VEIL 2L VEST
Light and dry.
(This review originally featured in Wild #189, Spring 2023)
By James McCormack.
Are you a trail runner who is sweaty? Inflexible? Clumsy? One who needs to shave a few grams? If, sadly, you’re like me, you’ll be answering yes to all of the above. And if that’s the case (and frankly, even if it’s not the case), Rab’s Veil 2L vest, as I’ve discovered in the last three months of heavy use, is a vest that deserves your attention.
Let’s start with the sweaty bit, because I’ve found the hydrophobic mono mesh that forms the vest’s chassis to be remarkable. Rab says the mesh is 50% lighter and holds 70% less water than an alternative spacer mesh, and it’s a claim I’d find hard to dispute. Despite my best efforts to drown the vest in profuse perspiration, it never really got sodden. That’s not to say it didn’t get wet at all, but even when it did, once I got home and hung it out, it dried out super quickly.
As for catering for flexible and inflexible trail runners alike, the stretch pockets on the Veil 2 are supremely accessible, even for those with shoulders and backs as stiff as mine. The front of the vest alone has eight pockets of varying sizes: two zipped pockets, two flask pockets, two gel/key/small item pockets, and two general stash pockets; the latter I never came close to reaching capacity with despite the sheer number of gels, energy bars and large bags of jelly snakes I stashed in them. Bungee cords let you attach collapsible poles to the side; there are also bungee cords that can hold the two included 500mm soft flasks in place so they don’t slip to the pocket’s bottom as they empty. And then there’s the stretch back pocket, which despite being only two litres in volume, I had no problems fitting in a jacket, loo paper, first aid kit, headlamp and more.
Clumsy? Well, even if you’re all thumbs like me, the bungee cord sternum fitting attachments were a breeze, making it a cinch to put on or remove the vest. And as for gram shaving, this thing is light, and made even more so by the fact it doesn’t get heavy with sweat: I weighed mine at 193g.
Honestly, I love this vest. And it’s fluorocarbon free, too. But I know what you’re thinking; it must have one flaw. You’re right, it does the little whistle in the key pocket is basically useless. Beyond that, though, the Veil 2 is a seriously well thought out piece of kit.