View Full Version : Perfect Rambling Jacket????

02-16-2005, 09:54 AM
I'm stumped. I have the cabelas bible, the brigadequartermasters catalog. I have the wiggys full listings, and I've been to every store I can find. I can't find it.

I want a shell with a jacket cut. It should be unlined but generously cut to afford layers. Maybe hood, maybe not. All the mountaineering stuff is running tight fitting, the goretex ecr seems noisier than a hunter would want. It's probably too much to ask, but tooth zippers would be better than coil, but they all seem to be going that way. I don't really need a camoflage pattern, but earth tones would be fine.

The function would be a jacket that easily clears a pack belt, reasonably lighweight, reasonably quiet. Something that would serve as a "reasonably" good rainshell in all but the worst downpours, and superior wind protection for use as a winter shell.

Any suggestions of where to look for something that fits this bill would be appreciated. BTW, there was another thread about snugpak jackets. I've looked at them online but don't know what they do or how they work for this scenario. What is the snugpak model that most suits carrying a pack? I'm not thrilled about their bags but maybe their jackets are better?!

02-16-2005, 10:08 AM

I replaced my old homemade green jacket with a Snugpak Airpack model. It's a terrific 4 season mountain jacket. Use as insulator or exterior layer, very light (23 0z in Large), single layer very anatomical "hoodlet", reversable from green to black, water repellant, windproof--all the things needed for an all-round jacket. Pretty quiet too.

02-16-2005, 10:18 AM
I picked up a REI One Jacket yesterday. No hood, but it has promise.

It is not as warm as a Wiggys sweater, but it appears to block wind well. It's reasonably quiet. The hood problem is taken care of with a windproof balaclava. It may prove to be an excellent layering jacket.

I will report to the group as I learn more. Right now, it's the winter experimental stage in town.

02-16-2005, 11:57 AM
I LOVE my Swanndri bush jackets! Hoods, generously cut, wool, tight weave...

02-16-2005, 12:38 PM
I am also a fan of the softshell jackets ala REI One... durable, stretchy, fairly quiet with good wind and rain resistance. Only drawback is usually price--never pay full price, wait for the close-outs. My favorites are the Cloudveil Prospector and Ibex Icefall but there are a lot of similar products out there.

If you want a true shell I would look at Golite\'s (http://www.golite.com/products/prodlist.asp?category=13&type=M) Helios & Ventus or Montane\'s (http://montane.co.uk/products_fastlite_range.htm) Litespeed & Featherlite Velo--all appear to meet your specs (but you will likely need to go up one size in the Montane). Patagonia et al likely make something similar but you will pay more for it.

As for Snugpak, the Airpak appears to be very similar to the Wiggy sweater but with a tuckable hood and more pockets; the Vapour (http://www.snugpak.com/20_outdoors/22_01_vapouractive.htm) might fit your needs if you can find one in the States.

02-16-2005, 01:04 PM
Copper, Im sending you a PM

02-16-2005, 06:53 PM
Did you try http://www.beyondfleece.com ?

they are soft shells custom made to your measurements. to request oversized for layering is easy, you pick from their menu for fabric type, color, pocket placements, hood or not. I have been meaning to ask if they would do a special feature of an extra-tall collar but have been waiting until I had some money saved up.

02-16-2005, 08:22 PM
Try the PCU level 5 jacket from orcind.com. It is made of silicone encapsulated cotton. It is windproof, water resistant and as quiet as regular cotton. It goes about 1.25lbs. Has a stowable hood, bicep pockets, front chest pockets and water proof zippers. Here's the links:


02-16-2005, 08:22 PM

I have a Wiggy's sweater, in shadow grass camo. I looked at kevin's last year, liked it, and got one. Good jacket. A couple of my only complaints is that it fit my torso poorly and the short length left my kidney/lower back drafty when I bent way over or crouched down. I will keep it, but here's another jacket I'm looking at very hard.


This one looks promising, and it's available in green. I will be getting this one and testing it from May through November of this year on numerous rambles. It might be something for you to look at as well.

This may not be exactly what you're looking for, as it's insulated, but I thought you might find it interesting.

02-16-2005, 10:03 PM
Are you sure about the jacket length? Anytime I try to wear one with a pack I either get a cold spot where the jacket rides up above the belt, or it creates a funnel to let ALL the rain run straight into my pants, neither one is a good thing.

