Nobody expects to be lost, stranded, or unprepared, but it happens. From freak storms, to plummeting temperatures, most of the time we are not properly dressed for the impact of mother nature. The Hideaway Jacket from Unchartered Supply Company can be that piece of gear that gets you through and keeps your motivation high, as there is nothing like being wet or cold to sap the will to march-on. Having any covering can be the fine-line between life and death, the Hideaway is a good solution to address the problem. The jacket is waterproof, can cut down the wind, and has strategically placed pockets that can be used to stuff available insulation, like leaves, moss, newspaper, Styrofoam, or any other material that has insulated properties. The jacket is extremely portable, can be stuffed in your cargo pockets while out on a hike, in your glove box, or in your go-to (Bug out, Get home, EDC, etc.) bag.
At the time of this research, it is summer time in New England, and storms can appear quickly. Average temperature during this test period was between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. I was unable to test the jacket’s ability to keep you warm by using available insulation. I will provide a follow-up to this article during the winter season.
To begin the waterproof testing their website did not have any specific details regarding the ratings, material, coatings, etc. To be somewhat accurate for all of you that do research before buying survival gear, I used common ratings for waterproof and breathability. Since Unchartered Supply Company didn’t mention or provide any specifics, a quick Internet search on waterproof ratings, and you can find many of the outdoor companies and outdoor clothing manufactures provide these ratings for every type of material. The following information was obtained from Sierra Trading Post.
“A fabric’s waterproof rating is directly related to its ability to withstand water under pressure in a controlled, laboratory setting. In other words, more resistance to pressurized water equates to a higher waterproof rating.” Waterproof ratings are measured in two ways.
- pounds per square inch (psi)
- mm/24 hours
Common water-resistant fabrics can withstand between 3 to 5 psi of water pressure, which is fine for a brief, light rain shower. A Gore-Tex® shell can withstand about 40 psi of water pressure. This higher rating can become necessary if you’re kneeling on snowpack or carrying a heavy pack in the rain, which puts additional pressure on the fabric.
A “mm/24 hours” rating refers to the amount of rainfall a fabric can withstand in a single day. Thus a 10,000mm waterproof rating means the garment can withstand 10,000mm of rainfall in a single day without letting moisture in. The higher the number, the more waterproof the item will be. Gore-Tex®, for example, has a waterproof rating of 28,000mm.”
Using this guide for pounds per square inch for water pressure, I put the jacket into the shower with approximately 40-45 psi for normal home water pressure. It lasted just 1 minute before the water saturated through to under garments.
Based on testing, this jacket has minimal water repellency and is merely good for about an hour with anything lower than 3 psi of water pressure. So, if you are in a light rain without stuffing the jacket with insulating layers, you will be able to stay semi-dry while looking for better shelter. While this jacket is very compact and can be stored in the provided sack, for dealing with rain or snow, my preference would be for either Gore-Tex Paclite or Gore-Tex Active with any compression sack to be of similar size and will give you additional protection for a few more dollars.
During one of the New England summer storms, the jacket was found to be good at blocking wind even at forty miles per hour wind. However, as the temperature dropped about 30 degrees quickly, the nylon material did not insulate as well against the cold wind. Compared with any Gore-Tex product that has a bit colder resistance, I again would want to have a jacket with better material than Nylon.
The Hideaway has the functionality to add insulation using natural or other manmade products found all over the world. Man-made products can be found discarded along many areas of the world and can help in keeping you warm. The integrated and strategically placed pockets keep the material off your skin, and is a unique idea and would like to see it expanded upon. However, in a survival situation, you can stuff any jacket with similar material with insulated properties and get the equivalent effects.
Using the same guide from Sierra Trading Post, The Hideaway jacket is not breathable compared with other materials for outdoor activities. During testing in hot temperatures (85 F) with high humidity (90%) the jacket felt like a wetsuit and trapped sweat within the layers thereby increasing the effort level of movement and activity.
Overall, the Hideaway Jacket is something that can be used survival situation where a jacket is needed. However, currently there are better materials that I would choose to be my go-to survival jacket and cost a few more dollars; not sure what price you put on your life during a survival event, but I like to win.
In closing, my final recommendation is that Unchartered Supply needs to add more specific technical information regarding their waterproof ratings, breathability ratings, and details on the material. Good survivalists will want to know exactly what they are buying.