The Veilance Deploy LT jacket in Gore-Tex C-Knit first attracted me through the “sidewinder” zip and the white “Vapor” colorway.
First, the extra-light material and the cut caused me some issues. Now, back in black, it has become a favorite jacket.
But, let’s start from the beginning.
Then: Deploy Composite
The earlier incarnation of the Deploy LT, the Deploy Composite, already had the silhouette of the current jacket.
Not least, it already had the sidewinder zipper that is meant to move the zipper away from the face.
In contrast to the new version, it was made of Gore Windstopper and a nylon plain weave in a composite construction.
That was already light, but its revision first seen in spring/summer 2021 is even more so.
Now: Deploy LT
For the most part, the Deploy LT does not have any of the special cuts that are so interesting about Veilance. Special features, though, after a fashion. And a link to some sports streetwear trends that is very interesting.
Veilance marketing copy describes the Deploy as having a characteristic silhouette; it is one of the rather straightforward pieces, though. With a twist.
The Special Sidewinder Touch
The major design cue remains the watertight sidewinder zipper that starts at the center of the jacket, moves up the front (as any other zipper), but then curves onto the collar to end asymmetrically shifted to the right.
The mainline Sidewinder jacket that used basically the same design equipped this asymmetric build with a small snap to prevent the larger part of the open collar from flapping around.
The Deploy LT does without that. When opened, the collar just lies flat against the jacket, if it doesn’t flap around in wind, asymmetrically.
That’s not really how you are supposed to wear this jacket, anyway.
Ideally, the Deploy LT is closed tight, like most Veilance jackets.
The hood does not stow away, it also just lies against the back of the jacket when it isn’t worn.
The Hood and the Deploy LT’s Potential Design Flaw
The hood is a bit peculiar.
The adjustment options it offers, with pull-tabs inside, low under the collar, are nice. They are not the easiest to reach, however; the zipper has to be opened to pull them.
The hood is tall and erect, with little protection extending towards the front to keep rain out of one’s face.
For a summer jacket, this should be okay, but it is something to be aware of. Driving rain might not be the forte of this jacket.
What turned out more problematic for me is that the hood tends to pull the collar towards one’s head.
Between that and the face mask that had to be worn during much of the time I wore the Deploy LT in vapor, the topmost part of the collar rubbed to the point of trouble.
Veilance / Arc’teryx customer service held steadfast to the opinion that the jacket was mainly “contaminated” by grease from my skin. Potentially, this had also been the cause of some delamination, and I should have just washed it much more often.
That was all after very few wears, which was rather disappointing and had me wonder.
I have to accept that there must have been contamination of the material, what with the hood pulling the front collar onto my throat or chin.
I continue to think that it must also have been rubbed off by my face mask to decline so quickly.
This did not bode well for the C-Knit material (and I have since heard of something similar from someone with a System_A Dume jacket in C-Knit).
As usual, Veilance customer service came through to offer credit for another jacket. The Vapor colorway was already sold out, however, and thus – wanting to give this jacket another try, anyway – I switched to black.
Vapor vs. Black
The greatest interest in the Deploy LT lies in the Vapor off-white color and this version’s use of contrasting black waterproof zippers.
Between the ‘sidewinding’ main zipper and the two pockets on the lower side of the jacket, this colorblocking makes for a special look.
Vapor is closer to a trend in streetwear and sports that I find very interesting. Between sustainability initiatives, in which companies aim to also use fewer dyes in their production, and a bit of a fashion trend, pure white and off-white pieces have been on the rise.
Adidas, in particular, has been a proponent of this that I found noteworthy, including in its city-oriented as well as Terrex (trail running) lines.
This is, of course, paid for by the greyish-white Vapor color being more sensitive to dirt and discoloration.
The microfleece-like material in the cuff certainly is.
And the Black Deploy LT?
The black colorway is much more stealth; it might well be longer-lasting in terms of timelessness.
It is definitely less of anything peculiar and noticeable, unless one notices the black-on-black line of the sidewinder zipper or the seams that show the cut pattern.
The requirement for such a closer look – and for having learned of it – to know what this is, that is a very Veilance thing, of course.
Material and Use
A closer look helps appreciate the material, too. After all, the performance of the Deploy LT jacket does not just lie in looks.
The jacket is a 3L Gore-Tex shell with C-Knit backer, made of 13D material.
A thickness of 13 denier is (about) twice as much as the 7D of the Pertex Shield Rab Phantom running pull-on I have mainly been using on recent trail runs in bad weather, but nothing compared to the thickness of winter shells.
This makes the Deploy LT a light shell for downpours in warm weather, indeed. It may also mean that this shell may be less durable than heavier ones.
The Gore-Tex should perform well anyways, and there is quite some flexibility in use:
With the C-Knit backer and the light material, the Deploy wears well over just a light shirt – more than which one wouldn’t want to wear in warm, rainy conditions.
Even short sleeves underneath, bare skin against the jacket’s arms, are no problem; it feels nice.
At the same time, weight and performance combine very nicely to make this a jacket to layer with something a bit warmer underneath to be alright in all but truly cold conditions.
Layering, Not Recommended
When it comes to layering, there is a bit of a potential problem with the cuffs.
They are shaped in a nicely asymmetric pattern, with an elastic textile that nicely forms itself around one’s wrists… but that all also means that another long-sleeve shirt or midlayer underneath, a larger watch, may all quickly become a bit of a hassle.
The medium size of the jacket is roomy enough for me (as someone between M and S) to easily layer a shirt and blazer or a midlayer underneath when more warmth are required.
Then, however, the sleeves of the layer underneath tend to stick out from the Deploy LT cuffs and to move those up my arm a bit, which gives a peculiar look.
It is better to just throw the Deploy LT over a short-sleeve shirt, treating it as the jacket for summer and transitional times that it really is.
Longer-Term Experiences: Back in Black, the Veilance Deploy LT is Great
While I had the Vapor version of the Deploy LT for only a disconcertingly short time, I have now been using the black version for more than a year.
It’s been my go-to jacket for temperatures just around freezing and rainy weather in between those seasons that require no jacket or an insulated shell; I’ve pretty much always worn it while carrying my daypack…
… and it has held up well. Surprisingly well, considering how thin and light it is.
Of course, I did follow the advice of Arc’teryx customer service to wash this jacket more like I wash any other regularly worn piece of clothing, after at most two weeks of wear (if that).
Of course, it could also be that the black material does not show contamination or defects so easily (whereas the white would make them obvious).
But, for everything I’ve seen and looked for issues, there have not been any.
The hood does let some rain get onto my glasses when it’s up, and it does pull the collar against my chin when it’s down. Still, there are no issues with material quality or performance, this time around.
The deterioration in the Gore-Tex’s performance that I would have expected with many washes has not manifested itself, either. There must be less DWR on the jacket now than at the beginning, but most rainwater still pearls off nicely.
All in all, I’m very happy with the black Deploy LT jacket now.
It isn’t a jacket that should be used as a winter shell with thicker or more layers underneath, it really is a rain shell for warmer temperatures.
That considered, it still functions in a wider range of conditions.
It’s light, it’s stealthily stylish, and it seems long-lasting, after all.