The Vamoose (or Skapya) Pioneer jacket is an admirably designed outdoor apparel item made in England. We all know how unpredictable British weather can be and how often we unnecessarily lug around a jacket just so we're prepared if it does rain.
How It Works
Well, this jacket packs into itself via a pocket and turns into a rucksack/backpack that has adjustable carry straps, and all in around 15 seconds in our testing, so such uncertainty can be met with more organised control. Once in rucksack form it has bungee corded straps on the front to pack away something like a jumper or even a compact skateboard like the Penny Original, but one downside to this is if it did rain you could end up carrying some bulky possessions. On the right of the rucksack we have a zipped pocket which has a claimed capacity of 3 litres, and this pocket remains accessible from the inside when it's a jacket, making it a practical area to pop away possessions like an iPhone, a compact camera or a pair of headphones, etc.
Design & Quality
The Vamoose Pioneer jacket is priced at £285 and comes in sizes of S, M, L and XL, but is only available in one colour which is black. The overall design when worn is neutral, suiting any kind of demographic. We have the medium anthropomorphic sized jacket that drops just below our trouser pockets in style. It’s remarkably lightweight at 750g, and thin, but its mass doesn't reflect the level of comfort it provides. The Vamoose Pioneer jacket's interior didn't irritate our skin either: it’s smooth and soft even when blowing about in the wind. The first thing you'll notice about the Pioneer is that its designers have been very specific with the recipe of components applied, with everything feeling quality. The seams have been glued and taped, the hood is adjustable via elastic, the cuffs are adjustable, and YKK Vislon Aquaguard zips are included that repel liquids from getting through them: these are easy to use and find in all lighting conditions as they glow in the dark, but the main entrance zipper and two exterior pockets are covered by a buttoned storm flap for added protection, rounding off the design nicely. We felt the deep pockets met our capacity needs and will hold objects like keys, smartphones, compact cameras, wallets, etc.
The entire exterior of the jacket is made from the three layered eVent waterproof fabric. This is a premium material that acts like a membrane, and it noticeably promotes an airy atmosphere around your body inside the jacket - a nice feature, especially when it may well be raining and you need a jacket on but the actual atmospheric surrounding temperatures are rather warm. This is all made possible by the material boosting evaporative cooling from the fabric and it works very efficiently. However, in colder climates the jacket doesn't breathe anywhere near as much because the body is generating less moisture, which in turn keeps heat locked in under the jacket just when it's needed. The jacket isn't tight against the body and has enough slack to wear a jumper, or something of that thickness, underneath.
Wearing the Vamoose Pioneer jacket in our first downpour of rain, we were slightly taken aback by just how serious this jacket is about water and liquid resistance. With a claimed water column of >30 metres, it remained waterproof at pressures of 192km/h in testing by eVent. And in our testing heavy downpours of rain and harsh winds weren't any issue for this jacket and we even went as far as to throw a bucket of water over it which also proved no challenge. Any on-surface water droplets look as if they are magnetically discharged from the jacket and hectically scuffle around to drop onto the ground. Of course, this is good as it means we don't get wet whilst wearing the Vamoose Pioneer jacket, but the added advantage with this is that when it's teaming it down with rain and we're rushing to get into the car or indoors, the jacket itself remains nice and dry. We are pleased to be able to report that this intensive resistance to water hasn't weakened with continuous use of the jacket over time either.
The zippy rucksack-transformer aspect of this product is very appealing, making carrying the Vamoose Pioneer manageable and not an inconvenience. Add to this the amazing breathable material that restrains water and wind from getting through and makes for a comfortable jacket that keeps your body out of the rain and wind in most weather conditions, and this is something that should definitely appeal to all keen outdoor adventurers.