I am looking for something that looks like a barn coat. As long as a parka, but without cargo pockets that interfere with a packbelt.

02-16-2005, 10:07 PM
actually, what would be perfect (for me) is an old-style M-65 field jacket made in Epic cotton.

02-17-2005, 07:33 AM
This post picqued my interest and I did a little research on Epic cotton. To be honest I didn't know the stuff existed. Anyway, I found a few manufacturers. One is Rapha (http://www.rapha.cc/products/epic.php) which appears to be British but the website is out of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the Indian Ocean. They're oriented towards cycling wear.

Last Chance Sportswear (http://www.lcsportswear.com/) out of Golden, Colorado make a jeans jacket and a barn coat in Epic cotton. There you go rambler_wannabee. Their site seemed to be down when I tried to access it.

Sportchief (http://www.sportchief.com/en-index.php) out of Quebec, Ontario offer straight Epic gear but the cater to hunters and fishermen.

Supposedly Craghoppers (http://www.craghoppers.com/index.cfm) of England make Epic cotton clothes but all I could find was regular Epic and Event (which is very promising by the way.) Okay, apparently Leckies (http://james.leckies.co.uk/index.htm) has Craghoppers Epic cotton pants.

Finally, at the Nextec site (http://www.nextec.com/locator/apparel.php) there is a list of companies that use Epic. Not all are cotton but some are and Orvis is among them also.

Hope this has been of some use.

02-17-2005, 07:46 AM

Could you give more details on how the Wiggy sweater fit your torso poorly?

Also, not to throw a wrench in the works, but a jacket similar to the ID Dolomitti you might want to look at is the Golite Belay--it appears to be a big improvement over their Coal jacket plus it uses PG Delta rather than Primaloft (the PG is a bit better insulation according to Backpacking Light). Currently on sale at Mountain Gear (http://www.mgear.com/pages/product/product.asp/level1_id/0/level2_id/0/level3_id/0/item/772074) .

02-17-2005, 08:02 AM
Here's the link to the Orvis Amphibious Ranger jacket (http://www.orvis.com/store/product_choice.asp?pf_id=75R0&dir_id=885&group_id= 920&cat_id=5355&subcat_id=6374&feature_id=17) . It's made of Epic cotton and looks fairly nice but no weight is given.

02-17-2005, 08:21 AM
WOW! Thanks for all the help. One day and I have a weeks worth of research! I do have the wiggys sweater which is my primary insulater, so my thoughts are for a shell type jacket to go over it. As for rain down the back, because of a jacket cut; that's ok. The pack belt clearance is more important to me. If the rain is that bad, I would probably go to my froggtoggs.

I'll report back after I have done some more research.


02-17-2005, 09:12 AM
The craghopper pioneer pants are Epic cotton. On the Wiggys sweater. If you don't like the fit check out the Dropzone squeeze me jacket. It's the same lamilite insulation, but has a different design. They do run @ $195 US though. -Ian


02-17-2005, 01:29 PM
that Orvis jacket is just the thing for daily wear, but OUCH, that puts a big dent in the tipi savings fund.

02-17-2005, 02:48 PM
As far as Last Chance Sportswear goes I found this on the web:

Sep 1, 2003 12:00 PM

GOLDEN, Colo. After more than 12 years as a successful consumer apparel brand focused on the outdoor recreation market, Last Chance Sportswear recently announced plans to phase out consumer operations and concentrate its efforts exclusively on the private label and corporate apparel markets. The company will fulfill all Fall 2003 retail orders before ceasing consumer sales.

Guess we won't be getting Epic cotton barn coats from them /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/frown.gif

02-17-2005, 04:20 PM
unless we talk someone in making a Kifaru line of clothing. /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif

02-17-2005, 04:33 PM
Whoa! Rambler, your remark is entirely too coincidental. "Cosmic" as we used to say in my long hair days. Mel and I had a conversation about this very subject earlier today. I can't emphasize enough how preliminary this all is. So don't anyone go coatless waiting on us.

We'll see where this goes...if anywhere. Interesting, very interesting.

02-17-2005, 05:01 PM
/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

02-17-2005, 05:07 PM
Copper, FWIW, I have great luck with the following set up:

Base layer Fishnets

Next layer 100 or 200 weight polarfleece pullover that zips up to my nose.

