Review: CimAlp Vinson Hardshell jacket

First posted at FionaOutdoors

The CimAlp Vinson Hardshell Jacket is a good option for someone who wants a reinforced jacket for a variety of weather conditions. It is a great choice for cold weather hiking, backpacking, and camping. It is versatile enough to be worn as an outer layer for extreme cold, but also a rain jacket for cool fall days.


  • Waterproof (20’000mm) and breathable (80’000MVP)
  • PFC-free Ultrashell® membrane
  • Kevlar® reinforcements
  • Welded seams
  • YKK ventilation zips under the arms
  • Multiple interior pockets with headphone slot
  • 3-point tightening hood compatible with helmets
  • Preformed ergonomic cut
  • Only 690g in size M
  • Bluesign® certified
  • Retain price: available on

Pros: What’s good about the Vinson Hardshell jacket?

Reinforced Kevlar® shoulders. When wearing a pack on the trail, or carrying rigid objects around camp, reinforced shoulders are helpful. Getting a tear in the shoulders of your jacket is so frustrating. CimAlp has eliminated the concern about what you put on your shoulders. And one less preoccupation frees you up for more enjoyment in the outdoors. Great work, CimAlp.

Waterproof. I had no issues with water as I wore this jacket in light and heavy rain. The waterproof zippers make it easy to store your phone or notebook in any pocket and not have to concern yourself with leaks. The seams are all sealed from the inside.

Zippers for breathability. Heavy waterproofing nearly always translates to low breathability. Having long zippers under the arms makes it easy to get more airflow when you are wearing a pack or when rain will soak you if you unzip the front zipper.

Hood. The hood has a good brim which keeps the rain off your face. Having the option to tighten it on the back adds to its usability and your visibility.

Interior and exterior pockets. The jacket has two zippered side pockets and two chest pockets, one accessible from the inside only, and the other from the outside only. The interior chest pocket is meant for a phone and has a headphone slot.

Bonus: fitted wrist sleeves. These are so helpful in keeping the cold air or snow from rushing up your arms. The thumb hole keeps them tight down around your hand.

Cons: What’s not so good about the Vinson Hardshell jacket?

The rigidity is noticeable. I like that for the fact that I don’t want to have to worry about wear and tear, but the drawback is flexibility. Take that into account when selecting a good jacket. If you really are looking for a soft-shell feel, a good option is this Rab jacket [].

The waterproof zippers are great, but I am a fan of larger zippers because I think they fail less often. 

Because the hood is adjustable, I think giving a bit more room would be beneficial, especially if you wanted to wear it with a helmet.


The CimAlp Vinson Hardshell is a good jacket. I had no issues with its performance for the many, many hours I have worn it this fall and winter. I will be reaching for this jacket on many more hikes in the mountains.


*I received this jacket free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Other jackets you may want to consider:

Softshell Rab Jacket

Running Dynafit Jacket