Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by puzzledgrunt, May 2, 2007.

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  1. First post, so be nice...

    Does anyone have experience with Ventile? What's it like in comparison with Gore-Tex?
  2. Ventile is just a dense-weave cotton fabric, similar or identical to gabardine. It was the sort of stuff used in mountaineering smocks before the 1960s. Its ok for a wind-proof jacket of some kind, but it is not waterproof in any way. Now that you can get modern "soft" goretex that resembles cotton cloth, there is really no point in buying a ventile smock or similar.
  3. had a ventile sas smock in the 80s did keep the water off surprisingly well unfortunatly did'nt hold dye so well and ended up an attractive stone
    wash look.
    not sure if anybody still makes dpm ventile will be very expensive is waterproof though they make immersion suits out of the stuff.probably more suitable for military use than soft shell style fabrics which arn't really squaddie proof :(
  4. [​IMG]

    Still available from SASS, very old school and wysiwyg, but comfy and practical within certain limitations.
  5. My SASS kit one is great OG ventile like the one shown above but with a button front instead of velcro. Not 100% waterproof but more than showerproof. I think Goretex is overated. As soon as it's wet you get condensation on the inside anyway and I find it's too uncomfortable for warm weather. The Ventile jacket is closer to being "all-weather".
  6. Gore Tex turns to vinyl in very low temperatures and will tear very easily. I bought an SASS OG Ventile smock for an Arctic Expedition and had no complaints. I don't know about the waterproof qualities but I've read that double layer Ventile is waterproof as the fibres swell when wet, a single layer would therefore allow some transfer. It's comfortable to wear and superior even to the old SAS/Arctic smock gaberdine fabric. As it has a slight sheen snow and light rain will roll or brush off without soaking in. RAF immersion suits were made from ventile in WWII.

    Silvermans have DPM Ventile smocks at about £200, just don't cry when you encounter barbed wire the first time you wear it....
  7. RAF immersion suits are still made from Ventile and are totally waterproof because they have two layers. Lady Macbeth is quite right.

    I have a single layer smock that gets wet on the inside when it rains hard, but it keeps the worst off. The great thing about it is that it is totally windproof. It is also very comfortable and quiet.

    If yopu want to know more, look here:
  8. The key to Ventile - which is pre-WW2 technology, incidentally, but v. v. good - is the way the close, tight weave expands on wetting, and "locks" to exclude moisture.

    It has some drawbacks, being totally lacking in inherent warmth ('cos it's cotton), prone to fraying with abrasion, and some stiffnesst when very wet.

    But it is magnificent stuff, and so long as it's available, I forget about GoreTex, which is pi55-poor and fails suddenly and dramatically.

    Ventile can be patched, cut, sewn etc. V. adaptable indeed!
  9. The down side is when wet it will wick all the warmth from you as it tries to dry itself out.

    I also found that it would get wet and then take bloody ages to dry, when other 'normal' SAS smocks were dry my ventile one (from the old Survival Aids shop in Euston) would still be cold and damp.
  10. Quite correct.

    I forgot to add that.

    But, within its limitations, ventile is pretty amazing stuff, and far preferable to goretex, IMHO.
  11. The other thing about Gore-tex is that it is a laminate. In other words, the breathable membrane is sandwiched between two layers of material. Another drawback was that it rustled, and because of this we always wore it under our smocks. This also helped to protect it from getting snagged.

    SLR (Not to be confused with SLR Boy).
  12. The old Blacks Jacket (Mountain Smock or Jacket) in ventile was a great bit of kit, (in the 70's and 80's) then goretex came along.
    Nowadays if you want the best go for a paramo system. It is streets ahead of anything else by far. I should be selling the stuff !
    Goretex doesn't breathe in most situations, paramo works and breathes in all situations. It works like animal fur pumping water outwards. Once you've worn this on the hill you won't wear anything else.
  13. Is ventile the same as cotton gaberdine? I had a ventile (or was it cotton gaberdine?) arctic smock in the 80s as a cadet and I loved it. It was waterproof to quite a large degree, and the upper torso and shoulders was double layered so the water stayed there and did not transfer onto you unless it was really chucking it down. I really loved that smock, as it was comfortable in all weathers. When I left cadets I sold it for £too cheap to a CTT Sgt (Whose probably still wearing it?)

    If SASS still make them, I'd like one in OG for shooting.
  14. Ventile is better than gaberdine, still cotton but from the very top end of the crop. 'Phone Paul on 01524 64204 and ask him if he's got any Ventile left. He'll make you a smock in any of his standard patterns with all the usaul optioanl extras.

    I think the cadet smock you're talking about was a proofed cotton. I remember those, they got better the longer you had them.
  15. You'll recall I was wearing my OG one at the ARRSE shoot.