Chris Townsend likes an eco-friendly new waterproof jacket

Henri-Lloyd’s new waterproof jacket is made from two environmentally friendly fabrics, which is excellent. The outer fabric is recycled polyester, which is now found on an increasing number of jackets. Inside is where it gets interesting as there’s a bio-based Susterra waterproof/breathable polyurethane membrane that’s petroleum-free, non-toxic, and sustainably and renewably sourced. The membrane has been developed in a joint venture between DuPont and Tate & Lyle. The process of turning the plant products into polyurethane is fascinating. If the future of waterproof membranes and coatings is plant rather than petroleum based it would be good news. I hope it is and that other companies take up this technology. Of course fabrics must perform well for it to succeed. I’ve been wearing the Mav Lite over the past few months to find out how well it works.


In terms of design the Mav Lite is fine, as it should be given that Henri-Lloyd has been making waterproofs for nearly sixty years. The hood is adjustable and has a slightly stiffened peak. There’s no volume adjustment but it’s not a huge helmet compatible hood and so doesn’t need one.  The peak could do with being stiffer as it deforms in strong winds.

The pockets all have water-resistant zips and have waterproof fabric inside so any rain that does get through the zip can’t get inside the jacket. The handwarmer pockets are cut off by a pack hipbelt. The chest pocket easily holds a large smartphone or GPS unit but isn’t big enough for a map.

The front zip is also water-resistant. There’s an inner flap in case rain gets in, something that hasn’t happened so far. The cuffs are reasonably wide for ventilation. There are no underarm zips.


The 2.5-layer fabric is soft, flexible and slightly stretchy. It feels much nicer than many waterproof fabrics. It’s quiet too. There’s no mention of a DWR treatment but rain does bead up on the outer. The jacket has kept out heavy rain. Breathability, always much harder to evaluate than waterproofness, is okay. I’d put it in the mid-range of garments I’ve tried. Condensation does appear inside during strenuous exercise but it’s no worse than on many other waterproofs and less than on some that cost considerably more. So far I’m quite happy with the performance. Over the winter I’ll find out how it performs in cold weather and over a longer time how well it lasts.

The Mav Lite is lightweight but not ultralight. I think it should be okay in most winter weather, but it doesn’t have the stiffness or tough feeling of a jacket that’ll feel comfortable in a blizzard. I expect I’ll be finding out what it’s like in the cold soon.

The cost of the Mav Lite is quite low for a jacket like this. I think it’s a good buy and I love the environmentally friendly fabrics.

RECOMMENDED: This product has been awarded our ‘Recommended’ endorsement, meaning our reviewer believes it is a strong product which works well for its intended purpose.