oddly enough, this past summer has been somewhat light on the precipitation front. that's not an oft-repeated statement that finds much favour on the west coast of scotland. though summers here are rarely arid, more often than not rainy days constitute a frequent array of punctuation midst sun, sea and sand. such a situation as has been experienced this year is most certainly nothing about which to complain. yes, there has been rain, often in quite large quantities, but favourably, it's often done its worst during the hours of darkness, when i have been cosily tucked up in my bed and certainly not even thinking of being out and about on my bicycle.
it is, of course, the garment reviewer's curse. on more occasions than i'd care to recount, a period of dessicated climate has followed the arrival of waterproof apparel destined for review in these very pixels. it is something of a double-edged sword; my office colleagues have pestered me to request even more waterproofs in order to prolong the shiny stuff as long as possible. with regard to the garment currently under discussion, i had cause to contact hilltrek on two separate occasions to apologise for the dearth of review paragraphs, but considering its position in the community as a bona-fide waterproof jacket, simply wearing it in less than a downpour seemed an ultimately pointless exercise. nobody buys one of these to simply look good in costa coffee.
this situation dragged on a tad longer than expected (when you take my location into account), eventually engendering a review in consideration of its fabric, constitution and general fit. but despite a weather predicament we might reasonably apportion to that of climate change, there has since been at least one or two (or more) situations in which i have managed to achieve at least a partial drenching. well, ok, i got thoroughly soaked.
only, the implication of that last sentence is somewhat skew-wiff. yes, i had rain pouring out the vents on my shoes and my cycling denims took more than just a few hours to dry on the bathroom clothes-horse. but the hilltrek jacket, in all its bright orangeness, remained impressivley dry on the interior. in fact, on one occasion, having forgotten to remove my ipod from the upper-left front pocket, despite rain of a fervent nature, its demeanour remained unsullied by even a hint of precipitation and i could still listen to my buddy rich and louie bellson albums.
the relative shortness of the sleeves still remains a minor quibble, though as explained in my initial review, it's possible to request extra length at the point of ordering (which, i believe, my friend jack thurston had the perspicacity so to do). however, the incessant baubling of water droplets about its person, even in the face of a summer breeze (a little hebridean humour there) and persistent rain remains a source of juvenile joy.
ventile as a fabric, consists of very tightly woven cotton threads which expand when wet, thus restraining rain from entering, but allowing perspiration to escape. however, as with pretty much every waterproof breathable jacket on the market, it doesn't breathe quite as quickly as a straining cyclist can. this particular jacket features double ventile; it constitutes both the external face and that of the internal lining, a factor that doubtless mitigates against the ease of breathability, but is doubtless responsible for a level of waterproofing that's pretty much in a wardrobe all of its own. in truth, assuming circimstances allow, the hilltrek is best worn in conjunction with waterproof trousers, for its aversion to precipitation predicates a minor waterfall heading towards your knees.
the lack of an applied durable water repellency (dwr) coating results in a stiffening of the fabric when fending off the worst of the elements. this is a notable alteration in the state of garmentage to be sure, but not one that would give any cause for major concern. there is a point at which the ventile reaches peak repellency and thus stiffness in the face of adversity, but a point that is not really of major concern to the thus-dressed cyclist. once again, i must reiterate my query as to why this material is not found more often in cycle-related apparel?
though we are but a matter of weeks distant from the end of british summer time, the temperature has yet to trouble the lower digits of the thermometer. as such, i am reluctant to categorise this as my final word on the subject. should i find myself in the chilly eye of the hurricane, so to speak, while clad in bright orange, i reserve the right to wax lyrical once more at a later date.
tuesday 11 october 2016..........................................................................................................................................................................................................