Just reporting back following the Shopping Basket blog. Birthday vouchers spent plus a happy hour of trying on in Evans Cycles Bristol on Saturday.
Glad I didn’t order on line. The purple rainproof jacket I fancied wasn’t well made – lots of seams with loose threads hanging out here and there as if, under the stress of a few misplaced raindrops, it might all fall apart (it definitely would if that was my sewing!)
The Gore clothing was stupidly expensive, but as stupidly expensive things have an annoying habit of doing, fitted extremely well and the bright pink fitted waterproof which was light as a feather, had good length at the back and vertical reflective piping, was about £70 more than I had to spend. It would also pack up in a very neat little parcel – there was just the awkwardness of the extra £70 not being really justified…although it was very nice indeed and probably would last really well, as my other Gore jacket has lasted.. anyway, I didn’t buy it.
The waterproofs really varied in quality. Some weren’t cut very nicely – like wearing a bag which was longer at the back than the front. Some of the waterproofs were crunchy, like the first ever proper waterproof (by that I mean non-Peter Storm. Remember those?Whatever the weather you get wetter on the inside than on the outside?) I bought. It was years ago when Gortex was a baby. I got it for birdwatching but as I moved around the undergrowth of the woodland with all due stealth, it was the constant crunch and crackle of my waterproof that gave me away. Every living creature scuttled away for cover.
I had waterproof trousers to match (you can never have too much of a bad thing) and on a long walk in the Scottish Highlands in the drizzle, accompanied by happy clouds of midges, you couldn’t hear yourself speak above the crackling and rustle-rustle of the trousers. Grouse across the glen would take flight and herds of red deer two miles away would look up from their grazing and pelt off over the mountainside. I never did have strong enough binoculars to overcome the practical difficulties of my wet weather gear.
Of course, wet weather clothing technology has moved on. Every label you read claims different technical specifications – the most impressive ones run to half a dozen different cardboard labels covered in specifications.
This is the jacket that I got http://www.evanscycles.com/products/altura/sirius-plus-womens-jacket-ec025045?query=altura%20sirius%20plus
It has plenty of labels – a four-pager and an extra label. I couldn’t accept a jacket without some kind of technogibberish. It’s made of “highly breathable React extreme fabric.”
React fabric, the labels tell me over and over again, is engineered to quickly disperse (split infinitives are forgiven in such extreme circumstances) and take sweat away. Sweat. Honestly! What happened to ladies only glowing? Also, there should have been a full stop after that and a new sentence to read All React fabrics ensure comfort no matter how hard you work but in extremis, it seems the only thing that suffers is punctuation.
It goes on to say that React Extreme three layer fabric is rated at an amazing 30,000G/M2(the little two up high as in ‘squared’)/24Hr making it one of the most breathable waterproof fabrics available. There’s a little asterix next to the statistics and an explanation at the base of the label: Test method: JisB-1 inverted cup.
Eeew. “Inverted cup” sounded quite uncomfortable but I checked, it looks something like this http://www.asfgroup.com/pages/invert_cup.html
So it’s probably going to do the job of keeping me dry while I’m pedalling through rain and tumult much more effectively than a Peter Storm.
Oh and I got this Fox jersey http://www.evanscycles.com/products/fox-clothing/womens-gaia-short-sleeve-jersey-ec027147?query=%20fox%20%20jersey
Of course, having a new waterproof jacket ensured that the 12 hour rainstorm predicted by the Met Office for Gloucestershire today didn’t happen.
This could be the beginning of a drought. My new raincoat started the Great Drought of summer 1976. I do hope not. I’m so looking forward to cycling along in my new jacket pulling 30,000G.