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Classic Gambeson, Wambais, Aketon (XXL)

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  • Product Description

    This XXL size gambeson is made from heavy cotton and is padded from three layers of wool felt. This garment will give full comfort, freedom of movement and protection to the wearer.

    The Gambeson, called also the Wambais and Aketon, was a quilted garment, either used as the sole defence by the foot-soldier, or, by the knight, worn under the hauberk (chain mail) to prevent the bruising of the body under the impact of a blow. Some period illustrations also show that chain mail shirts were worn below a gambeson.

    The Gambeson, is perhaps the most ancient of all armours and was known to the early Egyptians. It was padded with a soft material such as wool, or tow, or cloth reduced to shreds, which was enclosed between two layers of material and then sewn together. Although offering but little opposition to a lance-thrust or the stab of a dagger, it took most of the power out of a sword cut and could stop an arrow fired from a long range. Against the mace, or a stone from a sling, it was of great use in preventing bones from being broken.

    For battle re-enactors, the protection it affords from heavy blunt impacts is superior to that of chain mail worn by itself. If worn with chain mail (as was common back in the day) the protection afforded is quite substantial. The belt shown in the picture is also available, please check our listings.

    • Width (armpit to armpit): 61 cm
    • Length (shoulder to hem): 105 cm
    • Arm (yoke of shoulder to cuff): 69cm
    • Sleeve Width: 23cm
    • Weight: 3.143


    Don’t be misguided by claims that lighter gambesons are superior. A medieval gambeson was packed tight with filling such as horse hair and raw sheep’s wool. They could stop arrows - they were dense/heavy! An extra kilo or two in a gambeson is of little consequence to freedom of movement, but the material that goes into adding that extra weight can dramatically improve your chances of not getting bruised up or worse. A modern reproduction gambeson weighing not much more than a kilo is not suitable for any training other than solo drills. The padding on such “gambesons” is quite minimal and would provide little to no protection from blows by a waster or other weapon simulator. The overall structure is often far too thin to absorb a blow from anything stronger than a boffer. Thus its use as armour would be limited at best, non-existent at worst. Such lightweight gambesons (not sold by us) would provide some padding under mail, but not much. They have about the same amount of shock absorbtion as a thick sweater. At best it would prevent the mail from chaffing – if that’s all you want, that’s fine, but if you want to avoid cracked ribs and broken collar bones, please consider our range. The Medieval Shoppe will look after you!


    XXL Size - Please check our size guide:


    Sizing Chart
    Size Your chest size
    M Up to 102 cm
    L Up to 110 cm
    XL Up to 115 cm
    XXL Up to 120 cm
    If in doubt, choose a size larger. Better too loose than too tight!




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