New Walking Jackets from Berghaus
Will Hawkins tests out two new walking jackets from Berghaus which come out later this year.
When you go walking in the winter, there are two essentials you need to stay comfortable in poor weather. Firstly, you need a good pair of comfortable walking boots which keep your feet dry (I’ll talk about good boots another time).
Then, to keep the wind and rain off, you need to invest in a good jacket, plus a warm layer underneath it. It sounds a bit serious, but if your core temperature drops, even just a little bit, you can get into trouble. Stay warm & comfortable and your walk will be more fun.
When it comes to good quality outdoor clothing, Berghaus, the Sunderland-based business, has good pedigree. They know how to make outdoor gear and have been doing so for decades.
An essential waterproof walking jacket
Their new season EXTREM 5000 waterproof jacket is an outer layer which will serve you well for many seasons. It’s made out of 3-layer GORE-TEX, which means it will keep out Britain’s extreme winter weather with ease. And, the GORE-TEX lets out moisture inside the jacket so you don’t feel clammy.
Importantly, Berghaus designed the hood to fit over a climbing helmet. That sounds too much for most caravanners or campers, but it’s brilliant for walkers. Unlike most hoods on waterproof jackets, the hood on the EXTREM 5000 sits firmly on your head without you needing to zip up all the way.
So what? Well, in light winds that means you can have your hood up when it’s raining but still have enough zip open to let out warmth without letting the rain in. As I said, it’s all about comfort when you are out walking on the hills.
All the zips on the EXTREM 5000 use the YKK Aquaguard type, which means they are watertight. Berghaus has made sure you can access the pockets when you’re wearing a backpack to grab your gloves, compass or any other essentials. There’s a generously-sized map pocket too, easy to access.
Talking of backpacks, Berghaus made sure that the EXTREM 5000 will stand significant abrasion from your rucksack too. The material on the shoulders and arms is tough enough to take the constant wear you get when out walking, hiking, or mountaineering.
I’ve worn the EXTREM 5000 on two long walks (21 miles and 12 miles) in the Peak District (admittedly in the summer!). The weather varied from windy to wet & windy. The jacket was comfortable, unrestricted and totally waterproof. It packs down to a reasonable size to fit into your backpack easily enough. It’ll be my first choice walking jacket from now on.
Berghaus EXTREM 5000 Details
Sizes: XS to XL
Weight: 548g (medium size)
Colours: Red or Blue
Available: September 2017
What about a warm layer?
Keeping warm is about keeping dry, right? Not necessarily.
If you get caught without your waterproof jacket (where did you leave your Berghaus EXTREM 5000?), then a jacket that keeps you warm when wet, and which keeps out the wind is a good solution.
The ‘rule of thumb’ is that down jackets are no good when wet. You need a jacket filled with made-made fibres to keep you warm when wet. Or, do you?
Quick drying down
Berghaus has its Tephra walking jacket, filled with ‘Hydrodown’, a specially treated duck down. Using the popular ‘Nikwax’, Berghaus treated the down so it keeps it dry ‘for up to 16 hours in wet conditions’. Moreover, it dries out much faster than untreated down, 50% faster according to Berghaus.
Fortunately, I had the EXTREM 5000 jacket on the walk (below right) and did not get expose it to all the weather had to throw at me on a wet and windy walk over the High Peak in Derbyshire. But, I used the Tephra jacket to put on when I stopped to keep warm. The jacket’s outer shell is made from Pertex (brilliant stuff) which keeps the wind out and your warmth in.
Light as a feather
The Berghaus Tephra fits closely (without being tight) and, once on, you hardly notice you’re wearing it, aside from being warm! The Tephra is light and comfortable with elastic cuffs to prevent cold draughts creeping up your arms. It packs down so it takes up little space in your backpack either.
Although you might not want to wear this jacket while on a long walk or hike (not if you sweat like me!), unless it’s bitterly cold, the Tephra is perfect for when you stop for a break, or you are in camp. Once you’ve had a Berghaus Tephra jacket, you won’t want to be without one.
Berghaus Tephra jacket details
Sizes: S to XXL
Weight: 463g (large size)
Colours: Five colours available, namely green, orange, dark blue, black and mid blue. There's also a special cut of the Tephra jacket for women in (sizes 8-18 and in red, pink, green, dark blue and black).
Available: September 2017