Chris Townsend reviews a very light jacket made with PFC-free materials and ethically sourced down.

This review is part of our down jackets gear guide, and was first published in the January 2019 issue of The Great Outdoors.

The Kabru Light is an ultralight jacket, weighing over 100g less than the next lightest reviewed. Only the PHD Wafer weighs less, and that’s much more expensive. At 290g the Kabru Light is in the same weight range as the thinnest fleece tops. It’s as warm as the thickest fleece though. On its own it’s not a jacket for the coldest winter weather but then it could be combined with another light insulated jacket. For three-season use it could be the only warm wear needed. The light weight plus a tiny packed size make it particularly appealing for backpacking.

The down fill is certified in accordance with the Responsible Down Standard. The PrimaLoft, found in the side panels and cuffs to repel damp, is recycled.

The shell is treated with Vaude’s PFC-free water-repellent Eco Finish. The whole garment meets Bluesign standards and has Vaude’s Green Shape label.

The jacket has a ‘slim, sportive cut’. The Large fits me over a base layer, and just fits over a thin fleece. The design is simple, as you’d expect in a very light jacket. There’s no hood but a high warm collar. There are two handwarmer pockets, but these are cut off by a hipbelt.

vaude.com

Overview

  • Overall: 4 out of 5

Pros: very light, ethically sourced down, no PFCs

Cons: no hood, pockets cut off by hipbelt

  • Price: £215
  • Weight: 290g (L)
  • Fill: 800 fill power down/PrimaLoft Silver Eco
  • Shell: Pertex Quantum
  • Hood: no
  • Cuffs: elasticated
  • Hem: adjustable drawcord
  • Pockets: 2 handwarmer
  • Sizes: men S-XXL, women 8-18
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