CLOUDVEIL RUN DON'T WALK ZIP NECK TOP
TEST SERIES BY CAROL CROOKER
March 16, 2009
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE LONG-TERM REPORT
cmcrooker AT gmail DOT com
5' 10" (1.78 m)
165 lb (74.80 kg)
For the past 9 years, I've backpacked about 30 days each year. My trips were from 2 to 28 days, with my usual trip being 3 to 6 days long. Most of my trips have been in Arizona and the western mountains with Pennsylvania and New York thrown in for variety. Weather has varied from 107 F to a low of 0 F (42 to -18 C). Most of my backpacking trips are solo. My three-season base pack weight varies from 10 to 5 pounds (5 - 2 kg), depending on the weather and trip length. My winter base pack weight is about 16 pounds (7 kg). I normally use a tarp for shelter all year round. I've recently taken up packrafting (which is backpacking that includes some travel by raft) and apply the same lightweight principles I use backpacking.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.cloudveil.com/
Listed Weight: 7 oz (198 g)
Measured Weight: 11.3 oz (320 g) women's size large
Other details: hidden zippered lower body pocket, 14 in (36 cm) DeepDrop (TM) venting zipper with locking slider, underarm gusset, flatlock seams, tall collar
My first impression of the Cloudveil Run Don't Walk Zip Neck was that it was a pretty color and very thick. It is thicker than I expected, especially since the weight is listed as 7 oz (198 g) on the web site - quite a bit lighter than my sample. It is made of Polartec Powerstretch (TM) which is listed at 88% polyester and 12% spandex and is quite stretchy both horizontally and vertically. It looks very warm but only testing will tell.
There is a hidden zippered pocket low on the side, situated between the side seams that are an extension of the underarm gusset. The inside of the pocket is mesh. The pocket is small but not tiny, with room for a few small items.
The front zipper is very deep and the locking zipper works as intended; holding the zipper in the spot it is left at.
Sewing quality and overall construction are excellent.
The collar is double layered and looks very cozy.
The outer surface is smooth while the interior is fuzzy. The top reminds me of a synthetic sweatshirt.
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
The washing instructions are clear: machine wash cold, gently cycle, mild soap, rinse thoroughly, air-dry, do not bleach, iron or dry clean.
TRYING IT OUT
I normally wear women's large tops and my measurements are right in line for a Cloudveil large except that my bust measurement is smaller - which is typical. The top fits just like I'd expect from the size chart, fairly close fitting except with extra room in the bust. Most notable when it comes to fit, is that the body and sleeves are very long. I have a long torso (19 in, 48 cm) and arms (32 in, 81 cm sleeve length) and often have trouble finding tops with sleeves long enough. It is a particular problem in tops for backpacking because I want the sleeves to come to my wrists even when I'm extending my arms using trekking poles and I want to be able to pull my hands into the sleeves when it's cold. The Cloudveil top comes to mid butt and the sleeves are extraordinarily long. I can curl my hand into a fist and the sleeve covers it without stretching the fabric. The sleeves are listed as 33 inches (84 cm) long. It is a very generous 33 inches (in fact, I measured it as 34 inches (86 cm) from the center back of the neck to the end of the cuff).
The top is easily stretchy enough to layer over a base layer. I don't feel any pull from the sleeves or shoulders whatsoever when I reach and stretch.
I wore the top around the house and on an errand on a cool morning over a sleeveless wool hoody. It felt cozy and comforting - the kind of top I like to lounge around in on a cold day.
The Cloudveil Run Don't Walk top has certainly gained a favorable initial impression from me out of the box and around the house. Over the next four months I'll be using it for more vigorous outdoor activity to see how it fares for backpacking and hiking.
I'll post my Field Report in two months.
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
|Snowshoe trip in the San Francisco Peaks.|
November 21 - 23, northern Arizona, Blue Ridge Reservoir
Elevation around 6600 ft (2010 m)
The days and nights were clear with temperatures from 58 F to 22 F (14 to -6 C)
This was one night of camping near the trail head followed by a packraft paddle on a reservoir to a camping spot among the pines.
December 11, 12, Superstition Mountains, Flat Iron
Elevation 2000 - 4800 ft (600 - 1460 m)
The trip up the Siphon Draw Trail in Lost Dutchman State Park to the Flat Iron is only 2.4 miles (4 km) long, but the elevation gain is nearly 2800 ft (850 m) and over 1700 ft (520 m) of the total gain is in the last 0.8 mile (1.3 km). There are plenty of spots where hands are required as well as feet to make upward progress.
Weather for the hike up was bright with temperatures into the high 70s F (26 C), while the hike down was cooler. The night was slightly overcast with low temperatures only down to the low 50s F (12 C).
January 6,7 2009 Kachina Trail in San Francisco Peaks, northern Arizona
Elevation 9800 - 8900 ft (3000 - 2700 m)
An overnight snowshoe trek with clear days and temperature up to 50 F (10 C) and a windy night with a low of 28 F (-2 C).
November 3, 2008 - January 12, 2009 My neighborhood near Phoenix, Arizona
Sidewalk and pavement were my "trail"
Elevation 1200 ft (370 m)
Usually sunny but often overcast with temperatures from the upper 40s to the 70s F (8 - 24 C).
