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KEELA Heritage Ventile Smock

Meet Mike Gormley, our Gear Tester and resident cold and wet weather enthusiast who seems to enjoy attempting to be comfortable in clearly uncomfortable circumstances and surroundings.

Recently, while the ‘Beast From The East’ was courting the Storm EMMA cyclone, our man Mike was out and about experiencing the worst of the weather. Here are his thoughts on the Heritage Ventile Smock from KEELA:-

The Ventile Smock combined with Keela’s Alpine Advanced waterproof trousers proved ideal to keep me protected from the elements that seemed keen to get at me [© Jean Gormley]

This garment brings together some significant features to make it a bit special. The principal fabric is Ventile, a material developed during WW2 for the protection of pilots, especially if they had to ditch in the sea. It was a lifesaver.

Since then, Ventile has been used in garments for the likes of the first summit of Everest, polar expeditions and countless others. Made from a very specific cotton, finely and tightly woven, it is a very breathable, wind- and weather-proof fabric that is immensely durable, very pleasant to wear and notably quiet. All these, and in particular the latter, endear it to those who need to be silent in what they do.

The zipped pouch pocket has many uses and is very accessible [© Jean Gormley]

I have used Ventile for many years and somehow it just has that ‘feel good factor’ when you wear it. When Ventile gets wet it swells, so sealing the fabric against water ingress. No need for treatments. Sometimes Ventile is double layered to make it even more waterproof and I have such a jacket, but this tends to be quite bulky and goes quite stiff when wet.

Rear view of hood [© Jean Gormley]

Keela have combined Ventile with their Active Dispersal System or ADS, part of their System Dual Protection. ADS is key in moving body moisture away from your body. This all adds up to a very comfortable and highly protective garment well suited to most conditions in both high and low level activity.

Clearly this is a classic smock design, favoured by many, and makes this unique Heritage garment from KEELA one that will have many uses and last a very long time.

The cuffs are a good fit and adjustable with press studs [© Jean Gormley]

The smock also has a full width hand warmer pocket, zipped at both ends – very handy to store gloves etc as well as warming hands [© Jean Gormley]

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