Vaude have yet again produced a garment that I’m reluctant to leave at home. The Scopi Windshell II is designed as an ultra-lightweight windstopper. It’s fits easily in its own pocket, producing a tiny package that can be slipped into a rucksack, or even clipped to the back of a climbing harness, and forgotten about. Until the wind picks up, and then the Scopi Windshell really comes into its own.

I used it recently on a full day’s rock climbing in marginal conditions in Borrowdale. I set off up the first pitch of Ardus (VS 4b), content in the knowledge that I had everything I’d need on my harness for the next couple of hours of work. My two clients followed me up that first pitch quite happily, and then did the same on pitch two. Here, on the belay stance, we were all wedged onto a small ledge in a large corner crack, with a slightly overhanging roof above us. I set off on the final pitch of the climb, a delicate slab traverse on small but positive holds, then a steep crack up to the belay ledge at the top of the climb. As I slotted my fingers into the vertical crack the heavens opened and the rains came down. I finished the climb and made myself safe, then remembered that I had the Vaude Scopi Windshell clipped to the back gear loop on my harness. I slipped it on, and immediately wallowed in it’s protection. Although it’s marketed as a windshell, I actually found the Pertex® Quantum fabric to be a pretty good shower-proof material too. I looked down the pitch at my two clients, Chris and Andy, and could see that they were managing to stay dry thanks to the slightly overhanging nature of the rock where they were on the belay ledge. A glance at the sky revealed that the heavy shower was likely to pass over soon, so I called down to them to wait until the rain had stopped. I sat in comfort at the top, snug and dry in my Scopi.

Waiting out a heavy shower at the top of Ardus in Borrowdale.

As the Scopi Windshell II only weighs 149grms it’s the kind the top you can always have with you. I’ve worn mine on a lot of rock climbs recently, when wind or occasional showers might otherwise have made the day uncomfortable.

Hanging out on a multi-pitch climb, comfortable in my Scopi Windshell.
Hanging out on a multi-pitch climb, comfortable in my Scopi Windshell.

For hill walking I’ve found it invaluable too. On a night-time ascent of Scafell Pike recently, we reached the summit in a warm fug. The temperature was around 10C, and we all felt pretty clammy and sweaty. Just the perfect conditions to start suffering from a bit of windchill should the breeze get up. On that night, it did just that. When everyone else in the group started throwing on fleeces and lightweight down jackets, I went for the Scopi Windshell and found it absolutely spot on.

I could imagine the Scopi Windshell to be useful to so many outdoor pursuits fans. Ultra runners already love it, but open boaters, wild campers, and bikers will also find the Scopi invaluable.

It comes with two front side pockets and a chest pocket, lycra hood, cuffs and waist, and articulated sleeves for ease of movement. At around £70 it’s got to be worth always having a Scopi in your pack.

For full details visit The Vaude Scopi Windshell II