Military Clothing (Non Uniform) Page
This section features Military clothing that are not uniforms/BDUs.
As a sizing reference: I'm 5'7", 155 lbs (yeah, I'm a little guy), medium build (BDU top medium/regular, BDU pant medium/short), waist 32", chest 43". Keep this in mind when you read my comments with respect to sizing, so you have an idea of how the garments featured below will fit on you. ALL garments in these pages are size Medium, unless stated otherwise.
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OTTE Gear Super L Windshirt
3/12/10 - OTTE Gear has introduced a new light weight windshirt, called the Super L Windshirt. Designed for blocking wind and shedding light rain, it's a breathable shell that barely takes up any space at all.
The Super L (Light) Windshirt is a super-packable zip-front shell that is cut roomy enough to fit over other garments to provide an additional protection from the weather.
Here's a summary of the features on the Super L Windshirt, size medium in Crye MultiCam shown (it's currently available in MultiCam only):
Sizing, fit etc - Shown here is the Medium size. As mentioned above, the Super L Windshirt has a slightly more generous fit so it can be worn over other garments. Of course, this also depends on your build. I'm a 'true' medium size, and am able to wear the Super L over a TAD Gear Ranger Hoodie which is a form-fitting yet relatively thick fleece jacket. The Super L fits over my other medium-weight fleece sweaters/jackets and the Arc'teryx Atom LT.
Notes and Observations - I picked up the Super L Windshirt at the 2010 SHOT show in Vegas in January when I stopped by OTTE's booth the first day I was at the show. Turns out the timing was perfect, as when I stepped out of the expo center, it was drizzling/raining and chilly outside. I remembered the Super L in my pack, put it on, and took the walk back to my hotel in the rain. It kept me dry, and in retrospect, I'm surprised it worked as good as it did because the fabric really isn't that water resistant. It's a single layer with no membrane; treated with a DWR from the factory. It depends solely on the DWR to repel water. The factory DWR doesn't seem that effective during testing, and if I put any water on it and press/rub the water, it'll penetrate without much problem. I think it worked well in the light rain because the water drops didn't have enough pressure to penetrate the DWR, and just rolled off.
I performed some quick tests at home. It won't hold water in the sink - it soaks right through. Water drops on the fabric will bead up and roll off, but not if left on for a while. Water in my hand dripped onto the fabric then rubbed in will penetrate and soak the fabric. My conclusion is that it will work pretty well for drizzle but will most likely get saturated in heavy rain. One thing I did to improve the water resistance of the Super L was to use Nikwax TX.Direct Spray-on waterproofing. I wet the Super L, sprayed on the TX.Direct, let it dry, then tossed it in the drier. The fabric is much more water-repellant now, and water takes much longer to saturate the fabric. Since it has no membrane, it's very breathable. This also means that it is wind-resistant, not wind-proof. I can feel air pass through the fabric when I blow hard through it.
Where I think the Super L is useful is as a light shell over a fleece garment or base layer, to help trap warm air in the insulative layer; and also to help shed light rain or snow and keep the insulative layer dry. Or as a light windshirt over a t-shirt when the sun goes down in the evening. In my opinion, the main selling point of the Super L is that it's light and packable enough to carry along when a softshell or hardshell might not be. Just how packable is it? I decided to try and find out, and was able to roll and stuff it into an EMDOM double M4 mag pouch, as shown below. That's a pretty small package! Folded flat, it'll fit easily in pants cargo pockets, jacket pockets, emergency kit, GP pouches etc. In other words, just about anywhere.
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