Cycle tourists in particular have a special affection for Vaude. When it comes to transporting your kit securely and keeping it all dry – no matter where in the world you are or what the local weather is doing – Vaude pannier bags have been a staple for global trekkers for decades.
But what far fewer cyclists realise is that Vaude doesn’t just make incredibly competent cycle luggage, it also manufactures a range of the kind of clothing you’d ideally want in those bags.
Here, we’ll look at some of the highlights from that apparel range – and maybe a few bags, too – but first, a little bit of brand background...
There are few pastimes more environmentally perfect than cycle touring – seeing the world under your own steam, at a pace that allows you to really connect with nature. It’s seems fitting, then, that Vaude should be a name synonymous with cycle touring because it is brand that prioritises environmental and ethical probity.
As anybody who has ever owned a set of Vaude bags will know they’re built to last a very long time. That commitment to product longevity is a key part of the company’s commitment to sustainability. But that prioritising of sustainability goes deeper than making cycling luggage that’s built to last. Since 2012, Vaude’s company headquarters have been fully climate neutral and, since 2022, all the brand’s products – clothing as well as bags – are climate neutral, too.
Vaude utilises fabrics that are derived from recycled tyre rubber and recycled plastics, as well as advanced environmentally-sound insulating technology such HeatSphere Eco and PrimaLoft Eco insulation. It’s a truly committed approach, and it’s worth reading some of the science behind Vaude’s use of these materials here on the brand’s website.
Vaude designs its products right at home in Germany and – as a member of the independent Fair Wear organisation with Leader Status – the company is committed to fair working conditions and fair wages for everybody in its supply chain.
But Vaude’s virtuous approach would be worth nothing if the products themselves weren’t both effective and appealing. So let’s look at some Vaude kit that you really might like to buy.
Vaude calls this a ‘cycling shirt’, while we’d probably refer to it as a traditionally-styled cycling jersey. Despite any differences in description, though, the obvious quality and attention to detail is universally recognisable. The Tremalzo IV is made from a mixture of recycled polyester and drirelease® wool: a polyester and wool mix that is warmer than wool but is itch-free, static-free, and uses a FreshGuard element to reduce odour. It’s lightweight, breathable, quick-drying and it's certified in accordance with the strict bluesign® system eco standard.
As the perfect complement to the Tremalzo shirt, these Tamaro shorts are not only super comfortable but come festooned with functionality, with three pockets, an adjustable Velcro waistband, articulated knees, and tone-on-tone stretch inserts made of recycled polyester for extra freedom of movement. In terms of design, they are higher at the back for riding comfort and come complete with removable inner shorts featuring a high-quality chamois. As with the Tremalzo, the main material is breathable, quick-drying, exceptionally hard wearing for a long life span, and environmentally friendly thanks to an innovative end-of-life tyre recycling programme.
Who would have known Vaude made shoes, too? Actually, the brand has a large range of footwear and these Pavei are real beauties, especially if you have touring or commuting in mind. At 720g a pair, they are lightweight but they forego nothing in terms of tech, with the Boa® L6 twist lock system helping to provide perfectly adjustable fit. Toe and heel caps add protection, while the innovative SUPtraction® R20 outsole is made from 20% recycled rubber, providing outstanding grip in both wet and dry road conditions. The medium stiffness of the sole helps to ensure efficient power transfer while pedalling, but also allows for off-the-bike comfort and easy walking.
No Vaude product round-up would be complete without at least a quick look at some of the brand’s awesome cycling bags, and we’ve got a trio of fine options here. First is this 4-litre Box Light Bike handlebar bag, which is fully waterproof with welded seams and a tried-and-tested roll-top closure. It’s mountable via power straps, which makes it a quick and secure ride companion – although the included shoulder strap makes it pretty handy off the bike, too. And it’s manufactured by Vaude at home in Germany using environmentally-friendly processes, so top-notch build quality is guaranteed.
Another of Vaude’s made-in-Germany products, the Aqua Back Light bag is a classic-style pannier bag, like those relied upon and beloved by cycle tourists and commuters the world over. Actually, this is a very modern take on the classic pannier, with a sleek and weight-minimal design, using extremely lightweight yet robust eco-friendly 2D-welded material. The roll-top closure provides quick access and waterproof storage, while the cargo net at the front can be used for compression and is also the perfect place to keep essentials, like a rain jacket, close to hand. It’s a simple but simply perfect option for cycling adventurers who want fuss-free performance and – with two Aqua Back Lights having a combined capacity of 38 litres – offers riders the chance to head onto the open road, loaded with everything they need.
Finally, a Vaude bag that you attach to yourself rather than your bike. The Uphill Hip Pack 2 is perfect for those light touring extras that you need access to in an instant. Despite its featherweight 200g total mass, the Uphill has an impressive 2-litre capacity – enough for tools, a phone and your snacks – spread across three separate compartments. The wide, stretch hip belt with zip pocket on both sides guarantees a stable fit while the 3Dmesh on the back and hip wings provides consistent ventilation while biking or hiking. For easy carrying when pockets are just not good enough, look no further.
For more information about Vaude’s commitment to sustainable manufacturing, and to see more from its range, visit www.vaude.com.