As part of the launch for the new range of 2013 Vapour-rise products, Rab kindly gave some of our staff a couple of Vapour Rise Lite Pullons to test out in their various outdoor adventures.
Here are the views of Tom and Liam from the Bristol store on how the test went and their respective verdicts on the Vapour-rise technology.
“During the past week I have used it for about 70 miles of road cycling, 15 miles off-road cycling and about 10 miles of off-road running.
“Whereas Tom’s daily cycle is 4 miles a day urban commute between work and home. My daily cycle is 14 miles a day with a choice of a hilly route or an off-road route.
“During the road cycle I found the jacket very comfortable to wear with the length of the sleeves and drop tail. It did ride up on my back a couple of times while wearing a backpack but overall I found this was the only real problem I had with it, particularly on the colder days.
“During the warmer days I was very impressed with the jackets ability to breathe and wick. I never found myself overheating or feeling clammy with sweat. I imagine I could quite happily wear this jacket in weather that’s a bit warmer then what we currently have.
“On the colder days I did notice the chill a little bit at the start of my cycle but it soon warmed up enough for me. Except for my lower back where it sometimes rode up. I noticed the wind quite a lot when cycling the hilly route, but only really while going downhill or in areas that are a bit of a wind-trap or exposed.
“I was very impressed with the DWR on the rainy days. The jacket beaded rain as expected but after 45 mins off cycling in the rain I was still reasonably dry inside despite the fact that my top speed while cycling downhill can get to 25-30 mph, at this speed the wind forces the rain through my normal top.
“I felt the jacket is more suited to off road cycling. The shelter that some tracks provide plus the fact that you don’t really reach the same speeds off-road, meant that I felt the jacket offered more protection against the weather then I did on the road. Not once did I have wind cut through the top while off-road, nor did any rain get through the jacket.
“For me where this jacket really shone was while running. I see what you meant now when you said you thought you would overheat. The fleece lining does warm up very quickly but once it started doing its thing I never felt uncomfortable wearing it. Not once did I feel that I have to open the zip to cool down. I didn’t feel too cold in the jacket either, which is impressive considering my run was at 7am with a temperature forecast of zero degrees along a large river which can be very chilly.
“I tried the jacket with a variety of layering systems. Varying the thickness and material of the baselayer didn’t impede the jackets ability to wick or breathe. I did try it against skin but I found the wind a lot more noticeable without that extra layer and the micro-fleece was a bit prickly against bare skin. I also wore it with a windproof over the top of the jacket but didn’t really like that combination because I overheated a little bit. Guess I’ll just have to suck it up and cope with a little bit of wind getting through.
“I shall definitely be recommending this to the more active customers we have. Overall I have very much enjoyed testing this jacket out and now I can’t wait to buy my own. It’ll be with much sadness when I hand this jacket over to Tony ( Bristol store manager).”
“I have Cycled in cold and mild conditions, run in it and been on 2 climbing trips with it, 1 on the Avon Gorge at about 6 Deg’s and one in Pembroke at between 3 and-6 Deg’s, depending on whether you were in the wind or not.
“It’s great for chilly runs. I wore it with a synthetic baselayer, being a bit too wimpy to wear it next to skin, but I found I didn’t overheat and was wind resistant enough to stop me getting a chill when we started/during the run.
“I also found it didn’t get clingy as I sweated and seemed to deal with the moisture quickly expected. After the run I found I didn’t over chill either and cooled at an unnoticeable rate. The fit is good for me, athletic whilst not restrictive. The material felt slightly stretchy – I measure up as a 36” chest and am wearing small.
“Now obviously this is a different ball game, mainly as its cold at the mo and climbing isn’t very aerobic at all, I didn’t get sweaty so couldn’t benefit from the breathability of the garment. However, it was comfortable to move/reach in with great sleeve length and is so light it hardly feels like you’re wearing anything. Great so far but… its not very warm! No surprise being a ‘lite’ garment and not really designed to be, but in all the temperatures I climbed in, I wasn’t working hard enough to keep warm even with a merino baselayer on, climbing vertical E1’s.
“A hood would be nice for me but then alot of people don’t like them and you can find it on the alpine/guide model anyway. Also, pockets get blocked by a harness (but not completely and still slightly useable) but that brings me to other Rab garments anyway.
“I’m sure it will be a great garment for when the Spring heats up a little and I want a bit of wind resistance without the warmth. It isn’t really that wind resistant, but good enough for breezy conditions.
“Given it is a ‘Lite’ model, I was surprised to see it seems pretty abrasion and snag resistant, tested by udging up a groove on suspension bridge butress, with no signs of this after at all.
“Right so this is a bit of a ‘weird’ use, but on I can see urbanites using it for the short distance cycle commute! It has been great for this due to it keeping a bit of wind off, but not all of it.
“A bit chilly to start but within the 20min up hill ride I’m plenty warm enough. Very comfortable in the ‘drop bar’ position, not riding up you back too much and again benefiting from its sleeve length. In a shower, the DWR holds out well too.
“I’m a bit worried about getting filthy cycling as I love the colour blue, so may hold of using it to much for this until its worn a bit and stick to my soiled Paramo Velez, although I prefer this for fit and breathability.
“Given that I would like a hood, slightly higher pockets and a bit more warmth, I thing the heavier Guide version would suit me better but hey, beggers can’t be choosers (but they can be climbers? coincidence, I think not!) and this will be ace in the warm.”