A waterproof membrane from Mountain Hardwear.

This membrane does the same thing as the more known Gore Tex membrane, but works in a fundamentally different way: it utilises hydrophilic and hydrophobic molecules. A hydrophilic molecule attracts water, and a hydrophobic molecule pushes it away.

These molecules are interconnected so that moist and vapour will be drawn away from your body. This process accelerates as the moisture content rises inside the garment -- the more you sweat, the more moisture it transports!

There exists two different types of Conduit shells:

  • 2-ply: in a 2-ply shell, the membrane is laminated onto an outer shell, and an inner mesh hangs loose to protect the mebrane, which is otherwise unprotected.
  • 3-ply: in a 3-ply shell, the membrane is laminated onto an outer shell and an inner protective lining. If the inner lining gets moist (ie. from sweat), it can freeze, this is usually only a problem when you're high up in the mountains.

The Conduit membrane is slightly cheaper than Gore Tex, but both membranes are 100% waterproof. Since the Conduit membrane transports more moisture as your activity level increases, it just might be your choice.

See also: Gore-Tex, Dermizax.