www.vaude.com | £255
The Gemsstock is aimed at the deep powder enthusiast who wants a slightly longer, lightweight jacket that retains the all the properties you would expect to find in a ski coat. It comes in three colours – orange, dark blue and green – and whichever you chose will stand out on the slopes without being too in-your-face.
The shell is a two-layer fabric called Ceplex Advanced, where the polyamide outer is laminated to the polyurethane wind- and waterproof membrane, which has a high level of breathability. Although it’s lightweight and feels nice and soft, it’s strong and durable to withstand a reasonable amount of punishment from falls and abrasions.
Insulation is provided by recycled polyester padding, sandwiched between the outer and the lining. All the materials and manufacturing processes have adhered to the stringent requirements for the Bluesign label for environmentally friendly production and low contaminant textiles, something Vaude is proud to be part of.
To help regulate body temperature the Gemsstock has two large side vents. The cut of the sleeves is quite loose and they are articulated, both of which give unrestricted movement here, essential when skiing or boarding. There’s a Lycra wrist gaiter with a thumb loop to stop the sleeves from riding up and to keep snow off your wrists. The Velcro-adjustable cuffs will go over a thick gloves and then do up to keep draughts out.
The jacket’s hood is fixed and large enough to fit over a helmet, with ample adjustment via glove-friendly toggles on each side and at the back of the head. It has a peak for added protection against driving snow (or rain), and there’s also a high collar to keep out the cold.
The Gemsstock has a removable snow skirt that has a non-slip elasticated hem to stop it creeping up. The main zip is two-way so it’s easier to get to your lower clothing to adjust it; all the jacket’s zips are YKK and snag-free with pull tabs for easier operation while wearing gloves.
On the outside there are four zip-up pockets. The main side ones have storm flaps over the zips and are fleece-lined to make them good hand warmers as well as being large enough for lots of kit. The chest pocket is useful for small items like snacks and money, while on the sleeve there is the obligatory lift pass holder. Inside there is a zip-up pocket for valuables and a mesh pouch for goggles.
As I mentioned, the Gemsstock is a longer length than some jackets and has a casual fit, giving a good range of movement while allowing you to layer up as much as necessary underneath. It is surprisingly lightweight and not at all bulky. We like it.
Vaude Gemsstock Jacket Verdict
The Vaude Gemsstock Jacket looks good and performs well – we like it.