Vaude Alpinist Stretch 2008

Made from eVent fabric, which is rated as extremely waterproof and extremely breathable, the Vaude Alpinist Stretch winter jacket also has stretch panels. Put it on and it is noticeable how much longer this is than most other jackets, which is a very welcome feature. Freedom of movement in the sleeves is outstanding, and you can easily access the two map-sized chest pockets while wearing a rucksack. Long pit zips allow greater condensation control too. Put the hood up and you get good movement. The wired peak provides reasonable protection for the eyes. So this appears to have all the basic features that most walkers will need, particularly if they prefer a waterproof with a simple, fuss-free design. But the front zip of the Vaude Alpinist Stretch does not get a double stormflap, so I’d expect some leakage through those exposed zips in the worst driving rain. The hood has its wire at the forehead end but I think it would be better at the front of the peak.

Outer: 3-layer eVent with stretch panels
Inner: none
Fabric waterproofness: extremely waterproof
Fabric breathability: extremely breathable
Sizes: S-XXL (men’s); 34-44 (women’s)
Weight: 604g (men’s L)
Made in: Thailand
Stores in the UK: no info provided

Verdict: The Vaude Alpinist Stretch is a great jacket for a mountain walking, scrambling and backpacking in all but the wildest of weather.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine November 2008