This past June, I ventured out I70 West eventually ending up in Wyoming and Montana for a couple of USPSA matches and to be touristy. When I left home it was nice but cool for June. Little did I know, the weather was going to follow this pattern for a good portion of the trip. Fortunately in the closets of the RV there is clothing for all seasons.
One of the pieces I needed was an ECWS (Extreme Cold Weather System) rain parka. I have an USAF ECWS which is a mil-spec Gore-Tex and a polar fleece liner. I have yet to get wet when wearing it, but it is pricey. I wanted that quality but not at the price DOD vendors want, enter Tru-Spec. Tru-Spec offers the H2OProof Gen2 ECWS. This rain parka and optional fleece liner cost less than half of a mil-spec ECWS parka.
With MSRPs of $159.95 for the parka and $38.95 it seemed like a good deal to me. It would only be a good deal if it was a truly waterproof parka. To test how well it kept things dry, I zipped the liner into the parka and pulled the hood over the head opening. Then I got out the hose and hosed down the ECWS. I soaked the shoulder and neck seams, since they are generally the first to leak. Other than a little overspray getting the collar of the liner a bit wet, the fleece was dry thanks to Bemis sealed seams. That’s a good start. Little did I know I would get to test the system “in the field”.
The first test was setting up the RV at the park just west of Omaha at the KOA. Just prior to pulling into my site, it had started to rain. Since it was chilly and knowing how these drizzles turn into all out monsoons, I got the H2OProof out. No sooner did I step out of the RV and open the exterior storage bay, Mother Nature dumped buckets of rain on the area. Working in the rain slows getting the RV set-up for the night. After twenty minutes or so I was ready to call it dinner time. I am glad to report both the fleece liner and operator were dry. Little did I know this would not be the only time I put the H2OProof to the test.
Having my four legged travel companion with me, meant several trips out for private doggy moments. I was glad to have the Tru-Spec Gen2H2 with liner. It broke the nightly chill and the sprinkles so we did not have to cut her walks short. What set the Fleece Jacket apart from other fleeces is the lining in the sleeves. It is satin like, allowing the sleeves to move over long sleeved shirts. This lining makes the Fleece Jacket comfortable as well. Most fleece jacket sleeves can be itchy without a long sleeve shirt, which adds an unnecessary layer in temperate weather.
As we headed into the mountains, the nearly perfect travel weather would turn downright blustery and wintery. During the days in Douglas and Cody Wyoming the weather was Chamber of Commerce perfect, the nights and early morning were downright cold. Even the local weather talked about the wind-chill being in the low 30s. Its June, Father’s Day and there is talk of wind-chill and rain; ugh.
We drove into Cody in the cold rain and again the H2OProof ECWS was put to the test. This time it was to keep me warm and dry, in June. After the monsoons, I knew I would be dry; it was how warm would I be. With the rain and wind it was shiver chilly. Once I zipped up the parka, I was warm. Thanks to the armpit zippers I was warm, but not sweating hot. In these fluctuating temperatures you have to be able to regulate body heat. While it’s not a big deal setting up an RV, if you get your insulating layer wet on the trail; you could get hypothermia. It can set in if you are at altitude with damp clothing, a breeze and temps in the low forties. Hypothermia can and does kill folks who do not take it seriously.
While in Cody, it got cold enough the dew froze on the bed cover of the truck and there was snow northwest of us higher in the mountains. While it was gone quickly, I knew if we had been towards Gardiner, MT; I would have had the outerwear to stay warm and dry. Fortunately I did not need the Fleece Jacket, but I did need the H2O Proof Gen2 to break camp at our last stop. The remnants Cristobal made its way through the Midwest and sitting it out was not an option. Once again Tru-Spec came through and I was dry and the mud from paws washed right off. Fortunately after leaving Cody, the weather was perfect the rest of the trip.
Tru-Spec’s H2O Proof Gen2 ECWS is available in sizes Small-3XL in tall and regular. The parka comes in six color choices; LAPD Navy, black, OD, Coyote tan, Multicam® and digital woodland (similar to MARPAT). The fleece can be had in LAPD, foliage, coyote, black and tan in the same sizes.
After wearing Tru-Spec’s H2O Proof Gen2 ECWS and Fleece Jacket in some of the nastiest weather I have been caught in, I can tell you it is a keeper. You have plenty of pockets, sizes run true, there is a fleece liner that zips in for warms and most importantly the Bemis sealed seams keep you dry. Tru-Spec’s H2O Proof Gen2 ECWS help keep the weather from ruining your fun.