One of two items here using Polartec Alpha insulation, but a very different beast to the other piece. It’s a lightweight gilet with only 100g of insulation, which keeps bulk down and movement free and easy, but adds an impressive amount of warmth for the weight. Elasticated armholes, two large Napoleon pockets, a two-way front zip with a storm guard, a high-ish collar and a drawcord hem complete the unassuming feature set, but don’t be fooled – this does what it sets out to do, perfectly. I found other gilets in this test to be overkill when active for all but the very coldest days, but the Bormio seemed just right over a wider range of conditions – from just cool through to freezing temps. As a consequence I found myself reaching for this almost more than any other in this test. It also sat well with other insulation pieces as a ‘top up’, although the fit is athletic, so it works better under rather than over. The Bormio, like all Vaude kit, is built to the bluesign® standard and sports exemplary environmental credentials. This maybe a simple vest, but it’s the pick of the armless insulators here for me, and very effective indeed. Weight 295g.
VERDICT: Simple but excellent, low bulk synthetic vest.
BEST FOR: Top up or active insulation piece for fast moving backpackers and mountaineers.
Review by David Lintern @