After bragging to OregonMouse how well my Marmot Precip raingear has held up, both the Jacket and Anorak have begun leaking. They lasted a long time...I can remember using the anorak as far back as 2006, and the jacket is slightly older. The anorak wasn't heavily used (mostly just carried), but the jacket has been used a lot. Most of the seam tape is loose on the jacket, and just a few spots on the anorak. The WP/B coating on the fabric seems OK except for a few small spots.
The question is, does it make any sense to try to re-seal them? Anybody done this? I've used both SeamGrip and TentSure on other items, but not clothing. Anything better?
Although the Marmot stuff is fairly light, I'd like to have one of the new ultralight rain jackets, but of course cost is a factor, and most of them get a lot of bad reviews, mostly indicating that they're only suitable for light or brief rain. The Montbell Versalite looks good, but $200 is a bit steep. The Lightheart Gear silnylon jacket seems like an option, but not breathable at all, though it has pit zips.
Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everybody else. -Margaret Mead
If the seam tape is coming loose, I'm not sure if the jacket can be saved. (It may be possible to re-attach the tape; I just don't know.) If it can't, you'll get your wish to try one of the new jackets.
Beyond that, it seems to be a question of cost/benefit: will the time and money you save extend the life of the jacket enough to be worth it? There comes a point where, no matter how great it has been, it deserves to be retired. (Just today, I retired the 3 or 4 year-old OR Helium jacket I'd been using to become my everyday town rainjacket, and the 10 or 12 year-old Patagonia I-forget-name-but-it's-H2No-fabric that had been my everyday town jacket will now become my golf jacket.)
Regarding its replacement: I happily used my Patagonia jacket for backpacking for 5 or 6 years until I was lured by a 6 ounce weight savings into springing for the OR Helium (Pertex) when it came out. It worked just fine in light, intermittent rain. However, in prolonged rain or heavy rain, I always ended up wetter than I did in the Patagonia. I could never find a leak, but I wasn't moving around enough to attribute it all to perspiration. When I replaced it today, I chose the Patagonia Torrentshell (the successor to whatever the name of mine was), even though it put 4 ounces back into my pack. Function always trumps weight - a 6-ounce rain jacket that doesn't really keep you dry is a much worse choice than a 10-ounce jacket that does, even for an ultralight hiker!
Loc: Kitsap Peninsula, WA
Bill, I have had both brands you mentioned. The Marmot got worn out around the neck and I resealed it with seam sealer. But it was really looking ratty after all those years of use so I got a new Patagonia NO2 and that has been very nice under many conditions. However at 13.7 ounces I replace it with my Frogs Toggs rain jacket if the chance of rain is extremely low. It works just fine too (and is about 7 ounces)but they are not durable and you can ruin one in just one day of bushwhacking.
For the price of seam sealer I would repair the Marmot and try it out. If nothing else, keep it as a spare in the trunk of your car. Jim
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
You will want to match the sealer to the type of raingear. I had jacket that leaked near the back neck from day one. It had a coating other than silicone, so I used common cheap tent sealer on that area, then used the jacket for years. WPB items often can be refreshed by washing and retreating properly. I have had good luck with Atsko products, following the directions carefully.