Vaude Fjordan (2015)

Features

The big plus here is that the Vaude Fjordan only weighs 380g (size L), and that is due in part to the use of a 2.5-layer stretch Ceplex laminate membrane fabric, rather than a 3-layer option. This material is also Bluesign-approved to meet environmental standards. There are three outside pockets, the hood has a wired peak and you even get pit zips for this weight. 5/5

Fit

Men’s sizes are S-XXL and women’s 34-46. My L had a much closer fit than others of the same size. The material is thinner and stretchier than others, so it still allows good freedom of movement in general; although I did notice the cuffs and hem moved more easily than others when I raised my arms. The hood fit and movement are very good though. 4/5

Comfort

The weight and soft material make the Vaude Fjordan comfy, although the 2.5-layer fabric is a bit clammier than 3-layer materials used in other jackets. As it’s a closer fit and softer it can’t trap as much warm air inside, so in heavier weather it feels less comfy than a stiffer jacket. The small movement of the cuffs down the wrist means this area is less well-protected. 4/5

In use

In summer the Vaude Fjordan would be great due to its weight, but in winter or wild weather others feel better in use due to the comfort they offer. But the two large main pockets are good and can be accessed above a hipbelt. The third chest pocket is small but it’s useful for a GPS receiver. The hood works very well and sets this apart from many other jackets. 4/5

Value

There are compromises and benefits here, and while this price isn’t a bargain it’s still good compared to some. 4/5

Verdict

If you want a lightweight jacket with a closer fit and some good features the Vaude Fjordan is worth a closer look. 4.2/5

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine November 2015

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Vaude Crestone (2015)

Features

The Ceplex Advanced fabric used in the Vaude Crestone is Bluesign-approved, meaning it meets stringent environmental standards. It is a 2.5-layer fabric, so it’s not quite as good as 3-layer materials for condensation management. But it is light at 313g (size L) and you still get two main pockets, plus a third chest pocket, a hood with a wired peak, and pit zips, which is remarkable at this weight. 4/5

Size

The Crestone comes in sizes S-XXL for men and 34-44 for women. The fit is slightly closer than some others, but I found the sleeves or hem did ride up when raising my arms. The hood fit was good but it did not move with the head as well as higher-priced jackets. The wired peak fits very well, though, to protect the face. 3/5

Comfort

As with all 2.5-layer fabrics, condensation isn’t controlled as well as in 3-layer jackets and it feels a little clammier in general. But you do get pit zips to aid ventilation. The pockets are sealed so no water gets through them. The close-fitting sleeves and soft fabric mean warm air is not easily trapped here, so it can feel a bit chilly. 4/5

In use

The Vaude Crestone is better than most. The two large pockets are ideal for maps or to warm hands. The third chest pocket is good for a GPS or compass. The peak is excellent, and the hood moves just about well enough with the head to be better than some. Condensation is the main drawback. 4/5

Value

The pros outweigh the cons when the cost is considered, as while not perfect this jacket is very good at the price. 4/5

Verdict

A very light weight combined with good pockets and a reasonable hood make the Vaude Crestone a good choice for the cost-conscious hillwalker. 3.8/5

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine July 2015

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Vaude Casson (2015)

Features

The Vaude Casson’s 2.5-layer Ceplex Advanced fabric gains Bluesign approval for its environmental benefits, but condensation control is not quite as good as 3-layer fabrics. There are two main pockets, pit zips and a hood with a wired peak. It has a decent weight of 310g too. The main drawback is the two pockets: they’re mesh-lined so they may allow water through. 4/5

Size

In men’s sizes S-XXL and women’s 34-44, the Casson’s length and fit are similar to other lightweight jackets’. But the hem and cuffs ride up a little when raising your arms. The hood is great though, with just a little cinch of the volume adjuster needed for a great fit and easy movement with the head. 4/5

