We've long been fans of Vaude's Ceplex waterproof membrane and the Pro Ceplex membrane in the Backbowl takes it up a notch.
Made for serious mountain sports the membrane is highly waterproof and breathable but the jacket still manages to feel soft and pliant, almost softshell like and there's very little of the annoying rustle that usually goes with high end waterproof wear.
Being made for long days in the mountains the jacket fends off snow of course, but it's also very breathable so if the weather is closing in on an ascent you can wear it without worrying too much about getting a soaking from the inside out.
If you're hiking or ski touring and stashing the jacket in your pack then the weight of 716g, which is pretty decent for a 3 layer jacket will be most welcome.
An array of pockets give you plenty of options for stashing gear, these include two chest and two waist as well as a lift pass pocket on the left arm. These all feature water resistant zips that stave off water ingress completely in our experience so far. Another neat touch is the elasticated sleeve inners which stop snow from accumulating and creeping up your forearm. Overall the backbowl offers excellent protection from the elements.
The cut is roomy enough for layering underneath, and styling is bang on trend, the colourway on test is particularly pleasing to the eye with contrasting pewter grey and green setting the jacket off nicely, it's one that you certainly wouldn't mind wearing to your favourite apres spot.
The helmet compatible hood is on the large side if you choose not to wear a helmet underneath it but who doesn't these days? Range of adjustment is otherwise good.
Of course, it would be rude not to mention Vaude's commendable commitment to improving environmental standards. Like much of Vaude's line up the Backbowl jacket meets the strict Bluesign system, so you can be sure that they haven't puked barrel loads of toxic and hazardous waste into the environment in the process of making it.
For a jacket at what is now considered to be mid-range in terms of pricing the Backbowl packs a serious punch and although it's made for backcountry adventures we think it's great no matter what your ski or snowboard tipple.