OTS - DexShell Waterproof Accessories
One more from the recent OTS show where we came across a brand called DexShell for the first time. The easiest way of describing DexShell is to say that it works along similar lines to UK-based Sealskinz producing waterproof socks, gloves and hats for outdoor and general use.
The kit is manufactured in China and uses the same Porelle waterproof membrane which was originally used by Sealskinz. It's 100% waterproof and generally uses a three-layer construction with an outer Nylon fabric with a water-repellent treatment and a liner that's either merino wool or CoolMax. It also has an anti-bacterial treatment.
The one real difference from Sealskinz, they say, is that DexShell kit has a four-way stretch for a more natural feel and better fit, while the British brand is two-way stretch, which means it basically has less give. DexShell also reckons undercuts Sealskinz on price, though we haven't had the chance to compare the two on a life for like basis.
There's a wide range of sock options in different weights and configurations designed for walking and cycling including everything from lightweight, shorter cut versions through to heavier, over-calf designs. One interesting model is a new 'Wading Sock' which features a urethane internal seal to prevent water from entering over the cuff of the sock. A nice idea, it'd be interesting to see it applied to walking socks.
There's also a fun-coloured kids range with seamless construction so there's no irregular stitching to run on the inside of the sock.
We're getting some in for a play shortly, but what we can tell you is that the fabric does seem to have more of an all-round stretch to it than Sealskinz, which may translate to a closer fit with better comfort and, possibly, more durability thanks to an ability to mould better to the contours of the foot, but for now that's just speculation.
Gloves And Hats
A quick try on of the gloves was interesting too with a really close fit and plenty of stretch. Again we have no idea how they'll work in the real world, but they felt great on the show booth and we wouldn't really have guessed they had a waterproof membrane inside.
Finally there's a range of hats running from simple beanies through to more elaborate Andean-style designs with ear flaps. All waterproof again, but this time with a two-layer construction with the membrane bonded to the inside of the outer fabric.
The result, claims DexShell is the absence of rustling and again the four-way stretch gives a really nice fit and feels like, well, just a normal hat. The beanie on the OM editorial head in the pic felt just like a normal beanie, but is 100% waterproof
We're intrigued. Fortuitously we have some Sealskinz stuff in for review currently, so we'll be looking to use the two brands back-to-back and see exactly how they compare in real world use, but first impressions are that the DexShell kit's greater stretch does seem to translate into a better, more flexible fit.
More DexShell details at www.dexshell.com.