|I’ve been dropping hints about this for months now… finally I can show you the first prototype Cioch Liner Jacket.|
Neil and Helen at Cioch may decide to call it something different if they ever decide to put it into production but at the moment “Liner Jacket” seems the most appropriate name. And since I “designed” it, that is what I’ll call it.
|Well, I say I designed it, but it’s so simple that’s probably over-stating it. Helen and Neil also came up with some great tweaks particularly to the hood.|
As you may have noticed, we both really enjoyed using the Glamaigs during the winter. I was not looking forward to going back to my eVent shell for the summer. Impressively breathable though it is. So I started wondering about how I could reduce the weight of the Paramo fabric based system even more.
|A Paramo fabric based jacket is made of two fundamental parts; the outer and the pump-liner. The outer is there partly as a windproof but critically, it is there to slow raindrops down.
If they hit the pump-liner at terminal velocity, they explode through it. Making you wet. But it struck me that I carry something just like that anyway during the summer; my Montane Litespeed jacket. Importantly, the Litespeed has a hood.
So surely, I thought, all you need is a pump liner on its own that you can wear under the Litespeed when it rains?
The answer is a resounding – yes!
|You can see the design in the pictures. Bear in mind these were taken in a very stiff breeze so the material is rippling and plastered to me in places. (I am trying to do my best Eddy Meechan impression, but I haven’t got the eyes… the eyes…)
Helen has come up with a good face panel that I’d not thought of. There are poppers instead of a zip and short sleeves to save weight.
I’m reserving final judgement on the short sleeves. They do save weight and I have only had one, brief couple of minutes when I had cold arms. And although wearing a micro-fleece under it meant the arms of the fleece got wet they were still warm and dried quickly. This is for summer use after all.
The only thing I’d change is the Velcro Omni Tape (they now seem to have re-branded it Anti Snag) volume adjuster at the back of the hood (Cioch don’t use Omni Tape – I supplied that to them). It should be vertical along the centre line of the head, allowing as much or as little of it to be overlapped as required to change the volume of the hood, but we got our wires a little crossed. But the hood fits so well I’m not convinced that it even needs a volume adjuster.
|Price on application (to Cioch not me) but Neil reckons a maximum of £80.
Weight is excellent at 252gms, bear in mind I’m not small. The event Rab Drilium that it replaces is 353gms. But for a full waterproof you also need the Litespeed: 186gms. Making a total of 438gms for the Liner + Litespeed.
But of course I’d be carrying the Litespeed anyway. It’s too versatile during the summer not to.
So that’s a total of 539gms for the Drilium + Litespeed. Meaning an overall weight saving using the Liner Jacket of 101gms.
|But the weight isn’t the main point for me. In fact I may even have considered carrying this if it worked out heavier. It being lighter is just a big bonus.
The main point is the supreme breathability.
I’ve tried it in very warm conditions in late June during wet weather mixed with bright, hot sunny intervals and I found that it had my hoped-for massive comfort range. I would have been throwing my eVent jacket on and off regularly but with the liner jacket I hardly had to change at all.
So it might be warmer in a sense, it’s two layers, but they’re thin layers and they are as breathable as a T-shirt. Which means overall, even in summer conditions, you remain comfy.
Is it the perfect summer rain jacket? Well not quite, but as as I’ve said before; there’s no such thing as perfect kit.
|The poppers are a slight fiddle. The fact that you have two jackets to throw on in a downpour is a slight extra faff.
Though of course you’re less likely to be changing clothes so much as I’ve just mentioned.
Probably the worst point is that the hood has no peak. I’ve not had time to think about it in much depth. Maybe it could be given a stiffened brim but that may interfere with the brim of the Litespeed.
So far though I’ve had no problem since during the summer I walk with a Tilley hat (hey if Ryan Jordan and Chris Townsend love theirs who am I to argue?).
|As you can see from the picture, it forms its own brim nicely. Again it’s not perfect, the rain does tend to run around and onto your cheeks.
But for a very, very wet weekend in the Peaks recently it did me fine.
Does it keep me dry? Do I really need to say? Of course it does. Bone dry.
To give you an idea of how much I like it and already trust it, it will be coming to Iceland this week, a very wet place indeed, instead of the eVent jacket.