View Full Version : Question on Ventile
I have read a lot about this wonderful fabric, and really want to get a ventile jacket.
I have a good set of "high-tech" gear including Gore-Tex rain gear and other military based kit. I have spent a lot of money on other items in the past, but for my Woodsbum trips as my friends and I call out "Bushcraft" adventures on weekends, I have been trying to go with more traditional "basic" gear. I am tired of looking like a military-surplus-commando-reject while in the woods.
My only concern is the price. I don't mind spending the money on a great piece of kit, but the jacket I have been wanting is about $400. That is a lot of cash for one piece of gear. Is it really worth it? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Link to the Jacket I want.
Thereís quite a few members on here that have purchased Ventile clothing, got bespoke ones made for themselves or have made heir own.
Obviously if youíve got someone that can sew you can make your own and that works out considerably cheaper, thereís a lot of members can help out with information and tips on that.
Thereís also a few companies that make them for sale off the rack or to your personal specifications, such as West Winds (http://www.west-winds.co.uk/), Snowsled (http://www.snowsled.com/clothing/index.htm) and Slioch (http://www.slioch.co.uk/range.html).
The Bison is a good bit of kit and if you go with that Roger will look after you, no doubts about that. Itís worth having a look online though, thereís lots of Ventile clothing out there now and itís not as hard to make one, I know that Hoodoo has just ordered Ventile fabric from the UK to do just that.
As for it being really worth it, thatís up to you. Itís generally excepted that it will way outlast your goretex clothing, itís tougher, easier to look after, breathable, much more fire resistant, easier to repair etc etcÖ..It can get heavier when wet, some of them can get a bit stiff as well, although I donít know many people that mind these negatives compared to the positives.
Itís a bit of kit to last. I was out a week ago overnight with a mate of mine and he was telling me that heís got his fathers Ventile Jacket, itís getting a bit thin in places but itís over 40 years old and his father wore it all the time before it was passed on to him.
Hope that all helps, there are loads of people on here that know more about Ventile than me, theyíll have more advice.
Good luck with the hunt
First off single layer ventile is not waterproof. It will shed water for some time but then it starts soak in. The ventile will then swell and become stiff, at this stage it will stop any more water coming through but it will be wet inside.
I have a Snowsled Classic Smock I use this all year round. In the summer I wear it as a shirt with nothing underneath. In the winter I use it as a wind proof shell over as many layers as is needed. I even wear my Swanndri Bushshirt under it.
When it is tipping down with rain I wear a light nylon poncho over the top.
Good points martin.
Matt, have a look at Stuarts http://www.bushcraftuk.com/community/showthread.php?p=135313#post13 5313
looks like a good smock to me, but if its worth the money.... perhaps if you have so much you dont know how to get rid of it ;) 230pounds is a lot of money...
so, lets DIY!!!! cheap, and you can make what you wish.... (with a little help from your wife, or mother in my case :) )
Im planning to make(with mom :D ) my own jacket of ventile like stuart :You_Rock_
so perhaps Im ask a question in your thread....but what to do, to make your singlelayerventile waterproof?? do you need some kind a liner???
I agree with all of the points you guys have said, especially Tony. Man, you're right on the money!
And so I re-iterate:
It'll outlast your Goretex, and probably your youth. I was given a double later Ventile anorak last March, it's almost 40 years old, (so that's twice my age) it's faded, I had to sew up a few rips and tears. But apart from that, it is perfectly useable. It still sheds water beautifully, it's warm, it keeps my dry, and everytime I put it on it makes me think of the crazy history the jackets had.
Single layer is not waterproof. Then again, neither is double layer. Double layer Ventile uses a second layer of the material to stop the wet (and slightly stiff) outer layer from touching your clothes/body. Sadly, you'll get soaked in Ventile eventually. But it takes a good few hours, and it dries surprisingly fast, considering what it's made of! BUT: If you layer yourself properly, that is, a good pair of long johns and a good thermal layer, even if your Ventile soaks through, the rest of you'll say dry. It's sortof like a really expensive, really soft sponge, it only absorbs a certain amount of water. Plus, at the end of the day, you can stand your anorak up in the corner of your tent and play cards with it.
It's tough, amazingly tough. It's the kind of stuff you can roll around in the ground with, take a summit nap on the rocks and not worry about putting holes in your 400 dollar fancy-pantsy expanded polyethblah blah blah gore-tex jacket that'll last 10 years and then start to delaminate. Ask my Dad about that one, the damn thing doesn't even keep him dry any more.
Ventile benefits greatly from a proofing treatment, like Grangers, Storm, or Nikwax. It helps water to bead up a bit more on the outer surface, before it soaks in a wee bit. But that soaking in is the so-called "Ventile action" and it's this darkening and stiffening that kept RAF pilots dry when they ditched in the Arctic Ocean protecting convoys.
Can you tell I love Ventile and hate gore-tex? I'm a complete convert, and only bust out the gore-tex when it's too wet to warrant Ventile. Unfortunately, everytime I wear gore-tex, I end up getting all stuffy inside of it.
PS: If you can't afford Ventile, go ask some old climber type guy who's in his 70's and tells good stories to give you his old anorak. I did! :D
Thanks much all for the responses. This is a very friendly community with a lot of great people. I especially like the lack of pretentiousness that is found on some other forums.
Looks as if I should save the money and do it myself. I actually know how to sew and own a top end sewing machine, so don't really have an excuse. Of course, my birthday is coming up, and perhaps I could enlist the help of my Mother-In-Law to make me a jacket if I purchase the fabric. She teaches Home-Economics and is a wonderful seamstress. I can only sew.
Honestly, I would prefer an Anorak with double layering to a jacket. I have always liked the Anorak design.
Time to shoot an e-mail off to Talbot and ask for some help from them.
I'll keep you all posted.