It’s well overdue for some more thoughts on the sublime Waterproof Clothing that finds it’s origins in the Nordics but is equally home in New Zealand.
I have had the VRTBR C7 Pants and Parka for several months now, and much like the Thermal Fleece Layer, every time I put them on, I revel in just how awesome they are. Since the day I first unwrapped the package, waxed paper, wax seal and all, I have marvelled at just how nice hunting clothing can actually be.
Yup. It’s gushy. And, if you are content with the traditional fleece baggies and top, then you might as well just stop reading now.
If you want some background –
VRTBR – Premium Outdoors Clothing from the Nordics.
The VRTBR T2 Base Layer – modern thermals.
I have already talked about the base layer, and will also put something down soon on the Thermal layer, but for now, I want to get up a few more thoughts on the outer, waterproof layer.
I have struggled with waterproof jackets over the years. No matter what I did (or how much I spent) – I always seemed to end up with a jacket that would wet out, or leak, through a few, reoccurring and specific spots.
Hitpoints – eVent DV Alpine
- Woven silent matte face fabric
- Weight for MENS C7 Parka XL: 1206g
- w/b membrane eVent® DV Alpine
- Water column of 20m
- High breathability of 20,000 g/m2
Being eVent, it’s been laboratory tested and has to meet stringent requirements in both the design and fabrication of the garments. As such, it also means that it’s built to a very high standard. And it shows.
I like the cut of the jacket – it’s long, both in the form of the anorak and the arms – in NZ we are quite used to (and tend to prefer) the longer jackets – and this was something that influenced my decision to try out the VRTBR equipment. However, the fact the zipper can be opened from the bottom as well means I can keep the jacket a little open to make access to the pockets etc a bit easier to access.
The zips also allow to open up the entire side of the jacket – perfect for heat management, and a nifty little design feature – the entire jacket can basically be ‘let-out’ meaning you can wear a puffy down jacket under it and not be compressing the insulation, then when you don’t need it, the jacket sinches down, and isn’t a big, billowing tent.
Pockets, pockets, more pockets
The pocket material itself is red, as is the lining of the jacket – a safety/signalling feature should you need it, but the pocket material is also stretchy. This is awesome, in that it keeps everything quiet in the pockets, not hitting together and clinking around while stalking – but I did notice, in the wet, wearing gloves, it cane makes things a little trickier to access and more specifically, put away.
There are plenty of pockets. On the pants, you have thigh and waist front pockets, on the jacket, chest and arms. In the rear is a storage pocket that is designed for gloves, hats and other snivel gear – perfect for drying them out whilst you wander around.
The front Kangaroo pocket integrates with the fleece layer – allowing you to warm your hands in the thermal layer, and, whilst wearing a pack, run the straps through the inside and allow heat to escape still. Smart.
Noise, wear, durability
I haven’t had the gear long enough to report on long-term durability – but – the designers have, and I have seen some rather dirty photos of gear. Dirty meaning it’s been through mud, hills, rivers and so on, and simply washed out at the other end, good to go again. The layered material provides abrasion resistance, and this is beefed up at the knees, seat, shoulders and wear points. eVent (and most breathable membranes) is not the quietest of materials – but the out layer provides a large amount of dampening – making it no noisier than most other clothes. This isn’t a summer bush stalking setup. But, then, of course, it isn’t.
Technical outerwear benefits from regular washing to perform optimally.
In fact, the material manufacturers likely recommend you wash your jackets a lot more than you likely already are. I have heard it suggested that you pretty much was the kit every time you get back from a trip. This doesn’t mean you need to retreat the DWR each time, but clean gear breathes better and will bead water better as well.
Let me know…
I realise this site is now read from people all over the world, but, for those of you living in NZ, please let me know if you would like to try some of this kit out. I know the concerns about ordering site unseen – and have been bit more than once with it. However, I also know that you will appreciate this stuff once you get to try it out – so please – hit me up, and I can try to get something to you for you to check out. Sizing is pretty good – myself being a large in the whole system, but it’s nice to try before you buy.