Comfort

The 2.5-layer fabric feels a little clammy and doesn’t control condensation as well as 3- layer fabrics. The pit zips ease condensation build-up and the pockets are mesh for more airflow, but that’s no good in the rain of course, so you’ll need to keep those

pockets closed to stay dry. 3/5

In use

The Vaude Casson’s weight, hood and large pockets that can be easily accessed when wearing a rucksack with a hipbelt set this jacket apart from many others. But slightly better movement in the sleeves would be ideal, and having sealed rather than mesh pockets would be a bonus in the wet. But it’s better than most. 4/5

Value

This is the best jacket around this price when weight and performance are taken into account, so good value. 4/5

Verdict

The Vaude Casson is a reasonable jacket for hillwalking and a good price, with the main drawback being mesh pockets that can let water through. 3.8/5

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine July 2015

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Vaude Crestone (2015)

www.vaude.com

Features

The Vaude Crestone’s weight of just 314g (size L) is an important feature but you also get two large chest-mounted pockets for easy access while wearing a rucksack and a third higher-placed chest pocket for a GPS. The hood has a wired peak plus rear volume adjustment. Pit zips are provided to aid ventilation without having to open the front zip. 5/5

Fit

The Crestone is available for men in sizes S-XXL and women in sizes 36-46. The cut is short like many lighter jackets, while the hood fitted very well and moved easily with my head even without the front zip fully zipped up. The sleeve fit is quite close and this leads to some movement in the cuffs and hem when raising your arms, so not quite perfect. 4/5

Comfort

The Vaude Crestone is made from a 2.5-layer Ceplex Advanced material, which is Bluesign-approved for its environmental credentials. It is not quite as comfy as a 3-layer or a mesh-lined jacket but the comfort benefit also comes from the fabric’s suppleness and the low weight. The pockets are not mesh-lined, so they keep water out well, while pit zips aid ventilation. 4/5

In use

The Vaude Crestone is great at keeping water out thanks to the pockets not being mesh; external stormflaps on the zips would be even better. The main two pockets are easily accessed and great for hands or maps, but the third chest pocket is only really of use for a GPS or compass. More length and stiffness would be good for cold or windy conditions, but if milder it’s great. 4/5

Value

The price is good for the features as you would need to pay much more for improvement in any area. 3/5

Verdict

If you want a lightweight jacket with good features for under £200 the Vaude Crestone is one of the best. 4.0/5

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine Spring 2015

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Vaude Crestone (2014)

The 2.5-layer Ceplex Advanced fabric used in the Vaude Crestone meets the environmentally friendly Bluesign standards, while the pit zips and three pockets on the body will suit a wide range of user needs. The two main pockets are large enough for maps and they’re well-placed to maintain access while wearing a rucksack. These pockets don’t use mesh linings, but the third small chest pocket is placed higher on the body and has a mesh lining that drops into the main pocket. This means a heavy item such as a GPS receiver, phone or bunch of keys dangles annoyingly into the top of the main pocket. The pit zips are long so you can just vent the side of the jacket if needed. All the Vaude Crestone’s zips including the main front zip of the jacket are not the most water-resistant design, but the main zip does have an internal flap to limit water ingress. The hood is very interesting thanks to a wired peak and a drawcord system that is adjusted at the back of the head. This tends to leave the cheek and chin area looser than other designs, which I quite liked. There is also an interesting mesh panel that sits over the forehead to help hold the hood in place, and this worked well for me but it may not be to everyone’s taste.

Specifications:

Fabric 2.5-layer Ceplex Advanced

Lining none

Men’s sizes S-XXL

Women’s sizes 34-44

External pockets 3

Stowable hood? no

Side/pit zips? yes

Weight 308g (men’s size L)

Website www.vaude.comA>

Verdict

Some of the features on this environmentally friendly jacket are a little quirky, but overall the Vaude Crestone offers a good package for hillwalkers.

