Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Clearly an Improvement...

If you follow the same daily yachty news feeds I do (like Scuttlebutt) you'll know that Henri Lloyd just won a DAME award at METS in the crew gear and accessories category. If you don't follow those feeds have a look at the picture at left and Google "Henri Lloyd Shadow 2G DAME" for more detail about it. I'm not going to extol the virtues of what winning that award means. But, what I can tell you is that I am likely one of a very few people this country that have actually had this jacket on. It's the next generation of the popular Shadow range being introduced for 2009. So what's new from this gear geeks perspective? Someone has finally taken the blinders off!

I am one of those people that can't stand hoods. I can't stand the bulk or feeling of being trapped. Give me a good foul weather hat and I'll deal with the water running down my neck. However, that attitude might end right here and now. Henri Lloyd has done something really smart here. They've given me my own stow-able dodger! Yep, the material is a bit like vinyl dodger window material but when I asked about scratching and whether or not HL would be offering a new bottle of window plastic scratch remover with each jacket they assured me it wasn't necessary. According to our esteemed HL contacts a whole mess of testing has been done to ensure it wouldn't scratch or mar. Time will tell on that one but what I can tell you now is that when you try it out you'll be impressed. In any case, with it on I didn't feel trapped at all and while it's certainly not like looking through a glass window my peripheral vision was pretty good. No doubt water and salt will stick to these windows but what this really offers is the ability to see big things moving that you wouldn't have seen before. Ships overtaking, booms coming, etc...clearly an improvement.

The new Optivision hood will not only be on the Shadow range but also on the Gore-Tex offshore gear too. Look for it first on the Shadow...then watch the rest of the gear builders chase HL to come up with something similar. To be the first to get yours be sure to keep your eyes peeled on our Hot New Items page or sign up for our weekly E-list and expect to see them State-side in little over a month.

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