Voormi Fall Line Jacket
The first thing many gear testers do with a new waterproof product is wear it in the shower, have their kids spray them with the hose, or dunk it in water. So when I tested this product, I have to admit that it was completely bizarre to watch streams of water run off a wool jacket exactly the same as it would off a traditional poly shell. Yes, Voormi’s Fall Line jacket is made of wool with a waterproof membrane.
Waterproof. Wool. Two words that haven’t really gone together until now, but this is the first time a single-layer fabric has directly incorporated a weatherproof membrane inside the knit of the textile. Traditionally, waterproof/breathable garments are achieved by laminating a membrane to an outer shell or sandwiching it between two layers, both of which contribute to the crunchy, rustling feeling so common in outdoor jackets and pants.
Voormi’s Core Construction, however, stitches its yarn right through the membrane, creating a one-layer garment that’s quieter, softer, and lighter, and though the process punches holes in the membrane that normally would allow wetting, Voormi has found a way to seal those gaps. (The exact process is proprietary.)
Getting sprayed with the hose is only peripherally relevant to the real world, of course, but the Fall Line performed great in cool autumn hiking as an insulating layer, allowing body heat to escape, blocking light rain, and serving as a more weather-worthy option to fleece. Whether Voormi can take on the billion-dollar waterproof/breathable fabric industry is an open question, but the Fall Line shows it has a solid start.
- Gear Review
Gear of the Year: Fall/Winter 2015
The Season's Best New Gear Traditionally, fall and winter are when you give up your “summer” sports. The bike gets a tune-up, three-season tents and bags get washed, and the trail runners go on the shelf until the snow melts. But, wow, have things changed. Fat bikes extend adventure cycling to four seasons. Lighter, more versatile insulations allow one garment to cover you from warmth of Indian summer to the chilly bluster of spring. New tents can handle winter’s blasts while weighing not much more than summer ultralights. Think outside the box? Gear manufacturers are thinking outside the season, and we’re all better for it.