November 3, 2008 to January 10, 2009, South Mountain Park near Phoenix, Arizona
Rocky desert trails
Elevation 1200 ft (370 m)
Usually sunny with temperatures from about the upper 40s to the 70s F (8 - 24 C).
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
The Run Don't Walk Top is very comfortable for sleeping. The extra long back, sleeve and neck length kept those areas covered even as I turned over frequently. The nights on the Blue Ridge Reservoir and on my snow camping trip were cold enough (in the 20s F, -6 to -2 C) that I slept with an additional layer over the Cloudveil top. I normally tuck all my layers except the outermost into my pants when I sleep to help keep them in place and I did that with the Cloudveil Top. This made the low side pocket inaccessible.
I wore the top around camp on all my trips and was very glad for the warmth. I often pulled the sleeves over my hands completely when I wasn't wearing gloves or just to the knuckles to supplement my light gloves.
Both air and water temperatures were in the low 40s F (5-7 C) when I paddled an hour and a half from my camping spot on the Blue Ridge Reservoir making for a chilly ride. I paddled in and out of the shadows and was glad to completely open the extra long zipper on the Cloudveil top during the few spots were I started to overheat.
I finally was able to complete a morning half hour walk with my dog without completely overheating in the Run Don't Walk Top when the temperature dropped to below 50 F (10 C). On walks where it was warmer than that, I warmed up after a few minutes then overheated. At the start of the walk when I was cold, I really appreciated being able to pull the sleeves over my hands to keep them warm. When I warmed up, the very long front zip came in handy as well as sleeves that are stretchy enough to push up to my elbows.
The tall neck is very warm and easy to unzip when I want to cool down.
The small side pocket near the hem held my cell phone and didn't interfere with the waist belt of my fanny pack when I was walking or day hiking. The invisible zipper pull is small and not conducive for getting to the phone in a rush. I like the pocket when I'm wearing the top around the house or town. The pocket is deep enough to hold my phone securely without zipping it. The phone is easier to get to and less "bulgy" than when it's in my pants pocket. I can even get to it when I'm in my car wearing a seat belt - which I can't do easily if the phone is in my pants pocket. The pocket is not useful when I'm backpacking as I can't get to it with a pack hip belt engaged or when the shirt is tucked into my pants (which I normally do to help keep my back warm).
I wore the Cloudveil top without a base layer when I snowshoed back to my car in the San Francisco Peaks. It was warm (around 50 F, 10 C) and sweat built up on my back. My back felt clammier than when I had a wool top next to my skin.
There was a spot or stain just below the zipper after my snowshoe trip. A spritz of pre-treatment and a run through the washing machine removed whatever had caused the spot.
My observations about the Cloudveil Run Don't Walk top after two months of field testing...
What I LIKE:
- Fuzzy and cozy.
- Extra, extra long sleeves that keep my hands warm.
- Gorgeous color.
- Good fit.
- Deep neck zipper and stretchy sleeves I can adjust for cooling.
- Tall collar that unzips easily.
- The body is long and stays tucked into my pants whether I'm seated in camp or turning over in my sleeping bag.
What I DON'T LIKE:
- Pocket on lower side is of no use for my style of backpacking. I'd much prefer a chest pocket or even an arm pocket.
- Actual weight is quite a bit heavier than what is listed on the website.
Check back for my final conclusions in two months.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
March 12 - 15, Verde River Wild and Scenic section, central Arizona
Elevation around 2600 - 2000 ft (790 - 610 m)
Overcast the first three days with some rain, clear the fourth day. Temperatures were from 35 to 75 F (2 to 24 C)
This was an overnight at the put-in followed by three days of packrafting on a narrow wilderness river from Childs Power Plant to Sheep Bridge.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
The temperatures in Phoenix, Arizona where I am located warmed up during this last portion of the test. I wore the Cloudveil top just a few times on cool mornings around the house.
Further north where I packrafted on the Verde River, it was nice and cool and the Cloudveil top was just the ticket to keep me warm. I wore it every evening in camp and to sleep in. Up to this point in my testing, it has been cold enough in camp and sleeping, that I've always either tucked the Cloudveil top into my pants to keep any breezes from blowing up my back and cooling me down, or worn a jacket over it. It wasn't until this trip that the temperatures were warm enough that I wore the top untucked around camp as my outer layer. This left the low, side seam pocket accessible and a handy place to keep my lip balm. I removed the lip balm when sleeping since the position of the pocket put the lip balm right where it dug into me when I slept on my side.
I have really enjoyed wearing this top. It is thick and warm and has plenty of coverage for my tall frame and long arms. As a bonus, I've also received several compliments on it!
My list of likes and dislikes remain the same as listed in my Field Report.
The Run Don't Walk Zip Neck is heavy for my ultralight style, so I'll leave it at home for my three-season backpacking trips. I plan to use it for my coldest weather backpacking trips and for packrafting trips where it is mostly rafting (and little backpacking), as well as for cold weather activities that involve a base camp.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Read more reviews of Cloudveil gear
Read more gear reviews by Carol Crooker