I possess a (what at times seems) ridiculous variety of technical clothing. Three different hooded shells get used on a regular basis, two different big puffy jackets, three different insulated vests, and a 4′ by 2′ by 8″ rubbermaid bin which is mostly full of various base layers shirt and bottoms. Yet with the exception of some of the older base layers, it all gets used. Different activities and conditions require or at least lend themselves to very different ensembles. Technical clothing is an area so prone to gear sluttery precisely because of the many practical reasons for owning a pile of stuff.
The truly persnickety build and modify their own clothing, as stock stuff so rarely fulfills the predilections of the obsessed. Sewing stuff from scratch is really hard, at least for someone so undisposed to mind fine details as me, but sometimes it is worthwhile. For instance, the vest I made today.
It is entirely made from Pertex Equilibrium, as I have plenty left over from my anorak (which has been rendered mostly useless by my Essenshell). It is very remarkable fabric, which ought to lend itself well to a layer designed to provide some extra wind and precip protection with minimal impingement on breathability.
BPL has discussed the technical reasons in depth, so I’ll let it go by saying Equilibium combined impressive breathability with impressive wind resistance, seemingly bending the direct inverse relationship the two normally have. It doesn’t seem to have impressive water shedding abilities (though that may largely be due to the lack of any DWR treatment on my fabric, then again, DWR works against breathability), and thus seems to be especially suited as a winter shell for human powered endeavors. I imagine this jacket would be great for BC skiing.
I’m skeptical about my ability to leave a Goretex shell home for trips this spring and summer, and am hoping that capilene, this vest, and the Gore will get the job done. Time will tell.