Up Close: AW22 Pertex Shield
Whilst the Gramicci name might be synonymous with hard-wearing cotton twill, we know that some situations call for something different—and when the wind is blowing and the rain is falling, something windproof, breathable and water resistant is needed. That’s why this season we’ve created a wide range of wet-weather wear using Pertex Shield—a tried-and-tested waterproof fabric built with mountain conditions in mind.
Originally devised back in 1979, the first Pertex fabric was the brainchild of Hamish Hamilton—a British climber who saw the need for a densely-woven synthetic fabric that would withstand the elements. Unsure how to turn his idea into reality, Hamilton approached a fabric company in England’s industrial north called Perseverance Mills LTD (who made everything from parachute canopies to printer ribbons), and soon Pertex was born.
Now based in Japan, Pertex are still dedicated to making technical materials, and their Shield fabric—an ultra-light, durable and breathable layered nylon—is relied on by serious climbers and mountaineers around the world.
We’ve used Pertex Shield on two different collections of outdoor gear—the Trailside range and the Packable range. The Trailside collection takes inspiration from technical fishing clothing—in particular the outerwear worn by fly fishers whilst wading in rivers, patiently waiting for a bite.
As the name suggests, the Trailside Wading Jacket is based around the classic wading jacket design. Like the pieces it was inspired by, it’s got a short, sharp shape (a functional detail originally devised to keep the jackets high and dry, even in deep water) and plenty of pocket space. Whilst these details were originally created with fishing firmly in mind, they translate perfectly to other aspects of outdoor life—and all those pockets work just as well for carrying phones, keys and train tickets as they do for storing angling gear.
For those who want even more haulage space, we’ve also made the Trailside Wading Vest, an ultra-lightweight utility vest with not one, but eight pockets—with seven on the front, and one large zip pocket on the back. Thanks to its versatile low profile design this works just as well over a hoodie or sweatshirt on mild days as it does under a big coat when the cold truly sets in.
The Trailside Wading Cargo Pants follow the same theme—combining classic Gramicci details (like our signature built-in webbing belt and that diamond crotch gusset) with that windproof Pertex Shield fabric and some reassuringly roomy cargo pockets. The quick-drying nature of the Pertex makes them ideal winter walking pants, even on the dampest of days.
Rounding off the collection is the Trailside Wading Cap—a super low-profile four panel cap with side-eyelets for added breathability. And then there’s the Packable range. Slightly more stripped-back when compared with the Trailside gear, the Packable Jacket and Packable Trousers are designed for those days where the weather can’t quite make its mind up.
The Pertex fabric and the waterproof zips will keep the rain out, and because of the packable design, you can easily stow this stuff away—making it ideal for camping trips or long hikes when space is at a premium. It’s durable too, and although both pieces barely tip the scales, due to the ripstop pattern of the fabric, they’re still reassuringly tough.
In short, it’s breathable, technical rainwear that sticks firmly to the Gramicci ethos of hard-wearing gear, made for movement. Now there’s no excuse not to get outside.