, but recognize the outdoor fashion industry requires a lot of cotton flannels and 'lifestyle' pieces.

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Old 09-08-10, 04:13 AM
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Hello both,

@Enthusiast: Wow, your approach to making your own gear sounds interesting :-) If I had the time I'd be something like that but I don't have the time or focus for that, unfortunately. I will, however, check out if such fabric - Tyvek or a European parallel - can be used to make small bags to go into my panniers. Thanks for your suggestions!

@bekologist: Hmmm... I have an impression that we at least to some extent have identical approaches when it comes to environmental "friendliness". To follow up on your suggestions I've sent Schoeller and Patagonia an email to hear if they either can recommend a manufacturer (Schoeller - can't see bike wear on their webpages) or if they still make bike wear.

Greetings,

Jesper
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Old 09-08-10, 09:03 AM
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What exactly would you consider "environmentally friendly?" Something made out of evil old nylon but lasts for years is a lot more environmentally friendly than something less durable but made of tree bark and sewn with spider silk.
Something we are beginning to learn in the renewable energy business is that durability trumps most everything else in terms of being environmentally friendly.
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Old 09-08-10, 12:35 PM
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Thanks for replying ... And, yes, durability definitely is a parameter. Would you have any suggestions with that in mind?

BTW, I just was so fortunate to be able to buy a couple of Ortlieb front panniers from their Greenpeace Line. Without knowing exactly how they are designed (materials etc.) I hope that the collaboration with Greenpeace has brought about a more environmentally friendly product. In more general terms, what to me would be environmentally friendly could be a product that is made according to one of the stricter cradle-to-cradle certifications, although it is of no importance to me if it is actually cradle-to-cradle certified.

Best regards,

Jesper

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Old 09-08-10, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by irpheus View Post
Thanks for replying ... And, yes, durability definitely is a parameter. Would you have any suggestions with that in mind?

BTW, I just was so fortunate to be able to buy a couple of Ortlieb front panniers from their Greenpeace Line. Without knowing exactly how they are designed (materials etc.) I hope that the collaboration with Greenpeace has brought about a more environmentally friendly product. In more general terms, what to me would be environmentally friendly could be a product that is made according to one of the stricter cradle-to-cradle certifications, although it is of no importance to me if it is actually cradle-to-cradle certified.

Best regards,

Jesper
Things are now moving in the direction where cradle to cradle products are often of excellent quality, and very durable. This was not always the case, but nowadays manufacturers are often moving in that direction and recycling technology is much more advanced.
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