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Sunday, October 29. 2017
Here we go again - Winter gear: Waxed cotton vs. Gore-tex
Repost - I guess this is Part 2 or 3 of our Outerwear mini-series, and part of our world-famous Winter Warmth series which we will begin to post in view of the coming Global Cooling Crisis -
The invention of Gore-tex rendered plenty of waterproof and windproof fabrics obsolete - or quaint. For example, rubberized raingear, or waxed cotton or waxed canvas. Gore-tex is much lighter, it breathes, it requires no maintenance, and Gore-tex outerwear is cheaper to produce and can be made with the blaze orange patches which American field hunting (unlike European) requires by law.
Trouble is that waxed cotton jackets, wellies, a dog, and a nice gun look so natural together. It's about fashion to some extent: how many Americans wear their Barbour when brush-busting for grouse or mucking the stall vs. the number that wear theirs to the hardware store, the mall, and their kids' soccer games?
I own a Lewis Creek and an old Browning waxed jacket, but I have plenty of Gore-tex parkas and field gear for various purposes: camo, blaze, parkas, outer-jackets, etc. Gore-tex hunting brush pants, too - insulated and uninsulated (insulated hunting trousers was a waste of $ - all you need is winter underwear of whatever weight you select for the weather of the day).
Despite all the above, I'll just address waxed cotton here despite its impractibility. Gore-tex is great stuff, but it's boring. Waxed cotton has character and Gore Tex is industrial.
Image is the Barbour Beaufort, at Cabelas. Here's the main Barbour site, with all of their stuff.
Orvis has plenty of men's and women's Barbour stuff.
Lewis Creek. Good stuff, distributed from VT but made in Scotland.
LL Bean is doing waxed cotton too.
For true heavy-duty waterproof outerwear, Filson's tin cloth is the ultimate. That waxed canvas is so tough that it stands up by itself after you take it off. In fact, if you died standing in a goose blind or in the woods the tincloth jacket and tincloth trousers would probably still hold you up straight like a scarecrow until a strong winter storm blew you over. Their "shelter cloth" is lighter weight. I have some of the stuff. Its durability:comfort ratio is high. Feels like medieval armor before it warms up and softens a bit.
Remember: Always check Sierra Trading Post first for good deals.
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I have the twin of that Barbour shown. The best hunting and shooting jacket I have ever owned. It is at least 30 years old has been oiled or waxed many times and is as good today as the day I got it. They are practically indestructible with minimal but reasonable care.
Im not sure what a blaze patch is. My jacker is a heaver canvas duck material is the only way I know to describe it with a fairly heavy wool blanket material liner.
The great advantage of the Barbour is the indestructibility. You can sew and patch it if necessary, and rewax it. It is not as waterproof in torrential downpours but it is far more comfortable over a range of temperatures than Goretex, looks better I hate dayglo nylon tho a hunter might find it useful. The Barbour styles are generously cut for easy movement as well as layering, and forgiving of life stage variations in size: can still wear one we got as an engagement present 22 years ago, and cd when pregnant. It also can cover a Dslr when one gets caught in a rain shower, which my fitted Goretex jacket cannot. But being shallow and superficial I mostly like the Barbour because it looks nice and reminds me of youth in the soggy little Isles.
I do wish, however, that they'd change the name, maybe to Reagantex, or Bushtex, or whatever. Just not "Gore"tex...
I'm glad you added Filson because I have a Filson jacket I've had for a while. Love it. I also have a Drover coat (also called a Duster) made in Australia that one of my Aussie buddies gave me a few years ago - I wear that one a lot.
Can't beat Gore-Tex raingear though for the boats - don't have to worry about storage.
For my money Cabela's can't be beat. It doesn't hurt to have a Cabela's visa card,so all my purchases go to getting free stuff.
My Gore- tex gloves and jacket are the cats meow, as I was pushing 6" of slop today.
BD I think this is day 27 of Maggiegate. That goes way beyond a cooling off period. Don't you think? You can still think, right.
"Please just let things cool down"
"I don't like hassles"
Your quotes BD.
Are you shitting me, or shitting on me?
OK, now you're being an ass. You've somehow managed to go lower than the seventh grade girl silent treatment. Stop avoiding it and address the issue like a man...unless of course you can't.
I wore out a set of Belstaff waxed cotton trousers and jacket working as a motorcycle messenger in NYC. Took about two years. Still have the remnants hanging in my closet.