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine July 2014

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Vaude Crestone (2103)

At just 314g (size L) the Vaude Crestone is the lightest jacket featured in our test but, surprisingly for the weight, it is also fully featured and those features are well-designed. It is shorter than some jackets, as is common with lighter designs, and also the front zip does not get an external stormflap, so don’t be surprised if this leaks a little in driving rain. But you do get two very large chest pockets that can be easily accessed while wearing a rucksack, and as they don’t have mesh linings they should not allow water in. A third smaller chest pocket is good for a GPS receiver or compass. Pit zips under the arms aid ventilation and that may be useful as this jacket is made from a 2.5 layer fabric, which has extremely good lab results for waterproofness and breathability, but it feels clammier than 3-layer fabrics. The fabric is also Bluesign-approved, which means it meets stringent environmental standards. The hood performs well thanks to a wired peak and a good fit that allows it to easily move with the head without obscuring vision. If you want a lightweight jacket the Vaude Crestone is well worth a closer look, although like all lightweights it has drawbacks. You may get more for your money with other models, but it is hard to find a better jacket at this low weight.

Weight 314g (size L)

Fabric 2.5-layer Ceplex Advanced

Lining none

Men’s sizes S-XXL

Women’s sizes 34-44

External pockets 3

Can hood be rolled down? no

Side/pit vents yes

Website www.vaude.co.uk

Verdict

If low weight’s your priority then the Vaude Crestone is a winner, but it does have some drawbacks compared to similarly priced but heavier jackets.

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine November 2013

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Vaude Ortler (2012)

The Vaude Ortler is a very lightweight jacket at just 341g (men’s size L), and in part this is because it is made from a very thin soft and supple 2.5 layer fabric, without a mesh lining. In the lab the fabric sports top-end levels of waterproofness and breathability, which makes this price very competitive; but 3-layer fabrics such as eVent and Gore-Active Shell or 2-layer Performance Shell with a mesh lining do feel more comfy. The jacket is quite short so it is more of a summer garment than a year-round option, but at least you get a front zip with an external stormflap to keep rain out and also the chest pockets are not mesh-lined so they are less likely to allow water through the jacket than some similar jackets. Those two chest pockets are nice and large, and they’re easily accessible while wearing a rucksack with hipbelts. There are also pit zips for added ventilation control. The hood has a wired peak and a good fit but movement is not ideal. However, overall the Vaude Ortler is an excellent jacket when you take its weight and price into consideration, and it would be particularly good for anyone looking for a lighter general walking jacket.

Weight 341g (men’s L)
Fabric 2.5 layer Ceplex Advanced
Lining none
Men’s sizes S-XXL
Women’s sizes 34-46in
External pockets 2
Can hood be rolled down? No
Side/pit vents no
Website www.vaude.co.uk

 

Verdict

The Vaude Ortler is a great jacket for general hillwalking if you rank low weight high on your agenda but still want some good features rather than a purely stripped-down design.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine November 2012


Vaude Mischabel (2012)

Offering a simple and attractive design, the Vaude Mischabel is the second lightest jacket (after the Kathmandu) and the third lightest contender (including the OMM smock) on test. The hem adjusters are swift and relatively easy to use, as is the neck adjuster with external tidy. The hood peak is semi-rigid and far from the largest on test but it’s well-designed, with a slight inner rim below the peak to help keep moisture from your face. The two external pockets will accommodate an OS map (but only just), while the pit zips lie on the outside of the arm. It’s an odd choice as most moisture and heat will be focused around the underarm, while the Mischabel’s top-side zip cannot be safely be opened in the rain. There’s also a Velcro adjuster on the top of the hood in place of a drawstring mechanism – a common alternative, though some may find it less effective than a drawstring. Despite these potential drawbacks of design, it’s an appealing lightweight option in many ways. It’s also one of the most breathable on test, mainly due to its extremely thin design, while the wafer-thin material also make it one of the quietest to wear while walking. Like the OMM, it’s also very spacious, so it may be wise to establish the correct size first if you decide to buy online.

