Sunday, 3 January 2010

Waterproof outer layers

Time for me to drop a line about some of the clothing I wear.For years I've tried various types of fishing clothing .While some were good, some were not so good. Because of this, I decided to try mountaineering clothing ,as I figured everything must be fit for purpose. If the product is suitable for use when trekking in the alps or when hanging off the side of a mountain ,it has to be suitable for fishing!

First off i am going to give a brief overview of some of the more popular jackets on the market from some of the more basic models, to what i am currently using and the top of the range all singing all dancing "changabang"

Berghaus RG1

RRP: £70

This jacket uses Berghaus aqua foil fabric, this is a lightweight fabric used in the basic ranges of Berghaus outer layers, the fabric is breathable and offers good Waterproofing. Aqua foil is made up from two layers with the outer layer coated with polyurethane.
The jacket if very basic though it is very popular for Occasional hill walking.
The pockets of the jacket are a reasonable size, although the zips feel very cheap and are not at all water proofed but do have a storm flap over them to try and prevent any
Water entering the pockets, although a bit of water will stray into them.
The main zip on the front is also not waterproofed ,but does have a double storm flap.This should give a reasonable level of protection, but the water could still soak through in hard rain.
It is of medium length and just comes down over the bottom of the back .This is useful for fishing as it can be used with waders or waterproof leggings to offer a wide range of use with little restriction.
The hood is comfortable to wear although it has no peak to it. When not in use it can be stored away in the collar.

The North face Mountain guide jacket

RRP £250

This is a far more substantial jacket designed for Mountaineering the jacket is constructed from Gore Tex performance shell .This is more substantial as is water resistant. Performance shell is far more versatile than other fabrics and is designed to be used in many different sports . It is available in 2 and 3 layer constructions. The 3 layers are for use in more rugged conditions, and ideal for fishing.
This jacket is very popular for mountain walking and has been used for many different expeditions.
This jacket has far more features than the berghaus one as well
Some of these include ;
• Adjustable Brim
• Tricot lined collar for extra comfort
• Adjustable elaticated hem
• Internal zip pocket.
All of the zips on this jacket are waterproofed to give them extra protection from the elements and stop your items getting wet, this helps to stop the saltwater from corroding the zips, although you still need to keep them lubricated.
Another great feature of this jacket is that it has a large number of pockets. This is good for the fishing also, as it offers a lot of storage for items needed.
One problem I have with this is "The north face." This brand has now become very commercialised, with many of their garments are designed for style, rather than performance!
This comes with a huge price tag, which is very unnecessary, when compared with mountain equipment models which are as good as, if not better than this.

Mammut Convey jacket

£160 (Cotswold outdoor)

This jacket is constructed from Gore– Tex paclite shell ,so that it can fit into even the smallest rucksack. Once constructed, this jacket will go through very rigorous wet weather conditions.
This material is constructed from 3 layers. The outer layer being constructed from a polyester and nylon composite ,the middle Gore Tex layer is coated with an oil retardant coating, to try to prevent the pores from being blocked and the inside layer is then a protective layer, to protect the Gore Tex layer from any dirt.
Like the RG1 this is a very simple jacket, but is constructed with very good quality materials and high quality taped seams.
The features of this jacket are also very simple, keeping zips and fastenings to a minimum. This would be good for fishing, as these are often the things that fail first on a jacket used in or near salt water.
The hood of the jacket has a roll away design so that it can be stored inside the collar when not in use.
Another feature of this jacket is the Velcro adjustable cuffs allowing for them to be adjusted to the size of the wrists of the user. Also it has an elastic
adjustable hem around the waist to tighten it to the size of the user and reduce wind/rain coming in from the bottom of the jacket.
This jacket is very versatile and is recommended for mountaineering and hiking in some of the world's harshest places.

Mountain equipment Pro Lite

RRP £180

This jacket is constructed with Gore Tex pro-shell this fabric is extremely breathable,most waterproof and
windproof fabric in the Gore Tex range. Like the performance shell the fabric is available in 2 and 3 layer with 3 layer being for more extreme use,
It has extremely tear and abrasion resistant which is very useful for fishing and scrambling over rocks and the like.
Again like the last jacket, it has very simple features with 2 pockets on the front. These both have polyurethane coated zips, to ensure that the contents stay completely dry. These pockets are a very reasonable size, big enough to fit an
ordinance survey map in them. I find it very useful to have large pockets for fishing allowing having objects to hand, reducing the need to go into my rucksack as often.
The only fault l could say with these pockets are that they zips do not work particularly well after time when subjected to salt water .To prevent them from corroding, I always wash mine off with fresh water after every session, and smear them with Vaseline.
This is a shorter length jacket which is excellent for use with chest waders, or for just keeping you dry in a quick Downpour!
Another good feature of this jacket is the adjustment
toggles with elasticised cords. This helps to adjust the hood, so that it fits very well to the head ,ensuring that it doesn't blow off in a gust of wind.
When not in use this jacket will roll up to fit in any small rucksack or pouch. This is excellent for fishing, as it is good to travel as light as possible!
The main front zip of this jacket has a storm flap over the top of it, with a popper at each end to secure it in place.

This is the jacket l am currently using and it has never let me down! I have used it when wading out into surf, and also when fishing from rocks. This jacket really has been brilliant, and has kept me dry, ln what ever conditions mother nature has thrown at me!
The jacket is extremely light and will fold up into the smallest pack. Although not made for warmth, when used with a decent layering system, it is very effective.

And now the Holy Grail of all waterproofs!!

Mountain Equipment Changabang

This I believe really is the ultimate in all waterproof outers,originally designed and developed by Andy cave (the first man to ascend Changabang) it has every feature you could ever wish for

made of 3 layer Gore-Tex pro shell its light, tough and watertight!

The main problem I find with most fishing jackets, is the amount of features included that you will never actually use! The changabang though is not like this. It has everything you could possibly want, but that's it! no more no less. There are plenty of pockets to put everything in that you could need. I think my favorite feature of all, is the elasticated skirt inside. When used with chest waders, this will help to stop any splashes from going up inside the jacket, yet will not restrict your movement, though if not needed this can also be removed.This really is an awesome piece of kit!
I think I will definately need to invest in one very soon!


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  2. Hi Andy,

    Some very nice info on here Andy.
    marvelous blog as well.

    Regards from Holland, Harold.