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Experiment 138 - Extrawinter Poncho

Experiment 138 - Extrawinter Poncho

An experimental deep winter poncho with a hood. Extrafleece on the inside, Supermarine Cotton on the exterior.

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An experimental deep winter poncho with a hood. Extrafleece on the inside, Supermarine Cotton on the exterior.
Supermarine Logo
The secret to the future, they say, is hidden in the past. Supermarine® Cotton is a 21st century edit to a nearly forgotten World War II fabric. You can think of it as the pinnacle of cotton technology, extremely breathable, highly water resistant and completely windproof. 100% Cotton fibers woven together in a complex weave that swells up and seals when exposed to water. The result is a beautiful cloth that we think is the best rainy day fabric around.

For decades it's been obscured from the public, kept alive mainly by demand from a few Air Force units, Antarctic explorers and funnily enough, bird watchers; all who have different understandings of its unique properties. Supermarine® Cotton stays comfortable under pressure and there is none of that sweaty/clammy feeling you get with GoreTex and other synthetic "waterproof-breathable" fabrics. The dense weave combined with the premium fiber results in a fabric that is simultaneously tough and supple and it breaks in beautifully.

Historically this fabric is an updated version of a fabric the British invented in World War II to keep their pilots alive in the North Sea if they happened to get shot down. It was later used by the British Navy, in Antarctic exploration and by Edmond Hillary during the first ascent of Mount Everest. It was even used to make firehoses and eventually found its way into high-end hiking gear. Since it requires a very dense weave of the most expensive cotton fibers on the market, it never quite broke through into the mainstream and with the advent of GoreTex it faded from the general marketplace. Bird watchers still sought it out since it's significantly quieter than the loud synthetic fabrics that took over, while Antarctic teams prized it for its amazing windproof quality. The main customer of the past few decades however has been various Air Forces who understood just how superior a fabric it is, and are willing to pay for it.

We source this version of Supermarine® Cotton from Switzerland and it differs from the historical British version in two important ways, it is lighter and it is treated with a premium durable water resistance (DWR) that is not wax-based. The water resistance in the historical formulation comes from two factors, the denseness of the weave and the fact that cotton fibers swell up when exposed to moisture. Adding the DWR treatment into the mix results in a significantly superior rain repellant and breathable fabric that far outclasses both the synthetic "waterproof-breathable" fabrics of the world and the heavy, clammy Barbour-style waxed cotton. It looks better, wears better and is dramatically more comfortable.

ExtraFleece Logo
There is fleece and there is Extrafleece. Like a teddy bear you can wear, this is the softest, plushest and most exquisite synthetic fleece around. At 510 gsm (15 oz) it's no lightweight, but it piles so thick and deep, it feels airy and special. The secret is a non-traditional use of elastane. Instead of being used to add stretch, elastane is used in the Extrafleece to make it extra compact, creating a deep resiliency. Hug this fleece and it hugs you back.

Like many of the best things, Extrafleece was hidden in plain sight. Polartec has been making this fleece for use in deep sea diving drysuits for years, but it was considered too expensive to be used by outdoor brands, and buried deep in an obscure and rarely seen part of their collection. But the minute we touched this stuff we knew it was the one: a flawless fleece well worth working a bit extra for.
  • Experiment 138 - Extrawinter Poncho
  • Face fabric - Supermarine Cotton, 200 gsm, 100% cotton, made in Switzerland
  • Lining - Extrafleece, 510 gsm, 92% Polyester, 8% Elastane, made in China
  • Hood with shock cord adjustment system
  • Asymmetrical zipped cowlneck
  • Zero snap side closures
  • Inside close-to-the-chest pocket
  • Front pocket
  • Spot clean or dry clean
  • Made in USA with Swiss and Chinese fabric
  • Sizing
    One size.

    Please refer to the table below for measurements.

    Approximate measurements in inches
    Size One size
    Width x Length 55 x 41