Weight 285g (size M)
Fabric 2.5-layer Ceplex Advanced
Men’s sizes S-XXL
Women’s sizes 34-42
Website www.vaude.co.uk

 

Verdict
The Vaude Mischabel is lightweight, and features curious design touches. A good alternative option to more mainstream styles.

Review by Dan Aspel
First published in Trail magazine June 2012


Vaude Slight Pro

A really lightweight jacket weighing a mere 250g. The fit is generous, easily covering the hips, and there’s plenty of length in the arms too. The fabric feels silky smooth against the skin and is great to move around in. It has a decent-sized hood that swivels well with head movement, and there are baffle adjusters at the back and sides. Unsurprisingly for a jacket of this weight, the peak is rather flimsy. The 3-layer Ceplex Pro fabric is waterproof, though, with taped seams and a decent DWR coating to prevent water soaking in, and it breathes fairly well too. There are only two pockets – one on each side – but they’re positioned high up so you can access them easily when wearing a pack, and they’re really roomy too.

VITAL STATS
Sizes
: 34-44
Materials: Ceplex Pro
Weight: 250g
Pockets: 2
Men’s version: Yes
Contact: 01665 510660; www.vaude.com

 


Vaude Stretch Infinity 2009

The Vaude Stretch Infinity general-purpose jacket weighs 552g (men’s L); stretch eVent fabric is extremely waterproof and breathable; pit zips; chest pockets easily accessed with rucksack on; front zip gets external stormflap; fine hood movement. But chest pockets are mesh-lined so not as waterproof as sealed pockets; hood peak is large and not stiffened.

 

Verdict: The Vaude Stretch Infinity is a good general-purpose jacket, but others have advantages at this price.

 

First published in Trail magazine November 2009

 


Vaude Slight

This is a light and compact jacket, but its minimalist design comes at a price in terms of both cash and performance. It is restricted to a single pocket, which is too small for a map, and the hood is quite shallow, although it adjusts well and has a wired peak. There’s no venting anywhere, which makes it hot, and this isn’t helped by elasticated cuffs that are too tight to pull up. It does keep rain out, and breathes reasonably well considering the lack of venting. Better suited to cycling.

 

Sizes: S-XXL
Hood: Fixed
Weight: 250g
Women’s version: Unisex
Contact: 01665 510660; www.vaude.co.uk


Vaude Gorak 2008

The Vaude Gorak multi-activity jacket weighs just 428g (men’s L); very waterproof, very breathable Ceplex fabric; double stormflaps; map-sized hip pockets; pit zips; removable hood. But pocket access is easily obscured by rucksack belts; soft hood peak, stiff hood drawcords; you get better waterproofnes /breathability at higher prices; no reflective material.Verdict
The Vaude Gorak has a poor hood, but it can be removed, making this jacket useful for multisport if a helmet is worn.

First published in Trail magazine November 2008

Vaude Slight 2008

The Vaude Slight is an extremely lightweight jacket at just 242g (size L) and the weight saving primarily comes from the lack of features, while the very thin 3-layer fabric shaves more weight off. The fabric is a rated as extremely waterproof and breathable, so it should be as good as the best here in this respect, even though it is so thin. The simple design has hardly any seams, to reduce bulk and weight, while the short length saves a few more grams. You get an adjustable hem drawcord, elasticated cuffs and front zip. The chest pocket is OS map-sized, while the hood is extremely good, having a wired peak and good fit and movement. Considering how well this is put together the price is good too. If minimal weight is at the top of your list, then this is a superb option for hill-walkers. But the Vaude Slight is a minimalist design so it lacks all the finer details that are actually quite useful on the hill. So there aren’t many pockets, it’s very short and the cuffs cannot be adjusted. Also the front zip does not get an external stormflap to keep rain out.

