The Vault Regulars

Monday, January 25, 2010


I recently bought this new jacket, because it looked a quality product and it fitted well. I needed a lighter weight jacket for 3 season use as my dependable Paramo adventure is a little too heavy and bulky to be a permanent fixture in all seasons.
Cloudveil are somewhat unknown in the UK although they have been going from around the late 90's. They are an American company based in the well named place, Jackson Hole. They design and manufacture Hiking, Skiing, Climbing, Fishing gear as well as other outdoor activity gear.

The Koven Jacket i bought is a medium size and it weighs in at 460gr. and it folds away small.

The main features are:-
Drop down storm sealing hood (not wired)
Hidden storm sealing collar cinch
Bonded draft flap with lined chin guard
Adjustable storm sealing hem
Laminated cuff tabs
Dual slider pit zips
Chest pocket & oversized hand warmer pockets
Internal stretch mesh pockets
Fully seam sealed
Bonded and sewn YKK® water-resistant zippers.

The material (copied from the website), Cloudburst™ Stretch is a high denier, high-tech fabric offering extreme breathability and maximum comfort. Exceptionally high resistance to water pressure means protection against even the heaviest precipitation conditions. Two-way mechanical stretch enhances freedom of movement and maintains a soft and supple feel. Features a 100 wash super durable DWR. 100% nylon, 20,000 mmH2O /20,000 g/m2/24 hour, 45 x 45 denier, 115 g/m2.

I gave it a testing yesterday and it proved itself to be a capable weather proofer.  For my body frame, the fit is as good as i require with slightly long sleeves which i like. When its raining i would rather pull the sleeves down over my hands and secure the tabs than wear gloves.

The hood closures work very well but it took me a few tries before i mastered the closure properly. You have to zip the jacket up 3/4's the way, pull the hood over your head, then find the hood draw cords which are located in the fleece collar. Pull both cords down and they lock the hood at the desired tension. Then fully zip up the jacket. 
When i wore the hood without a cap the hood didn't move when the head turned but when a cap/hat is worn the hood turns with the head. 
Although the test day was not very windy the hood kept out the elements. I did find having a cap on compensated for not having a wired hood. 
The hood edges have been reinforced by having more material, this does give the edge some support.

There are good pit zips and they are two way operating. I found them very useful on hill climbs. I kept them open for most of the  day and they didn't let water in. The other good point about the sleeves is that when you reach up as in the photo the jacket body remains in situ, it doesn't rise up.

The hand warmer pockets are a good size but the chest pocket i think, is a little on the small size. You cannot get an os map in it thats for sure, and like loads of similar jackets the actual pocket gets covered by your rucksack strap anyway. WHY DO DESIGNERS KEEP DOING THIS. DO THEY NOT HIKE?
On the inside there is a small mesh pocket for your phone or GPS.

I kept my waterproofs on all day. That's the jacket and a pair of Rab event overtrousers. When i removed them at the car, i had no sign of any water ingress. There was obviously some dampness caused through exertion but not wetness. So far so good. I now just need to assess the jacket in a prolonged downpour to be sure, but the initial signs are that it's a good buy. 

The only cons i can think off at this time is that it doesn't drop down at the tail to cover your rear end although it isn't a short jacket in any case.

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