Epsilon Belay Vest

A Primaloft-filled belay vest: essential synthetic insulation for hard ice and classic mixed routes in wild, wet, unfriendly conditions. Now also available in custom sizes.
Typical Operating Temperature
Guideline minimum temperature. Sleeping Bag TOT: you should get a night’s sleep, under normal circumstances. Clothing TOT: you should feel warm enough, assuming low/moderate activity. Sleep System TOT: relates to full system. For more details, see our Technical Briefing.
-5°C / 23°F
For clothing, weight is for size: M. For sleeping bags, weight changes with selected length/width. N.B. there may be some variation in the weights of finished products.
465g / 16oz
Epsilon Belay Vest

"Having used it in pretty nasty conditions I’m really sold on it, a fantastic bit of kit."

Cheers Lee Anderson 



  • Outer fabric: Waterproof / Breathable HS2 outer fabric*
  • Inner Fabric: Breathable ripstop superlight MX
  • Primaloft Gold® synthetic insulation (100g/m weight in body and sleeves)
  • Front closure - 2 way YKK Aquaguard water-resistant zip with bottom locking stud
  • 3 insulated pockets:
    • 2 zipped waist level pockets 
    • 1 zipped chest pocket
  • Integral hood with wired peak, sized for a modern climbing helmet:
    • Adjustable front cord with ends tethered inside hood
    • Wired peak
    • Volume reducer on back of hood
  • Reflector tape on front and back for night location
  • Clip loop to secure vest at change-overs
  • Double exit adjustable hem cord
  • Primaloft filling is edge stitched to allow maximum loft
  • Stuff sac
  • Pack size: 17 x 28cm**

*Please note: although the outer fabric is waterproof, and will shed a lot of rain and snow, in a heavy downpour water can penetrate the stitching. However, the Primaloft Gold® insulation retains much of its insulation if wet. As always in the mountains, if there is a possibility of prolonged rain, carry full specification waterproofs.

**Please note: We make our stuff sacs big enough to allow fairly easy stuffing rather than reducing the vest to the tightest minimum.


Also available in custom sizes. We make clothing to order, so if you’re not a standard size we can make it to fit. To order a non-standard custom size, select the Custom Sizing tab and choose the body width and body length sizes that work for you. A custom size takes us a little longer (typically two weeks longer) to make and, because it’s personalized, it’s non-returnable and our customer loyalty scheme can’t be applied. 

Sitting alongside our collection of PHD synthetic filled Belay Jackets, we've designed the Epsilon Belay Vest with the aim of reducing weight (it is 26% lighter than the Epsilon Belay Jacket) by focusing maintaining core body temperature. As with the jackets, this vest shows its true worth in unfriendly, wild and damp conditions: think typical Scottish.

Cut wide enough to fit over the top of outer layers but with a trim, efficient fit, this Belay Vest is designed for tough days on classic mixed routes, technical steep water-ice, and wild big mountain faces: in fact, conditions that can typically be found right across the Scottish, Scandinavian and Alpine ranges.

The Epsilon Belay Vest has been designed to work for you while climbing and at the belay stance. It can be shared between a pair of climbers, swapping back and forth as you alternate belays … or kept just for you and worn all day long. The fit, water-proof fabric with taped shoulder seams, grown-on hood, full-length water-resistant zip, extra body length, and pocket locations are designed specifically for winter climbing adventures.

In our experience, Primaloft Gold® absorbs water much more slowly than other waddings, a marked advantage in wet-cold conditions. If you can retain warm air in the insulation rather than replacing it with cold water, the garment will stay much warmer.

Please note: this vest is designed and sized to be worn over the top of outer layers. It provides additional warmth on cold belays and, can be swapped between climbers at pitch changeovers. If you want a trimmer more athletic fit select the next size down.

Outdoor photos: Paul Horsman.

Superlight MX fabric (weight: 32 gsm)

A mini-ripstop nylon with excellent tear strength, MX is the pick of the superfine 15 denier downproof materials. We have tested lighter fabrics, but most have had significant drawbacks, while our confidence in MX is based on several years of extensive use in both our ultralight and our high mountain gear.

Primaloft Gold®

Primaloft Gold® is the ideal microfibre insulation. Ultrafine fibres produce an insulating core that is incredibly soft, lightweight and water resistant. In our experience it absorbs water much more slowly than other waddings, a marked advantage in wet-cold conditions.

The nearest of the synthetics to the feel of down, yet tougher than you would expect. Primaloft Gold® offers the best warmth/weight performance in the Primaloft range

Waterproof HS2 outer fabric (weight: 88 gsm)

HS2 is a 2-layer laminate, a high-spec option for the outer layer of our insulated gear. This ripstop fabric strikes an excellent balance between lightness and durability. It is light enough for our Belay tops and tough enough for expedition use in our Omega clothing, while the Kappa clothing makes full use of both its qualities. HS2 is completely waterproof (when the seams are taped) and offers excellent breathability. (Weight: 88gsm).

"Having used it in pretty nasty conditions I’m really sold on it, a fantastic bit of kit."

Cheers Lee Anderson

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