March 26th marks the start of British Summer Time – so you can expect rain. The good news: Britain’s best rainwear just got better.
Baracuta's most famous fan
Whilst style icons such as Steve McQueen were big fans of the Baracuta G9 Harrington jacket, the company’s history began with the production of raincoats (as documented in our previous Intelligence blog here).
Originally crafted to protect the wearer from the inclement British weather, the classic Baracuta G10 has been remastered to pay homage to it’s title: Britain’s Best rainwear.
See the G10 in the Baracuta video above
This functional single-breasted raincoat now has a more modern feel, and the new G10 features a natural, all-weather, breathable fabric called VENTILE.
The research to develop this unique cloth began during World War II, when Britain depended upon Russian convoys carrying vital supplies across the Arctic Ocean. However these were highly vulnerable to submarine attack and home-based RAF fighter escort cover was impossible due to the long distance.
Dressed to fight the bitterly cold Arctic conditions
Winston Churchill promoted the concept of catapulting expendable Hurricane aircraft from the decks of merchant ships to provide local cover. With no means of landing back on deck, pilots had no choice but to abandon the aircraft and bail out into the sea. The water was so cold that life expectancy was just a few minutes. Most died from exposure.
Churchill's ingenious catapult contraption
There was an urgent call for a new, protective fabric that would be both comfortable to wear in the cockpit under combat conditions and also ensure survival by keeping the pilot warm and dry in the sea.
After many trials, scientists at The Shirley Institute, Manchester UK, developed a fabric that they named VENTILE, which when made into garments proved to be life saving. It extended life expectancy in the sea from a few minutes to over 20 minutes, which made rescue a real possibility. 80% of pilots who fell into the sea now survived.
RAF pilots and the Hawker Hurricane aircraft
Ventile continues to be made into flight suits for RAF crew to this day, but its use has spread beyond military application. The close weave of the material stops wind passing through garments, preventing the wind chill factor from having a detrimental effect. Ventile's use on major Arctic, Antarctic and Himalayan expeditions is testament to the confidence placed in this fabric by professionals operating in the world's most extreme and hostile environments.
Hillary and Tenzing conquered Everest in Ventile clothing
The combination of Baracuta's iconic styling and illustrious history, together with Ventile's legendary status amongst performance fabrics has produced what is arguably the ultimate raincoat, and the perfect garment for a Great British Summer.
Ventile: perfect for flying, climbing, spying... and shopping