A lightweight thermal jacket has been on my list for awhile. Something suitable for both on a off bike to either wear continuously or to carry in a pack and wear during food/mechnical/scenery breaks.
After some research I shortened my list to the Alpkit Filoment or the Vulpine. I own a fair bit of Alpkit items already and I’m very satisfied with them so I tried the Alpkit first as it’s a fair bit cheaper than the Vulpine jacket. The Filoment is a down filled jacket with a slimmer fit which I didn’t like from the moment I put it on so I ended up returning it.
The vulpine website list their ultralight thermal jacket as:
A quick-drying, breathable, packable and water resistant lightweight thermal jacket for cold days.
The outer is weather resistant to rain and snow and the shoulders feature a harder wearing material to protect against wear from backpack straps which is a very useful and well considered feature.
Rather than down the jacket uses a synthetic fill called Primaloft Gold, while this means the jacket will not pack down as small as a down jacket (it still packs small), it will still perform (and not be ruined) if it gets wet through.
When worn the jacket feels light but not insubstantial and is a good length providing good articulation around the arms and shoulder without lifting up as your arms are raised. The neck provides good protection and the top of the zip features a snag/beard guard.
On the bike the jacket pools a little around the waist but does not hinder movement and the cut at the back is long enough to protect down to the saddle without getting in the way. The cuffs are made from soft, ribbed cotton and provide a very comfortable fit that stretches easily to fit over gloves and with the generous (though not over long) arm length, prevent the arms from fleeing your wrists when riding.
There are two hand pockets on the front which do pool around the waist when on the bike so I will stick with only storing a phone in them when riding. There is an internal chest pocket as well.
Vulpine describe the jacket as:
Perfect for touring or commuting in the wind, snow or drizzle. Suitable for fast paced riding in freezing temperatures. Suggested temperature range -2°C – 12°C.
So far I’d agree with that. Riding into/out of town on my commute, at around 3 degrees C on mistys mornings and evenings, the jacket kept me plenty warm. When I picked up the pace I did get hot and a bit sweaty around the armpits (no venting) and back (under a backpack) but not unsually nor terribly so.
The jacket will suit slower paced or colder weather rides and fits own nicely to carry in a pack for coffee/mechanical stops and I’m really happy with it.