Lance has challenged me to develop a jacket and pant the he and his guides could not destroy during a season of 100+ days of guiding. A lofty goal to say the least. Lance and I designed this gear for his needs; reenforced knees, seat, chest pockets, over sized cuff tabs and velcro, internal sat phone, chest and shoulder pockets. Durability and features were more important than weight.
Enclosed is a report from Kodiak by Brendan Burns:
Like all the KUIU line, the Schoeller set is well thought out. With weight not being a factor there are some extra creature comforts built in that are not essential, but nice to have. The extra chest and shoulder pocket on the jacket will make a few people smile. The pants are a cool cross between the Attack pant and the Chugach pant. By moving the cargo pockets on the pants forward and higher up the leg you are still able to have a full zip for easy on and off. The reinforced knees and seat are not too big to hinder movement.
Part of the testing process is finding out how a fabric face and membrane react to heavy use in real conditions. We did a head to head test, I wore our Chugach and Lance wore the Schoeller prototypes for 10 days on Kodiak. We experienced a lot of rain and wet damp conditions and your gear never had time to dry out, a true torture test for waterproof/breathable rain gear.
What we found was typical of most waterproof/breathable rain gear on Kodiak. Days of Heavy rain, wet brush and in constantly damp conditions the Schoeller DWR began to fail, the face fabric became wet which affected the breathability and created condensation build up. Once wet the gear remained wet, heavy and miserable to wear. After a few days Lance ended up switching over to our Chugach gear.
This testing is not a knock on the Schoeller, but more of a nod to how great the Chugach product performed. Rubber rain gear was essentially created for the type of conditions Kodiak will throw at it because all waterproof/breathable gear eventually fails here. Our Chugach gear remained dry and breathable for the entire trip. Toray’s Kudos DWR was simply amazing even in wet brush it continued to perform and never held any water.
In conclusion our recommendation to Jason was to develop this gear using a Toray 3-Layer fabric versus Schoeller. A fabric similar to the Chugach product line, add the reinforcements and pocketing and you would have the perfect product for professional guides.