Ventile Smock Hillwalking

Discussion in 'Sports, Adventure Training and Events' started by Border_Reiver, Oct 30, 2010.

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  1. I am thinking of buying a Ventile Smock to be used for hill walking . Has anyone ever had dealings with this Snowsled … linky … . I have used self proofed cotton twill smocks for many years … is Ventile really a much superior option and are its waterproof properties as good as claimed ?
  2. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Ex_Stab swears by the stuff. I never used it but certainly served at the time it was trialled. Keeping it clean was a nightmare as the DPM all went gungy gray!
  3. I have two Snowsled single ventile smocks and I have used them on the hill for years. They are very well-made, very light windshirts, but single ventile is not waterproof by any means - you need double ventile for that, or a ventile outer and something inside it to keep the wet outer layer off you. Snowsled have a sort of fleece they call P9 that they use for this, but it makes the jacket a bit cosy. Snowsled are also a bit pricy. You could check out Home as an alternative.

    Ventile is softer and pleasanter to wear than synthetic waterproofs, but it becomes stiff when it gets wet.

    Since I don't go on the hill in winter, I find that a windshirt over a base layer is fine for most of the day - but I carry Goretex for the rain.
  4. Thanks for that info .... and your response " ugly " concerning cleaning ....I have checked Hilltrek and they are certainly cheaper and I could be tempted by one of their Windshirts . I have always worn kit on the layer principle and I am after something which would offer more protection than my proofed cotton twill smocks . I have a very lightweight single skin Goretex top which I too may carry for a while in my rucsac even if I decide to buy Ventile .
  5. I have a ventile smock in OG that SASS made for me. It's very good but within the limitations that Vasco describes above. It's single skin so isn't completely waterproof. It does fade quite quickly but this just gives a soft weathered appearance which isn't unattractive.

    I'd have another.

    If you are going to be out in torrential rain then goretex is probably better but for general wear and light rain, showers etc or for "dry" snow then it's excellent.

    There are some Royal Navy ventile deck jackets on the market at the moment you might look out for one of those they seem good.

    Be warned that there is a company called Bison Bushcraft who offer a Ventile smock. DO NOT buy one. They don't know how to cut fabric or make clothes so it won't fit round the shoulders. Utter crap, waste of good fabric. I bought one and sent it back. look at the shoulders in this pic to see what I mean: Pic

    Try They might have some ventile left. Snowsled have a very good reputation.
  6. You can see mine (just) in this pic from the M'boto gorge Challenge some years ago. I'm back row, second from right.
  7. Again thanks for response .

    My bold .... this is what has happened to all of my previous cotton smocks and to be honest I look upon this fault / attribute (?) as proof of actual use . I have now sent E Mails for further info from a couple of potential suppliers . I take note of your warning concerning Bison . I had some info concerning SASS from other threads on ARRSE but for hillwalking I am after a red smock to give some level of high visibility and I am sure they do not make smocks in this colour .
  8. It's worth asking SASS as they will sometimes do a special for you and they are very reasonably priced. Anchor Supplies in Ripley had a dayglo orange ripstop C95 jacket in for a while, not sure if they still have it. Worth a phone call. just google them.
  9. Speak to Hilltrek in Aboyne, Scotland...they will make you a made to measure smock in any style you want but they incorporate Analogy Technology from Nikwax/Paramo to make it 100% waterprrof. Really good bits of kit.

    Hilltrek Outdoor Clothing Hilltrek Ventile® Clothing
  10. Thanks .... I have already sent them an E Mail requesting additional info about their products ... so far they are looking one of the better options . Waiting for E Mail responses from a number of potential suppliers to compare options then will probably make a couple of tel calls mid week .
  11. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    Bison Bushcraft - heard something about his chums being called 'Wogers Wangers' rather disparagingly.

    Couldn't comment meself.

    Check out the video on this link
  12. Westwinds do a ventile 'Antarctic Smock/anorak' that is very good. Soldier of Fortune in Chester(?) usually have them in stock too as Westwinds may have stoppped making them. They were made for the British Antarctic Survey but they have moved onto almost exclusively Paramo and ventile has been dropped by them.

    I had several but as they don't get the wear they used to whilst living in Canada, I sold 2 of them on Ebay recently. The are a great bit of kit.

    As has been said, for rain go goretex. You can wash and reproof ventile with Nikwax products quite easily but i have never washed mine as i like the grubby orange look.

    Stay away from the Royal Navy ones. Too heavy, too short, designed for a static role so not good ventilation and lined in a cotton drill that will be a nightmare when it gets wet with sweat. Also WAY too baggy.

  13. X59

    X59 LE

    Bought a 'Westwinds Antarctic (half zip) Smock' from Tamarack Outdoors.

    Top bit of kit.
  14. wedge_cadman

    wedge_cadman War Hero Reviewer Book Reviewer

    I went for the hilltrek double ventile cycling jacket and then had it customised into a smock.. Awesome piece of kit. very pleased with it