The delivery driver knocked on the front door and handed me a cardboard box. I felt its weight, shook it a little, and presumed that the sender had forgotten to package up anything.

VAUDEHow wrong I could be, and how delighted I was to reveal a sample of VAUDE’s Zebru UL 3L Jacket. UL, of course, stands for ultra-light, and in the Zebru we are talking the lightest of any hardshell ultralight windproof and weatherproof jacket I have come across, thanks to the 3-layer Ceplex Pro membrane which weighs less than 200 grams.

In fact, the Zebru is the lightest hardshell jacket ever developed in-house at VAUDE. Explains Chris Davison, UK Sales Manager at VAUDE: “We have developed a super lightweight jacket using extremely durable material with a thin 7-micron membrane that also features slight stretch. We’ve looked at every single detail of the production process to ensure we’ve got as lightweight a jacket as possible without compromising on functionality and comfort.”

Chris has got it bang to rights. In size 52/L, the Zebru weighs a mere 198g (the women’s version weighs in at just 172g in size S), which is as much as a medium apple or two bars of chocolate. Protection from both rain and wind is courtesy of a superlight 10 D polyamide outer fabric and that paper-thin 7-micron Ceplex Pro membrane. The comfort level is enhanced by the fact that the material is even slightly stretchy. The jacket features a seamless YKK AquaGuard front zipper, adjustable Velcro cuffs, drawstring adjustable hood with single hand drawcord closure at the hem, and two higher-set front pockets that are accessible even when wearing a climbing harness.

How pleasing it is to note that VAUDE is pursuing a comprehensive sustainability strategy, which runs like a ‘green thread’ through all segments of the company. With this in mind, the Zebru is treated with the environmentally friendly Eco Finish water-repellent without fluorocarbons (PFC), which fulfils VAUDE’s Green Shape criteria for environmentally-friendly, resource-saving production.

Pack it down small and pop it in your backpack or travel bag for when the weather changes… just don’t forget it’s there! VAUDE Zebru UL 3L jacket, £310,