What makes a good insulated jacket? On my tick list of features would be:
- Lightweight yet warm
- Freedom of movement
- Wet weather friendly
- Athletic fit
- Good looks and colours
- Nice price
- Green credentials
The Vaude Tacul PD jacket does a great job of ticking most of these wants.
The jacket is filled with PrimaLoft Silver Insulation Down Blend fill, which is an innovative blend of water-repellent down and insulating synthetic fibres. This means it will keep you warm even when it gets a bit wet, unlike full-on down, which traditionally does no good whatsoever in wet conditions.
Many jackets now sport water-repellent down or synthetics so you can be sure you’ll stay insulated even when it’s damp or quite wet. In a torrential downpour you will need to put on a waterproof jacket on top of the insulated jacket to remain properly warm and cosy.
It also has a Powerstretch “stretchy” fleece integrated into the back, sides and arms of the jacket so the garment stretches with you however you want to move in it. This also aids the evaporation of sweat if you are working hard in the great outdoors.
It’s lightweight, packs down into its own pocket and the red, elderberry and green colours are bright and beautiful. These are this season’s colours although I have also seen the jacket in bright yellow and blue.
The men’s Vaude Tacul PD is also sold in great shades, red, blue and green. It’s so good to see these vibrant shades in outdoors gear.
The goose down’s water-repellent treatment is fluorocarbon-free (so that means it’s green-friendly) and, like the jacket’s primary material, meets the strict Bluesign standard that guarantees eco-friendly manufacturing.
In addition there are two front zip pockets, a full front zip with backflap and a stand-up collar
On test: Vaude women’s Tacul PD jacket
The jacket felt good as soon as I put it on. Looking in the mirror I also liked the fit, length and shape of the athletically styled jacket.
The Powerstretch is a great feature because it felt so easy to wear. An all-over insulated jacket can be a bit constricting and sweaty but the stretch at the back, sides and arms gives the Vaude Tacul a super fit and freedom of movement.
I have worn the jacket as an outer layer on dry days and when walking fast or uphill and also has a mid-layer beneath a waterproof jacket when I need extra insulation on a cold and wet day. It works very well in both situations.
It’s a lightweight jacket although not the lightest I own and it would be improved with a hood. A hood in the Powerstretch fabric would make this jacket an almost 10/10 product.
The narrow, sewn-in diagonal pockets of down a not only good looking but they will also keep the insulation in the right place in the jacket. If the pockets of down were any bigger the fill might move around too much.
The zip has a handy flap of fabric over the top so that if you zip it up fully it doesn’t rub annoyingly on your chin. The stand-up collar is useful for keeping the wind out of your neck area.
The jacket squeezes into one of the zipped pockets. Make sure you get the right one because only one of them has a two-way zip so you can zip up the pocket from the inside when the jacket is stuffed inside. It’s not the easiest fit and the resulting size of the pocket-of-jacket isn’t the smallest I’ve seen but it would fit into the based of a medium-sized rucksack quite easily.
The jacket comes in sizes 34 to 44 .The size 38 fits me well and I am usually a UK10. It would be good to see sizes that are larger than 44 as I know there’s a demand.
The price tag is a bit hefty at £180. Shop around and I have seen it for around £145 but that might be last year’s colours. The jacket does a great job and it looks like it will be long-lasting and hard-wearing, plus I admire the green friendly credentials so it’s well worth considering for this autumn and winter.
Note about Vaude’s green credentials
The German company’s green tick list includes:
Green Shape: The Vaude guarantee for environmentally friendly products, such as those made from sustainable materials, resource-conserving manufacturing and fair production.
Bluesign-approved Fabric: This is the world’s most stringent standard for environment, consumer and workforce protection.
Eco Finish: Vaude products bearing the Eco Finish have been waterproofed in an environmentally friendly way without fluorocarbons (PFC). PFCs are part of a group of chemical compounds that are used to waterproof the outer layer of many outdoor products. They have come under criticism for being non-biodegradable, bio-accumulative and toxic, and suspected of being harmful to health. VAUDE has made a clear commitment to completely renouncing PFCs.