Next layer , Wiggys sweater, although I would like to see how Wiggys over jacket looks and fits. I think it would overlap my pants a bit and that might be an advantage.

Over all this I wear a DWR treated Nylon Anorak that zips down to about my belly button, and comes to mid thigh. This keeps that cold and rain from creeping in my backside.

If it is really, really cold, I can add a 300 weight polar fleece jacket in place of the 200 weight pullover. I was out to about 10 below this year with the wind blowing a gale and was not the least bit cold and I even layed out in an open pasteur for about an hour to test it alll out.

With this set up I am covered from about 75 above to about 10-20 below. I am completely satisfied with this system as it provides much warmth, is comfortable, lightweight and dries quickly!!

Good Luck Dan

02-17-2005, 06:43 PM
Back in the late 90's, when Willis & Geiger was in business as a mail order company ( Owned by Lands' End, I believe), one of the their last catalogs highlighted some quasi-repro / retro WWII clothing.

One item was very intriguing: A mountain parka said to be modelled on a WWII 10th Mountain Division issue item. It was of a tight wind resistant cotton, numerous pockets. There was a huge side access cargo pocket covering the entire back, said to be large enough for a light sleeping bag (perhaps a modern GI poncho liner, or a Wiggy's outerbag?)

The coolest feature was set of internal shoulder straps, allowing a ski trooper in a hot uphill climb to unzip the front, pull his arms out of the sleeves, and allow the entire parka to hang off his back for ventilation!

I've continued to mull some ideas inspired by that parka..


02-17-2005, 06:50 PM

Maybe the jacket was made of Ventile. "Ventile" is "Ventile cotton," a tough but soft material made from long-staple cotton. Once upon a time it was very common in outdoor clothing. Ventile's chief attributes are its soft hand, windproof quality, and high breathability. It works great in cool-to-cold, dry conditions. It's also fine when it's cold and snowy out. But it works less well when it's raining, for instance. The stuff has good water repellency, but in time it will start to absorb water. When that happens, a jacket made of Ventile quickly becomes a heavy, soggy mess that can take days to dry. West Winds (http://www.west-winds.co.uk/) out of England makes some really nice Ventile stuff. Still think I would go for the Epic cotton anyway.

Patrick, if you build it they will come /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif I'm sure many Kifaru customers and fans would jump on a Kifaru produced Epic cotton jacket.

02-17-2005, 07:22 PM

Here's why I felt the Wiggy's sweater didn't fit as well as I would have liked.

It fit fine in the arms, but it seemed like it was sized too big in the chest. Some room is essential to allow the insulation to properly loft, but what I ended up with was a jacket that fit way too loose in the chest. I am slim, but I do not have a disproportionally small chest. I priced a custom fitted sweater, and the price was way too high. So the compromise I came up with was to order a sweater that was a little short in the arms, but fit well in the chest.

I might also add that I use my Marmot Precip jacket as a rain and snow shell over the Wiggy's sweater when the weather gets real bad. However, most of the time this is not needed in the climate I live and ramble in.

02-18-2005, 08:34 AM
this link shows a NZ swanndri. This one is wool but i am unsure of what weight wool. the old surplus camo one that i have is fairly heavy, but i like the simplicity of design as it performs in a pinch like a poncho only in that is covers a lot of the body, without a lot of seams. It seems to me one of these made in epic or wool/climawool/schoeller or the lighter fabrics.i know that Patrick and Mel have their plates overloaded, but it'll be interesting to see how the message board keeps this up. to me, the swanndri is a design like the kilt (although reading the thread after the Bataan march, i did not want to go there)My swanndri has two chest pockets, but no hip pockets, but zips/buttons up (and the hood is zippered on) Works with a pack and would work great with handwarmer pocket. As i mentioned, mine is an old surplus one, the ones on the web are pullovers and in wool...
food for thought

02-18-2005, 12:49 PM

The reason I asked is because I have wondered on a few occasions about the dimensions of the individual the jacket was intended to fit well... my jacket fits through the chest and shoulders but there seems to be a lot of 'extra jacket' around the midsection. The somewhat odd fit, and the pockets that seem to be an afterthought, are my only complaints though--it is warm, dries quickly, I really like how comfortable the fabric is on bare skin, and the whole thing weighs just a bit over 1.5# stuffed into a small Air Compressor bag. While it ain't stylin' for around town it makes an almost perfect pack jacket for me.

