Author Topic: New Warmbac Suit Review  (Read 953 times)

Offline chunky

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New Warmbac Suit Review
« on: August 07, 2017, 09:41:07 pm »


For the past 6 months I have been testing a new prototype fabric from Warmbac to replace the traditional Cordura which has been used historically on their suits.

So what has changed?

As far as design goes not a bean. The traditional blue and red has been replaced with a new red and black 9oz soft fabric pre-shrunk Cordura.
It is instantly softer and more supple to the feel which makes the suit sizes feel more generous.
A lot of my caving involves crawling and due to my size I tend to contact the cave passage more than your average caver and I am happy to report that the suit has fared at least as well as its predecessor and after 6 months of abuse is still going strong with almost no signs of wear.

One of the biggest problems I have had in the past has been with the suits snugging up on me over time and have always purchased them slightly larger than required to allow for this.
The new material has stayed noticeably softer than my old suits and has not shrunk through my cleaning process.

Kit care over the last 6 months:
I hose and brush ( or Jet wash if very muddy) my suits after a weekend and then hang in a shed to dry.
If my suits begin to stiffen I soak with fabric conditioner overnight and then hang to dry.

In summary this is the exact same suit but with a softer no shrink fabric when cleaning by hand and slow drying. I can't comment on any other cleaning methods as this is the only method I now use to maintain my oversuits (Lessons learnt after the kids, trying to be helpful, put a two week old oversuit on a 60 degree wash and then tumble dried  :chair: )

On the downside I ordered mine with an extra couple of inches in the body and so I am going to have to keep with the cake regime if I am ever going to fit in it properly!

Oh yes and a black oversuit for photos.......really!!!!


Offline Bulldog

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Re: New Warmbac Suit Review
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2017, 09:45:03 pm »
Has anything been redesigned to close off the hole between the top of the zip and the neoprene neck strap to stop water getting in ?

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Offline chunky

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Re: New Warmbac Suit Review
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2017, 10:13:37 pm »
Nothing has been changed but the fabric and colour.

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Offline ferret

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Re: New Warmbac Suit Review
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2017, 12:20:06 am »
I've been in the market for a new oversuit but I agree fully with the comment that black is a Poor choice of colour. I am a photographer myself and regulaly cave with photographers and therefore want a suit that will stand out, the old red and blue stood out quite well and while I don't mind black as a colour it does not for obvious reasons. otherwise the design looks good

Online Ian Ball

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Re: New Warmbac Suit Review
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2017, 07:19:58 am »
Black is a great choice and its probably a third red. I am not a photographers model though.  Not so sure about the arm pocket.


Offline Pitlamp

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Re: New Warmbac Suit Review
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2017, 07:44:33 am »
Thanks Chunky; your comments are very useful.

Does the fabric let water through after some wear or will it keep your underclothing dry when out in torrential rain? (We seem to have had a lot of that in the Dales lately; conditions round here are often harsher on the surface than they are underground, so the waterproof qualities of a fabric are quite important.)

Offline chunky

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Re: New Warmbac Suit Review
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2017, 08:12:16 am »
Pitlamp:
No over time this has lost its waterproof qualities the same as the old Warmbac and AV suits I've had, the only option I have found for waterproof has been the various yellow pvc type suits that are available.

For the photographers amongst us these are a few shot taken in Aggy the other week. I have had to alter my style of shooting slightly to accommodate the darker lower half.
At least three of our regular cavers at the club have been waiting for the suit release so It is something I will be experimenting with more. It will be interesting over time to see how other photographers deal with the colours.






Offline Pitlamp

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Re: New Warmbac Suit Review
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2017, 08:26:44 am »
Thanks for that information. (I've had all sorts of Warmbac gear over the years and it's been good stuff; I was a Wessex member around the time Warmbac really got going.)

Superb images by the way!  :thumbsup:

Offline seddon

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Re: New Warmbac Suit Review
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2017, 08:38:15 pm »
Slight work-related plug; we have some Digger suits in this new fabric, but all black... Ping us (but please, not on here! too busy to lurk around more than weekly) if anyone wants that 'sneaky beaky' look.
Starless River Caving Equipment @ www.starlessriver.com