Soft and comfortable, the Vikke Lady Vest is a surprisingly light merino wool vest is easy to bundle up small and fit in a nook or cranny of your rucksack for slipping on when you need a little bit more warmth. Conversely, it’s great for starting out in, then when you’ve warmed up it can easily be tucked away without adding bulk or much weight to your backpack. You shouldn’t need to do much on-ing and off-ing with it, though, as one of the great things about merino is its temperature-regulating properties. It also stands up well in showers, stopping moisture getting to layers below – at least until the rain comes on really heavy when you’ll want a waterproof on anyway.
The fabric is surprisngly stretchy, despite there being no elastication (no Lycra or Elastane) at all – it’s 100 per cent wool. This makes it nice and comfy, but it does feel a bit odd if you put anything heavy in the pockets. In some ways the fabric is almost too accommodating. (But then, not – see my comments on the shape, below…) The aforementioned pockets are generous, too, so there is the temptation to use them!
The vest is gently shaped, as a woman’s garment should be, flattering over just a base layer, but also stretchy-yet-firm enough to go comfortably over a light fleece jacket and still give a shapely outline. It’s quite long too (at least on my 5ft 3in) with a shaped ‘tail’ covering my bum nicely. I like the dusky pink-purple of the trim, and the collar sits comfortably under my chin when zipped right up.
When it comes to choosing a vest, I find myself dithering between this and the Veten (also reviewed here) as both are great choices, with some differences. But if you’re looking for a light but warm layer, made from an ethically sourced, natural material that is flattering, comfortable and with an element of moisture protection too, I definitely recommend the Vikke vest.