I would be interested in your impressions of the Dolomitti when you get it--I have been looking at hooded coats for winter wear and have it narrowed down to the Dolomitti, Golite Belay, or a down jacket from Feathered Friends... I think Integral Designs makes a better product than Golite but, as stated above, I have some reservations regarding the insulation.

02-18-2005, 12:55 PM
Swanndri is bullet proof. My camo pull over jacket has one chest pocket with a tie at the neck. The extra length of the jacket makes it an excellent choice IMO for backpacking.

02-22-2005, 09:53 AM

I'll definitely post the results on the Dolomitti. As you know, there is NO piece of "perfect" gear, clothing, etc. I think we all search for items that require the least amount of compromise.

02-22-2005, 10:25 AM
I e-mailed sportchief about their Epic jacket and pants. They indicated that they are Epic cotton. They said they come in sage and beige. Their website also shows them in realtree.

I would definitely buy a jacket and pants combo from Patrick. Especially if we had input into the materials and design. Great idea! -Ian

02-23-2005, 09:31 AM
I ahve been looking at the epic stuff since the start of this thread. I like the material and would jump on one for this rambling jacket. For me, I have not found an epic nylon jacket that quite fits into what I have been looking for. When I find one that is made with a good roomy cut and a length just below the waist, I'll go for it.

In the meantime, I think I found a very suitable option that I have not heard on this thread. Perhaps you guys think I'm nuts, but I'm going to give this a try: Filson foul weather jacket. It's made of wax impregnated cover cloth cotton. Because of the wax, it is very water resistant, wind resistant, versatile. It's not the lightest thing out there but it's not exactly heavy. The length is just right, the build construction is right there with kifaru stuff. My theory is that if I couple this with a wiggys sweater (which I love), I have a very rugged, versatile, warm, vapor permeable rig. The immediate turn offs to this (which I have accepted) is that is not as light as epic, and the basis of it's function relies on wax- a material that must be periodically treated to optimize. I think when I find an epic based jacket of this coats cut and form, it will be closer to perfect.


PS: I know that cotton kills but I'm banking on the parrafin wax and the age of the company to figure that this may be an acception to the rule.

02-23-2005, 09:41 AM
Waxed cotton conquered Everest... it takes more care, but it does its job.

FYI Copper, my "project" is coming along nicely

Adam Stevens
02-23-2005, 12:19 PM
try this place they have Epic cotten with nylon and fire proof.
yours Adam

02-23-2005, 12:40 PM
I wore an Aussie waxed (oiled) cotton drover for 10 years or so. the only downside was if you overproofed it the wax would come off on your pack, your truck seat, etc. Not as flame resistant as straight cotton either.

for the most part, epic does the same thing using silicon instead of wax--better durability for more $$.

02-23-2005, 04:35 PM
The flame retardency issue is definatly one for me to keep in mind. And I agree that epic is similar with the silicon; I just have to digress to the fact that I haven't found one in a cut that I like enough.

There is an epic nylon solution in my future but I am going the filson route until it reveals itself. Then the filson can become a good work coat-another thing I have to consider replacing anyway.


02-23-2005, 07:10 PM
Filson makes an excellent coat. I own the venerable Tin cloth packer coat. I keep her well waxed. The only problem is it weighs a ton. If you are horse backing or working outdoors it is excellent but I cannot imagine backpacking with one.
As a side note my shopping list has a Pertex wind shirt on it. It is a packable light weight jacket that can be used along with your current layers.

02-23-2005, 09:11 PM
my only experience with waxed garments is with Barbour, and for what it was built for (UK aka WET weather) it works.. and well. Mine always kept me warm and dry but over-warm if moving too much (in less cold weather than the Brecon Beacons.. /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif ) and they are heavy..I guess a lot depends on where u do your rambling..UK and European areas i have trekked are different than the rockies, for instance, but there are always compromises..

