Haglöfs L.I.M Versa Jacket Review

Unless you are in to mountaineering, you may not be familiar with Haglöfs, but this Swedish company have been making serious gear since Wiktor Haglöf finished his first batch of rucksacks back in 1914, and they are now one of the biggest Nordic outdoor gear suppliers. Although not biking specific, Haglöfs believe that their products are perfect for riders with a sense of adventure, and their interest in enduro was shown by their recent sponsorship of the final stage of the Scottish EWS. When we travel into the hills, every gram of weight we carry on our backs is disadvantageous so it is important that our kit is both functional and lightweight. Haglöfs have a new range called the L.I.M (Less Is More) which offer cutting edge fabrics and performance, and have been stripped of all unnecessary details so don’t weigh a gram more than is absolutely necessary, and they were keen for us to try them.

The jacket is constructed from lightweight yet durable 30D Gore-Tex Paclite fabric.
The jacket is constructed from lightweight yet durable 30D Gore-Tex Paclite fabric. The jacket offers a comfortable fit, and at only 270g in a size Large it’s also light for a jacket offering this level of protection.

Now, when you are riding in Scotland a good jacket is just as important as brakes and a helmet, a good waterproof shell is simply vital safety equipment. Even though the weather may be good at the moment, it can change in a heart beat in the mountains and riders never leave without a waterproof stuffed in their packs. There are many low cost options out there, but for real big mountain riding, you need something with performance that can cope with the increased demands of operating for long periods in a remote and sometimes hostile environment. A good mountain jacket needs to be fully waterproof, light, breathable, durable and should really feature bright colours for safety. Haglöfs was confident that their new L.I.M Versa jacket fulfilled that criteria, so we packed one for our trip to Torridon, where it would get a thorough testing during a hot, wet and rainy eight hour ride. The L.I.M Versa is Haglöfs multi-activity jacket, and on-paper offers all the features that an adventurous rider may need, without any additional weight. The features include a lightweight and durable 30D Gore-Tex Paclite shell, dropped rear hem, articulated sleeves and two mid mounted pockets.

The Haglofs, Less Is More philosophy extends to the hood to, with a very simple closure system.  It looks a bit odd, but is certainly lightweight and easy to use.
The Haglöfs, Less Is More philosophy extends to the hood too, with a very simple external closure system. It looks a bit odd at first, but is certainly lightweight and easy to use.
The hood is 3 way adjustable and ha a reinforced peak, it is roomy and would go over a helmet at a pinch.
The hood is 3 way adjustable and has a reinforced peak, it is roomy and would go over a helmet at a pinch.
The LIM Versa Jacket features waterproof zips throughout.  There are no shoulder, side or inner sleeve seams, to improve durability and comfort.
The L.I.M Versa Jacket features waterproof zips throughout. There are no shoulder, side or inner sleeve seams, to improve durability and comfort.
The jacket is available in a range of colours, but we always recommend something bright for the mountains.
The jacket is available in a range of colours, but we always recommend something bright for the mountains.
On a wet and humid 8 hour ride in the highlands, the jacket breathed well and felt airy and cool.
On a wet and humid 8 hour ride in the highlands, the jacket breathed well and felt airy and cool.

Bottom line

Retailing at £250 this is certainly a premium jacket, but we were very impressed with its performance during testing. This is certainly a jacket for big mountain adventures, if you need something for hacking round in the woods there are cheaper options. The fit is loose and comfortable without being overly baggy, and the high collar is very comfortable in use. There are no pit-zips on the jacket, but the lightweight single layer construction and breath-ability of the lightweight fabric is exceptional. After riding for two hours in quite a substantial downpour, I was surprised to see that I was very dry under the jacket when I peeled it off in the shelter of a bothy, while my friends were very wet. The absence of seams on the shoulder really help the jacket to shed water when riding, and the sleeves are long enough to cover right to the cuff when riding. The Gore-Tex Paclite fabric works very well and shrugged off a couple of minor ‘out the front door’ moments. When it comes to outright toughness, there will always be a compromise if you need lightweight, but after a number of hard rides, crashes, hike-a-bike and grime, the jacket still looks as good as new, and it certainly is a nice looking jacket.

The fabric is very pack-able and seems to have suffered no ill effects from being repeatedly scrunched up into a ball and shoved into a number of different packs. The hood is roomy and works well, you can squeeze it over your helmet when stopping to check for directions. The two pockets are big enough for a phone, map and some snacks, there are no rear pockets on the tail (popular on cycle specific jackets), but I like that as it looks less ‘roadie’ in the pub afterwards. Overall the jacket performed exceptionally, it was comfortable, airy and felt extremely lightweight in use, and is a nice looking technical garment, perfect for big adventures in the real mountains. There are cheaper jackets out there for sure, but with the Haglöfs it is certainly clear that you get what you pay for.

For more information check out www.haglofs.com

Words and Photos: Trev Worsey


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