/ Ventile jackets - anyone used one?
How about warmth? The jackets look very baggy, so maybe not so good at keeping you warm?
breathability suffers, but ventile dries out quickly, and even when its wet it doesn't feel clammy.
its not a warm garment, but it is a comfortable one even when its wet and cold - its a bit like Buffalo, it seems mental, but it works.
its best in dry/cold environment - like a Afghan winter - where it was just brilliant - but even in a wet/cold environment, like a Falklands winter, it keeps a decent amount of rain/sleet/snow out, and is surprising comfortable.
it can, if kept wet, rot - but thats a couple of weeks with no wind and lots of rain.
I used to use one ice climbing, for which it was great. If it was that vile weather that gets you wettish and then freezes, it did become a bit like a suit of armour. Overall an excellent thing - mine was one of those wonderful old anoraks with a pocket across the chest and a hood that you could cinch up around you neck to keep all the spindrift out. If it's cold and dry - hard to fault really. If it turns nasty then you'll still be OK. Plus it will last forever. Mine went walkabout one year :o(
I've used a single layer Ventile smock for ice climbing and skiing. If you treat them regularly with TX10 they don't do the 'turn to cardboard' thing that people commonly criticise them for.
I made one once, and used it with success in the Alps. They are best in cold dry conditions. I wouldn't recommend on for 'normal' UK use: in rain, they will get soaked.
You can make them to any size/cut you want. If you're talking about ones you've seen currently for sale, then that's another question.
You'll want double ventile for actual waterproofing, cos the inner layer won't get wet when the outer saturates. Single layer makes a really, if heavy, windshell especially if it is below freezing. If you'd like something a bit weirder, Hilltrek do some "Cotton Analogy" gear with ventile outers and paramo inners.
I used to use a double skinned ventile smock in the 1970s, and found it was the driest garment I've ever had in really heavy rain - much better than modern "breathable" jackets. Also very robust and durable - perfect for mountain multi pitch, and warm, even when wet.
The downside, however, was that it was heavy, particularly when wet
Thanks for all the answers, folks, it's much appreciated. I'm tempted to get one. Breathability has got me confused, though. I thought cotton hung on like grim death to moisture?
I understood it worked by being a very very close weave of fine cotton. When it gets wet this cotten swells to make it waterproof but lets vapour out.
I have always found Snowsled very helpful,I bet if you phoned them they'd tell you more. :-)
> ... one of those wonderful old anoraks with a pocket across the chest and a hood that you could cinch up around you neck to keep all the spindrift out. If it's cold and dry - hard to fault really. .
I used one of these in Antarctica last January. It was excellent (and also recommended on bushcrafty forums ;-) )
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