Outer 3-layer Ceplex Pro
Inner none
Fabric waterproofness extremely waterproof
Fabric breathability extremely breathable
Sizes S-XXL
Weight 242g (L)
Made in China
Stores in the UK no info provided
Verdict
The Vaude Slight is an incredibly lightweight jacket that is ideal for those who place weight saving at the top of their wants list and useful features much lower down.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine November 2008

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

Vaude Infinity 2008

The Vaude Infinity general-purpose jacket is made from eVent fabric, so it is top-drawer for breathability and waterproofness. Also you get stormflaps on the pocket and main zips, making it even more watertight in a storm. There are three large pockets that are all large enough for maps, and they can be easily accessed while wearing a rucksack with a hipbelt. Sleeve movement is also excellent, making this ideal for scramblers too. The hood can be rolled to the collar and secured in place in dry weather, and when worn on the head it fits well and moves well too. There is a wired peak  that offers some extra protection to the eyes and a soft polyester panel to add comfort around the chin. All that for 538g (men‘s L) sounds impressive, making this potentially perfect for hill and mountain walkers and scramblers. But the price of the Vaude Infinity lets it down drastically, as it needs to be around £180-200 rather than £250 in order to compete with other eVent jackets. On a practical note, there are only chest pockets, and the hood peak is not as good as some other options.

Outer 3-layer eVent
Inner none
Fabric waterproofness extremely waterproof
Fabric breathability extremely breathable
Sizes S-XXL (men’s); 34-44 (women’s)
Weight 538g  (men’s L)
Made in Far East
Stores in the UK mail order onlyVaude: In practical terms the Vaude Infinity can compete with the best hill and mountain jackets around, but it is very overpriced for what you get.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine November 2008

Vaude Slight

This is an extremely lightweight jacket at just 238g (size large). A large part of the reason for the low weight is that the feature list has been slashed, while the very thin 3-layer fabric is the second half of the story. The fabric is a rated as extremely waterproof and breathable, so it should be as good as the best. The cut is simple, to reduce seams and the style is quite short again to keep the weight down. You get an adjustable hem drawcord, elasticated cuffs and front zip. The chest pocket is OS map-sized, while the hood is extremely good, having a wired peak and good fit and movement. Considering how well this is put together the price is good too.  But this is a minimalist design so it lacks all the finer details that are actually quite useful on the hill. So there aren’t many pockets, it’s very short and the cuffs cannot be adjusted. Also the front zip does not get an external stormflap to keep rain out.

 

Outer: 3-layer Ceplex Pro
Inner: none
Fabric waterproofness: extremely waterproof
Fabric breathability: extremely breathable
Sizes: S-XXL (women’s)
Weight: 490g (size S)
Made in China
Stores in UK: no info provided

Verdict: Incredibly lightweight so ideal when every gram counts, but lacks useful features for average hill-walkers.


Vaude Stretched Reality

This multi-activity jacket is almost as stretchy as a rubber band, yet Vaude have kept a sensible cut, so it doesn’t shrink-wrap the wearer as soon as you put it on. However when you bend and flex, you get that extra bit of movement as and when you need it. The material is rated as good as the best for waterproofness and breathability too. Better still this jacket is light at 292g. Feature wise it is pretty basic, with just two large chest pockets that swallow OS maps, and these are mesh-lined to allow extra venting and save weight. The hood is also elasticated and works reasonably well. This looks ideal for fast action. But the hood has no adjustment, so it either fits or it doesn’t; and the cuffs are only elasticated so again they either fit or they don’t. Other jackets have more features and may be harder-wearing. There is no reflective piping either.

 

Outer: 2.5 layer Ceplex Advanced Stretch
Inner: none
Fabric waterproofness: extremely waterproof
Fabric breathability: extremely breathable
Sizes: S-XXL (men’s); 34-44 (women’s)
Weight: 292g (large)
Made in China
Stores in UK: no info provided

Verdict: For biking, light hiking, adventure racing and running this is great.