View Full Version : Ventile on the cheap?
I recently saw some used surplus combat trousers on a market stall which were marked up as 'ventile'. It looked like genuine kit and had a label in saying Temperate DPM and something about reproofing. Does anyone have an opinion on whether this is real ventile? I would like to try ventile on the cheap if possible but would prefer olive green to DPM. Is there anything out there in surplus stores worth looking for?
Check on the reproofing blerb, ventile is unproofed as far as I know and should not need proofing.
"Check on the reproofing blerb, ventile is unproofed as far as I know and should not need proofing."
Ventile doesn't exactly need proofing, but the right proofing can help. The wrong proofing will stop the fibres from expanding, which is the action that makes Ventile waterproof. Snowsled supply their Ventile garments pre-proofed with Granger products. After much wear and many washings I have yet to reproof my smock and can't say I've noticed a drop in performance.
As for those trousers, PJ, I would imagine that real Ventile would have a label sewn in saying what it was. Commercial products do, but perhaps military items are different. Were these just marked by the trader as Ventile? If so then I'd be inclined to be dubious.
In 15 years I never cam across Ventile (issue) trousers so I'd be very doubtful.
I would be inclined to agree with Gary, I've never seen "issue" ventile and it would be very unlikely to find temperate clothing made of it. I'm also after a ventile smock/jacket and would like to break away from DPM, worn a bit too much of it over the last 12 years. Any hints or tips gladly received, thanks,
West winds do a good over head smock which isnt too dear - have had mine since god were a lad.
The bison brush craft one is also very good - its a little tight across the shoulders at first but once you wear it it seems to settle ok - and as a plus is based on a sas smock so loads of bulgy pockets.
I have two ventile garments both over ten years old and looking a bit worn, I have altered and adapted both to suit my requirements over the years, and now I have a good idea of exactly what my ideal ventile smock would be like, so I am in the process of making myself a new ventile smock (project for the new year).
This is the cheapest way to get a decent ventile - buy seconds grade ventile (usually very minor flaws), buy a metre extra to allow for this. My pattern is an very battered old arctic windproof, the cut of this is very good for freedom of movement, but the hood design needs to be adapted (better visor, more adjustment), I prefer flat-sewn pockets to the ones on the original. The zip, buttons, drawcords, etc, all will be stripped off the arctic smock.
It will be a single layer garment (dries quicker and does'nt get so warm) though the hood and shoulders will be double. Inside a dozen buttons will accomadate a goretex liner (very quiet to use and the ventile protects the delicate membrane).
Total cost so far - ventile £56 - smock for pattern £7.50 - thread £5 - velcro £3 - goretex liner £12.
Now all I need is the time to make it and I should have a good system for less than £85!!
West Winds are very good but the service is bloody slow.
The trousers you saw were probably artic wind proofs Large buttons on the map pockets and velcro gussets so you could get them over your boots. They're made from Gaberdine which is a windproof material but is not ventile.
You see all sorts of surplus kit offered for sale marked as ventile none of the arctic clothing issued was or is made of ventile. None of the regular combat jackets has ever been made of ventile. The only garments made of ventile on issue within the UK forces are items of aircrew kit like flying jackets or aircrew coveralls.
Lots of surplus gear has a reproofing instructions but it's not only aimed at reproofing against water combat kit supposedly had Infra red reflectivity built into it. Ventile sometimes has a slight proofing given to it which soon wears off a bit like a new Gore Tex jacket.
Hope this helps
I used RAF aircrew clothing for a while few years ago, and as far as I know the only true ventile garment is the winter flying overall worn by fast-jet aircrews operating over cold northern waters. It's a whole body coverall - except the head - designed to keep below-freezing water out so you don’t die of exposure in minutes. The thing is sealed round the neck – always a problem area – and closed up across the body with a very cleverly designed zip. Most people find it pretty uncomfortable to wear and I cannot imagine it being any use whatsoever to anyone doing normal survival/bushcraft activities. Of course, If you’re planning to swim about in the North Sea in January……
As far as I know the fabrics used have not changed in years, so be very wary of any ordinary British military issue clothing described as ventile – I’d doubt it.