Extreme Photograhers (EPS) Suit Review By David Clapp

Stealth Gear Extreme Photograhers (EPS) Suit Review By David ClappAre you like me, forever unsatisfied with your photographic outdoor clothing? Always overheating, or not warm enough? Lacking in pockets, or indeed sensible ideas? Well let me introduce you to a quality outdoor system that will deliver all that you need without a ridiculous price tag, designed by photographers for photographers. Ladies and gentleman I give you the outdoor clothing for you.

After first discussions about this concept over the telephone with Stealth Gear's managing director, I have to say I was slightly apprehensive. Photography suits always mean those geeky beige photo vests to me, 'nerd ware' for holding everything that's in your camera bag anyway. SG had certainly got my mind whirring as the idea behind the suit was one of simplicity and a straightforward approach.

Stealth Gear Extreme Photographers Suit  
The Stealth Gear EPS System in use.  

Are you like me, forever unsatisfied with your photographic outdoor clothing? Always overheating, or not warm enough? Lacking in pockets, or indeed sensible ideas? Well let me introduce you to a quality outdoor system that will deliver all that you need without a ridiculous price tag, designed by photographers for photographers. Ladies and gentleman I give you the outdoor clothing for you.

After first discussions about this concept over the telephone with Stealth Gear's managing director, I have to say I was slightly apprehensive. Photography suits always mean those geeky beige photo vests to me, 'nerd ware' for holding everything that's in your camera bag anyway. SG had certainly got my mind whirring as the idea behind the suit was one of simplicity and a straightforward approach.

Whether a landscape or wildlife shooter, if photography in outdoor locations means a regular drenching, crawling over moorland or freezing on some remote hill top vista for an hour before dawn in the name of art (?!), then the Extreme Photographers Suit (EPS) might be just the companion clothing system you have been looking for.



The Concept
The beauty of the concept is that the outfit is modular. Designed as a three / four piece system the full monty is a jacket, trousers, fleece and photo vest. Each of these items can be bought separately or as a system (with a price reduction to make you smile even more) so if it's an outdoor jacket that you have been looking for this winter then you don't have to purchase anything more. This system is not lightweight gortex pac-mac style in concept, let's get this sorted right now. Its design has been carefully crafted to be a durable, hard wearing, low key, whilst still maintaining style and above all plenty of comfort. For those of us who routinely undertake long distance romps across boggy moorland, or spend time lying face down on dead heather stalking wildlife for enviable photos, this design has honed and crafted to make you stay positive and focused on why you are there, to do the job right.

  Stealth Gear teflon padding
  Teflon is used a substantial amount on all the clothing options.

The Materials and Build
Made from a mix of quality materials, the first thing that strikes you when you take it out of the box is that its made of suede! Well almost, it's 100% Polyester Microsuede, but what a superb feel. Gortex and other waterproofs almost have a dry, scratchy texture (especially in the cheaper garments), so to pick up something that is so soft and thick brings a smile to your face immediately. The next thing to notice is that the grey patches that add on pressure points and areas of high wear are coated in Teflon, a great idea. Photographers are always kneeling, carrying bags over shoulders and abusing their clothes, so all these areas have been coated to minimise wear and ensure longevity. Quality zippers from YKK and the brass studded poppers keep pockets firmly closed. Cuffs and collars are smooth with tabs and poppers to keep the wind from whilstling up the wrong way.

Airflow Max fabric  
Airflow Max System - traps warmth, let's moisture escape and keeps you protected from the elements, it doesn't have to be Gortex you know....  

Warmth without Overheating
I recently wasted £60 on a Polartec fleece and I have vowed that it is simply the last time I ever buy a one. All they ever seem to do is make me feel nice, because when it comes to their usefulness in the outdoors I cant think of a worse item to wear. I am actually wearing it over a smart shirt right now and this is the only use I can actually see for it (this and going down the pub in) The biggest problem I have from a fleece mid layer is from overheating and I have never known anything make me sweat so much with a Gortex jacket over the top. The whole concept of the 'fleece and Gortex' method is to provide a layered system, fair enough. So many people do like this approach and it does work, but for me its a total nightmare. I want a thick warm coat that is waterproof and can wick the heat from me and I have never found one. I want it to keep me warm when I stop walking, feel cosy and then work with me when I do, not against me. This is where the EPS fills that category. It is entirely breathable using Airflow Max material to keep the moisture from building up without letting the heat out, whilst repelling water at the same time. This concept is something I have longed for, because as the seasons get colder I want to rely on one coat to keep me warm at all times than faffing about with layers.

Lets have a look at the system in specific.