View Full Version : Gabardine and Ventile
What's the deal with gabardine? How does it compare to Ventile? I've got a Canadian Forces fighter pilot jacket made out of a twill weave gabardine and a pair of gabardine trousers. I know Ventile is 100 percent cotton in an oxford weave, and gabardine is a mix of cotton/nylon or polyester. Both come out of Lancashire, England. It's cheaper than Ventile, I find it keep me extremely dry because the jacket has a pertex nylon liner and I've never been soaked yet. What do you guys think?
I avoid all cotton. Other than that, I have no experience with either.
Here in the UK the SAS, Paras, Marines etc use a smock made of a gabardine like twill. Look on ebay for an example ... usually really cheap 2nd hand.
Although it's cotton, it's double lined. The outer shell absorbs a bit of water then the fibres swell up, effectively becoming waterproof. The inner liner stays dry, the two together are water and wind proof. Gabardine dries quick as well, as all that's needed is for it to become damp. Mine will dry in about 20 minutes, quicker in front of a fire (try that with a nylon shell!!).
The fabric is light and VERY hardwearing. Loads of pockets, get one larger than you're used to, tie the waist string and load up in the inside with all sorts of stuff, spare magazines, food, maps etc. Great place to dump empty magazines in a hurry!!
In the British Army we work on the principal of layering, so a damp outer isn't the end of the world.
I've worn them in Bosnia, Afghanistan, Dartmoor, STANTA, and the Brecons .. great bit of kit.
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