Chris Townsend reviews an ultralight waterproof with impressive environmental credentials.
This review is part of our lightweight waterproofs gear guide, and was first published in the May 2019 issue of The Great Outdoors.
Vaude does more than most outdoor companies in being environmentally friendly. The Zebru UL uses Vaude’s Ceplex 100 fabric and has a PFC-free Eco Finish DWR and a PTFE-free membrane plus Vaude’s Green Shape label.
The 3-layer fabric is soft and the jacket is comfy to wear. Breathability is good. The design is excellent. The wired hood gives good protection without impeding side vision. If the drawcord is tightened the hood closes in round the head and stays put. The pockets are roomy and easily hold maps. They’re made of Ceplex 100, not mesh, so can’t be used as vents. However, this means if rain penetrates the water-resistant zips it shouldn’t get inside the jacket. The cuffs are wide enough to allow some ventilation.
Vaude says the Zebru UL has a ‘slim, body-hugging’ fit, so you’ll probably need a size larger than usual if you want to wear it over more than a base layer. The Large is fine on me if worn over a fleece jacket. The Zebru UL is an excellent jacket and Vaude deserves praise for the environmental credentials. It is very expensive though.