The Veten Lady Vest from Bergans of Norway, reviewed by Olivia Abbott.
This softshell has many similarities to the Vikke vest reviewed here, but a few important differences too. Made from 92% polyamide and 8% elastane, the fabric feels ‘firm’ but then stretches and fits comfortably as you put it on. It’s not as long as the Vikke vest, so good if you don’t want something covering your buttocks. It also has more of a fitted shape, so the hem flares out over the hips, but this is adjustable with easy toggles so you can tighten it if you’re lucky enough to be particularly slim-hipped.
Like the Vikke, the Veten looks good over a base layer, and also stretches comfortably and flatteringly over a fleece – although I found my fleeces poked out of the bottom as the Veten is that bit shorter. I find the pockets just a bit too small to be useful, and the collar is a bit high and stiff, poking into my chin when the zip’s done up – although the high collar is one of its selling points. It has a fleecy protector over the top of the zip, though, so it’s not uncomfortable.
Again this vest is very light and easily bundled up small and tucked away, but it has great technical properties, too – very breathable and I can certainly attest to its wind-and-water-repellancy having been caught out in some wild weather in it! It’s comfortable and flattering to wear and gives plenty of freedom of movement.
I got a black version with blue trim, and I really like this vest – despite the couple of minor beefs about pockets and collars. As I said in the Vikke review, I find it hard to choose between the two – but then, they’re both so light and easy to carry and wear, you could just take both with you wherever you go…