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January 11, 2010

Cloudveil Run Don't Walk Vest Review

When you can’t decide whether to use an item of apparel as workout clothing or casual dress wear, I guess that’s not such a terrible problem to have.

That’s exactly the dilemma I’ve found myself considering with Cloudveil’s Run Don’t Walk vest – a top that’s built for high-performance activity, but is stylish and comfortable enough to use every day.

Cloudveil is a Jackson, Wyoming-based company who debuted in 1997 with apparel targeted specifically at the year-round mountain athlete. Founded by a pair of skiing aficionados, Cloudveil’s product line began with their signature soft shell jacket, and over the past decade has grown and diversified to accommodate a wide variety of activities, including warm-weather apparel and specialized garments for cold-weather endurance athletes.

The company now offers an entire product line called Run Don’t Walk, designed to combine high comfort with high performance. The vest is an ideal option for those workouts that aren’t quite cold enough for a full jacket, but too chilly for a single layer. Contributing heavily to both comfort and performance are two specialized fabrics: Polartec Power Stretch® on the front and back panels, and Polartec Power Dry on the sides.

Polartec’s Power Stretch material is probably one of the most versatile fabrics around. It’s a highly breathable 4-way stretch material with “touch points” on the inner surface to draw sweat away from the skin, then spreads moisture across the outer surface area for rapid evaporation. The Power Dry side panels are super-thin, but also highly effective at pulling moisture away from the skin.

Side view: Polartec Power Dry in triangle pattern, Polartec Power Stretch everywhere else.

These fabrics combine to provide an extra layer of insulation that feels extremely light and comfortable on top of a baselayer. The entire vest weighs just seven ounces, so you’re unlikely to get overheated if the temperature gets warmer during your run. The only unforeseen circumstance that would spoil your run is a heavy rainstorm, as the fleece material doesn’t have the water resistance of a soft shell fabric.

Truthfully, the vest is so comfortable that I’ve taken to wearing it around the house, or as a casual outerwear piece - it’s the kind of vest that you can wear all day long, and its design goes very easily with a pair of jeans or hiking pants. So that’s my decision point after taking it out of the wash each time: do I want to run in this right away, or wear it around the house for a few days first? The answer varies on different weeks, which I suppose is as good a compromise as I can hope for. Or maybe I’ll have to buy a second vest, so that I have one of each.

Cloudveil’s Run Don’t Walk vest retails for $75 from the company website, and select styles from the Run Don’t Walk collection are also available at Amazon.com (men's pullover jacket is linked).

*Product provided by Polartec
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TxTriSkatemom 1/12/10, 6:52 AM  

no coupons for Cloudveil? wahh. My brother (in Colorado) gave me one of their fleece jackets that has been my winter standby layer. It's the perfect weight and only when I take it off do I realize how much I've been sweating - pulls all the moisture away from me. And I wear it as a casual-wear layer all the time, too!

I Pull 400 Watts 1/12/10, 8:35 AM  

Now that is a nice looking vest. You're totally right with your first comment. If you can find a running jacket that can be used as casual wear as well, it's a winner!

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