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REI's Peak waterproof/breathable membrane

Hi, do you have any technical information about your proprietary Peak membrane?  And how does it compare to your Elements product, as well some other popular products out on the market?  I am considering purchasing a Heliovale jacket, but I don't have any experience with the Peak membrane.  My experiences with Elements have not been entirely positive.  Thank you.

2 Replies

I will take the silence from REI to mean that this is a question that does not have an easy answer.  Well, I went ahead and purchased the Heliovale anyway (since I didn't want to miss the sale price), but I returned it yesterday, as I still don't know if Peak is just Elements renamed.  

Knowing this is important to me because I have had 3 jackets with Elements fail.  In two instances, the Elements membrane de-laminated and tore.  In the other case, the shoulder seams must have failed because I would consistently get wet in the shoulder area.  

In the end, I went with the Eddie Bauer All-Mountain Stretch jacket.  This solved my need to have a medium-weight rain jacket.  In fact, either jacket, the Heliovale or the EB jacket fit my requirements.  But the availability of some technical data, as well as the better return/exchange policy makes EB products the safer choice.  


@TMK apologies for the delayed response; we were working with our Co-op Brands team to try to provide you with a detailed description of the difference between the 2 technologies. Although it sounds like you've found another jacket, here are a few things you might consider for the future:

  1. Because you have been disappointed with the Elements technology, we would probably recommend stepping up into a 3-layer technology as a 3-layer is more robust than both a 2 and 2.5-layer (which Peak and Elements are) - you can read more here if you're interested! Here is an example of 3-layer waterproof jacket from REI.
  2. Sometimes when we see the insides of waterproof jackets delaminate, it can be an indication that the jacket hasn't been washed frequently enough (or has experienced a lot of abrasion). Shoulders and the back of the neck are typical places where we'll see this kind of wear. Many folks don't know that waterproof membranes need to be washed, typically every 3-6 months (depending on wear) because (a) the inside the jacket can break down with ongoing exposure to the oils in our skin, (b) the breathable membrane can get a bit 'clogged' and (c) the outer layer can lose its DWR. Here's a helpful article on how to best care for a waterproof jacket!

Again, apologies for the delayed response and hope some of this information is helpful in the future!

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