A Conversation for Ask h2g2

Why don't outdoor shops do this?

Post 1

Hoovooloo

Just had an idea: outdoor shops (Blacks, Millets, Cotswold, Go Outdoors etc.) should have, in their shops, a "weather booth". It would be a cubicle you could go into wearing the coat/fleece/whatever you're interested in. Press a button, and it blows a 30mph wind through the booth, so you can try out the windproofing. Press another button, and it chills the air to -5C so you can test how warm it is. Press another, and it starts spraying you with water to simulate various levels of rainfall.

Only downsides I can see are installation and running costs and the fact that, once tested, a jacket or whatever would need to be dried before hanging for sale (assuming you didn't buy it). Then again, if you charged customers, say three quid, to use the booth (refundable if they buy the item), you could discourage timewasters and even make a bit of bunce.

I think it's a winner. What do you think?


Why don't outdoor shops do this?

Post 2

paulh. the world is a circus, but why d I have to work without a net?

I think it's great, too. smiley - ok


Why don't outdoor shops do this?

Post 3

Orcus

Perhaps because a lot of their goods are not all that good at what they claim and they don't wish to advertise that too hard.

Having done a lot of very long distance cycling I can vouch for, waterproof AND breathable is largely unobtainium. If it's *really* waterproof, you sweat and get wet from the inside. If it's breathable to the extent you want.... then it won't withstand heavy rain for extended periods.

Wet and warm and keeping the worst of the wind off is what you really want.
Unless you're climbing K2 or trekking in the Arctic in which case I guess you seek a more specialist shop than Go - Outdoors smiley - biggrin


Such a device I'm sure would (without want to get too sexist here) be a largely male preserve. Those carefully done hairstyle-types won't likely want to be subjected to wet-windtunnel conditions when shopping smiley - smiley


I do see the idea though. Nice thought


Why don't outdoor shops do this?

Post 4

The Left Reverend Doktor Baron Grim

When I shop for rain gear for riding my motorcycle, I go to boating stores in the fall/early winter when they reduce the prices. Marine grade fowl weather gear is a bit pricey but it's definitely superior to what I've found at the bike shops for just the reasons you state. Living on the Texas gulf coast makes rubberized rain gear a personal sauna in the summer (and much of spring and autumn as well). Marine foul weather gear that's more breathable and have good mesh liners are much more comfortable and I've found to be fairly well dry in heavy rain at high speeds.



As far as a testing booth, I can see how it would be useful, but I doubt any store would want to spend the money on such a thing. Besides the cost, you either have to find someway to deal with drying and likely cleaning the suits tested, or have "demo" suits for customers to try out. Also, I don't think most customers would really want to risk a suit failure and also they'd risk soaking their shoes and feet, though I suppose the store could also supply "demo" wellies.


Why don't outdoor shops do this?

Post 5

Orcus

How long do you tend to be in the rain for as a motorcyclist? I've been rained on basically all day while riding my human-powered bike. I've never found anything that won't eventually get sodden through. I guess with motorbiking you do less sweating though - generally at least - I guess riding through a US desert probably engenders perspiration ... smiley - laugh


Why don't outdoor shops do this?

Post 6

The Left Reverend Doktor Baron Grim

Oh, indeed. On long rainy rides, you're going to find leaks and eventually get soaked regardless. And, as I mentioned, on the Gulf Coast, any rubberized gear gets absolutely swampy after just a few minutes. So it's still a compromise. I just find the foul weather gear a bit better than other rain gear. Not perfect, by any means, just better.

While the wind speeds are high while motorcycling, at least you're sitting relatively still. With all the movement of bicycling, I'm sure it's even harder to stay dry.


Why don't outdoor shops do this?

Post 7

Hoovooloo

@Orcus:

"Such a device I'm sure would (without want to get too sexist here) be a largely male preserve."

All that tells me is that you are hanging around with entirely the wrong kind of women. Outdoorsy types ftw!


Why don't outdoor shops do this?

Post 8

You can call me TC

That's the sort of thinking that makes it impossible to buy decent gloves in women's sizes to go and chop trees up in the woods. We always did this as a family, but I had to make do with gardening gloves and be very careful my hands didn't get lacerated by the rough wood.

It seems that women's hands aren't worth protecting.

I haven't bought rainwear for a while but I do hope that these days women's outdoor wear is not only available but,if anything, even better thought through than the men's version. Women do ride bikes and go out in the rain you know, and they like their clothes to fit AND do what it says on the tin.


Why don't outdoor shops do this?

Post 9

Still Incognitas, Still Chairthingy, Still lurking, Still invisible, unnoticeable, missable, unseen, just haunting h2g2

My best buy was a parka with the name regatta which not only is waterproof it's windproof and has been a great boon as I live only 5 minutes form the coast in a place that is 90% windy during the winter.It's far warmer than my wool coat. smiley - ok


Why don't outdoor shops do this?

Post 10

paulh. the world is a circus, but why d I have to work without a net?

That sounds great. smiley - ok


Why don't outdoor shops do this?

Post 11

deb - I'm in love with my soup maker & I don't care who knows it

I have a regatta, it came with a detachable fleece which I immediately detached as I don't like to be too warm. It's fabulous, definitely waterproof and windproof, with lots of little pockets & drawstrings.

The only downside is my jeans get soaked as the water runs off smiley - rofl

Deb smiley - cheerup


Why don't outdoor shops do this?

Post 12

Orcus

>@Orcus:

"Such a device I'm sure would (without want to get too sexist here) be a largely male preserve."

All that tells me is that you are hanging around with entirely the wrong kind of women. Outdoorsy types ftw!<


I've walked up Pen y Fan with my wife and gone outdoors all over the shop. But she still doesn't want her hair messed with in Town smiley - winkeye


Why don't outdoor shops do this?

Post 13

Orcus

>That's the sort of thinking that makes it impossible to buy decent gloves in women's sizes to go and chop trees up in the woods. We always did this as a family, but I had to make do with gardening gloves and be very careful my hands didn't get lacerated by the rough wood.

It seems that women's hands aren't worth protecting.

I haven't bought rainwear for a while but I do hope that these days women's outdoor wear is not only available but,if anything, even better thought through than the men's version. Women do ride bikes and go out in the rain you know, and they like their clothes to fit AND do what it says on the tin.<

Sure, on the long bike rides I got heavily into a few years back the women who did do them did find *big* problems getting gear in the right size. It's very hard to get bikes with gears and brake leavers for the smaller hands that are typical - tends to be mail order only - clothing is not *so* bad - go into Evans these days and you'll see quite a large section devoted to Ladies' sizes these days but it's only a recent innovation..

But.... and this is just fact unfortunately..... the group on these rides (typically a small-ish group - long distance cycling is a niche activity, not for the faint hearted) - would be a ratio of 12-13 blokes per woman.

Another factoid about cycling. When Australia made it compulsory to wear helmets, women's take up of cycling fell off a cliff. Dropped by about 80% overnight - levelling off at about 60% down prior to the law. 'Helmet' hair was the biggest reason given when this was surveyed.
I wasn't trying to be sexist - apologies if I was - just talking from my own experience.


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