Smooth sailing until zipping time: my quibble with this lightweight cycling jacket
by Michael Restin
Vaude has launched sustainable and fair clothing for mountain biking. On top of this, the new collection also boasts practicality and cool design.
German Sustainability Prize in 2015, the Fair Wear Foundation Best Practice Award in 2016 and achieving first place in the Ranking of Sustainability Reports in 2019. There’s also flexible working practices, a self-run company kindergarten, a 60-per-cent-female workforce, a refugee integration scheme and, as of this year, carbon neutrality. And the list goes on.
Editor Michael Restin started raving when he tested a lightweight cycling jacket by Vaude recently. He liked the jacket itself, as well as the family business from Tettnang in Baden-Württemberg.
Therefore, I was very excited when I got to test Vaude’s new MTB collection. I’ve used Vaude shorts, hoodie and other clothing items again and again throughout the summer. Minor spoiler: I’ve also become a fan of the brand. But let's take it one step at a time.
These MTB shorts are made of a lightweight (284 grams) 4-way stretch fabric. The main material, made in an environmentally friendly way, is wind-resistant and robust. The shorts cover your knees and the width can be adjusted with a 2-way zip, allowing you to wear knee protectors – and giving you some ventilation, too. The waistband is cut higher at the back and features width adjustment, making sure the shorts fit well. This product is PFC-free with Eco Finish water-repellent finish. A completely waterproof version is available, too.
This hoodie has a casual cut, making it very comfortable. I wear it regularly when I’m not cycling. Valuables can be safely stored in the small side zipped pocket on the back. The functional main material is lightweight, quick-drying and the wool content has an odour-inhibiting effect. The material, certified according to strict environmental standards, isn’t itchy, so you can wear it without anything underneath.
I took this light and casually cut windbreaker made of water-repellent stretch material with me to the North Sea island of Langeoog for a summer holiday. I didn’t wear it for mountain biking, but for trips on a rental bike as well as on beach walks and ferry trips. The two side zipped pockets with mesh material inside also provide ventilation. The material, certified according to strict environmental standards, feels very light when you wear it. This lightweight and water-repellent jacket (340 grams) is made with Eco Finish and in an environmentally friendly way without fluorocarbons (PFC).
These lightweight gloves with mesh inserts and perforation on the palm offer good ventilation and comfortable fit. Ergonomic pads protect your palms against shocks. Silicone prints offer a good grip of the brakes and gears, even in wet conditions.
I've mentioned this a few times and I'm happy to do it again: I like cool design with bright colours. Of course, equipment that’s produced in a sustainable and fair way is important and worth supporting. No question. However, these are rational arguments for or against a brand and its products. Design triggers us on an emotional level. And we humans are emotional beings. Well, I am for sure.
This collection by Vaude speaks to me on an emotional level, too. I even took the shorts, hoodie and jacket with me when I travelled the North Sea island of Langeoog for my summer holidays. And I was glad I did. I wore the jacket and hoodie a lot, as the temperatures dropped below 20 degrees. Whether on a rental bike, walking on the beach, on the ferry or in a restaurant, I’ve rarely received so much positive feedback for clothing. I was even asked by strangers where I got the jacket from.
Call me shallow, but that’s a good feeling, too. On top of the fact that Vaude takes environmental protection seriously.