Vaude’s Morzine Softshell is a stretchy, reasonably close fitting mountain bike jacket made from a mix of two materials. It's great for cold conditions despite not being a true waterproof, but some small issues with the collar let it down somewhat.
The front of the jacket and all sections facing the brunt of the wind are 100% windproof and the sections under the back of the arm above the elbow and across the back are made of a stretchy 80% breathable and wind-repellent fabric. The jacket does not claim to be waterproof, but it's coated with a water-repellent Eco Finish which is produced without Fluorocarbons and therefore hopefully less damage to our environment.
Vaude is rightly proud of their green credentials, offering a Green Shape guarantee which gives the user confidence that the materials and the manufacturing processes are as sustainable and energy efficient as possible.
The jacket is comfortable, with the soft textured and internally bobbled fabric feeling warm against any skin and smooth against inner layers. The arms are well shaped and long and although they do not have adjustable cuffs they have an inner wrist gaiter with just enough stretch to seal the gap for most people - unless you have fairly skinny wrists, which I do. When relying solely on the inner gaiter fitting under or over your glove, the cuff stayed in place and the gap was never an issue. It's an effective solution but I would prefer to use a system where I can adjust the cuff myself.
One odd design feature is the tall collar closure. It stands up high around your neck and above your shoulder line and yet has no way of being adjusted. It leaves a gap around my inner jersey and or baselayer and is at odds with the windproof nature of the rest of the jacket design. When bent over on a bike the neck gap allows freezing air to rush down inside and cool you, which is far from ideal. If the neck was adjustable or closer fitting this wouldn't be an issue, but it isn't. Wearing a Buff is a simple solution that cures this but I’m not sure it should be a requirement to make the jacket work.
In use, the Morzine jacket is stretchy and warm even in extraordinarily heavy rain. Wet yes, but warm. It did take a long time to dry out though so if you know it’s going to be a very wet ride, reach for the other jacket or throw on a lightweight waterproof on top for the perfect layering system.
The pockets have huge openings and two-way zips meaning you can access them from the top or bottom which is excellent depending on whether you are wearing a pack or not. They also allow air in and out and so make great cooling vents when climbing, just don’t leave them open when you reach the top. The actual pockets are enormous, being pretty much the whole front of the jacket, which is great if you want to stuff things in them. There is also a chest pocket for even easier access to a waterproof phone or credit card etc.
The stretchy arm and back panels work well allowing the jacket to flex and move with you whilst hugging you and removing any unwanted air and keeping the climate inside the jacket bearable.
The tail of the jacket is not overly long like some road and commuter jackets and does not have any silicon gripper to hold it in place. Instead, it has an elastic pull cord system with the adjusters buried in the bottom of both front pockets so you just to have to pull the end toggle to tighten the fit. It’s a simple system and even though you’re moving around a fair bit more on a mountain bike than a road bike I found the jacket stayed put over my trouser waistband without the need for silicon grippers. There are also two reflective stripes on the rear for when the Chute Green jacket no longer glows in the dark.
The Morzine is a very useful jacket for most cold weather conditions other than heavy prolonged rain. The Eco Finish water repellent coating works well and as long as you follow the washing instructions should last for plenty of rides. As long as you can forgive it for the large neck opening (wear a Buff) and non-adjustable cuffs it’s a very good choice for Autumn to Spring riding.
Although it’s priced at £140, it is readily available for much less at (almost exclusively German) webstores and whilst it doesn't appear to be widely stocked in the UK, you can order directly from Vaude themselves, and it will be delivered by a chosen UK partner store. Overall, it's worth checking out if you are in the market for a multipurpose jacket and already have a shell that you could partner with it for the UK's cold rainy days.
A multi-purpose jacket for mountain biking, commuting and adventures in the hills or just on the way to work.
Vaudes Morzine Jacket is very well made with quality stitching and well-chosen fabrics fit for purpose. That Vaude has chosen eco-construction methods and materials to make the jacket and there appears to be no downside other than price (perhaps) is a testament to their ambition of becoming the most environmentally friendly outdoor company in Europe. You no longer need to wear a hair shirt to be Eco riding your bike you can now where Vaude and be comfortable.
Product construction extra:
Would have been nice to reduce the neck opening somehow but different clothing under the jacket and a Buff solve the issue.
Product durability extra:
Looking good and appears to shed dirt well in heavy rain.
Product value extra:
Expensive if you pay the full £140 but plenty of online options for less than that.
Very good comformtable jacket with plenty of warmth. Takes a long time to dry if soaked but stays warm when wet.
Arm length and internal insulating bobbled fabric finish. Good deep pockets
neck and cuffs could be tighter for me
A good all round 3 season softshell jacket that will keep you warm and dry in all but heavy persistent rain