Over the last 2 months I have been using my new Vapour Rise Lite Jacket for just about everything. I’ve walked in it, ran in it, cycled in it, ate in it and even slept in it.
The first time I wore it, I used it as a mid layer for a walk and overnight camp on Dartmoor during the cold March we had. I didn’t take it off for 24 hours; it was so comfortable under my Gore-Tex jacket during the day, I have never known a softshell like it, the breathability is unbelievably good. I would never consider wearing a softshell under another jacket, but Vapour Rise is in a class of its own.
The immense breathability is down to the combination of the Pertex Equilibrium outer shell and the high wicking micro fleece drop liner, which is unique to Rab. Those who remember the first concept of softshell will be familiar with this style of garment. The two layers are only attached at the seams, creating a very comfortable jacket that is able to move with you. This also means no glues are used in joining the materials together, so it doesn’t impair the breathability.
As a running jacket, The Rab Vapour Rise Light is definitely well suited for the colder conditions we’ve had this spring. The Pertex offers enough wind resistance to keep the chill out, and lets enough through to keep your temperature well regulated. I found once I had warmed up, unzipping the jacket was enough to cool me down, then zipping back up if needed. This is totally different to a single skin windproof running top, there is no clammy feel next to the skin and it is far more comfortable next to the skin. One thing I would say is if you were going to use one solely for running and cycling I would consider the Vapour-Rise Light Pull on, this has a half zip so venting is still the same but you don’t end up with a cape trailing behind you.
As far as sizing goes, it’s refreshing to find something that fits so well. My Jacket is a medium, and I am 6ft 2” with a 40” chest. I am used to finding I need a large to get enough length in the sleeves and body. But this jacket fits perfectly; I’m finding it hard to say anything bad about it really, it just does everything I need it to.