- Super light
- Effective wind stopper
- Stands up to trail abuse
- At top end of price the range for this type of jacket
- A tad short at the rear
The Vaude Women’s Pro Windshell is an effective wind stopper for most cycling pursuits from a gravel hack to a tough trail ride, this will keep the worst of the wind from chilling you through. It’s a little short at the rear but seeing it’s a minimalist jacket we can forgive it.
This windproof from Vaude, is just that, there to stop the wind and not much else, there’s no bells or whistles and only one pocket to speak of. That’s fine though, it does the job in hand very well and has proved to be a good friend on the trail this winter.
This Pro Windshell is athletically cut and is made from eco-friendly material that is super thin, think of the material commonly used in wind shell vests rather than any kind of wind stopper soft shell. The fit is slim and, as alluded to above, it is a little short at the rear, I found it working its way up my back and getting caught over waist straps at the front if wearing a pack, but this is predominantly a road or gravel item so this won’t be such an issue here. The sleeves though are spot on lengthwise.
The eco friendly reference refers to the material used in the jacket being from a sustainable source and manufactured under fair working conditions, as is with much of Vaude’s kit, it’s their USP. The Vaude jackets also adds ‘Eco Finish to its list of credentials, this means it has been waterproofed in an environmentally-friendly way without fluorocarbons (PFC) used on other similar jackets. Vaude says PFCs aren’t biodegradable, are bioaccumulative, toxic and suspected of being harmful to health so they steer clear of them.
The jacket boasts Windproof 80-performance fabric, meaning it bocks out 80% of the wind, although I have no way of telling whether 80% of the wind is stopped, I can tell you that stand out in the open and it certainly feels like just a gentle breeze caressing the skin. This is likely to be coming through the elastic stretch inserts at the side and over the shoulder as well as through the material itself. It, no doubt, helps the breathability of the jacket which is superb. If sweat did ever accumulate on the inside of the jacket when working hard, I simply opened the main zip briefly to dispelled both heat and moisture quickly. Should it rain the jackets fends it off water reasonably well, remember this is water-resistant not waterproof, it’s a coat for light showers not full-on rain. In a shower it’ll keep you drier than if it wasn’t there and will dry quickly afterwards too.
With the stretch panels dealt with, aside from the main zip and the small rear pocket which features a small loop for a car key there’s not too much else to tell you about the Pro Windshell. There are elastic hems at the cuffs and the hem, reflective markings on the arms, the collar is short and lined with a softer material and that is just about it. The jacket is small enough to screw up and put in a pocket or a bag, rolls up into its own pocket and weighs just 66g. It copes very well with spending time rolled up in a ball at the base of my pack for emergency trailside use, it looks a tad creased most of the time when wearing it though!
For such a flimsy feeling material it can withstand a lot of abuse, I’ve been riding in the dirtiest of conditions and it’s held up to the mud and the ensuing washes well, with just a quick whiz through the tumble drier all that is needed to reactivate the water-resistant coating.
The Pro Windshell costs £90 which is at the top end of the very varied price range for these types of jackets, Vaude eco-credentials probably have something to do with the price hike here. There is a more mountain bike applicable jacket available from Vaude, the Croz, compete with hood and, guys if you are interested there’s a Men’s Pro Windshell too. In all, this is a versatile little jacket for those windy days or chilly ones when you really don’t know what mother nature has in store. It’s quicker to remove than a base layer should things get heated and when in use as an extra layer it will fend off wind chill when you are bombing down your favourite descents.
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