Since there seems to be a number of commenters here who know a bit about outdoor clothing, perhaps you can help me find some raingear, not a zippered jacket, but a waterproof pullover with a quarter-length zipper. Must have a hood and be light weight so that I can roll it up into a small ball and stuff it into a backpack with my other gear. My main use of it would be for hiking or kayaking, generally in warm areas like Central America, not for winter use. I think they used to call these things anoraks, but no matter how much I've searched on the Web I can't find anything suitable. Any suggestions of brands or on-line sellers?
Try a Google search with that exact phrase - waterproof pullover with quarter-length zipper. I got a ton of results.
I think so. After he invented the internet he did a search for waterproof wear and found it. Since he was a 'founding' father he named it after himself.
Thanks for the Sierra Trading Post tip. Just ordered some boots at a great discount. Hope y’all got a little something when I used your link.
I had a lovely waxed jacket my precious starter wife of 42 years gave me from Orvis. Unfortunately didn't unload all the birds one day last season and left a chukar in the game pouch. Discovered it 2 weeks later. Ugh. Then I compounded the error and laundered the jacket. Thank God the machine survived the dissolved wax, but then I had a simple water-friendly cloth jacket, which Orvis didn't want to re-wax. Now I have a new Filson waxed jacket with the legal blaze patches. ...
I have never seen an ad for a G-tex hunting jacket with cartridge loops and dead game pouch. Different culture, methinks.
" the blaze orange patches which American field hunting (unlike European) requires by law."
Yup. Less lawyers here, less chance of the clothing manufacturer getting sued if someone gets hit by accident in a hunt...
Gore-tex does the job better, doesn't leave me sweaty, machine-washes, and can be found in both cheery ski-lift colors and properly subdued shades indistinguishable from traditional khaki, canvas, or moleskin.
Here in Israel winter ranges from tourist-friendly Mediterranean on the coast to a protracted New England spring in Jerusalem and the mountains.
Since I commute from the hills to the coast each day, Gore-tex shells are my winter mainstay - LLBean, Land's End, whatever we find online.
They protect against the winter rains without making me sweat. Then they fold up into their own front pocket so I don't look like a jerk when the sun comes out in Herzliya (just up the beach from Tel-Aviv).
So bah to your waxed canvas elitism.
The absolute, best, bad weather protection is called 'GMC truck'.
Coffee, chocly bars, tater chips, heater, blanky and a snooze, rain and snow is for eejits.
The best hat I ever had was a waxed British Fedora. I could wear it to a business meeting and not look like I just stepped off the fishing trawler. Not a drop of water got through it and my head didn't sweat. Lovely hat, bought it on a trip to Canada I believe. Lost it in the house fire, I'm sure it burned with a lovely bright light.
Might be "cool" for some, but no one whose life is on the line with their gear uses waxed cotton. Top of the line Arc'Teryx is as tough as they come -though you pay $600 or so for a jacket.
I confess to everyone that I am snob when it comes to my Filson gear, tough does not even begin to describe my tin pants and jacket (which I still wear). I wore the same jacket and coat for many years while sawing timber in snow often armpit deep and I stayed reasonably comfortable in them compared to anything else I tried. I'd snap the jacket shut if the temperature dropped to say -20 degrees below zero and everything but my fingers stayed warm. I can still hear the sizzling sound and the wet dog smell whenever I put my gloved hands on my power saw's muffler
This post is obviously quite dated. Still, as owner/operator of Wildfell (www.wildfell.us), which refurbishes waxed cotton field gear, I prefer the heritage stuff. Yet, as a dedicated upland hunter, I also believe that it is objectively superior to Gore-tex for this application. December partridge hunting in Vermont still entails working up a sweat. Gore-tex may be fine in October, but not this time of year because the colder air temperature prevents one's perspiration from permeating the membrane as a vapor. Instead, it condenses and you chill. Wax cotton, in contrast, remains breathable. What's best, though, is that waxed cotton turns thornapple spikes away like they're daisy petals, and it still works if it does rip or tear provided that it's repaired in a timely manner. If a Gore-tex membrane is punctured, it's finished. In short, waxed cotton is akin to an AK-47. It's not the smoothest or the sexiest, but it always works!
FYI, it looks like Sierra Trading Post has changed ownership or something. I no longer see many 'extra good deals'
All sounds great, but do they work at -30 (in either Celsius or Fahrenheit)?
Re our post yesterday about waxed cotton jackets, I stumbled upon this one which comes with blaze orange patches at L.L. Bean. Darn cheap too. Probably other people also make them. Showing a bit of blaze isn't just for hunters - it makes good precautiona
Tracked: Dec 10, 10:12
I was much taken by this piece by Cousin Birddog on the subject of Barbour jackets & their inferior copies In fact I was so moved by it, yesterday afternoon I did a quick audit of exactly how many we...
Tracked: Dec 14, 01:41