Weâ€™re looking ahead to winter with a review of the Vaude Bormio insulated jacket.
This is a breathable and lightweight thermal jacket for â€œactive toursâ€ in winter. That means skiing and ski touring mainly, but the jacket could also be useful for energeticÂ mountaineering and hiking trips.
The jacket is from Vaude, a German company that prides itself on great designs and green-friendly credentials.
The hooded jacket is made with innovative Polartec Alpha insulation. To explain, this is â€œthe latest evolution of synthetic insulation offering a rare combination of lightweight warmth and true breathability in a puffy style garmentâ€.
The fabrics at the back of the jacket have been designed to offer “high air permeability”, which means “a small amount of airflow will rapidly draw moisture away from the body”. The aim of this is to keep wearers dry and warm when doing active and sweaty sports.
A combination of stretchy outer and inner fabrics and a high-stretch insulation allows for excellent freedom of movement. This comes from Vaudeâ€™s Performance Stretch fabric, which â€œhas a four-way stretch yet retains its original shapeâ€.
There’s stretch in both the main fabric of the jacket and in fleecy side panels.
Again, to explain, the knit construction offers “two surface technologies”. Vaude states: “This is aÂ smooth, robust exterior surface that makes layering quick and easy, and a brushed interior that is comfortably soft and effectively wicks moisture away from the skin, transferring it to the outsideâ€.
The fit is slim and sporty with articulated sleeves.
The jacket also has two chest pockets with zips, one inside pocket for stowing the jacket when not in use and a two-way front zip with backflap.
Plus the Bormio includes these features: Elastic cuffs, drawcord at the bottom hem with one-hand adjustment and adjustable hood
On test: Vaude Bormio jacket
It hasnâ€™t started snowing yet in Scotland although there have been days when it has felt cold enough so the jacket hasnâ€™t been tested while skiing or ski touring. However, it has been put through a good outdoors workout.
The jacket feels very lightweight, almost flimsy when you put it on. It says â€œpuffyâ€ in the description but I think this is an exaggeration. The jacket is very lightly insulated and that is for a good reason.
There does need to be a balance if the jacket is to cope with high-energy activities yet still offer a good quality layer of insulation. Despite the jacket feeling flimsy it does just that: It’s lightweight and warming and it keeps sweat at bay.
Because the stretch side panels are made of fleece this also allows heat to dissipate.
The design is clever in other ways. The front chest-high pockets are compatible with ski tourers who wear rucksacks. If the pockets were lower down they would be difficult to use when a rucksack waist-strap is secured around them.
The internal zipped pocket is good for valuables when youâ€™re active and also a useful way to pack the jacket when not in use.
The hood is also a great fit. It zips up to above the mouth and protects a lot of the head fromÂ outside elements. I would wear this hood beneath a helmet but is could also be worn under a waterproof outer layer in less clement weather.
But itâ€™s the four-way stretch fabric that has most impressed me. Although the jacket fits neatly (even, athletically!) the range of movement is amazing. In fact, when I rounded my shoulders forward the stretch sort of pinged them back to an upright posture. Itâ€™s not a bad â€œpingingâ€ but it underlined the quality of the stretch in the jacket.
I found I could reach up, out and back and bend over to touch my toes with no problems whatsoever. The jacket seemed to fit like a second skin. I think this will be fantastic for sports such as ski touring which are very physical.
It’s a useful jacket, if a little specialised, and my only criticism is the white used for one of the women’s jackets. White never stays white and it usually goes a funny colour/grey when washed with your other clothes.
Green friendly Vaude
Green Shape: The Vaude guarantee for environmentally friendly products. Made from sustainable materials, resource-conserving manufacturing and fair production.
Bluesign-approved Fabric:Â This is the worldâ€™s most stringent standard for environment, consumer and workforce protection.
Eco Finish:Â Vaude products bearing the Eco Finish have been waterproofed in an environmentally friendly way without fluorocarbons (PFC).