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I'd throw in one other thing to look at: The hood and collar. I find that having a tall, deep collar that comes up "too far" on your cheeks and ears, also keeps you nicely sheltered from wind, and drier in the rain. Hood up or down.

If you have the luxury of trying on different brands in stores, do try the hood and collar. Imagine it is pouring out and blowing 20 knots, you want something a little different from the typical urban collar.

Which is not to say that clearance rack GoreTex from a camping supplier can't be a great bargain too!
 

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""breathable" fabrics work only when the outside ambient humidity is far less than the humid interior."
Well, yes. But that should be clarified. They work when there is higher vapor pressure inside your suit, than there is outside. Since the human exterior, your skin, tends to be dumping the heat load from a 98.6F body, that means the temperature 'inside' your suit may be 90F and if it is only 85F on deck in the ambient rain...your body heat will still drive out the moisture, keeping your drier with a GoreTex suit than without.

Conversely, if you sit on a heated car seat after getting in from the rain, the heated seat will drive the rain back IN through your GoreTex. Nasty surprise, that. Good thing there are no heated helm seats to worry about on sailboats!

Given the choice between my old top-brand foulies and my camping GoreTex? I'll take the GoreTex every time until it gets chilly out. And even, sometimes. To paraphrase Galileo, "Nevertheless, it works!"

And if it wears out? Gore will replace the garments, free of charge, under warranty. Can't complain about wearing out with that policy, either. Other "breatheables" and water repellants? You'd have to tackle case by case, they're not all the same.
 

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smurph, GoreTex needs next to no maintenance.
"The Gore rain shell I have soaks through after a while so I don't even take it aboard anymore. "

Let me put it this way: CALL GORE.

They will ask you to mail the shell to them, so they can inspect it. (Marmot and other companies will treat you equally well, by the way.) Assuming the GoreTex has failed, as it eventually always will, Gore will confirm that, and then they will ask you to pick a similar new garment, from ANY vendor. And they'll ship it to you at no charge.

Really, can it get any better than that?

CALL GORE. They've even got a toll-free number. They charge a premium price for their product, but they back it up with absolutely magnificent customer service.
 

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" camo (they didn't have other colors) gore tex bibs."
Hey, Med!
So you're the other guy who goes duck hunting under sail.(G) Yeah, one of these days I'll replace the old proper bib pants, but the heavyweight genuine GoreTex ones were something like a twist-my-arm $85 from a brand name and for that money, I'll go duck hunting.
 
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