Woods Walker
02-23-2005, 10:23 PM
I like the ECWS stuff. On Ebay you can get one plus paints for about 100 bucks if you look for the deals. I got the whole set in woodland in like new shape for 75 bucks. In desert brand new with tags the set cost me about 170. the jacket has vents in the arms and a great hood. It is Gortex. Great stuff. The jacket comes in at a little over 2 lbs I think. But it is lighter than the wax impregnated cover cloth cotton. I have one of those too however it is not as good as the ECWS.

02-24-2005, 04:11 AM
Maybe because I have worn the thing for years but I think the old M65 field jacket is hard to beat for general outdoor use. It's not the lightest, but has good design for pockets, tuckaway hood and button-in liner. I always salvaged pockets from torn BDU shirts and sewed in inside breast pockets for maps and notebooks. Add sleeve pockets, a cobra hood and make it from a modern fabric and it is pretty good. The drawstring waist allows wearing a packbelt with minimal irritation from bunched fabric.

The new Goretex jacket has a better hood design and a pocket layout allowing access while wearing vests but the exterior fabric is noisier than the old nylon-cotton.

My new(er) EMS Goretex parka is a fairly good melding of design, but The lower pockets are too slanted, even gloves tend to fall out unless they are zipped shut.

A light mild weather jacket I use a lot is an army aviator summer jacket in OD Nomex. It needs inside breast pockets - I'll get around to that before summer - and I added a cut-down GI liner that buttons in. Makes for a comfortable canoeing jacket, the bi-swing back doesn't bind when paddling. I added a few buttons to the liner so it can be worn as a vest. I always have a light rain jacket, so extreme rain-proofing isn't required.

one-eyed Bob
02-28-2005, 05:29 PM
I put the Cabela's Space Rain packable rainwear over my wiggy's sweater. It is very lightweight and works well. You will like it for $59.

02-28-2005, 06:19 PM
ONe-eyed Bob -- Did you use it on your recent hunt in Alaska? If so, how did it work there?

03-02-2005, 08:28 AM
Jerry W. sent me some pictures yesterday of a new parka he will be producing later on this spring. It looks very functional and will have a zip out liner. I don't know much about it's specifications, but it appears longer than his current sweater.

03-02-2005, 08:47 AM
Here's a couple of pic's...




03-02-2005, 10:42 AM
That new Wiggy's jacket looks real interesting. Any idea what the shell fabric is? How heavy it's going to be? Does it have a hood?

As for a lightweight shell, anyone check out the Mountain Hardwear Epic Jacket jacket? Pants also. Don't have colors that would be good for hunting though.

Here's the link:

http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/stores...mberId=12500226 (http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=33049768&memberId=1250022 6)

03-02-2005, 10:48 AM
pintlers- The last picture is of the hood and it's removable liner. I do not know any of the spec's on the parka other than it is made of "poly cotton" and has a new pocket closure feature...any one interested should give Jerry a call as he has all the answers...I just thought it looked neat and fit coppers rambling criteria.

That digital woodland camo is pretty wild...here's a better shot of it...


03-03-2005, 06:36 AM
Jerry sent me these pics, too. I have to get around to calling him and finding out more about the shell materials, etc. It does fit the bill pretty well. Lamilite lining in a jacket cut similar to the m65 field jacket with a stepped-up digicam...not bad at all!

I wonder how much rain it would take before putting on a set of froggtoggs?

03-04-2005, 06:38 AM
Did Jerry say what the price would be on this jacket?

03-04-2005, 07:19 AM
sd- IIRC something like $250 for the parka, $20 for un-insulated hood, $40 for the insulated hood...

Copper- I couldn't tell ya...Jerry said he would NOT be using this fabric for any sort of bivy if that tells you anything.

03-05-2005, 06:50 AM
I remember Jerry saying he would offer them coated for waterproofness and uncoated. -Ian

03-05-2005, 07:43 AM
http://www.patagonia.com/za/PDC?OPTION=P...p;promo_cat_id= (http://www.patagonia.com/za/PDC?OPTION=PRODUCT&merchant_rn=7385&cgrfnbr=366077 &sku=84470&ws=false&promo_cat=&promo_cat_id=)
Patagonia's rain shadow jacket is 13 oz and they have matching pants in a "bog green/loden".
I think it's $149 with $80 for pants.

03-05-2005, 08:21 AM
Can anyone tell if this jacket has pockets for ones hands? I can't seem to manuever the image well enough to see if there are.