By Colin Dennis
Sizes: S - XXL
Size tested: M
A road cyclist’s dream! The Sky Fly waterproof jacket from Vaude is super-light, folds away into your jersey rear pocket, and best of all, does exactly what it says on the tin – keeps you dry.
For such a lightweight waterproof jacket, Vaude’s new Sky Fly II Jacket has a lot to offer the road cyclist. Whether you’re a racer, sportive warrior, or an adventure rider, the Sky Fly punches way above its weight in terms of protection against the elements.
Vaude are also keen to promote their 'Green Shape' environmentally-friendly garments, of which the Sky Fly is part of: sustainable materials, resource-concerving and a fair deal when it comes to manufacturing and production all play their part of the process - which is great to see from such a large manufacturer. (Vaude are probably the largest, and most respected outdoor company in Germany, if not Europe).
By its design and weight, Vaude have aimed the Sky Fly at performance and endurance cycling, by that I mean it’s slim-fitting and not designed to cater for too many under-layers. There is however, plenty of scope to wear a fitted, winter Baselayer and a thick cycle jersey – even possibly a softshell jacket should the temperatures plummet.
The Sky Fly is an outer-shell garment that’s got plenty of give, or elasticity in its material. Its primary role is to keep you dry, and this it does perfectly well with no fuss.
It's interesting to remember that: regardless of how effective any waterproof fabric might be, if the jacket or garment is not fully taped at the seams, and includes a water resistant zip, it may as well be made from tea bags.
Thankfully, the Vaude Sky Fly Jacket has both in abundance, better still, gone is the cold and clammy feeling of waterproof material against you skin, only to be replaces by a soft, dry, and dare I say it? Almost warm feeling of the inner layer.
I wasn't sure about the Gooseberry colour at first, but I have got used to it, and to be perfectly honest, I now really like it. Black is available for those less adventurous types, but there's also Canary Yellow and Glowing Red for the braver souls.
Detailing is faultless, Vaude have built into the Sky Fly Jacket plenty of small details that could be left out and still be an excellent waterproof jacket. Long sleeves are essential, you really don’t want a waterproof jacket riding halfway up your arms. Even in full reach on the drop, the sleeves on the Sky Fly covered the wrists with room to spare. The small, angular and elasticated sleeve extensions are a great idea, yet vary rarely seen by other manufacturers.
The tail hem has short elastic section to each side, this is plenty to be effective at holding the shape as well as not letting the jacket ride up at the back. Less is more on the Sky Fly Jacket!
The collar has ample material all the way around to keep the rain from running down your neck. The collar sits close enough to the skin to be fully effective against the battering winds, and still allows a high degree of ventilation when fully zipped up. The back of the collar also folds up to offer even more protection when you need it – goodbye annoying drips!
The full length zip is also of the waterproof sort, as is the chest pocket zipper. Waterproof zips are essential in making any garment fully protective. Each zip is garaged away when parked and both zips are easy to open and close with a single hand.
I soon got to fully appreciate the tidy little access flap that's Velcro'd neatly into place at the lower back. This flap allows ease of access to your rear pockets rather than faffing around pulling up your jacket in the rain - it's a very neat idea and simple in concept - and it works a treat
There’s plenty of subtle-looking reflective stipes and logos on the back and on the sleeves to aid visibility in poor light conditions, but the fact that the Vaude Sky Fly will roll up and fit easily into a rear pocket means you don’t have to overheat should the sun come out. When not in use, the Sky Fly comes with its own little stuff sack for protection against getting marked or smudged.
In summary: I can't find fault with the Vaude Sky Fly II Jacket in any way. It's lightweight and fully wind and waterproof, and is an instant favourite. You get snug-fitting, performance protection over short or long wet rides, is tougher than it looks, and the detailing is exceptional.
Pack your Sky Fly Jacket into your rear pocket just in case without any weight penalty, and stay out on the road rather than take a short-cut home