Cloudveil Zero-G Jacket - impressions?
January 8, 2009
Anyone have a Cloudveil Zero-G? I found one at Alpine Ski Shop, and really like it, but I'm not sure if the softshell is going to be weatherproof enough for me. I ski in PA a bit, and will have 2 trips to New England this year.
I've never had a softshell. Is there anything in particular I should know before going down that road?
I have a Cloudveil RPK (Goretex softshell) jacket and love it. I'm not sure what the Zero G jacket is but CV makes a great jacket. I've used the RPK in every condition from rain to pow & temps ranging from 40F to 10F and stayed comfortable with no issues. Does the Zero G have a hood, if so make sure you're happy with the way the hood fits. I haven't used the RPK in below zero temps, because I have a older Marmot 3-layer GoreTex jacket that has kept me safe in every weather condition possible. No need to suffer.
Alpine Ski Shop is truly a family owned business, I would highly recommend shopping there. I do.
Cloudveil is highly recommended on the higher-end ski clothing lines and I considered it for myself and as gifts. Better yet is to get the whole outfit with pants included and then you're a fashion statement :-) . I gave one as a Christmas present last year and it was wildly received and worn. Actually it wears better than my Patagonia outfit, as it is softer, more aerobic, and the Primaloft layer is better than down in my opinion. The stretch material is akin to Spyder's Legend line that includes Vail, Andermatt and Zermatt models. My reason for Spyder is the color selection - Cloudveil's colors are more muted and I wanted bright red. If it makes a difference too, Cloudveil, like Patagonia, is deeply involved in conservation efforts in the Rockies. So you can feel better as you're shelling out the premium price.
Looks like the real-world reviews are as favorable as the marketing ones... That's good to hear!
Lou - I wanted a bright orange jacket, actually, but I have a heck of a time finding one that fits me right. Jackets that fit in the shoulders are generally too long in the sleeves, and those that have the right sleeve length make me scared that if I move the wrong way, I'll bust through Hulk-style. The Salomon EVO jacket (in Volcanic orange) was another good option, but it doesn't have pit zips, and I tend to run hot anyway.
(I'll stick to my old pants for now... I don't know if I'm ready for the added pressure of being a fashion statement!)
Looks like I'll go with the Zero-G, if it's still there when I make it back to Alpine this weekend. The price is actually rock solid, especially when compared to the quality of the merchandise. I love Alpine, and wish I could afford to spend more money there, but I'm generally pretty low-maintenance as far as gear purchases go... I buy 1 or 2 things each year, and that's it. This year it's a jacket and maybe some gloves.
If you are only using it for downhill skiing, I wouldn't make your main jacket a soft-shell. Its what you want if you are doing hiking, xc skiing, etc, because it is highly breathable so won't trap as much sweat as gortex, etc. (gortex, hyvent, and similiar waterproof materials generally suck for hiking and stuff cause it doesnt breath for crap.. !!) Soft shell jackets breathe much better, but at the expense of weather protection... mainly water proofing. So if this jacket is only for downhill skiing and nothing else, a softshell is a bad choice. If you also go hiking in the winter or something, then it would be more justified, but I still dont think it should be your only jacket.
Well, I decided to go ahead and pull the trigger on the Zero-G. It's a bit of a calculated risk, since I know I'm sacrificing some weatherproofness with the softshell, but since I tended to be too warm more often than too cold, I'm hoping the gains in breathability will offset any issues caused by the less waterproof outer layer.
I'll be sure to report back after the snow flies, but at least off the rack, this coat seems to fit me about 20x better than the Columbia it's replacing, so I'm optimistic...
The early reports are in, and they're very good!
After spending a chilly day at Seven Springs, and a less-chilly one at Liberty, I was pretty happy with the jacket (to say nothing of the fact that it actually looks great as a casual piece of outerwear). Then, I took it to Vermont last weekend (trip reports forthcoming if I can get the time to do them). It was COLD. Temps at the base of the mountain tended to be around 0 degrees, and the first two days (at Pico and Sugarbush) lots of lifts were on wind hold. Having heard that the softshells weren't as wind-proof, I was a little worried, but needn't have been.
Under the jacket I was wearing a single layer - an Under Armor ColdGear (not the compression) 1/4-zip long-sleeve top. That's it. I was only cold a few times while sitting on the lift, but as soon as I got moving again, I was warm. If -20 to -30 degree windchills weren't enough to get through that jacket, I guess all I have to worry about is whether it'll stand up in wet conditions.
In short, I recommend the jacket, and couldn't be happier with it. Now I just need some warmer gloves...
Aaron, I knew you would love it. For me, I had the hardest time in the world trying to find the color combination for my other half's Christmas present. Apparently the ski manufacturers or more correctly, retailers, have decided that Americans are all fat and therefore the only thing I could find was XL jackets and XXL and XXXL pants. So I settled for a Spyder outfit with all the accessories, and I had to get this online. If you have a 30 waistline you're out of luck.
Having said that, the quality of Cloudveil is without par.