Established in 1999, eVent Fabrics is a manufacturer of membrane materials. They are often referred to as a more affordable, yet qualitatively comparable alternative to the popular Gore-Tex membrane material. They have earned their respected name largely due to their Direct Venting™ technology, which makes these materials considered to be the most breathable materials of their kind on the market.
How do eVent and its Direct Venting™ technology work?
eVent is a waterproof and windproof membrane composed of millions of micropores. These pores can wick sweat and moisture efficiently outwards to the surface, but also act as a protection against raindrops penetrating inside.
Unlike similar materials, eVent repels sweat instantly without needing to accumulate a certain amount of heat, which is one of its greatest benefits. It is this technology that is called Direct Venting™.
Conventional PU membranes, on the other hand, trap sweat and moisture directly in the material, which stays damp. This moisture is then expelled by body heat towards the surface of the material where it evaporates. This is a functional technology, but not as effective, especially for athletes.
The eVent materials allow 2x more sweat to be wicked away than conventional waterproof membranes, and if you sweat more than the membrane can wick away, moisture will remain accumulated under the jacket, causing not only an uncomfortable feeling of cold but also the risk of skin irritation or overheating.
How do similar materials work and why is eVent a better choice?
Most waterproof/breathable membranes do not breathe. Instead, they wick away sweat in a two slow step process of diffusion through the Polyurethane (PU) layer. The material stays damp because the PU absorbs and traps the sweat. Body heat then pushes the moisture through the membrane to the surface of the material, where it eventually evaporates. This process is theoretically sufficient when there is not a lot of moisture, but it is not as effective during strenuous activity or in the warmer months.
This is why the PU membrane is mainly used for casual wear or lower activity, the benefits of the eVent membrane become fully apparent during active movement, warmer weather, or extreme conditions.
Other benefits of the eVent material
In addition, the eVent material is waterproof (it has a high water column at 30000mm), windproof, and very durable, so it can handle abrasions from rocks and will last for many years with good care. In addition, the material is treated with a permanent DWR water repellent treatment that allows water droplets to slide down the jacket's surface instead of soaking them into the material. This allows the pores to breathe as efficiently as possible, keeping the jacket lightweight and extending its lifespan.