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Monday, April 9, 2018

The Death of Gumby?

Today should have been the death of an old friend, but it may only be retirement, we shall see. As I mentioned yesterday, I'm willing to wear things that are basically rags if I like them.

However, for serious use, the Gumby Suit is definitely gone. It doesn't owe me anything. I bought it from Camp-Mor about 27 years ago. Since it's all green, early on it was dubbed the Gumby Suit.

hiker on rocky trail in green nylon rain suit

When I bought this it had a coating that made it water-resistant. It was never truly waterproof, but it was pretty good. After the coating completely disappeared, I would spray it with silicone and that would make it fairly impermeable for a couple of wettings.

I don't like ponchos. Nothing really keeps me dry anyway because if something keeps the rain out it holds the sweat in and I get wet from the inside. Including Gore-Tex. I've never thought that was as wonderful as many people claim, and it's heavy. The Gumby Suit weighs, in total, 15.4 ounces. And it rolls up into two little packages like this.

nylon rain suit rolled into two small packets

One leg had a major blowout, which I mended. There are multiple snags, tears and small burn holes in it. It's not that I haven't been looking for a replacement. I've been hunting for something else for at least 8 years. Everything is too heavy and/or too big. So, I just kept mending this and limping along. If you put me in nylon, I'm really warm, so I use it as a top layer for winter hiking. This suit no longer does much against rain, but I've gotten by.

torn nylon rain suit

But the kicker to make me do something now is that the zipper on the main pocket has completely given up the ghost. That's just not going to work. So...

I had to make a decision. The deal is, there is a product called silnylon which is nylon impregnated with silicone that it absolutely waterproof. And it's very lightweight. It also has zero ability to breathe. When it was first developed there was a huge rush to make rain gear of it, and almost as quickly abandoned because of that lack of breatheability.

Other nylon products are going to have the same issues as the Gumby Suit- not really waterproof. I only wear the nylon if I'm out in either really cold or really wet. I've decided to go for the ability to stay dry from the outside. We'll see how big of an issue the breatheability is.

And, it can no longer be a Gumby suit, because the new one will be blue. It will also be even lighter in weight. That's a huge plus!

nylon rain suit with replacement fabric

Today I made a pattern for the new pants from the old pair. That's pretty easy with pants without taking the old garment apart. So, the pants are only retired. Not sure I'll be able to do that with the jacket (anorak style) because it's got more complex pieces, and it's easy to get things that don't fit right if you don't take the old garment apart.

Tomorrow I'll buy the zippers (hopefully), and make a decision about cutting up the jacket or trying to make a pattern without destruction. It's just so hard. When I actually find a product of any description that I REALLY like, I don't want to give it up, ever.

Here's what I got done today. Stay tuned.

 nylon rain suit pants cut out of fabric

In other news: Actually, I worked at the paper today because someone else wanted the day off. That and the above have consumed most of the time.

See Sewing and Breathing
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Ann said...

Whenever I find something I really like, I can never find it again when I need a replacement. Hope this new material works well for you. You amaze me with all you can do. I don't think I could make a pattern out of old clothes. Or at least not so that it would actually fit me once I was done

Lin said...

You would think, with all the outdoors stores now (REI included) that you could find something comparable that would work for you. Crazy! I hope this works. If not, well...it was Gumby's time to be put to rest. So SAD!

Secondary Roads said...

That's a nice blue. Hope that fabric works well for you.

vanilla said...

Sometimes we just have to move on. Too many wonderful things of yore are irreplaceable because they just don't make them like they used to!

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