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Rab is working hard to ensure retailers in the industry that they are not a winter-only player. Thanks to the new waterproof, breathable fabric from GE eVent called eVent DVL (direct venting lite), they just might make their point even louder.
Rab is the official launch partner for the eVent DVL fabric, which GE eVent announced on Monday.
“We’ve actually been working with eVent for a long time we are very proud of our relationship,” said Rab Marketing Manager Samantha Kilgore. By partnering with eVent, Kilgore said, the company is communicating that there are other fabric options other than Gore-Tex.
Kilgore said with the launch of this new fabric, and Rab’s quick embrace of it, the brand would be more known as an all season brand.
“By offering products with lighter fabrics that work well with warmer summer time environment we are eligible for that,” Kilgore said.
While the terms “waterproof, breathable” have been thrown for a long time now, GE, like any company releasing new product, is certain they’ve hit the mark with the patent-pending eVent DVL fabric.
“What we’ve done is engineered a light printing on the surface [of the fabric] of that so that now you don’t need three layers,” said Glenn Crowther, global product line leader for the eVent Fabric business within GE.
He added that’s eVent DVL also different from the standard, lightweight 2.5 polyurethane coated waterproof garments. Instead of being treated with polyurethane, the unlined laminate fabric features a protective print applied directly onto the company’s proprietary waterproof ePTFE (expanded polytetrafluoroethylene) membrane. This allows moisture to leave, but keeps out the wind and rain thanks to the company’s Direct Venting Technology (the many pores that let the moisture out).
Crowther explained that polyurethane coating generally clogs the pores of the fabric, leaving its ability to transfer moisture compromised.
“I think people are used to wearing coated fabrics,” Crowther acknowledged to SNEWS, adding that industry folks will have to try out some of Rab’s (and other as-of-yet-unidentified partners) new products to believe it. “People really need to put the garment on to experience it. With other products, you feel cold and clammy or at least you feel like you need to put something else on; but in the case of the DVL or any event product putting it on doesn’t restrict moisture vapor at all; it continues to move on through the material.”
The fabric is intended for outerwear and apparel that’s used for light aerobic activity like hiking, riding a bike and jogging.
Crowther said it couldn’t be compared to anything currently on the market because it works in a different way than other waterproof, breathable fabrics.
Rab and a few other partners will bring the industry new products at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market that incorporate eVent DVL so stay tuned to SNEWS and the O.R.D., to see what they’ve got in store.