Cloudveil Serendipity Jacket
Outstanding quality from a great company.
- Blocks wind and precipitation, but breathes well
- Great temperature range
One of the best garments I have ever purchased. This jacket is made out of Shoeller Dryskin Extreme, and both durable, comfortable, and has a wide temperature range, and very good breathability, while blocking about 95% of the wind.
While not waterproof, it will repel a lot of water and takes a while to get soaked through. In fact, compared to Gore-Tex (which is barely breathable), my experience is that it would be more likely that I would be more wet from sweat, than I would from a jacket like this leaking through, depending on the conditions.
This jacket also repels snow very well. Comparing it to similar fabrics and garments, I find it breathes much better than anything with Windstopper/Windbloc, it's more durable than any kind of fleece, including Windpro (with hardface), or most of the other Schoeller fabrics (such as WB400, which sheds moisture better). Though it's not quite as stretchy as Windpro or 3SP, it is more than Powershield or anything with Windstopper.
This is aimed at technical activity. There are no hand pockets, instead there are two large chest pockets. You can put your hands in here in a pinch. But they are built like this to help accommodate things like wearing a pack, or harness while climbing, or anything else around your waist. Also when bicycling or cross country skiing I felt this worked well, as your arms or legs would not rub or bang against the sides of the jacket.
My experience with nearly all Cloudveil clothing is that it's about a half-size up. Hence, if you are between a Medium and Large, buy the medium.
While Cloudveil is still in business, they don't seem very active as of 2015, and their flagship store on Jackson Hole has closed, so it's hard to tell if they will be making these again in the future, and your best bet is to likely find one used. But they are well worth seeking out.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $129
I wear this thing everyday. On the hottest summer days, I take it to the beach with me instead of a sweatshirt. On the coldest winter days, I wear it snowboarding or climbing. I even look pretty cool with it on at the bars.
The closest thing to a downside is that really heavy rain or wet snow will eventually come through. When I expect these conditions (or don't know what to expect), I take along my cheap Helly Hansen rain coat and throw it on over the Serendipity. The cheap rain protection doesn't breath, but the Serendipity's water resistance does ok with what I sweat into the space between the layers.
All in all, this is the best option for versatility. It's also nice to support a small company instead of a giant that puts bells and whistles on gore-tex to appeal to the same group that buys $45,000 SUVs to drive around the 'burbs.
Fabric: Scholer Dryskin
Price Paid: $180 (sale)
Light, functional, good fabric for drape, tough and good fitting cut.
Expensive, not as breathable as you may think, not very insulated.
I like the cut of this jacket, fits well. Not all the bells and whistles and I like that. Overall a great all-around jacket, but not perfect. When someone tells you it's perfect...it's a lie. No jacket I have found is perfect.
Also, this jacket is made in China, it used to be made in USA. How all the sudden, gear companies get super cheap labor, but their cost per item remains the same. And don't bring in taxes and shipping...I know international economic guidelines. Just a question.
Also, for cooler temps, go with the Polertec Powershield, a better fabric for cooler temps. Doesn't breathe quite as well, but will keep you warmer.
Fabric: schoeller DrySkin 3xdry
Price Paid: $130
This jacket is the most versitile piece of equipment I have ever purchased. Light, strechy and almost wind and waterproof, the ultimate climbing and riding jacket. I have used it in the Olympics and snow boarding @ Crystal Mountain and have not had any problems. Layer well underneath, like Powerstrech or Dryflow, and just go. Large Napoleon pockets pull double duty as core vents and work better than pit zips. I have yet to see a jacket like this from TNF, Marmot, or even Mountain Hardware. Cloudveil has definately made a nich for itself. Definately worth the money. Hey, it's even made in the USA!
Fabric: Scholer Dryskin
Price Paid: $240
After reading all the nice reviews about this jacket, I decided to get myself one. However, I was very disappointed at the craftsmanship. The label says it's made in Canada, but the stitchings are so poor that I thought the jacket was some TNF jacket made in Bangladash. I'm not trying to insult the Canadian craftsmanship. I own an Arc'Teryx Theta AR that's made in Canada, and I think that it's the most well made jacket I've seen.
The fabric is nice and stretchy though, except I'd probably instead try to get the Arc'Teryx Gamma SL made of the same material.
Fabric: Schoeller Dryskin
Price Paid: 200
Slightly stretchy, pretty waterproof, totally windproof, slightly insulating. The inside feels and insulates like a lightweight fleece. The outside feels like rugged nylon and sheds light rain, mist and snow. Elbows are reinforced, but even the non-reinforced areas feel very rugged. Pockets are high (don't interfere with climbing harness) and pretty large. And, the whole thing has just a bit of stretch to it which makes it super comfortable to climb in. I couldn't layer a lot under it so it wouldn't be that useful for really cold conditions, but for everything else, it is SWEEEEET!
Fabric: schoeller dryskin extreme
Price Paid: $239
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